Yes, this is indeed another Friday Giveaway Post--which will have three winners this week. So, Giveaway Skimmers, feel free to skip the Crab's tedious snack food musings and head straight down to the nitty gritty instructions on how to enter at the bottom of the post. Hint: one winner will be random, but creative readers will have extra chances to win this time.
But for those of you who may have opinions about Diet Processed Foods, pro or con--let's talk about this a moment, shall we?
So out in the "real world," (or at least at your local Big Chain Supermarket), there is plenty of evidence that folks want "low cal," "light," "reduced-fat" and "portion-controlled" convenience foods. A weight-conscious consumer who really craves a candy bar, for example, will often appreciate having a 100 calorie option available instead of just a 350 calorie version--even if the "lighter" version is smaller or tastes different from the original.
Most people "out there" seem to think these low-cal treats are a good thing.
In the land of health and fitness bloggers? Eh, not so much.
Few health bloggers will admit to purchasing a Diet Pepsi or a Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich or a bright red can of Pringles Light Non-Fat Potato Chips with New and Improved 50% Less Anal Leakage Olestra.
(Though bloggers primarily focused on weight loss seem to be a bit more accepting of Frankenfoods, as long as they taste decent).
Sure, we should probably all be eating fruit for dessert instead of ice cream, and limiting our snacking to handfuls of healthy nuts and celery and carrots dipped in hummus.
But sometimes you just don't want a healthy whole-food snack! You want something yummy. You may have saved up points or calories or you may be planning to run an extra five miles on the treadmill; whatever. The point is: you're craving refined flour and sugar and fat, not a damn carrot.
(Cartoon by NatalieDee)
So what kind of treat do you pick? Reduced calorie, or regular?
Many folks seem to feel there is something more honorable about choosing to have a miniscule portion of a rich, satisfying, full-fat, gourmet dessert. Or perhaps some sort of deep-fried doughy ethnic thing, just like the kind Grandma from the Old Country used to make. Whereas having a half-dozen reduced fat Oreo cookies? That's frequently frowned upon.
Why is that? Any theories?
I suspect many of us may have a few low-cal or portion-controlled snacks stashed away in our kitchens... Anyone? Anyone?
When I was back in calorie-counting mode, I often used low-cal snacks and desserts, and it really helped me to feel like I could have a "treat" without totally blowing my goals. Now that I don't track so closely, I'm more likely to say "screw it, I'll have a big fat bakery cupcake with who knows how many calories" instead, but I can't really argue that this is a more sensible, honorable choice.
To me the key is: do you enjoy that low-cal treat enough that it satisfies your craving? If so, I think having low cal versions of junky foods as a treat is a fine idea! But I'd be curious to hear what the rest of you think.
So Anyway, On to the Giveaway...
As you may have gathered, the fine folks at Weight Watchers are offering up some of their tasty looking snack foods and desserts! ( Workout Mommy says, of their faux Twinkies: "sinfully delicious!" And she also has some to give away, so make sure to head on over to her site too.)
Anyway, three winners will each get a coupon good for "a full box of any item in the Weight Watchers' snack food category." Alas, I'm told that these products are not available internationally and so yet again, this giveaway is just for U.S. residents, dang it.
One of the winners will be chosen randomly--all you have to do is leave a comment. (And if you don't want the coupon because you would rather snack on alfalfa sprouts instead, don't fear commenting--should you win, we can always send it to someone else instead).
The other two winners will be chosen for writing the two best poems having anything to do with snack food, desserts, dieting, or treats! Here at Cranky Fitness, we love reader poetry, it makes reading the comments extra fun! (Haiku is good too). (And if you enter with a poem, you're also included for the random drawing too. So you have three times the chance to win!)
Entry deadline: Midnight EST, Tuesday September 9th. Winners announced Wednesday, Sept 10th; claim your prizes by emailing us before midnight, EST Sept 11.