My husband and I joined Weight Watchers on January 4th, 2011 and knew that we would need to start cooking more at home if we were going to stick to the plan. We each received a set number of food points to use each week.
We tried making meal plans for two week periods before going shopping, but that led to some food waste since we are sometimes hit with specific cravings and ignore the plan willy-nilly. After a little while, we realized we really only needed to plan for four evening meals a week as well as lunches and snacks to avoid waste. Here is how I usually disperse my 29 points a day.
Breakfasts and Lunches
Breakfast became super simple when we realized that a bowl of our favorite cereals is fast and uses 5-6 points a bowl. I prefer Honey Nut Cheerios and my husband is a fan of Total Raisin Bran. When I get the nibbles a couple of hours later, I shut my stomach up with a banana. Since fruit like bananas, apples, oranges, and peaches are free point-wise, they make excellent snack options.
Lunches also are very easy. We either have leftovers or use frozen dinners from Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine. They are tasty and already have the point values listed right on the box. I try to stick with a 6-8 point lunch so I can have a bunch left for the evening when I tend to eat the most. My favorite option has become a Smart Ones Lasagna Florentine for $1.68 and uses 7 points.
Dinner usually ends up being our biggest meal of the day, so we make sure to eat around 5pm-6pm. The biggest change to our normal menu has been that we use leaner meats than we used to. Ground turkey is an awesome substitute for ground beef and we eat more chicken breasts now. At a point per ounce, lean meats fit in our meal plan very easily when paired with vegetables that cost no points like green beans.
One of our favorite meals has become a 6-8 ounce grilled chicken breast, a cup or two of frozen green beans per person, and a cup of rice or mashed potatoes. The whole meal is 12 points. Since I usually only use 12 points during the day, that means I will still have 5 points left for a snack or dessert.
My absolute favorite 5 point dessert has become 4-5 ounces of frozen yogurt with a cut up banana mixed in. We have an Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt shop down the street that costs 42 cents an ounce. I usually drive over 2-3 times a week and choose a little of 2 or 3 flavors like Brownie Batter, Cheesecake, and White Chocolate. Then I get back home, slice a banana into the cup, and enjoy. My other favorite desserts are strawberry smoothies for 4 points or a 4 point Smart Ones Brownie Sundae. I sometimes use any extra points I have on candy when I get hit with my carb cravings.
Overall, we are not the healthiest eaters ever, but we have improved 100% from where we were last year. Budgeting food points is very similar to budgeting money, which is why this program works for me.
How do you plan out your weekly meals?
This post was written by Crystal.