Grace puts the new WW KickStart guide to the test
Hi! My name is Grace (@goodbyechins on Instagram), I’m 27 and I live in London with my fiancé, Alex.
I joined WW in 2013 to help me lose the 4st I gained whilst at university. I’m a passionate home cook, and I love to make traditionally indulgent foods from many different cuisines, all of which I can still enjoy on WW.
With 1st to lose until I reach my goal, I’m using the new WW KickStart guide to help give me the final push I need.
After a series of crash diets, WW is helping me lose weight for life
Often, when we decide to make a change to our lifestyles with the aim of shifting some weight, visions of watery-thin soups and sticks of celery come to mind. Before WW, I’d find my fridge full of cottage cheese, and my handbag stuffed with weight-loss milkshake sachets.
The results of these crash diets were quick and drastic, but they were temporary, and it didn’t take long for me to gain back the weight I’d lost. My self-confidence took a knock every time, and I soon turned back to the takeaway pizzas and massive portions of pasta that had caused my weight gain in the first place.
At 17st with a BMI of 39, my GP warned me I was at risk of becoming pre-diabetic. I knew something had to change – this time for good. After picking up a copy of the WW magazine and being met with mouth-watering recipes and motivational success stories about sustainable lifestyle changes, I decided to sign up to WW myself, and I haven’t looked back.
KickStart has something for everyone
Knowing where to begin is often the hardest part. Whether you’re completely new to WW, are re-starting after a holiday or hiatus, or need a fresh dose of motivation, this is where the KickStart guide comes in.
Even as a WW member of 6 years, I’ve benefitted from tapping into new recipe ideas and advice to help keep my momentum going now that the new year is in full swing.
Breakfast: Start as you mean to go on
I live in South London, but work in North London, which can mean leaving the house early to navigate the busy Tube. During the week, I prefer quick-to-assemble breakfasts which I can pack to enjoy at my desk.
I prepare a jar of basic muesli from the KickStart guide at the beginning of the week, which keeps well in an airtight container and is easy to portion out. Once it’s made, that’s a filling breakfast for the whole week sorted! I love it with fat-free Greek yogurt and a handful of berries. The oats and seeds provide the muesli with lots of texture, with bursts of sweetness added by the sultanas.
On the weekends, I favour a much slower approach to breakfast. One of my favourites is poached eggs and smoked salmon on toast. To turn this into a more substantial brunch, I like to swap out the toast for one English muffin. For an extra special twist, you could add a serving of WW Hollandaise sauce on top, which is 1 SmartPoint per sachet, making an indulgent eggs royale to rival any trendy brunch spot.
This is one example of why I love WW so much – nothing is off limits! Your SmartPoints are there to be spent in whichever way suits you best, and KickStart is full of useful tips to build meals around foods with low or 0 SmartPoints values.
Lunch: Plan ahead and make sensible choices on the go
One of the least labour-intensive meals to batch cook is a soup, which is perfect for lunches. It can be the work of minutes! You just need a little time to prepare ingredients, which you can chuck in a pan or slow cooker with some stock and leave to simmer whilst you get on with something else.
I made a batch of chicken & vegetable soup from the KickStart guide, which I packaged up into labelled containers so that I have a stash in the freezer ready to take out for lunch at a moment’s notice.
I always note down the SmartPoints on the container, so I can keep within my SmartPoints Budget without guessing. All I do is take out a portion to defrost when I need it and reheat until piping hot. This soup is full of vegetables, green lentils and chicken – a really filling combination. Perfect on its own, with a sandwich thin or small wholemeal roll.
KickStart also has some great ideas for building your own salad, and the ingredients are easy to grab in most supermarkets if I haven’t had time to prepare a packed lunch. One of my favourite combinations is a cooked salmon fillet, edamame beans, salad, cherry tomatoes, and 15g pine nuts.
If I’m in a rush, I’ll use the barcode scanner on the WW app to pick a prepared supermarket salad that fits within my SmartPoints Budget. I usually discard the oily dressings that come with it and use a WW salad dressing sachet instead – I keep a stash in my drawer at work!
Dinner: Get an easy flavour fix
This WW cookbook is a great resource if you’re looking for meal ideas to suit all times of the year. Some of my favourite cold weather recipes are the beef & ale pie, the pork rendang stew and the chicken casserole with dumplings. I particularly enjoyed the dumplings – you wouldn’t know that they don’t contain suet! If you’re starting out and/or in need of some fresh inspiration, try cooking recipes from a WW cookbook, the WW app, or KickStart.
I really enjoyed the prawn Singapore noodle dish from KickStart, which works well as both a main and a side dish for a ‘fakeaway’ style dinner. I made some to accompany Asian-style fishcakes.
Snacks: Slow burning energy
I was inspired by the KickStart guide to whip up these filling banana, oat & raisin biscuits, as I always have these ingredients at home. At 1 SmartPoint each, they perfectly accompany a cup of tea mid-morning, or work well as a sweet treat after lunch.
Are you ready to KickStart your healthy eating plan?
As the guide points out on page 27, it’s a good idea to stock up on store cupboard essentials so that you have the basics within reach. Food items I couldn’t live without are spray oil, tinned tomatoes, lentils and my spice rack! They don’t cost much, and last for a good while.
Keep the list of 0 SmartPoints foods to hand and build your meals from there. KickStart contains a handy index of 0 and 1 SmartPoint flavour boosters on pages 28 & 29 to add flavour and depth. If you’re not ready to follow a recipe precisely, why not give one of the pre-pointed meal builders a try from page 30 onward?
Scroll down for a selection of recipes from our KickStart guide, available now in Workshops and online. If you're on our Digital plan or you don't want to wait until your next Workshop, download your free copy here.