Exercise Weight Watchers

Trying Something New

I attended my first Weight Watchers meeting in Tulsa last week and learned about the new program. And while I haven’t made any final decisions on ProPoints, my initial reaction is that they have overcomplicated Weight Watchers’ simplistic approach to weight-loss.

The new program gears members toward eating healthier foods, but that’s nothing new for Weight Watchers. When I joined Weight Watchers in April of 2009, I fell in love with the Momentum program, and it helped me lose over 100 pounds.

Obviously, I still have a lot to lose so I’m trying something new this week, but not ProPoints. Instead, I’ve been counting calories. It’s simple. I’ve watched people do it and have incredible success, and I know it will work for me too.

The problem I see with counting calories as opposed to following a plan like Weight Watchers is two-fold. First, counting calories is enough to make you lose weight, but it’s not necessarily conducive to healthy eating. Knowing how many calories are in a piece of fried chicken doesn’t mean I should eat fried chicken 4 times per week. In counting Weight Watchers POINTS, I have also followed their healthy guidelines so I eat 5 or more fruits and veggies per day, drink at least 8 glasses of water (though they suggest at least 6.) I also eat lean proteins, etc. Following their healthy guidelines makes it easy to consume the amount of food I need along with the proper nutrients.

Secondly, Weight Watchers offers accountability and support at weekly meetings which has been paramount so far, and I can’t imagine giving up the meetings even if I choose to continue counting calories as opposed to ProPoints. I need to weigh-in on the same scale every week, and it helps to know that someone else is watching the numbers with me. It leaves less room for error.

My biggest problem with the new plan is that no one could tell me when the number of points I have per day will decrease, and that frustrates me because I have enjoyed setting micro-goals and seeing the progression throughout my journey.

As I said, I haven’t made any final decisions about the new plan. I haven’t tried it yet though it’s not difficult to understand, and I’m quite sure that it will aid millions in weight-loss. I’m just not prepared to memorize new point values, buy a new food scale, a new Dining Out Companion, Complete Food Companion, etc. only to learn a new system two years from now.

The changes I have made along this journey are changes that I plan to implement for the rest of my life. And I’m quite sure that I wouldn’t have experienced as much success has I have without Weight Watchers. My life truly changed when I walked into that little room in New York last year so I will continue to pay for my monthly membership, and I’ll continue to weigh-in weekly. But I’m not sold on ProPoints, and I can honestly say that I’m not prepared to invest the time and money in the new plan without using the tools that Weight Watchers has already given me.

I’m going to count calories while exercising and following the healthy guidelines that Weight Watchers laid out for me from day one. I’ll eat filling foods and drink water just as I have since the beginning of my journey. Right now I’m eating 2,000 calories per day which should be more than enough to keep me satisfied while enabling me to lose. My BodyBugg shows that I burn about 3,450 to 3,600 calories per day.

I can’t say that I have it all figured out because I don’t, but I can say that I’m excited to be so acutely aware of everything that I eat again. It feels good to start fresh, and I have no interest in giving up. I’ll just keep working until I figure out what is right for me going forward.

Are you a Weight Watchers member? If so, what do you think of the new plan?

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  • Reply
    Heather B.
    December 5, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    I have been using the lose it app on my phone to count my calories and I am loving it so much! It is right at my finger tips every second of the day and I can also check my stats at http://www.loseit.com This may be a good companion for you if you are counting calories!!!!

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    I considered WW, but in the end chose counting calories combined with clean eating. I am not a real people person, so online support is my preference, vs meetings.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    Okay girl, here is my two cents worth lol…I love the new plan! I've already written a few posts about it, and as of today I'm down 4.7 pounds from Thursday (Dec. 2nd)! I was NOT excited about having to buy new material, but it is so worth it. It is a little more time consuming, but it's no worse than the way it was the very first time I started with WW. My conclusion: change is good! Think about it…a banana and a 100 calorie snack pack had the same points value, but how many times did people reach for the Laura Doone cookies over the fruit? The new program is trying to stress how not all calories are the same. I've only been on it a couple of days, but my eating has been SO much better. I just feel healthier for the choices I've made. You will figure out what is best for you…but my advice – give it a chance, change can be a good thing 😉

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    WW got me started and showed me how to make healthier choices. I think the new plan is a good one because it really tries to steer people away from things like 100 calories packs and towards fruit and vegetables. But I came to that conclusion already and don't need the new plan. I am happy doing WW on my own using points and choosing whole, non-processed foods to eat.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I am on the fence. I had been counting calories with fatsecret.com on my phone…but I added weightwatchers mobile to my android phone and put an icon on my home page. easy peasy…and with my app I don't have to have any of the written materials. Writing things down with paper and pen and using the book is HORRIBLE. Something I can't do forever. But using my app has been very easy so far and knowing fruit is free…has kept my snacking in check nicely. So far so good.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    At first I was slightly intimidated by the new plan, everything I knew I no longer could trust in. After attending my meeting, playing around online and research on my own it makes perfect sense to switch it up, part of WW is to teach you how to make healthier choices and if on the old plan an apple is the same points as chips, which would you choose? I also never understood why carbs were never taken into account on the old plan. Im totally on board with the new program, its giving me the motivation Ive been lacking lately. And heres a little known WW fact, Jennifer Hudson was one of the first people to test the new ProPoints plan in the US market and how she lost all her weight. So it definately works. I would say to simply keep an open mind, change can be good, but ultimately do whats best for you 🙂

  • Reply
    Shoe Vixen
    December 5, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    At first the new plan intimidated me, everything I knew I could no longer count on or trust in. After attending my first meeting, playing around with e-Tools and doing some research on my own, Im totally on board with the new plan, its given me the motivation Ive lacked for a while, its like starting WW all over again. Unlike most people, I didnt have to buy new materials as I have the iPhone app and everything I need is in there, so that made the transition easier for me. The ProPoints plan makes perfect sense to me, the goal of WW is to make better food choices, if an apple has the same points value as chips, then there is no benefit to choosing the apple (pointswise), and I never understood why carbs werent taken into account on the old plan. Heres a cool little known WW fact: Jennifer Hudson was one of the first people to test out the ProPoints plan in the US market and how she lost all weight, so it can work. I would keep an open mind to the new program, try it out for a while and see but ultimately do whats best for you 🙂

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I am not currently a Weight Watchers member but I have been SEVERAL times over the years and always have lost weight. HOWEVER, I do follow the WW Points plan (the original, not the new one). I got the at home kit a year ago and I count points everyday and journal. I also track calories. BUT, I track points first and foremost and by staying within my points everyday, I average about 1,300-1,500 calories per day. After spending $100 plus on the at home kit, I am NOT going to switch to the ProPoints plan. I get a bit irritated by these changes every few years because I kind of feel like it is a money racket for WW. The old points plan works FINE so why bother myself with the cost of new materials and having to memorize new points values when I have the old ones down pat. I have done the weight loss thing enough in the past to understand that it is better to eat an apple then a bag of cookies. I will stick to what I'm doing.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    I've never done Weight Watchers but I do count calories. Sparkpeople is a great site that's free and you can track food, exercise, weight, mood, etc there. They also have a wonderful community in the teams and message boards. I started out there just to count calories and now I'm a lot more involved. I love it. And the best thing is that it's free.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    counting calories and exercise has made me lost over 40 pounds 🙂 good luck to you this week!

  • Reply
    Shane G.
    December 5, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Having never tried WW, I have no frame of reference, but for myself, I love calorie counting. I know you gave an example regarding calories in fried chicken. While that is a fair analogy, the thing about counting calories is that it becomes a challenge to find the better calorie values. I can tell you without a doubt that 5 months ago, if you had told me i would be eating egg whites, turkey bacon, yogurt, boneless skinless chicken breast on garden salad, and peanut butter and celery on a regular basis rather than Burger King meals, grilled steaks, hot dogs, and pecan pies, I would have never thought it possible. but once you get started counting calories, it becomes a challenge that can drive you nuts!

    Good luck in whatever it is you decicde!

  • Reply
    Heather A
    December 5, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    LOL I started to write a response to your post, Kenlie, and I ended up writing a whole blog post myself!

    As for your decision to try something different, I say Go For It!! You've come a very long way in the last year and you have the inner strength, drive, and passion to make whatever you set your mind to to work! Do what's best for you and I know you'll succeed!! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Hey girl. I agree with you completely about calorie counting. As a fellow calorie counter I can totally understand how you can eat something, know the calories and adjust the rest of your day accordingly. Unless you're really monitoring carbs, fats, sodium, etc. you really can eat low calorie foods, but are putting so many other terrible things in your body.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2010 at 10:59 pm

    Well my opinion is that I like the new program. I have been doing WW since March 2009 and I was getting really tired. I have lost 100lbs, but have been on a plateau since this summer. Please look at this article about Macro nutrients
    calories are (protein x 4)+ (fat x 9) +(carbs x4) = calories. This works most of the time but things like alcohol don't.
    Once I read that I saw that calories are still a part of the points equation they just added o protein and carb counts to the mix and I suspect that fiber no longer plays as big a role as it used to. My 1pt vitatop is now 3 points, but that is okay since I get 7 extra daily points so I'll eat it anyway. This program is for me. I used to get mad that a large apple was 2-3pts. Now I can eat the whole thing without feeling like I have to cut corners somewhere else. I feel like WW just hit a big reset button for me and I'm so excited again!!!

  • Reply
    December 6, 2010 at 1:44 am

    The only thing that irks me about this new plan is the fact that we don't have access to the old plan. WW should let us make the choice but I guess this way it forces people to try the new plan. While the old plan was working for me, this is the first week I am on this new plan and really for me the only thing that has changed was that I eat more fruit and veggies. My first weigh in with the new plan is tomorrow so we will see how I do.

  • Reply
    December 6, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Some thing work for some people somethings don't. I caution your flexability to change. Quite frankly you currently get more calories than most women eat on maintenance at their goal weight. At some point you need to change your approach to food for long term success. That or you will be a very hungry person oe cease to lose weight. You might know what to eat but actually eating the correct way for Heath is another ball of wax, so to speak.

    I wish you luck.

  • Reply
    ♥ Shrinking Kenz ♥
    December 6, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Delane, you're right. On WW, I eat more than someone on maintenance, and I'll continue to. But I'm twice as big as most people on maintance so it makes sense right now. The reason I prefer the old plan is that it changes each time I lose 10 pounds..I'll decrease the calories as I continue to lose.
    And as I said, I haven't decided on the new plan yet. I'm just trying to keep it simple.

  • Reply
    ♥ Shrinking Kenz ♥
    December 6, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Heather A, I'm going to read your post now!

  • Reply
    The Fat Mom
    December 6, 2010 at 2:59 am

    I for one love the new WW plan. Sure, it sucks balls to relearn all of the foods that you eat on a regular basis. But that's also the beauty of it. Remember the first day when you joined and everything seemed so exciting? It's kinda like that for me. I'm trying to look at the change as a new experience and something that is better. Everyone is learning this new program together. It's going to be a challenge at first (just like when you first learned it), but it will get better.

    PS: This is the first major change to the points system since 1997.

  • Reply
    Deb Willbefree
    December 6, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Huh. I'm going to have to look into the new WW. One reason I ditched WW last year was because their point system seemed to ignore certain aspects of nutrition. They preached whole foods, but 'punished' you for eating an apple while rewarding you for eating snack packes. The apple had fewer calories and loads more nutrition, but was double (at least) the points!

    Anyway, it sounds like they're trying to correct that. I need a fresh wind, I'll see what's up at old WW.

    Thanks for this post, Kenz.


  • Reply
    December 6, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    I just found your blog, and I'm so glad that I did! I read your 'About Me' section and I just love your positive attitude. You have come so far in your weight-loss and I'm excited to see you reach your goal. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  • Reply
    Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia
    December 7, 2010 at 3:29 am

    This is great information. I have the WW package that was given to me as a gift so I don't attend the meetings but was considering it. I think I'll try the old plan first and go from there.

  • Reply
    December 7, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Kenz! Don't go awaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy! And you know, this new plan took 3 years to research and meticulously put into place. The Points plan has been around for over 13 years and that is about how often one can expect a MAJOR change like this. Please give it a try! If you have e-Tools you don't have to buy anything new- all the new materials are free to members except for a points calculator ($5.95) or unnecessary with a smart phone or eTools and extras like cookbooks.

    Have you read ManMeetsScale take on the new plan? I hope you will give it a chance because it really is awesome, it really does point one towards healthier choices and it really works. oxo

  • Reply
    Jon and Steph
    December 7, 2010 at 4:46 am

    I think the changes are great. I agree with Deb W when she said that WW ignored certain aspects of nutrition. On the flip side, I think they put far too much emphasis on fiber. I am an avid fiber eater & usually eat 30+ grams of fiber each day, but I could not keep up with WW. It was too much, but then I felt penalized when I wanted a bowl of berries or a banana. I think that taking protien and carbs into consideration will be really good. I do think it's kind of crappy that you have to buy all new materials and that you can't use the "old" materials anymore. Either way, just keep up the good work!

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