Momentum / Flex - need help with menu planning

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04-22-2009, 05:52 PM
three days in, and i'm doing okay with points except that i'm not able to add in some carbs. or maybe i could and i'm not.

here's today's menu. maybe you can help? if i don't change something soon i'm going to fall off, because i am hungry....and craving a loaf or bread or something.

allowance = 28, activity points = 3 (31)

steel cut oatmeal, milk and blueberries = 4
coffee = 1
banana= 2

grapes = 1


salad w/ pork (leftover bbq night!) (2 + 3 for the pork)
apple = 1

leftover coleslaw (bbq night!) = 1

and here's where i broke - i ate a tim horton's cookies for 4 flippin' points!

asian soup = 0
trout = 6
soba noodles = 3

frozen low fat yogurt = 4

daily tally today = 32


thanks so much!


04-22-2009, 06:29 PM
What are your daily points allowance? I can't tell based on your log!
In any event, I'm not sure how many points your bbq pork logs in at, nor your coleslaw, nor your asian soup (is it the Mr. Noodles variety? how many points?) so it is a bit hard to assess how you are spending your points.
Nonetheless, here are some thoughts:
1. Breakfast looks great and so does your snack. But you might be like me and need PROTEIN for breakfast to control your hunger later on. I've switched from cereals to eggs/egg whites or a 30 carb/30 protein/30 fat mix first thing. If I have only cereals and carbs first thing, I'll be really, really hungry.
2. IF you add protein to your morning, you could move some of the carbs to your lunch. Carbs will give you energy in the afternoon and mixed with the protein will give you some sustaining power.
3. I don't know how many points your coleslaw has, but if it is mayo-based, you might not be spending these points wisely.
4. The Tim Hortons cookies for 4 points are OK if you want to spend the points this way. I'm really happy you accounted for them.
5. I don't know what is in your asian soup, but if it is simply broth and veggies without sugars then you will be OK.
6. Dessert for 5 points means that you will have spent a total of NINE points on sweets. For 9 points, you could eat 5 apples and 4 cups of grapes, or two cups of pasta with 1 tsp butter, or one cup of rice plus 1 cup carrots plus an English muffin with light cream cheese, or 2 weight watchers flour tortilla with 1/2 cup refried beans plus 1 oz shredded lowfat cheese with salsa guacamole and sour cream plus one apple...
Sweets may the the weak link here. IF you find some WW cookie recipes, you could have your cookies AND add some rice/toast/pasta into your diet.
Just a thought!

04-22-2009, 09:59 PM
If you have a sweets issue- I just got the Hungry Girl 200 Under 200 book, and there are tons of yummy sweets recipes. Nothing in the book is over 4 points, and last night I made a mock apple pie that was only 2 points.

04-22-2009, 10:12 PM
thank you!

i added the point values for everything.

and kira, what you posted makes a lot of sense. i am less hungry when i have a pita with nut butter than i am when i eat cereal in the mornings.

i do have a sweet issue.

it's the s.a.d. sugar/flour double fist on my double wide butt :)

thanks a million. and i will look up the book asap!


04-23-2009, 10:44 AM
Hey, ms isolde!
You are doing great, great GREAT! So keep it up. It took me WEEKS to sort out what made me satisfied food-wise vs what I "should" eat. And I absolutely confess that for the first month, I was STARVING because I ate as much junk that I could within my points. And I'll tell you, a bag of chips for lunch doesn't get you very far! It took me a long, long time to figure out how to spend my points and maximize my food intake. So you're on a faster start that I am! But you know, IF I WANT THAT TIMMIES COOKIE, I'M GOING TO HAVE IT! I just account for it. Which is what I love about WW! Also, if you go online to (since you mentioned The Temple of Tim, I assume you are a fellow Canuck!), you can find some WW recipe books that I personally can't live without:
General recipe books: %2527 %2527 %2527
Best Book for Duplicating Take-Out Recipes -- Steamed dumplings! Spanakopita! Orange beef! Udon noodles! Mmmmmm.... %2527
These can all be bought online and delivered to you!
WW recipe books are great because they give you easy recipes and the points value per serving, so thankfully I don't have to think. And the food tastes great!

Keep posting!

04-24-2009, 09:27 PM
Here is what I see.

You are not coming close to the Healthy Guidelines.
Veggies/Fruit: How big was that salad? I see 4 of these
Milk where is that? I do not even see 1 Frozen yogurt does not count

Oil? I see none

The HGL help to keep you full and really do need to be followed. Each and every one is important in its own way. They all follow the Pyramid that has been around for years.

04-27-2009, 01:56 PM
alright, but there was milk at breakfast and fish has it's own oils. there was a teaspoon of oil in my salad dressing.

this is one day. i was also well within the fruit and vegetable serving guide, with more than 8 servings of fruits and vegetables on the day. and that's pretty typical, even before journalling/ww points counting.

i have added protein to most of the meals/snacks and added a carb here and there. last week actually settled out pretty nicely. portion control and sugar peaks really seem to be my biggest issue. we eat really well, and cutting back on eating out has been easier thanks to the planning.

my major concern is making it sustainable. i need to change the way i live, not live on a "diet". i'm not more going to carry around a little notebook checking off water and oils and all the rest than i am going to sprout wings and fly away.

i plan for the week, and it gives me accountability. i know what to shop for and i know what's in the fridge. i even built in some "flex" snacks for this week, so when i get a gnosh on i know i'll be good to myself. i figure afte a couple of months like this, certain meals will be just standard. it's already happened with breakfast, and i'm sure the others will follow along.

i know my sweet tooth has already backed off, and certain things taste far too sweet, and that's only after 10 days! amazing!

thanks for your help :)


04-27-2009, 02:23 PM
You are really making sense, because the key is making your eating plan sustainable, for sure!
Keep it up -- you have got some really great things in place...

04-27-2009, 09:38 PM
You cant count the oil in the fish. Its needs to be pourable. Check the week one book.

04-27-2009, 10:59 PM
I've always had a problem with the milk/oil requirements on WW, although I shouldn't be saying this aloud...
IF I was to eat all the dairy as suggested by the program, which is 2 servings (NOT two points -- there is a big difference) I would have to eat:

2 cups skim milk --4 points
2 cups cottage cheese -- 6 points for fat-free, 10 points for regular
2 cups fat-free or lowfat yogourt - 6 points for fat-free
3 oz cheese -- 3 points for fat-free, 6 points for low-fat, 9 points for regular

And they recommend 2 tsp of pourable oil per day, at 2 points.
Now, I get 23 points a day. IF I was to strictly follow the guidelines, in the BEST case scenario (2 cups skim milk at 4 points plus 2 tsp oil at two points), I have only 17 points for the rest of the day. Add in 2 fruits a day (2 of the 5 servings of fruits and veg) at 2 points, I now have 15 points for 3 meals.
Now, suppose I only get 18 points a day -- I'll have a whopping 10 points left over for other foods. IF I only have skim milk!
So, I choose not to do this. I have to live my life. I drink 1 cup of milk a day, and eat veggies with calcium in them and hope for the best. And I just can't afford to ADD 2 tsp of pourable oil into my diet -- I make sure I use olive oil to bake and cook with, and eat lots of salmon instead. I have to make this plan workable for me in the long term, and I can't manage the strict guidelines on 23 points a day as it is...IMHO...

04-27-2009, 11:20 PM
I am looking for some tips and tricks about menu planning. I've done the ww meetings, I have the materials and I understand the philosophy and a good chunk of the science behind it.

I have spent the last 10 days looking at people's menu posts and reading blogs. There is a tremendous wealth of information here, and I am slowly learning how to find what I'm looking for. Hopefully soon I will feel like I can add my own experiences too, in order to help other people along.

I don't have trouble getting olive oil in my diet. In fact most days the trouble is quite the opposite...amazing how the points add up when you're used to just using it in your everyday cooking.



04-28-2009, 12:14 AM
Hi there, ms stillclock!
Here are some ideas and tips that I've found out the hard way. I'm sure you've already incorporated most of them, but I'll list them anyways. At the sake of being boring! So I'll give you THREE things to think about:

1. Make the most of your points. Sounds TOTALLY basic and simple, but it really, really works. Especially with respect to carbs:
1 cup rice = 4 points
1 cup pasta = 4 points
1 cup cooked couscous = 3 points
1 cup cooked potatoes = 2 points
1 cup garlic mashed potatoes (WW recipe) = 2 points.
1 cup corn = 2 points (I know, a veggie but a STARCHY veggie that will help if you have a carb craving)
1 baked potato (3 oz) = 1 point
You can probably guess that I eat WAY more potatoes than pasta as 2 cups cooked potatoes are the same points value of 1 cup of cooked rotini, and is WAY more filling.
For proteins, beef has twice as many points per cooked ounce versus chicken and white fish.
1 slice of really crispy bacon has 1 point: a 1 oz sausage has 3 points.
1 slice of bread has 2 points: 1 English muffin has 2 points.
These are just some examples. I know you are doing this already, but it helps to really, really know what you want to eat then analyze it and see if you can have a better solution for fewer points.
Old breakfast: 2 slices toast (4 points) plus 2 tsp butter (2 points)
1 fried egg (2 points) plus none for using Pam
2 sausage links (6 points) for a total of 14 points
New breakfast: 1 English muffin (2 points) with a spray of butter-flavored spray (sounds gross, but works!)
scrambled eggs - 1 whole egg plus 4 egg whites (2 points)
2 extra-crispy bacon slices (2 points) for a total of 6 points.
Heck, I'd add 1 cup of cooked potatoes with onions, sauteed in pam
at 2 points for a total of 8 points.

2. Plan snacks for times that you feel hungry. If you are hungry at, say, 2pm, all the time, then work this into your day. And choose wisely. Fruit is way more filling than, say, one of those 100-calorie chocolate bars. You can have 1 cup of grapes, or a mini-chocolate bar. And way more filling than 11 mini rice-cakes.

3. Include some of your favorite foods regularly but in small amounts. If you LOVE those 100-calorie chocolate bars or baked Lays chips, go for it. Occasionally. So as not to feel deprived. But you CAN'T survive on these kind of treats without feeling hungry later on. And when you go out, research before you go to make the best choice that you can:
DQ large brownie blizzard -- 24 points
1 DQ fudge bar -- 1 point.
1 child-sized soft ice cream -- 5 points
1 small soft ice cream -- 9 points.
There are usually options, but you need to know what you want, where you are going, and to have a plan before you get there in order.

OK, I can't help it, so here is number 4:
Get some WW recipe books from the library. The recipes are easy, quick, delicious, and your whole family can eat them without problem. Just measure out your serving FIRST and let the others "have at it". You may have to double up the recipes, like I do (if my dear SIL and BIL and hubby are having dinner, I'll cook for 8, take 1 serving, and never have left-overs). You won't feel like a dietary outcast, and you'll be taking care of you AND your family's nutritional needs. The recipes help you with planning, grocery lists, and tracking, because these are the foundations of your successful new life!

Hope this helps, and I hope I didn't bore you TOO much...

04-29-2009, 07:38 PM
Kira, I know your previous post just really helped me! I'm going to print up the Cup guidelines & post them on my fridge, so I can easily remember when I'm planning for dinner! Thanks!

04-29-2009, 08:50 PM
SO glad to help...

04-29-2009, 09:45 PM

i got some things sorted out, for now. lowering the points is a ways off, so i'll have some time to adjust to this new way of eating before i have to cut anything out.

i added proteins here and there, and carbs too.

so here's today:

everyday begins with a pint of water. i had no idea i was so thirsty! but the effect is that i only drink half the bodum of coffee, a winner all the way around.

yogurt (fat free, plain - made by liberte and so very very good)
1/3 cup quaker harvest crunch

7 points

scoop o' tuna (pumped up with vegetables, low fat mayo)
salad w/ a whole apple and homie made balsamic vinaigrette
sprouted grain corn tortilla

7 points

sushi snack (what a goldmine! 3 points and i got through the grocery store without doing anything stupid! did you know those muffins in the bakery run somewhere between 8 and 12 points?!?)

pork loin
spelt (a whole grain, spiced up a bit and totally filling)

10 points

strawberries and mango sorbet

4 points

for a grand total of 31!

and given that i was at the gym for an hour today, i can use activity points to give me a perfect day, or count 3 flex points for dessert.

the only thing is i need to jostle something because i am ravenous after my workout and gulping water is just not a good answer. a handful of almonds of something would work, but i have to cut the protein from somewhere else, and taking it from lunch makes for a long afternoon.

maybe from dinner? i dunno. i'll play around and see how it goes.

thanks guys!


04-30-2009, 10:53 AM
Hi there!
Just as a thought, you could swap out either the carrots or peas (assuming 1 point each per serving) for broccoli or cauliflower or green beans (0 points, just as filling) and take an apple or an orange for after the workout. An apple, with its fiber and sugars, will fill you up, take the edge off the hunger, and will tide you over.
Looking great! Keep up the AWESOME work!