Substitute This!

Leaders from around the country reveal their favorite tasty substitution ideas.
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What would life be without all of the foods we love? Most of us have tried to deny ourselves favorite foods in order to lose weight. But denial can lead to weight-loss destruction, say the most successful losers among us. They’ve found long-term success by finding smart, satisfying stand-ins for high PointsPlus™ value foods.

To find the secrets of successful substitution, we talked to the valuable resources found only in meeting rooms, our Leaders. In speaking with many of them, one common piece of advice is to learn to identify what you are truly craving. Once you figure out what you crave — salty, crunchy, sweet, creamy — settle only for something that truly satisfies. Steer clear of disappointing imitations that leave you hungry for more.

Below are this week’s top 10 substitution ideas sent to us from Leaders around the country.

1. Substitute mashed or pureed cauliflower for rice or potatoes
This favorite is a 0 PointsPlus value side dish that rivals the best! Simply steam a head of cauliflower until very soft, and mash with flavor boosters like fat-free sour cream, chicken stock, salt and pepper. Some Leaders also add garlic, hot sauce or soft cheeses. Many report using this sneaky substitute under chili and stews as a replacement for a cup of rice, saving them a PointsPlus value of 5 per serving.

2. Substitute vegetarian sausage links for turkey, beef or pork breakfast links
At just a PointsPlus value of 3 for two links, this is a good substitute. Find a brand that satisfies and you’ll save between 1 and 3 PointsPlus values over turkey, beef or pork links.

3. Substitute frozen Weight Watchers Smoothies for ice cream
Many Leaders create elaborate smoothies that combine anything from fresh or frozen fruit, vanilla extract, small amounts of peanut butter, frozen bananas, honey and more with Weight Watchers smoothie packets. Just when you thought they were going to drink it, they freeze it instead, creating a slushy concoction that fulfills their calcium intake for the day and satisfies the ice cream craving. Brilliant, considering a Weight Watchers smoothie can be as little as 2 PointsPlus values, depending on how you prepare it, whereas a half a cup of premium ice cream can run you up to 8 PointsPlus values.

4. Substitute endive leaves for tortilla chips
Crisp and strong, endive leaves are the perfect compliment to most dips that call for tortilla chips. Try them as an accompaniment to guacamole, hummus or even salsa. They will run you a PointsPlus value of 0 in comparison to a PointsPlus value of 4 for 12 tortilla chips.

5. Substitute Asparagus Guacamole for the real deal
Check out this 1 PointsPlus value recipe for truly amazing Asparagus Guacamole. You won’t believe it until you try it! Regular guacamole would run you a PointsPlus value of 2 per 1/4 cup.

6. Substitute fat-free Greek yogurt for sour cream
Greek yogurt is becoming a favorite among Weight Watchers Leaders and members due to its rich, thick texture. Using it as a stand-in for sour cream saves PointsPlus values and tastes great. Up to 4 ounces of nonfat Greek-style yogurt will run you only a PointsPlus value of 1 — the same amount of real sour cream has a PointsPlus value of 7

7. Substitute shirataki tofu noodles for regular pasta
This surprisingly good substitute for regular pasta has a PointsPlus value of 1 for an entire 8-ounce package. That will save you seven of the 8 PointsPlus values you’ll find in 8 ounces of regular pasta.

8. Substitute olive oil spray for regular olive oil
This is a great trade when roasting vegetables. Spray on for a PointsPlus value of 0 instead of adding a PointsPlus value of 1 per teaspoon of real olive oil.

9. Substitute 97% fat-free hot dogs for real dogs
One of these has a PointsPlus value of 1 as opposed to 5 or so PointsPlus values per regular dog.

10. Substitute fresh dates for candy
Dates are incredibly sweet, a good source of potassium and fiber and have a PointsPlus value of 0 for two dates. They're so rich you only need two to satisfy your sweet tooth!

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