HG's Take on the New WW Plan, Plus a Wedge Salad Recipe!

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Dear Hungry Girl,

I follow Weight Watchers and am a little concerned about the new PointsPlus® plan. It seems that many of my favorite foods with a POINTS® value of 1 -- like VitaTops and Sandwich Thins -- now have a PointsPlus® value of 3. I am confused and feel like I might need to give up my favorites. HELP ME!

Worried 'Bout the New WW

Dear Worried,

I am here to put your mind at ease... I, too, was worried about the new Weight Watchers plan before I gave it a try. But I've jumped into it, and I'm more than pleasantly surprised with how it's going. There are TWO key things to keep in mind...

1. The amount of PointsPlus® you get with the new plan is greater than the amount of POINTS® you got with the old plan. (That goes for daily and weekly totals.) So even though some of your favorite packaged foods have higher values, you also have a bigger "budget" to play with.

2. On the new plan, there are more "freebies" -- those foods with a PointsPlus® value of 0. (ALL fruits and most veggies.) Bananas! Grapes! Butternut squash! YAY!!!!

So here's the deal. On the old plan, A LOT of people I know would overindulge in packaged snacks with a POINTS® value of 1 or 2. In all honesty, that's not a great idea; cramming too many packaged snacks into your daily diet isn't the best strategy. Most people know this, but they did it anyway. (It happens.) Now that many of those carby snacks have PointsPlus® values of 3 or 4, you just need to make your choices wisely. Instead of eating three or four of those packaged snacks per day, have just one or two. Then have more BETTER-FOR-YOU snacks, like fruits and veggies, throughout the day. And mixing and matching these types of foods works GREAT with the new plan. I used to eat a banana and a VitaTop together -- that added up to a POINTS® value of 3*. That same banana and VitaTop combo now has a PointsPlus® value of 3*. Same value. So there's definitely room in your life for Vitas, Sandwich Thins, and your other low-calorie, high-fiber favorites -- you just have to figure out how they fit into your overall plan. The super-great news is that you will likely find yourself eating more fruits and veggies than ever before -- more lean protein too. So hang in there! And good luck with the new WW plan. I think it ROCKS!

Dear Hungry Girl,

Mad Men has popularized one of my favorite recipes from the '50s. When Don ordered a wedge of iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing topped with crumbled bacon, my mouth was watering. Is there a low-cal version I can make? Thanks!

Mad-for-the-Wedge Marjorie

Hi Marjorie,

Ooooh... the wedge salad is a CLASSIC! In fact, I'm surprised we haven't come up with a swap sooner. The blue cheese dressing is the only thing that's a bit tricky. Most fat-free versions don't taste that great, and many "light" ones are still pretty high in fat, with about 7 grams per serving. Look for a low-fat version with about 40 calories per serving, like Wish-Bone Light Blue Cheese. That stuff is REALLY good. Okay, recipe time!

Livin'-on-the-Wedge Salad

PER SERVING (entire recipe): 155 calories, 7.5g fat, 813mg sodium, 13.5g carbs, 2.75g fiber, 6.5g sugars, 9.5g protein -- PointsPlus® value 4*

1 wedge (1/4 of a large head) iceberg lettuce
2 tbsp. low-fat blue cheese dressing (like the kind by Wish-Bone)
1 tbsp. blue cheese crumbles
1/4 cup chopped tomato
2 tbsp. precooked real crumbled bacon (like the kind by Oscar Mayer)
Optional: chopped scallions, finely chopped red onion

Place lettuce wedge on a plate and drizzle with dressing. Evenly top with cheese crumbles, tomato, bacon and, if you like, scallions and/or red onion. Dig in!


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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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