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Let me start off by saying, that I hate “diet” culture. Although this post mentions the WW program, I do not promote dieting nor do I receive any compensation from WW. But, I am going to discuss why WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) has been successful for me, my favourite WW snack ideas, and how it’s become a way of life for me now.
Having grown up in the thick (no pun intended) of diet culture and surrounded by the constant conversation of weight, I now consider myself a fad diet connoisseur of sorts. Ironically, I’m also a connoisseur of donuts, pizza, and wine which is what got me into this mess in the first place.
As mentioned in a previous post, I’ve tried every diet program there is, some more successful than others, and some of which were just downright dumb. I remember actually blacking out once in college (shockingly unrelated to drinking) on day three of the South Beach diet. I don’t know if I lost more weight or blood from hitting the ground face-first that week. Talk about the dangers of fad dieting, this one could have been hazardous to my modeling career (HA!)
What I’ve always admired about WW, is how nothing is off-limits. If you don’t know anything about the program, basically every food is assigned a points value, based on its nutritional value. After answering a few short questions in the app upon sign-up, WW will assign you a program (Blue, Green, or Purple) and also a daily points allowance. I follow the blue program, so the information provided in this post will be in alignment with the blue plan.
Obviously, the points system is geared to limit your intake of high-fat or high-sugar foods and encourages you to fill your plate with lower point options, such as fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. But, they do allow you to indulge once and a while, with additional points that you have just in case you have an event, dinner out, or a PMS chocolate-induced breakdown. And if you ever run out of points, you can always buy more on Amazon (I’m kidding, but, imagine?)
My Top 3 WW Success Tips
1. Track Every.Damn.thing.
This may seem like a simple one since the whole point of the program is to track and calculate your points in the WW app (which is AMAZING, by the way). But, once you get really familiar with the program, and start to memorize the points in most of your favourite foods, you’ll start slacking on the tracking…HA, I didn’t even plan that.
Tracking is the key to the success of any nutrition plan, it holds you accountable, keeps you in a state of mindfulness, and is really the only way to track your progress. The WW app makes it super simple, you can even use Siri to track for you on the fly. I track everything, my gummy vitamins, coffee creamer (luckily, coffee itself is zero points – YAY!), and even my zero points foods. Every.Damn.Thing.
2. Drink Water (A lot of water, and then drink some more)
If you think that you already drink a ton of water….drink even more. Drinking water was always the key to my personal success. Drinking water has so many benefits, not only does it provide much needed hydration, getting ample amounts of H20 will give you glowing skin, and make you feel fuller, longer. I’m actually surprised that I haven’t drowned from all the water that I drink on a daily basis.
The rule of thumb when it comes to water consumption is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
Ex. if you’re 160 lbs, you would need to drink 80 ounces of water, which equates to ten 8 ounce glasses per day.
If plain ole’ water isn’t your thing, try adding some fresh berries, orange or cucumber slices to your glass, this will give your water a hint of natural, zero-point flavour. And think of the plus side, you’ll be in the bathroom so much, that you won’t have time to over-eat! (Kidding, sort of).
3. Mix it up
I don’t know about you, but I typically tend to eat the same things every day (shake for breakfast, hummus for lunch, rice cake for a snack, and chicken salad for dinner…BOOOOORING). It’s easy to fall into a meal-prep slump, especially when I find healthy meals and snacks that fit into my daily points allowance that are quick and easy to track or part of my standard grocery list. But, my metabolism always knows when I’ve slipped into my comfort zone, and will usually hit a progress plateau after a few weeks of the same ole’ breakfast smoothie for three months in a row.
So, mix it up! Get creative and try new recipes, snacks, and even different fruits and vegetables than your normal go-to’s. If you typically eat an apple every day as a mid-morning snack, pick up a kiwi instead. Changing up the foods you eat will wake up your metabolism, and also help you avoid total boredom.
WW Snack Hacks
I know the only reason you’re all reading this post right now is to find out what my go-to WW snack hacks are, so I won’t leave you hanging any longer! Obviously, WW wants you to snack on zero-point foods (fruits, veggies, etc.), but sometimes you just need something crunchy, sweet, or a little bit more fulfilling. These are my must-have low-point WW snacks to always have on hand when you’re craving a little something yummy.
1. Light Baby Bell Cheese l 2. Pizzelle Cookies l 3. Light Cool Whip l 4. Goli ACV Vitamins l 5. Crunchmaster Brown Rice Crackers l 6. Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps l 7. Skinny Pop Popcorn l 8. WW Donut Holes l 9. Healthy Banana Oat Muffins
Let’s break down each of my faves –
One Point Snacks
- 1. Light Baby Bells – 1 Point each
Bet you never thought cheese would make the 1 point snack list! I was shocked too, but these perfectly snack-able little Light Baby Bells are are a great grab-and-go snack to toss in your lunch. Pair them with some grapes, or a few almonds.
2. Reko Pizzelle Cookies – 1 Point each
That’s right, a 1 point COOKIE. You’re welcome. These delicious Italian wafer-style cookies come in a variety of flavours (chocolate, vanilla, lemon, maple, etc.) and are just 1 point each. I like to have one of these as a nighttime snack, with a cup of decaf green tea.
3. Light Cool Whip – 1 Point (3 tbsp’s)
You probably haven’t had Cool Whip since you were a little kid at your nanas house, but this has to be my favourite WW snack-hacks of all time. You’ll find Cool Whip in the freezer section of the grocery store, which may seem odd, but let me tell you, it’s actually genius. If you love ice cream like I do (who doesn’t?), you’ll love this lil snack. Scoop 3 tbsp’s of Light Cool Whip (which is actually quite a bit) straight out of the freezer, top it with some fresh or frozen berries, and viola – you have 1 Point “Ice Cream”.
4. Goli Nutrition Apple Cider Vinegar Gummies – 1 Point (2 gummies)
Ok, I know these aren’t really a “snack”, but they do taste delicious, and they’re only one point for 2 giant gummies. Not only are they perfect for curbing your candy craving, but these powerful Goli Nutrition ACV gummies will actually help to aid in your weight management, digestion, and body detoxification (along with many other benefits). I pop two of these a day, mid-morning. Goli suggests that you can take up to six gummies per day, but I limit myself to two because there is sugar in them.
HOT WW TIP: I absolutely LOVE shopping online at places like Natura Market for healthy snacks. They have such an incredible selection of WW and lifestyle-friendly foods that ship right to your door for FREE!
Two Point Snacks
5. Crunchmaster Brown Rice Crackers – 2 Points (6 crackers)
These are my favourite snack to grab when I need something to dip into my hummus, or to have with a piece of cheese. These octagon brown rice and sesame crackers are perfectly salty and the ideal two-point WW snack. These can be a bit tough to find in a regular grocery store and when you can find them they’re kind of expensive, but you can grab a giant box of them at Costco, for under $10.
6. Snack Factory Pretzels – 2 Points (8 pretzels)
Another Costco find is this big bag of flattened Snack Factory pretzels. I typically find pretzels a bit underwhelming, but these are actually a super satisfying salty snack that tastes more like a cracker, than your standard boring pretzel. I usually grab a handful of these when I’m waiting for my dinner to cook, or when I’m feeling snacky at night watching “The most dramatic season ever” of The Bachelor.
7. Skinny Pop Popcorn – 2 Points (2 cups)
I couldn’t make this list and NOT add Skinny Pop popcorn. I’ll be honest, I usually eat 5-6 points worth of this stuff in a single sitting, but if you only have 2 points left at the end of the day for snacking, you can fill a bowl with 2 cups of this deliciously buttery popcorn and still get your fix. Popcorn is probably my favourite snack, so I was happy to find that there was a low-point pre-made option available. I make my own often as well, in a whirly-pop on the stove, with a little bit of coconut oil and salt. But if you don’t have a popcorn machine, Skinny Pop is the easiest solution. Just make sure to portion out your serving, otherwise, you’ll look down to discover that half the giant Costco size bag is missing! (or maybe that’s just me….)
8. Cinnamon Donut Holes – 2 Points each
Remember the WW two-ingredient bagel recipe that went viral two years ago? Well, I’ve adapted it. In a big (yet, small) way. Essentially, this recipe made a simple dough, so I decided to get creative with it and turn dough into DONUTS. (The full recipe can be found here). These little cinnamon sugar donut holes are super easy to make and are perfect to keep in the freezer and grab when you’re craving something sweet and sugary. Plus, they’re only 2 points each which is half the amount of Tim Horton’s classic Timbit.
9. Healthy Banana Oat Muffins – 2 Points each
I’ve talked about these WW-friendly muffins before, and so many of my friends and family still ask me to send them the recipe (which can obviously be found on my blog, click here for the full recipe). I always add extra bananas to my grocery cart just so that I can make these sugar-free muffins. The recipe is super simple, and versatile, add coconut, or extra cinnamon, or even apple if you’d like. I make a big batch of these and keep them in the freezer, pop one in my lunch bag in the morning, and it’s usually thawed by the time I want a mid-morning snack.
There you have it, my tips and tricks to being a WW lifetime member. I’m not an expert when it comes to health and nutrition, but I do know a lot about this program and have successfully been able to keep off the 60 lbs I lost nearly 10 years ago, so feel free to reach out if you ever need advice, tips, or just moral support when you’re faced with the temptation of a giant bag of Cadbury mini eggs (which are 1 point each, by the way, so for the love of God, just grab a handful and live your life).
One last tip I will give is not to pay too much attention to the number on the scale. Honestly, some weeks I don’t even weigh myself. If I know I had a good week, and feel good in my clothes, I don’t even bother stepping on the scale, because the number doesn’t matter. Your progress should be tracked by how you feel, let that speak for itself. And if you’re looking to join the program, need an accountability partner (ahem – I could definitely benefit from one!), or curious to learn more – click here for one FREE month and 50% off your membership!