Monday, March 15, 2010

St. Patrick's Day survival for fatties...

So St. Patrick's Day is coming up and you know what that means! Food and booze! But there are ways to enjoy yourself without utterly and completely blowing your diet! What's the key? Not eating? Not drinking? Sure I guess those work. But you know what I prefer? Preparing!

In case you didn't know, I am a follower of the Weight Watchers program. It works for me. So in all of this, I will be talking about "points." Don't understand "points"? Well just multiply what I'm saying but like 50 and pretend I'm talking about calories. Or ignore this and go on your merry way.

The key to surviving St. Patrick's Day is banking your weekly allowance points (35 points), knowing food values and being as active as possible.

So let's say you get 24 points a day and you have all of your 35 weekly points all saved up! Good for you! That gives you 59 points to play with! Excellent!

So what about food values? Well it's hard to know exact food values without having the nutritional value right in front of you. But considering Weight Watchers is what I call an "ish" diet, as long as you come close, you should be okay. So here's a list of popular items with their point values.

Bangers and Mash:
You are familiar with this one, no? It's sausage and mashed potatoes. It'll cost you 13 points.

Shephard's pie:
One of my personal favorites, Shephard's pie will run you around 10 points.

Corned Beef and Cabbage:
I'm kind of "meh" about corned beef and cabbage and at 15 points, not really worth it to me.

Fish and Chips:
I can really gorge myself on fish and chips and I used to think that the points were insane! However, 15 points out of a limit of around 60 for the day ain't so bad.

Guiness runs about 10 calories per ounce. You know what else runs 10 calories per ounce? Bud Lite, Coors Lite and Miller Lite. That's right! Ounce per ounce, Guinness is one of the most low-cal beers around (that's Guiness draft, not Guiness Extra Stout). Guinness will cost you 3 per pint. Or, if you are being served Guiness in a 12-ounce cup, 2 points.

Irish Car Bombs:
Yes, combining Guinness with whisky and Bailey’s Irish Cream does give it a higher points value. With the addition of a creamy, sugary liqueur, an Irish car bomb represents about 5 point values. But you know what? Two of these are you are pretty well set!

So you have roughly 60 points to spend throughout the day. But this does not take into consideration any exercise you might be getting. My recommendation? Hit the gym the days before St. Patrick's Day. And on the day of? Walk, walk and walk. Hop from bar to bar, location to location. I am lucky enough to live around one mile away from the parade route so I'll be walking there, to the bars, and back.

Of course I would be neglecting my duties as a fellow human being if I didn't remind everyone to please be careful and do not drink and drive. Please designate a driver and pay for that driver's food.

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