Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Let me tell you that I awoke today with a lot of get up and go... so I got up and went... walking, that is. I always feel so much better, higher energy levels, just all around better when I cut white flour and sugar completely out of my diet. I mean in one day I am soaring on the what-can-I-do-next-O-Meter.
I have read over and over again how white flour and sugar from your diet can improve energy levels and mood. I have done this before and I have always felt much better. Even with felling great I still struggle with the temptation. It feels like an addiction, I know it is bad for me, will end up feeling worse but still on occasion have to have the gratification of something sweet and creamy. I don't know what part of my brain triggers these cravings but I really wish I knew more, because it doesn't make sense in my head that I choose something that is not beneficial to my healthy lifestyle but makes me feel bad.
I guess it is a struggle I will continue having, but I am fighting it for today... and each day because the benefit is outstanding.
Today is what counts not regretting past mistakes or thinking about what if... I am feeling better and also have a bit of wonderful, HUGE, news to share. I have struggled with my weight since my first pregnancy and never got a handle on it until this year. Don't get me wrong.. I was on some type of diet almost every week but nothing I ever could live long term with. After a month or so I would always give up. I have been doing WW since March and am still able to stay with it. That alone is mind blowing to me.. BUT the big news is that I weigh less today than I have weighed since the birth of my first child!!! I have finally done it and I feel like there is no end to the continued success I will have. This is really BIG for me, I have never felt successful or in control of my weight and today I took back the control and know that I can do it. For me that is the battle, believing that I can.
I attribute some of this to reading your struggles and successes. I really believe if I had not started reading blogs and blogging myself I would not have made it this far. I have picked up so many tips, recipes and just plain ol' inspiration through your words and successes. Thank you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is this a good idea?

I lost 2.8 pounds at Friday's weigh in, which is great, but not as great as it sounds. I missed 2 weeks so it is for the whole time. I am really feeling like I need to stir things up and lose a little more than that.
I am going to eat only fruit, veggies, lean meat and limited whole grains for this week. I have been eating too much low fat ice cream and some sugary snacks. I know it is defeating my goals and I think if I go back to basics I will lose faster.
I am also increasing my exercise from none, lately, to everyday. I know I will see an initial gain (because I always do when I increase activity.
My question is... I know eating a low carb (bad carb) diet will increase my weight loss but are there any downfalls in doing so? Will I gain back as soon as I have ice cream again? I have been going at a steady pace, but so so so slow. I am thinking a couple weeks of cutting out the white sugar will really motivate me. I have taken my measurements and in losing 35 pounds (to date) I have also lost a total of 20.5 inches off of my waist, hips, bust, thighs, and arms and decreased from a size 20W to a snug 14(misses). My clothes that were very tight on me when I started are now falling off, and I can no longer wear them. It is a great feeling, but suddenly I want more, I want it faster. I have been getting many positive comments and that feels good but also makes me want it faster.
Anyone else experience this? Any tips or suggestions? I really feel motivated and really want o take advantage of this burst of motivation in the best way possible. Thanks for leaving your tips and comments, I read them over and over, they really make a difference for me!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


So I admit it... I SUCK!!! Being in the midst of summer fun and travel has been a challenge for me. I haven't been on program and I haven't been blogging. The two go pretty much hand in hand for me. I think it comes down to a concentrated effort for both. When I am OP, I want to blog and share info, success and read what everyone else is up to. When I am a slacker, I do not want to blog because I will have to read everyone else's success and tips and realize I need to do better.
I have done better this week and writing this post is the last step to my full recovery and commitment. This does something for me... makes me be accountable each day for my choices and really works for me.
I haven't gained- well at least the couple pounds I did gain are already gone but I have been about the same weight for 3 weeks... That's OK because summer is filled with so many options. I haven't planned like I should have, I have overindulged during travel, I have had some extra stress, but you know what, I am still OK- I made it through the last several weeks and still have the desire to continue. I am proud of myself for that!
I also need to return to my exercise program- any program actually. I am going to get back to walking and journaling... I know those are two key components to my success. I am happy to be back! I missed all of you and have to catch up on what you are doing... It may take a day or two but I will be up to speed soon! Enjoy your day!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Let me first say.... Decadent, heavenly, luscious....

LOW FAT Banana Creme Oreo and LOW FAT Vanilla Crumb Holey Donuts!

Recently the generous folks from Holey Donuts sent me a variety of donuts to sample. I was ecstatic to try some new flavors and they were all great. I sampled the Banana Creme Oreo, Vanilla Crumb, Chocolate Crumb, Caramel Crumb and Lemon Vanilla Donut Holes... All were fabulous!

When I first saw the Banana Creme Oreo I wasn't sure if I'd like it. I am all about the creme filling in donuts, so after allowing it to thaw I sliced into it... Let me just say, I wanted to bathe in the banana pudding filling. Did you ever eat the banana pudding made with sweetened condensed milk? The filling in this donut was better.. I know, I couldn't believe it either. The donut had a total of 4 WW points but tasted like 12 (at least). There was a ton of Oreo cookie crumbs and chocolate and vanilla creme frosting on the top. Each bite was a perfect balance and blend of the flavors for an out of this world taste!

Next up was the Vanilla Crumb. Very good, delicate dough, great icing taste. My son ate one and after he did I told them it was a low fat doughnut and he didn't believe me. He loves plain frosted doughnuts and said it was one of the best he had ever eaten. My favorite of this selection was the chocolate crumb. The chocolate frosting is the well, chocolatiest! The caramel is a VERY close second- I am telling you they are all great! 3 WW points each!

The Lemon Vanilla Donut Holes are my favorite. You can have 4 of them for 3 WW points! They are perfection. The lemon filling explodes in your mouth and then you get the sweet glaze mixed in the bunch with the delicate dough- COSMIC GOOD!! TOP PICK!!!
I was browsing the new selections and my top picks to try are (in order)..

Assortment #6
Jumbo Reduced Fat Blueberry Vanilla Cinnamon Buns

Assortment #20
Reduced Fat Raspberry Fudge

30 Piece Low Fat Donut Hole Sampler

Low Fat Raspberry Vanilla Truffle Donut Holes

Low Fat Boston Cream Donut Holes

Low Fat Lemon Vanilla Donut Holes

Sampler Favorites A

Reduced Fat Fudge Boston Cream

Reduced Fat Raspberry Vanilla Truffle

Reduced Fat Caramel Apple

Reduced Fat Blueberry Crumb

Reduced Fat Lemon Graham Cracker

Low Fat Vanilla Crumb

I hoping that I can do a Holey Donut giveaway in the future. Keep an eye out for it..
and a friendly reminder...
wipe up the drool off your keyboard before you exit this page.. HAVE A GREAT DAY!!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thai Green Curry Chicken

Spicy and fresh tasting, this Thai-inspired curry takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. Serve with basmati rice.
Takes under 30 minutes
Makes 4 servingsINGREDIENTS

4 POINTS per serving

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger

1 pound (480g) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into thin strips

1 cup (8 fl oz/240ml) fat-free low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 cup (4 fl oz/120ml) evaporated skim milk

1-3 teaspoons Thai green curry paste

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon coconut extract (optional)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups (6 oz/180g) snow peas or sugar snap peas, strings removed

3 to 4 green onions (white and green parts), diagonally cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) piecesPREPARATION

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of ginger, and sauté for 1 minute. Add chicken and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside.

2. Pour chicken broth and evaporated milk into skillet. Stir in curry paste, 2 tablespoons of the basil, cilantro, the remaining 1 teaspoon ginger, coconut extract, if using, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 8 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

3. Return the chicken and juices to the skillet. Add snow peas and green onions; simmer for 3 to 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons basil.

213 Calories
5.2g Fat
1.2g Saturated fat
30g Protein
9g Carbohydrate
2g Fiber
441mg Sodium

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Prep Time:15 min
Start to Finish:1 hr 55 min
makes:24 brownies
4 points

OK- so this is kinda high in points... but sometimes you just want to indulge and this is the kinda thing that makes you feel satisfied- make them for a party or picnic- or freeze them in individual servings for a great treat now and then.. I sometimes NEED to make something that doesn't feel so "healthy" LOL


1 package (8 oz) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla


1 box (1 lb 2.3 oz) Betty Crocker® fudge brownie mix
1/4 cup canola oil or unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup water
4 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom only of 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in remaining filling ingredients until well blended.

2. In large bowl, stir brownie mix, oil, water, 4 egg whites and 1 teaspoon vanilla with spoon until well blended. Spread in pan.

3. Spoon filling mixture over brownie batter in pan. Cut through filling mixture and batter with knife several times for marbled design. Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

4. Bake 28 to 32 minutes or until toothpick inserted in brownie 2 inches from side of pan comes out clean or almost clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For 24 brownies, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Nutritional Information

1 Brownie: Calories 160 (Calories from Fat 50); Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 5mg; Sodium 125mg; Total Carbohydrate 22g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 17g); Protein 2g % Daily Value*: Vitamin A 2%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 0%; Iron 4% Exchanges: 1/2 Starch; 1 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1 1/2 MyPyramid Servings: 1 tsp Fats & Oils *% Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just a Silly Question?

So today is a little slow.. and I am thinking very random thoughts. The last thought that popped in my head was... If I had to choose one favorite snack food/dessert item and never could have any other what would it be?



What is the one snack food or dessert that you could eat for the rest of your life? (giving up all others)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Just GO!!

This week I wanted to walk- but never did. Why? Not real sure, hot, busy and those excuses that we all want to use from time to time. So I figured out reasons why.. It all comes down to time.

One of the main reasons people give for not walking is that they don't have the time. It may be a challenge but it is possible! You just need to think creatively and remember that even very short walks can add up throughout the course of the day.

Here are some easy strategies:

Make an early date with yourself: Squeeze in a 10-minute walk around breakfast, before the day's events catch up with you.

Walk to a nearby store instead of driving.

Walking the dog? Keep track of your actual striding time and try to get in at least 10 minutes per walk.

Heading to the mall? Put on your walking shoes before you go — then park an extra 100 yards from the entrance, and take a lap or two around the mall before you start shopping.

Make walking part of your daily commute: In the morning, walk to your train or bus stop — or get off the bus a few blocks early and walk to your office, then get off the elevator a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.

Take a 10-minute walk on your lunch hour.

Got a meeting? Brainstorm ideas with a co-worker while walking around the block, or strolling together through the halls of your office. You may find your thoughts flow better.

Take a walk after dinner. Ask family members to come along. It might be a welcome change from the same old TV shows!

Remember, your goal is to accumulate walks at a moderately brisk pace. Even five minutes count. How about now?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

Happy Fourth of July!!!


Try adding crushed red pepper flakes for extra spice!

Who needs beef when a bean burger is this good and this easy? Serve on whole-wheat buns with your favorite fixings. It will be a tasty way to celebrate the holiday!

Takes under 30 minutes
Makes 4 servings

15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

scallions, chopped

egg white

tablespoon chili powder OR 2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika and 1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons cornmeal

1 tablespoon olive oil PREPARATION

1. Combine black beans, scallions, egg white and chili powder in a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend to a chunky puree. Add breadcrumbs and pulse once or twice to blend. Transfer the processor bowl to the refrigerator to chill the mixture for 15 to 20 minutes.

2. With wet hands, form bean mixture into 4 patties. Dust both sides lightly with cornmeal.

3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy, well-seasoned skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the patties and cook on the first side for 5 minutes. Turn over carefully and cook 3 or 4 minutes longer, until browned.

175 Calories
5g Fat
0.6g Saturated fat
0g Trans Fat
6.5g Protein
31g Carbohydrate
6g Fiber
496mg Sodium

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friday Weigh IN!!!

I did a great job this week! I lost 2.0 pounds for a total lost of 31.4. I am almost half way to goal. I can't wait until I have lost more weight than I have left to lose to reach my goal. I know this blog and all of you have helped me so much- so I just want to say THANK YOU!!! I have never lasted this long before on any program and I can see that this time I am going to meet my goals!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red, White and Blueberry Crisp - 2 points!

2 cup(s) strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 cups blueberries
1/2 cup(s) uncooked old fashioned oats
2 tbsp unpacked brown sugar
2 tbsp light butter, melted
1/2 cup(s) lite whipped topping


Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a small bowl, toss blueberries with 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar; set aside. In another small bowl, toss strawberries with remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar; set aside.
In a third small bowl, stir together oats, brown sugar and butter. Spread mixture in a single layer on a sheet pan; bake, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
Spread blueberries and strawberries in an 8 x 8-inch glass dish, alternating to create stripes. (Or prepare in individual serving bowls like we did here.) Sprinkle with oat topping, decorate with whipped topping and serve. Yields 8 servings.
Retain the crispness of the oat topping by sprinkling it on the fruit just before serving.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fabulous Frugal Fourth of July Menus

From the Weight Watchers Website- Great article and tips for WW budget friendly 4th of July. Too great of an article not to share..

Whether you host a July 4th gathering every year or are planning a spur-of-the-moment party, we’ve got the expert lowdown on how to maximize your budget with tips to keep costs down and flavor up. Plus get ideas for a simple, healthy and delicious menu for under $10 per person.
Hosting a festive get-together can be tons of fun. Sticking to a tight budget? Well…not so much. Here’s how you can save without scrimping on flavor, fun and style. Strategies for saving. One obvious way to reduce your own expenses is to take people up on their offer when they ask “What can I bring?” Even if you didn’t intend to have a potluck, don’t turn down a friend who says she’ll bring her signature dessert or something to drink. Just remember to send a thank-you note after the party.

Another money trap people fall into is over-buying ingredients and supplies. It’s fine to have leftovers — if you’ll eat them yourself. But don’t grab extra food off the store shelves “just in case” you might need it. Figure out in advance exactly how much you’ll need per person and stick to that game plan. Consider how you’ll serve. One way to encourage caloric frugality among your guests — even those who aren’t watching their weight — is to serve food buffet-style in one area, and set up seating in another spot far from the food table so people aren’t constantly tempted, says nutritionist Ellie Krieger, MS, RD, author of The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life (Taunton). “This helps people manage their portions while staying satisfied — and helps keep costs down, too.”

Another tactic for a smaller party? Avoid buffets and family-style set-ups altogether and dole out the food yourself by making everyone a plate, says Krieger. Hunt for bargains. One of the easiest ways to get the most bang for your buck is to use ingredients that are seasonal and fresh, says Krieger. They’ll be cheaper and taste better, too. Scour farmer’s markets and pick up whatever looks the best — and has the lowest price. Also think of ways you can use farmer’s market ingredients in multiple courses if they’re an especially good deal. For instance, strawberries can play a supporting role in salads (they’re delicious with spinach tossed with olive oil, a little red wine vinegar and a touch of sugar) as well as feature in berry parfaits for dessert. When you’re shopping, “be flexible with your plan,” says Weight nutritionist and recipes editor Leslie Fink, MS, RD. “If you see a great sale item that you didn’t think about serving, change your menu to include it — the savings will be worth the last-minute shifting.” Don’t forget other common-sense strategies like checking circulars for deals, even if it means going to more than one store — especially for savings on big-ticket items like meat.

Hit up warehouse clubs for bulk savings. Most offer free sample one-day memberships if you don’t already have one, or rope in a friend who’s a member to shop with. The bonus here is that you can split agreed-upon bulk items so you don’t end up with way more than you need. Bulk up with veggies. Most people come to party expecting some sort of meat main course, and there’s no reason to disappoint your guests even if you’re on a budget. The trick is to keep portions small and round them out with tasty veggies. For instance, thread just two or three small pieces of chicken on a kabob among four slices of pepper, onions, zucchini or mushrooms. Serve tacos with a homemade cabbage slaw and cucumber salsa on the side. Kick off the meal with a huge salad tossed with an irresistible vinaigrette.

Forgo bottled beverages. Go gourmet — and cheap! — by serving beverages in pitchers and dispensers you already own, and providing guests with whatever cups and glasses are in your cupboards. Spike iced water with some fruit slices (lemon, orange, melon) or berries. Brew homemade iced tea, suggests Krieger — you could even mix in crushed peaches or other fruit from your farmer's market loot. Get a couple of cheap bottles of seltzer to give guests the option to fizz-ify their drinks. If you want to serve alcohol, make a fruity sangria with boxed wine — much cheaper than individual bottles of beer for a crowd.

Mix-and-Match Menu

Here are some healthy, crowd-pleasing food ideas courtesy of Ellie Krieger. Use them as a starting point for your own menu. All these recipes serve 4, but can be multiplied for a crowd.

Garlic white bean dip and whole-wheat pita chips: 71¢ per serving* Purée drained and rinsed canned white beans (from a 15oz can) with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil, the juice of half a fresh lemon and a few cloves of roasted garlic; season with salt and pepper. (To roast garlic: Cut the tops off a bulb of garlic, toss with a little olive oil and bake cut-side up in a 350° oven for 25-30 minutes or until soft). Serve with homemade whole-wheat pita chips: Split 4 whole-wheat pita breads and cut each into 6 wedges. Brush with olive oil and bake in a 350° oven for 10 minutes until golden brown.

Grilled pizzas: $2.38 per serving These can work as a starter or main dish. Buy refrigerated fresh pizza dough (1lb) at the supermarket and top with whatever you want: tomato sauce, extra grilled veggies, herbs and just a little bit of cheese. Cook until the crusts puff and start to brown.

Grilled zucchini roll-ups: $1.52 per serving Cut 3 medium zucchini lengthwise into thin strips. Brush with oil and grill until tender. Meanwhile, mix together 1 1/2 ounces goat cheese, a tablespoon or two of minced fresh parsley or basil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread each slice with a teaspoon of the cheese mixture, top with a basil leaf or two, and roll up.

Steak tacos with all the fixings: $4.30 per serving Rub 1 1/4 lb top sirloin with a mix of chili powder, cinnamon, garlic, cayenne pepper and salt (or other spices you have on hand). Grill to desired doneness. Slice thin on the bias and serve with flour tortillas (2 per person), shredded cabbage, chopped tomatoes and red onion and light sour cream. On the side, serve a homemade avocado salsa. Toss together chunks of an avocado and seeded cucumber, the juice of a lime, a small diced red onion, chopped jalapeños to taste and a couple of teaspoons of chopped cilantro; season with salt and pepper.

Grilled skinless chicken thighs: $3 per serving (half that if you already have the rub ingredients) Rub 2lb skinless chicken thighs with a mix of grainy mustard and honey before cooking (spray the grill with cooking spray or rub with a little oil to prevent sticking). Cook on a moderate part of the grill to avoid charring the outside before the inside is cooked.

Pesto potato salad: $2.32 per serving Boil 1lb small red potatoes and toss with 1/3 cup of your favorite light homemade or store-bought pesto and a diced bell pepper or a few ribs of celery.

Grilled fruit: $1.40 per serving Bananas (unpeeled and sliced lengthwise) are great on the grill, as are halved stone fruits like peaches, plums and apricots. Top them with a drizzle of honey and serve with a small scoop of light ice cream.

Menu suggestions:

Bean dip and chips, steak tacos with avocado salsa, potato salad, grilled fruit: $8.73/person

Grilled pizzas, chicken thighs, potato salad, grilled fruit: $9.10/person

Bean dip and chips, zucchini roll-ups, grilled pizzas, potato salad, grilled fruit: $8.33/person (vegetarian option, too)

*Prices reflect the average cost of cheapest product options from, and

Great Sports-Bella Giveaway!

I thought I would share this great give away I found.... Here's the link

Grill Cheat Sheet from Weight Watchers

From the Weight Watchers Website-- MMM.. tasty grilling cheat sheet!

Let's start with the classic cookout icon; the burger. Eating one is hard to resist, but since you're probably going to slap a slice of cheese on it and have it on a bun, you should at least try for leaner cuts to keep your POINTS® values under control. "If you're looking for a good meaty chew with many fewer calories than the real thing," says Seres, "a portobello mushroom brushed with a little Italian dressing is fantastic."

Pick your patty:

Patty type Size POINTS® values

Regular ground beef 3 oz 6 POINTS

Lean ground beef 3 oz 4 POINTS

Regular ground turkey or chicken 3 oz 5 POINTS

Lean ground turkey or chicken 3 oz 3 POINTS

Soy burger 3 oz 2 POINTS

Portobello mushroom 3 oz 0 POINTS

Lean Bison burger 3 oz 3 POINTS

The key to grilling fowl is to keep it simple. You probably already know that skinless is a better option. With skin, a piece of chicken gains roughly 1 POINTS value, depending on its size. Sauce it up with a dollop of honey mustard, if you like; it won't cost you.

Choose your chicken:

Chicken Size POINTS® values
Breast, boneless with skin

and barbecue sauce 3 oz 4 POINTS

Breast, boneless and skinless 3 oz 3 POINTS

Drumstick, boneless and skinless 3 oz 4 POINTS

Drumstick, with skin and bone 3 oz 5 POINTS

Thigh, with skin and bone 3 oz 5 POINTS

Once you've stoked your coals to perfection, odds are you're ready for some red meat. Instead of a heavy slab, opt for the recommended serving size of 3 ounces. "Your grocer or butcher should be able to help you to figure out which cuts are lower in fat and give you a primer on how to shop for leaner meats," says Seres. Go with a healthier cut and make it more savory by the bite. Brushing a steak with sauces and marinades adds loads of taste and little to no POINTS values.

Make it meaty

Steak Size POINTS® values

Filet mignon 3 oz 7 POINTS

Trimmed filet mignon 3 oz 4 POINTS

Porterhouse 3 oz 7 POINTS

Trimmed Porterhouse 3 oz 6 POINTS

Sirloin 3 oz 5 POINTS

Trimmed sirloin 3 oz 4 POINTS

Lean flank steak 3 oz 4 POINTS

T-bone 3 oz 7 POINTS

Trimmed T-bone 3 oz 5 POINTS

If you're interested in giving seafood a spin, check out our marine-life breakdown.

Succulent seafood

Fish Size POINTS® values

Shark steak 4 oz 4 POINTS

Snapper filet 4 oz 5 POINTS

Salmon steak 4 oz 3 POINTS

Swordfish steak 4 oz 4 POINTS

Tilapia 4 oz 3 POINTS

Tuna steak 4 oz 3 POINTS

Shrimp 4 oz 3 POINTS

Scallop 4 oz 3 POINTS

Keep yourself honest. Presumably, the cookout is going to be your big meal for the day. Here's a realistic scenario to help you understand how your POINTS values can add up to a reasonable total. Have a lean ground beef burger on a whole-wheat bun with a slice of fat-free American and it's only 7 POINTS values. Add a chicken drumstick garnished with one of our sauce selections, and there's another 5. If there's a round-two, switch things up with a seasoned snapper filet, and pile on some juicy grilled veggies. That makes for a a summer holiday grill-fest that rings in at an admittedly high, but still respectable 17 POINTS values. Planning on being hungry for more? Make that decision beforehand and set aside the extra room in your daily POINTS Target and weekly POINTS allowances.

Sit and savorDon't let yourself get distracted. Sure, all your friends are around and there are a lot of conversations and activities going on, but the more you focus on your plate, the less likely it is that you'll overeat. "It's easy to lose track of how much you're eating at a cookout if you're focusing a lot on the socializing rather than the food," Seres says. "Instead of walking around with a full plate talking to people, find a nice quiet place to sit down so you can really concentrate on the taste of the food."

Don't beat yourself upWe all know that cooking out, especially for a holiday, means you're not likely to plot all your POINTS values and calculate everything correctly. You might even go over your daily POINTS Target. But don't get down on yourself. Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.