Continuing the Conversation

After I finished the last Chit Chat post, I thought of a couple of other things I wanted to discuss. And those same topics were mentioned in some of the comments, so here goes.

Mickie mentioned portion size. Yes, portion size. That is a big issue for me. It is why I tend to eat very low fat foods. So I can have a bigger portion size. Four walnut halves is not that much fun. But a big old handful of walnuts? Yumm. Its also a lot of calories, and it doesn’t keep me satiated for very long. So 90% of the time I stick with the four walnut halves. I still have a lot of measuring cups that I use to measure out food. Its not any more work to wash measuring cups than serving spoons. And it keeps me accountable. I still put my salad in a tablespoon measure before I put it on my salad.

Anyway, I think portion size is something that can really be an important factor in whether or not your weight loss attempts are successful.

Kittie made a good comment about the decisions that she developed as she was losing weight, and then ended by saying that those are still the decisions that she uses now, saying “nothing has really changed.” I had been thinking the opposite about myself–how the foods I eat have changed over time. How I used to eat certain foods all the time while I was successfully losing weight, and now I just avoid those foods. There are lots of them, but the two main ones I was thinking about were Luna Bars and Cool Whip Lite. I had Cool Whip Lite with EVERYTHING. And Luna Bars became a “healthy” substitute for the brownies that I made and consumed very frequently. So the Cool Whip Lite. Well, its just not a healthy choice, right? I mean I don’t think it even has any real food ingredients in it. It sure was tasty, though 🙂 And the Luna Bars, I started thinking about them because I was looking for a substitute for my Quest Bars, and I bought a couple of them. They don’t really have a good nutritional profile either. Only 8 grams of protein for 180 calories, and too much sugar. Not a whole lot different than a candy bar.

So since I started losing weight, I have made various changes to my diet. I embraced the low fat high fiber diet that was encouraged by Weight Watchers. Then I moved away from “diet” foods, and more towards a whole food diet, especially when I started working with Vickie, my personal trainer. In the last couple of years, in an attempt to lose some weight, I have added back a few processed sugar free foods, like SF pancake syrup, and SF chocolate pudding, and some protein powders, and of course, my Quest Bars.

And that is my final topic: Quest Bars. PJ mentioned that they were like crack to her. I have thought about this. Because I REALLY liked Quest Bars. Were they crack for me? Did I need to eliminate them? I pretty much had them every day, and I looked forward to it. But I never wanted a second one, like I do with cookies or candy. One was always satisfying, and it really did keep me full for a long while (because of the 20 grams of protein.) So I used them as a mini-meal substitute. Did you notice I was talking in the past tense?

I ordered my Quest bars directly from the company, because it was the best deal, and I felt like I got the freshest bars that way. A couple of months ago the order came and after I had had a couple of different bars, I thought, either my taste has changed, or the Quest bars have changed. I sent a note to the company, asking if they had changed their recipe. Sure enough, I got a nice reply, stating the changes they had made, and the reasons for those changes. Well, I wrote back, telling her why they weren’t as tasty to me. And she wrote back, saying they were still working out their new formula, and offered to replace the entire order for free! Amazing customer service. The new bars she sent were better, but still not like the old ones to me. I think it might be because they changed to truvia (not sure about this) and I don’t particularly care for truvia. Either which way, I decided to write to tell her about my thoughts, and that I would not be ordering any more bars for a while. And she offered to refund my money, which I did not take, because I was still eating the bars. THEN, just last week, I got a note saying that she was sending me a couple of bars of their newest flavor, Pumpkin Pie, free of charge. Honestly, that is the best customer service I have received in a long time.

But sadly, it leaves me without my Quest bars. I will probably be trying out some homemade protein bar recipes. Or maybe I’ll substitute some real food 🙂

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15 thoughts on “Continuing the Conversation

  1. That is amazing customer service. It shows they really care, even though the solution didn’t end up being ideal (being the original taste). At least they did all they could on their end to make you happy. Bravo to Quest/Amazon.

    I really like protein bars as well – and like you, I never want 2 of them. I also don’t consider them a dessert. I see some people post a picture of dessert and it’s a protein bar. What is up with that?

    • I’m wondering why you put Quest/Amazon. Are the two companies related? Amazon DOES have really good customer service too 🙂

      I liked having the Quest bars with my coffee break in the afternoon. I didn’t consider it a dessert, but it was a nice treat.

      • I put Amazon because I misread the word Amazing as Amazon. Not enough coffee, I am assuming…

  2. When I joined WW way back, portion size was my biggest challenge. I still don’t just “eye ball” anything. It’s so easy to go over just a bit and then a bit more then next time, and before you know it you’ve eaten 2 servings when you thought there was only 1. 😉

    • Lori…as I read your comment I was remembering how I was measuring out peanut butter (my favorite crazies depressor)….one tablespoon soon became a heaped up tablespoon. I do have to say that peanut butter IS very satisfying when I am “going nuts for something–anything”, so have had to resort back to leveling off the measuring spoon before consuming. I did learn that it is okay to have two tablespoons full, but I needed to BE AWARE of what I was consuming. It is tough to rein in our portions. mickie

  3. I still measure out certain things; my favorite, though, is protein powder because one serving is a “heaping scoop” – where else do you ever get that kind of leeway when it comes to measurements? 😉

    I’m super impressed with the Quest customer service! I just wish I liked their bars – something about them twisted my guts inside out, so after a couple of tries, I had to never eat them again.

    • That’s pretty funny about the protein powder.

      The quest bars have changed their source of insoluble fiber, which might have been what upset your stomach. But I don’t know if it would be worth it to give them another try, that sounds pretty brutal!

  4. Changing my eating habits began nearly ten years ago, just after you had completed your first year of WeightWatchers. I was so inspired by your (then) 80 pound loss, and I knew I needed to make changes.
    Today our menu is more “clean.” Meats, vegetables, beans, and a LOT of yogurt and protein shakes. My husband have also found our age, 63, is a huge factor. The protein supplement really helps us build muscle and maximize our workouts (also inspired by your success at the gym).
    I weigh and measure nearly everything we eat. When we eat hamburger, the patties are weighed beforehand. at lunch I like yogurt & cottage cheese, and my special delight of mini saltines. I always had a 30 gram serving, but in the last months, I decided I could reduce that to 15 grams. Worked great, and saved 70 calories each day, and my weight began to move lower.
    Thank you for your inspiration and constancy.
    Your BFF
    I eat Cliff Mint bars, cut in 16 pieces. 8 pieces is a snack (135cal, 10g protein).

    • Well thank you, BFF! Yes, I think I forgot to mention age in both of these posts. I think it is a huge factor too. And now I want a Cliff Mint bar, cut into little pieces 🙂

  5. I like the Think Think Lean Protein/High Fiber bars – they are cheaper to order them from the manufacturer too. I havent’ had them in a while but I liked them quite a bit. Just a thought. 🙂

    • I looked at their nutritional analysis online. They have a higher protein bar too. I think they sell them locally, I’m going to try them. Thanks!

  6. Very interesting! Portion control is elemental and I used to feel so resentful about having to measure everything but this time round I’m actually ok with it, it’s just something I do now and I even bought extra sets of measuring spoons and cups.

    Your comment about eating bigger portions of lower calorie foods (because you still like more on your plate) reminded me of a friend who lost a lot of weight decades ago and still eats like this today. She actually binge eats but only on veggies and ultra low fat foods and she exercises like crazy. Her behavior around food used to make me nervous but now I just think “it works for her, she’s kept the weight off and is healthy and looks amazing.”

    What I am noticing for myself is that I am actually ok with smaller portion if the food is whole and nutrient dense. Since starting my weight loss journey I have really noticed how eating processed foods always leaves me hungry for more because my body still didn’t get the nutrition it needs. I still eat some processed foods, either out of convenience or to satisfy my emotions. And I have a calorie friendly fudge bar for desert every night, it’s just enough to satisfy my cravings for something sweet and creamy and stops me from grazing all night.

    • That’s interesting about your friend binging on veggies. That’s something I can’t really make myself do. Although, I have to admit, that I do have large servings of vegetables most of the time. And the fudge bar is a good idea too. I haven’t had them for a long time.

  7. I don’t know why but your blog JUST popped into my feeder :/

    So I’m a day late and a dollar short on commenting but you know I’ll go anyway!

    I’ve always said that every diet or weight loss effort I tried taught me something. Weight Watchers was the one that taught me to weigh and measure. Did you know the cap of most salad dressings are 1T? It has been 20 years since I did Weight Watchers but to this day I cannot bring myself to just dump salad dressing on my salad.

    As far as aging affecting portion sizes due to metabolism slowdown: I have mentioned I am married to someone of healthy/normal weight who I would call a “normal” or “natural” eater. He is also someone who really enjoys food – so we have made an excellent match in that area lol!

    It has been interesting to me to watch him naturally reduce his portions, especially in the last 5 years (he turned 60 in May). So much so, that I am having to reduce the amounts I cook even further than I had since we really don’t want to eat the same thing 4 or 5 days in a row. Stil, I have to admit, that sometimes I feel resentful of the smaller portions I too have to eat these days simply because I love food and always feel I’d like one more bite.

    • Oh, that’s really interesting about your husband reducing his portions. I thought you were going to say he had not had to do that, and I was going to say, well, that’s because he’s a super exerciser! So even with all the training he does, he still has to reduce his portions. Interesting.

      Yeah, I’m with you on being resentful of smaller portions.

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