5 Pasta Alternatives to Help Weight Watchers Lose Weight

There are may pasta alternatives out there. Some are even zero smart points!pasta alternatives

Why are most of us such big fans of pasta? Because it’s a delicious, comfort food, that’s hard to resist. The problem is that traditional pasta can cause weight gain. Pasta is also loaded with carbs that have a negative effect on blood-sugar levels and can cause your overall health to suffer. That said, the following five pasta alternatives are good for you, can help weight watchers lose weight, and they’re tasty too!

1. Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is a low fat (0.5 grams of fat per cup) winter squash that can be transformed into pasta-like strings. Think thin-sized spaghetti here.

Spaghetti squash contains about 92% water weight, which accounts for its amazing lack of calories. Just scrape out the spaghetti like strings and top with your favorite pasta sauce. Spaghetti squash boasts a wide variety of vitamins as well. Just 1-cup of spaghetti squash contains 5.4 mg of vitamin C, just about 10% of the recommended daily intake.

Just half it, take the seeds out,  add some water to a bowl, and cook it in the microwave until its soft. Then take a fork to the squash and scrape away. You’ll have spaghetti squash noodles in no time!

2. Zucchini Noodles

Because of the high water content in zucchini, it’s low in carbs, calories and sugars. Zucchini is also high in essential nutrients like manganese, potassium and antioxidants like vitamin A and C. Julienned, shredded sliced into ribbons using a spiralizer or peeler, this low-calorie pasta alternative delivers a great veggie boost when topped off with your favorite pasta sauce.

Zucchini noodles are often referred to as Zoodles. My favorite thing to do with them is spiral them into fettucini noodles and add a little low-calorie white sauce and chicken to the meal. What a wonderful, quick and easy chicken fettucini dish. My kids like it too! This is the one that I have:

3. Shirataki Noodles

These noodles are basically made of fiber and contain zero calories or fat. Shirataki noodles don’t have any real taste, however, similar to tofu; they absorb flavors. Shirataki noodles can be served right out of the package. However, the packaging recommends draining, rinsing then boiling them. Shirataki Noodles are typically found near the section of the store where tofu is displayed. Due to their popularity, these noodles can now be found in retail grocery stores.

I personally can’t stand these noodles. Probably because when I first tried them, they smelled like fish. I’m sure they’re better now, but I’d rather have a zoodle.

4. Whole Grain Pasta Alternatives

When it comes to healthy pasta, Barilla tops the list, carrying several pasta varieties, including ProteinPLUS and other versions containing white fiber, whole-grains, veggie and gluten-free. Barilla’s ProteinPLUS line incorporates egg whites, legumes, barley, flaxseed (adds Omega 3s) and spelt (a hulled wheat) to increase the protein content. A 2-ounce serving has 190 calories, 10 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and tastes great. Another healthy pasta alternative is brown rice pasta which is also a great source of magnesium and protein. Brown rice pasta is also a good option for those who need a gluten free pasta option.

5. Soba Noodles

This Japanese noodle alternative is packed with protein and fiber and has a nice, slightly nutty taste. The buckwheat flour used to make these noodles come with a number of health benefits and is also a gluten-free grain. Buckwheat flour is also heart healthy, helps prevent heart disease and is rich in phytonutrients, antioxidants that can prevent a variety of diseases.

These pasta alternatives will help satisfy a pasta fix without packing on the pounds. They’ll also leave you energized and feeling light instead of bloated and tired. They’re the perfect pasta alternatives for weight watchers who love pasta.

In all, my favorite pasta alternative is zoodles and spaghetti squash. Mix them with a bit of marinara sauce and some meatballs and you’re good to go! Which of the above alternatives is your favorite?

Healthy Eating – Why Weight Watchers Need to Eat Healthier

While healthy eating isn’t always easy, committing to it is one of the best decisions you could ever make with it comes to quality of life.

healthy eating

Why? Because not only does eating healthy help make you feel and look better, it can extend your life and even save you money. Here are five reasons why weight watchers need to eat healthier.

Healthy Eating Purifies Your Body

Avoiding bad for your food choices will help purify your body, not only helping you lose weight but to feel more vibrant and energetic. Foods that cause health problems include processed foods, soda, greasy fast foods – basically anything that’s high in calories and low important nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

A study published 2014 in the British Medical Journal discovered that eating at least five servings of fresh (or frozen) vegetables and fruit a day was associated with lower risk of death due to a health-related causes. Another study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that a healthy eating plan filled with fruit and vegetables, combined with exercise, extended the life expectancy of women in their 70s.

Relieves Stress

Eating healthy also reduces stress, which is one of the top causes of health related issues. When someone deals with chronic stress, the body ends up breaking down protein in order to fight its effects. Eating healthy, protein-rich foods can help moderate the body’s level of the stress hormone Cortisol. Studies have shown that consuming foods that are rich omega-3 fatty acids and magnesium can reduce Cortisol levels. Consuming healthy, protein-rich foods, including dairy and fish can help replenish the protein that the body needs to thrive.

Improves Your Mood

What we eat actually impacts the brain, along with the areas that regulate mood. Even though there isn’t a specific food that works as an antidepressant, sustaining stable blood sugar levels by consistently consuming proper nutrition can help boost your mood. Nutrient-rich foods like whole grains, vegetables, and fruit have been shown to lower the risk of depression overall, as have foods like fatty fish and nuts that are rich in omega-3 fats. Eating healthy foods increases energy, helps you sleep better, decreases joint pain and can make it easier to focus – all benefits that can’t help but improve your mood.

Regulates Your Weight

The sad fact is that over half of Americans today have weight problems that include obesity, which contributes to almost 1 in 5 deaths. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, reducing your body weight by making healthy food choices improves cholesterol levels, lowers blood pressure and decreases the risk of getting Type 2 diabetes.

Save Money on Life insurance

If you’re considering getting life insurance, it’s important that you know that the rates are based on your health and age. Life insurance companies will more than likely require that you have a medical exam and request permission to gain access to your medical records. If you’re in poor health, you could end up spending twice the amount for your life insurance.

Switching to a healthy eating plan, along with maintaining a healthy weight prior to applying for a policy can substantially lower your costs. But don’t wait on insurance. If you need life insurance now, then buy it. You can always get a new policy later.

While health insurance premiums can’t be based on health-related factors, many health insurance companies reward members for living a healthy lifestyle. Check with your provider to discover if you’re eligible for discounts on co-pays, reduced gym memberships and other special programs.

Remember this saying – “Garbage in Garbage Out”? This pertains to your body too. If you treat it like a trash can you’re going to experience negative, life-shortening results. Making healthy food choices will change your life for the better and it’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family.

Ready to get started on a Weight Watcher’s plan? Read my 2017 update and review here.

How to find the Best Weight Watchers Coupons

I love a deal. So when it was time for me to sign up for Weight Watchers, I combined coupons with rebates and rewards. There are a ton of sites out there with discounts, but finding the best Weight Watchers coupons isn’t easy. Here are the sites I check in order of preference.

Ebates Weight Watchers Coupons

The current Weight Watchers coupon is $5.00 back, plus a $10 gift card if you haven’t signed up for Ebates in the past. If you’re from Canada, it’s $7.50 back right now. If you follow my blog, you know I’m a big fan of Ebates. It’s my first stop for any online shopping that I do. I’ve been a member of Ebates for five years and I make anywhere from $10-$100 per month in rebates on my online purchases. I also get $5 if you sign up under my referral link, which allows me to buy a couple of protein drinks – so thank you!

Weight Watchers Online Couponsweight watchers coupons

After I’ve clicked the link on Ebates, I head to the Weight Watchers Online site to see what specials they’re running. This way you can get BOTH: the Ebates rebate and the Weight Watchers promotion. If they aren’t running a special then be patient, they’re switching over promotions. Give it a day or two and check back. I’ve been on Weight Watchers forever and there is ALWAYS a promotion. Today’s deal is 20% off, which is great! Tomorrow they may run the same promotion, the lose 10 pounds and get a month free, or some percentage or dollar off your membership.

Weight Watchers Magazine Coupons

There is almost always a deal on Weight Watchers Magazine. Often times you can get 50% just by visiting their website. There are also sites like Best Deals Magazines (10% back from Ebates right now) where you can sometimes get a year or two for $6. Of course, I’d rather get Weight Watchers Magazine for free.

How to Get Weight Watchers Magazine for Free

You’ll need a library card to get Weight Watchers Magazine for free. Don’t worry, I don’t even go to the library even though it’s a few blocks away from my house. These days, most major libraries have an eBooks or eMagazine section on their site. Log into your library’s website and search for eBooks or eMagazines. Once you find the section, click through to find the provider your library uses.

The City of Phoenix uses two providers: Zinio and Flipster. Follow the instructions to access your library’s subscription and download the magazine you want. I usually start with Zinio first because I get to keep the digital magazine, whereas with Flipster I only get to check it out for a limited time. This is the easiest ( the legal way) to get Weight Watchers Magazine for free in my opinion. You don’t even have to leave your house!

If you don’t have access to a library, you can get 7.5% back from Ebates on a subscription to Weight Watchers Magazine. But don’t rush it. Often times you can find subscriptions for $6 or less, especially during Christmas.

Weight Watchers Emails

I get emails from Weight Watchers every month and they almost always have a coupon code for discounts on Weight Watchers Snacks and products. In fact, my email currently has one for Chocolate Mini Bar Packs $19.95 for three boxes, Candies Pack $6.95 for what looks like 6 packs, Chips and Crisps Pack $11.95 for 3 boxes, and a Smoothie Pack for $19.95. I also got an email for smoothies on sale 2 for $10 until 3/13/16 with coupon code SHAKEIT last Wednesday. I like being on their list because I get notifications on new products and discounts in addition to new recipes and weight loss tips.

Credit Card Deals

Before you finally press the “buy” button and use your Weight Watchers coupons, be sure to check your credit card company for rebates and cash back. Credit card companies like Discover Card and Chase Visa often give rebates up to 10% back. Use the card that gives you the most money back and reap the rewards.

The Best Weight Watchers Coupons

Ultimately, the best Weight Watchers coupons are the ones that let you combine coupons, rebates and rewards. Today the best coupons would get you 20% off through the Weight Watchers site, $15 or $17.50 through Ebates if you’re new otherwise it’s $5 and $7.50, and 1-5% cash back on your rewards credit card.

If times are tough, you can always try to get Weight Watchers Magazine for free from your library. If you can’t get it online, you can try walking into the library. Often times, it will be on the shelf available for reading while in the library.

I wish you the best of luck finding the best Weight Watchers coupons! If you have any questions or topics you’d like me to write about, please leave a comment below.