Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One extra large double double please

Tim Horton's has become somewhat of a national obsession in Canada. I'm not normally one to follow the crowd, but this is one social custom I fall in line with. But my love and devotion to Tim Hortons was challenged recently when I started Weight Watchers.

I've had a life long struggle with weight. All through junior high and most of high school I was fairly chubby. In grade 8, to support my sister in her endeavour, and also to lose a little of my own weight, I joined Weight Watchers and did quite well. I gained it all back and then some, to reach my highest weight yet in grade 11 of 222 lbs, making me officially obese (I'm 5'8"). Over the course of 6-8 months in grade 11 and the summer between it and grade 12, I lost almost 70 lbs, dropping down to 155lbs. Don't ask me how I did it, because I really don't remember! Then I went to university, ate on a small budget, and met my future wife who is the most phenomenal cook I've ever encountered. Enter: weight gain!

I've crept up over the last 8 years to my recent weight of 195. At some points I brushed the 200 mark. I told myself if I ever got there, I'd do something about it. So I did, and I joined Weight Watchers again.

In my first week I lost 3.4 pounds. This week has been going well and I suspect I've lost 2-3 pounds again. My pants are already feeling loose and Sarah says my face is looking nice and slim again.

And surprisingly, I'm not hungry. The program is actually quite reasonable, I just have to quit being a pig and quit snacking on junk in between meals and before bed. That has been the main difference. But the biggest challenge yet came when my mother-in-law brought me my complimentary Friday morning extra large double double from Timmy's last week. I drank it, not thinking of its impact on my daily points total (I get 34 points a day; points are calculated based on current weight, gender, activity level, age, etc. and are calculated for each food using a formula that accounts for calories, grams of fat, and grams of fibre). Turns out an extra large double double costs me 7 points. And all it gives you is a caffeine buzz.

So I set to work on the Tim Hortons Nutrition Guide to calculate the points value for every item on their menu. I go to Timmy's once a week for lunch, so making healthy choices that will not force me to eliminate a whole meal later in the day is important. I have the full excel file if you wish, but here I will merely highlight some interesting points.

Donuts: lowest at 5 points are chocolate, maple, and honey dips and the Boston Cream, Strawberry Filled, and Blueberry Filled; stay away from the Walnut Crunch, Honey Cruller, and Old Fashion Glazed; 9, 8, and 8 points respectively

Timbits: I calculated based on 6 Timbits, because no one can actually eat a single Timbit if more remain behind
-lowest are the Dutchie and Apple Fritter at 7 points for 6
-the sour cream glazed is bad news; 13 points for 6

Cookies: If you must, chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin spice, and caramel chocolate pecan are 5; peanut butter is 7

Muffins: Mostly bad news; you're better off with a donut; only 6-pointers are low-fat cranberry, low-fat blueberry, blueberry bran, and cranberry blueberry bran; chocolate chip is 10

Bagels: almost all 5 except flax seed, sun dried tomato, and twelve grain; 6, 6, 7 respectively; 3 tbsps of light plain or strawberry cream cheese adds 3 points

Specialty Baked Goods: Stick with plain or raisin tea biscuit; 6 points
-Cinnamon rolls are bad (10 points) as is Chocolate Danish (10)

Yogourt & Berries: RIGHT ON!!! ONLY 3 POINTS!!! (If low-fat)


-here is what I was looking for!
-best bets at 8 points each (regular with standard toppings): chicken salad, egg salad, deli trio
-BLT is worst at 10 points


-Hearty Vegetable rocks at only 1 points (regular bowl)
-Potato bacon chowder is worst at 6, and chili is worse than all at 7


-here is what might surprise many: you cannot slam 3 extra large triple triples every day and expect to shed pounds
-the only 1 point coffee is a small single-single; an extra large double-double is 7 points
-if you want, do like I do and get a splash of milk and add some Splenda
-a medium French Vanilla will cost you 6 points as will a small iced capp

So, today, I ate a Turkey Bacon Club with Hearty Vegetable Soup and a 0-point extra large coffee (splash of milk and Splenda) for a whopping total of 10 points! Not bad. I aim for roughly 10-11 points per meal, giving me some leeway for a small snack in between the three main meals. And it was a highly satisfying 10 points. I am happy to know a boston cream is only 5. I shall indulge some day.

PS-For those interested, the Weight Watchers points are calculated as follows:

Point value=(calories/50)+(grams of fat/12)-(the lesser of the grams of fibre or 4/5)
Round to the nearest whole number
This way if you forget your points slider at home, you're okay!


Tasha said...

Thanks for the informative post! Can you send me the excel file? :)

Tasha said...

Oops... that wasn't my e-mail address lol... :) Thanks!