New Year’s Weight Watchers Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions . . . whether they make you cringe or give you a burst of energy, the time for making New Year’s resolutions is here!

I have a friend who made a resolution this past year to start running and cut sugar from her life. Not only was she able to work hard, persevere, and succeed at both goals, but she reached the 1000-mile mark earlier this month.

Wow! What an inspiration. Now just how do I incorporate the kind of drive, gumption, and will power (or is it simply habits, routine, and positivity?) to make a new year’s resolution like this stick?

New Year's Weight Watchers Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions Worth Keeping

With the new year just around the bend, have you been reflecting on the successes and challenges you’ve faced this past year? Resolutions kept and those fallen by the wayside? And what, for you and you alone, is a new year’s resolution worth keeping?

Perhaps you’ve already decided that this is the time to get serious about your health, with weight loss as your focus. If you’d like to join the Weight Watchers community to help you on your journey, save $10 when you use my referral link with Ebates here.

So many of us make New Year’s resolutions in a move toward better health. But that’s so vague; how do we keep momentum and drive when we just don’t feel like being healthy?

Here are some tried and true ideas to make and keep meaningful health goals in the New Year . . . or anytime!

Create New Habits and Routines

  • Change the way you speak about your food choices. “I’m not doing sugar right now” is much more empowering and positive than “I can’t have sugar.”
  • Create positive visual reminders of your goal. Find an inspiring quote and stick it on your mirror. Place a photo of a friend or celebrity who is pursuing health on the fridge.  Or you can even set out a bowl of fresh fruit on your kitchen table to remind you to grab a healthy snack. Anything personal to you that will positively support your healthy living goals!
  • Make tangible, measurable daily goals. Walking three times around the park after work, journaling one page before bed, making a healthy lunch for yourself every evening while preparing dinner. These things are easy to visualize yourself doing and plan, and thus are actually doable!

Stay Accountable with Friends

  • Tell your world through social media, email, or even starting a blog about your New Year’s resolutions.
  • Enlist a friend to call you weekly, run with you, swap homemade broth for homemade bread, or attend Weight Watchers meetings with you.
  • Buddy up to an acquaintance you know who has already succeeded in a similar goal. Ask them for specific advice about creating healthy habits, decreasing temptations, and streamlining healthy decisions.

Fun Ways to Celebrate your Resolutions’ Progress

  • Thermometer: check out this inspiring couple and their Dave Ramsey-signed debt thermometer that helped chart and celebrate progress toward paying off over $100,000!
  • Paper chain: cut out long rectangular pieces of paper from magazines, construction paper, or scrap paper. Link them together in a chain with tape and hang in a prominent place. The links could represent pounds to lose, miles to bike, or anything unique to you. Then, each time a pound or mile is achieved, snip off a link!
  • Calendar: use colorful pens or stickers to mark off each day on the calendar you stick with a particular goal.
  • Healthy Treat: indulge in three squares of dark chocolate, a dandelion coffee, a homemade fruit smoothie, or another healthy treat food of choice each week you meet your goals!
  • Gratitude Journal: keep a notebook and pen propped against your coffee pot, in your purse, or on your car’s dashboard. Throughout your day, intentionally take note of all the good things in your life. You can celebrate specific goals met, encouragement from a friend, a delicious, healthy new dish you discovered, or even the ability to rise, take in the morning sunshine, and get out for a walk.

Making New Year’s Resolutions Stick with Weight Watchers

I’ve found Weight Watchers to really fit my criteria for staying true to healthy, positive changes. Measurable goals, clear guidelines for healthy weight loss, a supportive community, accountability, flexibility with the new Freestyle program . . . the list goes on.

Whatever your personal goals this coming year, I encourage you to take action, make them bonafide New Year’s resolutions, and go for it!

Weight Watchers Freestyle Program

Happy (almost) 2018, my Weight Watchers friends! New changes are coming as I mentioned in my former blog post: the Weight Watchers Freestyle Program, promised to be simpler, more beneficial, and more true to life. So what’s the Freestyle Program all about?

What is the New Weight Watchers Freestyle Program?

Freestyle is the latest incarnation of the Weight Watchers program, an ever-improving organization with nutrition and member success at its heart. Each participant is given a certain number of SmartPoints based on four factors (gender, age, height, and weight). Armed with these points, participants shop and plan their meals accordingly, budgeting their points for the day. In this way, members can expect to lose a healthy 1-2 pounds per week.

How is the Freestyle Program Different?

Here are some of Freestyle’s positive changes promoting choice, flexibility, and FREEdom (hence the Freestyle name!):

  • Expanded list of Zero Point foods
  • Many foods decreased in SmartPoints; none increased
  • Rollover Points
  • Participants’ daily points will be recalibrated and often lowered
  • Fresh encouragement and resources for getting active

Weight Watchers has kept their time-tested SmartPoints system, but now it is promised to be even easier to implement in everyday life, beginning with more Zero Point foods.

Over 200 Zero Points Foods in Weight Watchers Freestyle

All your favorite whole foods from the old list, now expanded to include a larger variety of healthy choices. And they may be foods you wouldn’t expect! Hello unlimited seafood, chicken, eggs, non-fat yogurt, beans, corn, fruits, veggies, and so much more. 

Foods on the Zero Points list form the foundation of lifelong healthy eating, so it makes sense that these get a free pass. We should all be making the shift toward choosing more vegetables, fish, chicken, and fruit, and no point counting is a terrific incentive.

Grilled salmon garnished with lemon juice and sea salt . . . an enormous egg and red bell pepper omelet . . . sautéed chicken breast with snap peas and curry . . . all these dishes and any others you create are available to you without needing to track any of them. So put away your scale and enjoy!

On the Freestyle program, the Zero Points Foods are truly free. You have the freedom to enjoy as many and as much as you like, with the goal of feeling happily satisfied.

Rollover Points for Flexibility in Your Week

Based on current nutritional science, the SmartPoints system assigns every food a value that makes it both easier and more meaningful than counting calories. With both sensible, steady weight loss as the goal and every food and drink still on the menu, it’s a win-win.

Now enter even more flexibility into the SmartPoints system with Rollover Points.

When it comes to eating, most of us have a day-to-day routine that gets happily interrupted with dates, girls’ nights out, weekend barbeques, Sunday potlucks . . . and the list goes on!

But not to fear – Rollovers give you the flexibility to use fewer SmartPoints one day and roll over up to four into your weekly budget for a day when you need them.   

So if your Daily SmartPoints Budget is 28 and you only use 24 on a particular day, you’ll be notified that evening that you have four extra SmartPoints (the maximum allotted) added to your weekly budget. Hooray! This gives you the reigns to eat leaner one day and relax a bit the next, all with the same goals and same fantastic weight loss record shared by Weight Watchers participants.

And really, this mentality best reflects real life, doesn’t it? You’ll still lose weight and have added peace of mind, much thanks to Rollover Points.

On weigh-in days, SmartPoints are reset, so it’s important to remember that rollovers last for one week only. And if you’d prefer your Weekly Bank not reflect SmartPoints rollovers, you can simply opt out in Settings.

Freestyle Activity and Physical Fitness

We all probably know that healthy eating coupled with physical activity is a winning combination to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight thereafter.

But how to start exercising? How to choose activity that really makes a difference in my weight goals and a routine that fits with my lifestyle?

If you’re not already hitting the gym or climbing mountains on the weekend, there are new resources when joining Weight Watchers that will help get you motivated to begin a routine that works for you. After all, finding meaningful, enjoyable activity and incorporating it successfully into your lifestyle is how healthy habits are formed.

And if you’re already movin’ and shakin’, Weight Watchers Freestyle will further assist you in setting measurable goals and discover new challenges to keep you motivated and making progress.

It sounds like, despite the challenges of working with fewer daily SmartPoints, overall the Weight Watchers Freestyle is full of positive change. Let’s embrace it! 

How to Get Started with the Freestyle Program

Ready to get started? Go ahead and use my referral link here to get a $10 gift card, the latest Weight Watchers promotion.

Weight Watchers and Bone Broth

If you’re following the Weight Watchers guidelines and committed to not only counting points but seeking lasting, meaningful diet changes, this post is for you! And if you haven’t joined yet but would like to, save $10 using my referral link here.

Incorporating whole, real foods into your everyday diet is paramount and will help you maintain a healthy weight for life. And what’s easily the best way to start the shift toward whole foods? Homemade bone broth!

What’s so Wonderful about Bone Broth?

Also called stock, this “liquid gold” is something our grandmas could probably teach us a thing or two about. Satisfying and delicious, bone broth makes savory dishes like soups and stews robust, hearty, and filling.

Health wise, the benefits are far-reaching, not only for weight maintenance but overall health of virtually all body systems. As elaborated by the highly influential Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World by Sally Fallon Morell:

“Today we are witnessing an epidemic of chronic disease that threatens to unhinge our modern world—cancer, arthritis, allergies, digestive problems, mental disorders, and even new types of life-threatening infectious illness. Bone broth, rich in the elements of cartilage, collagen, and healing amino acids, can provide protection from these ailments, can serve as an important element in recovery, and can nourish and enrich our lives in many ways.”

Additionally, here’s a deeper understanding of bone broth and its many facets of health.

Chicken broth weight watchers

Where Do I Buy Bones?

There are several options in ingredients when making broth, including meaty bones, a whole uncooked chicken, or a chicken carcass.

Whole chickens can be purchased through CSAs (community supported agriculture), from local farmers directly, at farmers’ markets, and at many grocery stores, including Costco. Chicken feet are especially high in gelatin and are often given away by farmers after processing day!

Beef bones can be found at butcher shops, through local processors and ranchers, and even at your local grocery store! Ask for “pet bones” or “soup bones.”

How to Make Bone Broth… the Easy Slow Cooker Way

Just about every cook has a subtly different method in making broth. That’s alright! Two of the most significant things to remember are quality of bones, and length of simmer.

Here is my tried-and-true take on easy slow cooker broth:

  1. Start with beef bones, a whole uncooked chicken, or a chicken carcass, preferably grass-fed, organic, and/or pastured. Place in slow cooker.
  2. Add in one roughly chopped onion for a great-tasting broth.
  3. Optional: add in roughly chopped carrots and celery.
  4. Fill the slow cooker with filtered water to an inch below the rim of the crock.
  5. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar.
  6. Turn slow cooker on High to get it simmering, then turn to Low. Cook for 12-24 hours if chicken, 24-48 hours if beef.
  7. Turn off slow cooker. Ladle liquid through a sieve into a large jar. You can keep any meat and discard bones and leftover veggies. After a little while of settling, the light yellow fat will rise to the top; ladle off in a separate small jar for a healthy fat for the next time you saute meat or vegetables.

Mug of homemade broth

How to Use Bone Broth in Everyday Recipes

Now that you’ve made bone broth, now what? Luckily, this is an extremely versatile food, and once you begin incorporating it into recipes, you’ll soon wonder what you ever did without it.

When making soups, stews, chili, and beans, simply add all your ingredients to your pot or slow cooker and fill to this level with homemade broth. Simmer just as you would with water.

If branching out into fish stock, miso soup can be made by heating broth on the stove and adding naturally fermented miso, naturally fermented soy sauce, scallion greens, and shredded cabbage or wakame seaweed.

You can also choose to drink bone broth plain and hot in a mug with a pinch of salt for an extraordinary way to start your morning. Or add a thermos of broth to your lunch-on-the-go to feel more satisfied throughout the day.

You can also “stock up” so to speak, and freeze broth in glass jars or gallon bags for convenience and easy access in times of illness. If using plastic bags, be sure to ladle in while cool to prevent chemicals leaching into the broth.

Bone broth with an egg, either hard boiled or cracked directly into the broth as it simmers, is a wonderfully healing food when recovering from illness, surgery, or childbirth.

Weight Watchers and Bone Broth

Calculating Smartpoints

If you’re currently on Weight Watchers, a beautiful thing about broth is that it is both 0 Smartpoints and a Simply Filling food, meaning you can use it liberally in all your cooking!

I encourage you to throw a few bones or a chicken into the slow cooker this weekend and enjoy the ultimate in healthy food: homemade broth!