Every year since I can remember, I have vowed to lose weight at the start of the new year. But then life gets going, and my social calendar fills up with eating and drinking plans that I can’t seem to back out of. Last year, though, I found a way to change this pattern: I started using the Weight Watchers app.
If you’re not familiar with how Weight Watchers works, you’re given a certain amount of points to eat each day, and an extra amount of weekly points to use during days when you go over your daily amount. Every food you eat is worth a number of points, which are calculated based on nutritional values like protein, calories, fat, and carbs. You are also given a certain number of activity points you have to accrue each day, but you can’t redeem these points for food.
At first it wasn’t easy. I quickly realized that although some foods were low in calories, they were high in points. I spent the first week pretty much starving until I figured out what foods I needed to eat that were low in points and would fill me up. Eventually, I started eating much more than I used to each day – and I actually started losing weight.
Not to mention, I was able to go out to dinner and drinks with friends without worrying about my “diet.” After all, Weight Watchers isn’t a diet – it’s a lifestyle change. If you’re thinking about joining Weight Watchers to lose weight or just to become healthier, here are some things you’ll need in your kitchen to succeed. Good luck!
1. Measuring cups
This is first on the list because measuring cups are arguably the most important items you’ll need. When tracking food you eat on Weight Watchers, you have to measure everything, from the guacamole you’re having as a snack with chips to the amount of spices you’re putting in the crockpot for your latest dinner recipe.
It can be a bit of a challenge at first, but these easy-to-clean measuring cups and spoons make it a snap. They're also beautifully designed and are very highly recommended by Amazon users, too.
2. Kitchen scale
Some foods are measured by ounces, which can’t easily be measured in measuring cups. For example, I eat The Good Bean’s salted chickpeas as a snack, and to track them for WW, I just throw a few on my kitchen scale and voila! There is my serving size.
Kitchen scales are also great to know exactly how much meat you’re having. I eat grilled chicken a lot because it’s full of protein, and therefore low in points, and I am able to measure how much chicken I’m having.
3. Good Food Storage Containers
Fruits and veggies are all 0 Weight Watchers points. Every Sunday I buy, cut, and wash food to eat all week and store them in plastic containers. This saves me from snacking on food that is high in points while keeping it as convenient as other, less healthy snacks.
Another part of eating healthier is making homemade food, and you’ll need containers like this to put your homemade lunches in – and store all that leftover food!
4. George Foreman Grill
As I said above, foods high in protein are both filling and low in points. So unless you're a vegetarian, there's nothing easier than grilling chicken, turkey, steak, chicken sausages, etc. on a weeknight. I use a George Foreman grill at home, because it's easy to clean and it fits in small spaces.
And even if you don't eat meat, the George Foreman grill can be used for some vegetables and things like veggie burgers.
5. Slow Cooker
Cooking after a busy day can be hard, but coming home to a cooked dinner after a busy day is easy! Slow cookers are the best because you can dump food in it in the morning and you'll come home to a prepared dinner at night.
If you want to eat healthy and work a typical 9-5 where you're out of the home all day, a slow cooker is an absolute necessity. It also is easy to cook a large quantity of food without spending too much extra time preparing it all, meaning you'll have leftovers for days to come.
6. Cutting board
If your typical food prep to this point has primarily involved finding which restaurant to order takeout from, you're going to need to pick up a few tools of the trade. Cooking for yourself means you’ll be washing, cutting, and peeling fruits, veggies, and more – and a good cutting board can make all the difference during that process!
This 3-piece set is great because it's got a groove to collect excess moisture that'll spill out when you cut up washed fruits and veggies, and it's both plastic and dishwasher safe meaning it's easy to clean. That's key especially if you are preparing meats like chicken, where a typical wood cutting board can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
7. Mini muffin pan
Weight Watchers is all about eating in moderation, and that can be a challenge when most recipes call for making family-sized portions of food. This mini muffin pan can help with that, giving you the ability to cook food in pre-portioned sizes.
Of course, you can always use these pans to make actual mini muffins if you're saving up those points. But if you get a little creative you can also knock out a batch of mini frittatas, mini lasagnas, and more!
8. SkinnyTaste Cookbooks
One of the challenges of cooking for yourself on WW is that many recipes don't include point values, so you're playing a bit of a guessing game when comparing them between websites. Gina Homolka runs the website Skinnytaste, which features tons of Weight Watchers-friendly recipes with points and nutritional info included for each one.
If you want to count the points in your recipes, Skinnytaste makes it SO easy, and Gina has two cookbooks out now to have as a reference in your kitchen at all times. They're packed full of amazing recipes that you'll love no matter what your dietary needs are.