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!