Weight watchers and Wine

Bathroom Scales - bearer of bad news

Weightwatchers and wine may seem like a strange combination but those are the things at the top of my list this week.

An unpleasant experience with a set of bathroom scales at my mother’s house over the weekend resulted in me learning that my first 11 months in Portugal have added nearly a stone to

Bathroom Scales - bearer of bad news

Bathroom Scales – bearer of bad news

my weight. This, coupled with a work colleague of my wife poking her stomach and saying “what’s all this then?” last week has meant that it’s health kick time.

Portugal is not particularly conducive to low-fat eating. Consuming dishes rich in butter, salt and olive oil is a (wonderful) part of life here but, at least until Christmas time, we have to give it a rest.

Enter Weightwatchers. Having purchased a couple of relevant books and signed up to the online program at we are now counting our points and measuring our hunger levels.

And? Well, so far so good. As someone who is interested in nutrition it makes perfect sense to me and the biggest eye-opener so far has been the points-value of some of the things we have previously consumed without a second thought. The tasty juice drinks we fill our fridge with account for one Weightwatchers point per 200ml – my wife was often consuming half of her daily points allowance in soft drink alone!

More upsetting is the fact that our beloved olive oil is one point per 5ml teaspoon and 5ml is a VERY small amount. I’m pretty sure last night’s salad leaves actually looked disappointed when this was all I dressed them with.

SO, for now at least, bye bye cheese, chorizo and chocolate and meet their replacements – quark “cheese” (only half a point per tablespoon!) unlimited pepper and tomato salsa (no points at all,) and….well…there isn’t really a replacement for chocolate – I just have to save the points up!

Although it is a “diet” of sorts we are actually enjoying it so far – we still get to cook recipes and use the barbecue so it’s not all bad. We are still allowed wine, and by switching to low-calorie Fonte De Nico, I can have a glass and only use ½ of one of my precious points!

Moving onto the wine part of the post, readers of the Expats Portugal forum may have come across my post about “posher” Portuguese wines for Christmas. I am compiling a list of recommendations from members of the forum and will be reviewing some of the more high-end Portuguese wines in the run up to the Christmas period. So stay tuned for some festive suggestions.

That’s all for now. I’m off to find out how many Weightwatchers points are in a pastel de nata.

For anyone looking to lose a few points in the run up to Christmas, the following is the Weightwatchers cook book which is currently providing us with plenty of inspiration.

Image credit: Distec