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Calculating Cocktails, and Theme-Park Tips from HG!
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Calculating Cocktails, and Theme-Park Tips from HG!

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06.15.11
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Hi Hungry Girl,

I love your cocktail book, Happy Hour, but I'm confused when it comes to the Weight Watchers PointsPlus® values. When I plug the recipe stats for one of the drink recipes into my Weight Watchers calculator, I get a much lower PointsPlus® value than what's listed on your site. The values according to my calculator seem too low for alcoholic drinks -- some have a value of just 0 or 1. What gives?

Beverage Baffled

Hi BB,

Here's the deal. To determine the PointsPlus® value of a recipe, the WW calculator uses fat, carbs, fiber, and protein -- but the calories from alcohol aren't factored in. So if you plug the stats for a cocktail recipe into your PointsPlus® calculator, the value will not be accurate. To figure out the real value of a cocktail recipe, you need to start with Weight Watchers' determined value for the alcohol itself (typically a PointsPlus® value of 4 per 1.5-oz. shot). After that, calculate the recipe's value based only on the non-alcoholic ingredients. Then, add those values together. Sound complicated? Don't worry; we've done all the work for you! The values listed in the Happy Hour section of our book site take all of this info into account. Cocktail recipes in other HG books as well as past HG emails have also been updated with the specially calculated values.

Bottom line? Using the calculator to determine PointsPlus® values for cocktail recipes won't work. But you can find accurate values for all the recipes in Hungry Girl Happy Hour by clicking here. Now go make some cocktails (if you're of the legal drinking age and won't be driving, of course)!

 

Dear Hungry Girl,

I'm going to Disney World in a few weeks, and I'm wondering if you have any tips on eating there. As far as I know, the restaurants don't provide nutritional information, so I am at a loss. Help! How do I not gain weight while I'm there?

Amusement Confusement

Dear Amusement Confusement,

You're not alone! Now that the warm weather is here, many of us will be spending time at fairs and amusement parks -- spots that can be pretty scary when it comes to meals and snacks. I have a few rules for day trips to these types of places...

1. Bring emergency snacks. These are things you can keep in your bag to help you avoid eating the crazy-high-calorie snacks that pop up at parks. I like to have sweet stuff, minty things, and protein-packed options handy: Tootsie Pops, sugar-free hard candies, sugar-free mints, sugar-free gum, jerky, light cheese snacks that don't need refrigeration, 100-calorie packs of almonds -- all GREAT. Click here for a huge list of travel-friendly treats.

2. Track down better-for-you options. If you find yourself at the park without emergency snacks, seek out treats that aren't too bad for you. You can usually find fresh fruit at amusement parks. And you're better off with a few bites of cotton candy or a soft pretzel than with greasy, fatty funnel cakes or churros!

3. Do a little homework. Check out menus online ahead of time. Even if the restaurants don't have nutritionals posted, you can usually find out what's on the menu before you get there. Then at least you will be prepared for what to expect and can make the best choices. In fact, check out this unofficial guide we found for dining at Disney!

4. Go for lean protein at mealtime. In general, when it comes to meals, stick with deli meats or grilled lean protein (like chicken), rather than hot dogs, pizza, or hamburgers. And if you're going for a salad, pay close attention to the dressing, 'cuz there's a good chance it will have more calories than the salad itself! Your best bet with salads is to order the dressing on the side, and then dip (don't pour!).

Click here for an overall guide to menu reading and dining out. And click here for more info on surviving theme parks. Good luck and have fun!

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*The PointsPlus® 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.

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