Monday, November 8, 2010

A Weight Watcher at Disney

I may have mentioned this before once or twice, but...

I have been a Weight Watcher since college.  Let's just say, a very not-nice boy inspired me, then a very nice friend helped me.  I lost 30 lbs when I was 21 and I've kept it off for 8 years (okay, I've gone back up 5-10, but I have the tools and knowledge to get it off).  I've only fully "dieted" the first time and after pregnancy.  I constantly stay on the plan, for my own sanity, and to make sure I'm eating well.

On vacation, many (myself included) tend to eat everything their heart desires..

But, what if your head is winning over your heart and you want to eat well?  Well, Walt Disney World isn't the best (apparently, Disneyland has an abundance of healthy options, but that's California for you!), but it's absolutely doable.

First, just as I would normally check an online menu before I hit a local menu, I love to check the WDW menus.  I like planning my meals before I enter a restaurant - less likely to splurge on a less-healthy meal.  

Second, accept that on vacation, it's okay to cheat a little.  With all that walking (I'll have my GPS watch on me in January to clock mileage, but Adams phone picked up several miles in our first hour last trip), it's automatic exercise, so I don't feel nearly as guilty!

Here are some of my tips for eating healthy in the parks:

  • Drink water - bring your own or buy, but water is necessary and can keep you fuller to help avoid the temping snacks.
  • Eat meals in your room before heading to the park.  I love having my own cereal to start my day off with my normal routine.
  • Bring healthy snacks (100 cal packs, fruit, granola bars) or use a Dining Plan snack credit at a shop like the market in Liberty Square that always has vegetables and fruit option. 
  • Plan your splurges accordingly - it's okay to have a Mickey Bar one day, but not every day of a 5 day trip!
  • Beware of the Dining Plan's included dessert.  Every meal doesn't need a full dessert!
Some of my favorite restaurants for staying on track  include:

  • Sunshine Seasons (EPCOT)
    • I had a delicious black bean soup and beet salad last trip and my husband didn't have to touch any of it!
  • The Moroccan Pavilion (EPCOT)
    • Both the quick service and table service restaurants have many healthy options
  • Kouzzina (Boardwalk Resort Area)
    • I adore Greek food - similar flavors as Moroccan food, but so delicious and filled with vegetables and healthy options
  • Columbia Harbor House (Magic Kingdom)
    • With a chicken salad option - not coated in Caesar Dressing - and a hummus/veggie sandwich, this is one of the better options in the Magic Kingdom.
Plus, with a baby eating off of my plate, I prefer having something healthy to share - not just french fries and burgers!

*A shocking surprise is the calorie count on those Turkey Legs..  Turkey, can't be too bad, right?
Wrong.  Those fried turkey legs are a whopping 1,000 calories.  Eat at your own risk!

Anyone else trying to stay healthy on vacation with me?  What are your favorite tips/restaurants?
Thanks for stopping by!


  1. But those Turkey legs are soooo good!

  2. With having food allergies I often can't have the 'advertised' desserts - but they always have the containers of unsweetened apple sauce and I have those instead. Then if I do want an ice cream bar I am not doubling up on desserts.

  3. That's a great tip about the unsweetened applesauce! I'm lucky enough not to know much about food allergies, but I'll like the unsweetened stuff for my baby when we're there.

  4. They also have the applesauce at value resort food courts, I think they cost 89 cents.

    The funny thing is that the cast members often make a face when I ask for and say "You do know it is unsweetened . . ." Like that is a bad thing!


  5. Thanks for this, Jenn! I have been on WW for a year now and have been a lifetime member since June. I will definitely keep this in mind for my next Disney trip!

  6. I can only imagine who this "un-nice" boy was from your college days. A few potential candidates come to mind who might have been nasty enough to say something mean!

    But even if it started from there, the end was well worth it! You look so fabulous and are a tremendous inspiration to me to not wallow around being one of those women who blame weight issues on having a kid, particularly when that kid is not even a baby anymore!