Uncategorized Weight Watchers

My Twist On Points Plus

If you read my blog regularly then you know how much I adore Weight Watchers.  My life changed when I walked into my first meeting in 2009, and it hasn’t been the same since.  But if you’ve been reading for a while then you may also know that I had some serious reservations about Points Plus.

When I joined Weight Watchers, I followed the Momentum program which helped me lose the first 100 pounds so when the program changed late last year, I was pretty hesitant about it.  It took years to find the courage the change so I was pretty bitter when I learned that I’d have to adapt to something new.  In fact, I was so angry and lost that I refused.

I started counting calories (which is fine,) but I noticed that it drove me to make choices based on how readily available the nutritional information was.  And a few months into it, I realized that I was eating processed foods more reguarly because the calories were so easy to find on the packaging.

Sure, it’s possible to lose weight eating processed foods.  I eat them sometimes, but I feel healthier and more satisfied when I balance those foods with fresh fruits and veggies and high protein, whole foods.  And by making adjustments to their points formula, Weight Watchers drives us to eat healthier, whole foods.

So in the spring I rejoined Weight Watchers online, and I now use e-tools to track my food intake.  For a few months, I found myself maintaining, but I knew that I had to do more.  And while fruits and most vegetables are worth zero points on the PointsPlus program, I’ve learned that counting them as such doesn’t really work for me.

PointsPlus does make it easier for me to make healthy choices, but sometimes too much fruit is just too much fruit.  Intuitive eating is a skill that I haven’t fully mastered yet so I’ve created some boundaries for myself over the last few weeks, and I like the results.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve eaten several servings of fruits and veggies per day as I usually do, but I’ve been counting each serving as 1 p+.  I also noticed recently, that when I calculate points for all veggie dishes in the recipe builder like salad or stir-fry, that the veggies don’t remain zero points.  Here’s an example:

  • 1 cup onions
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 cup tomato
  • 1 cup spaghetti squash

Each of these separately = zero PointsPlus, but when you eat them in a dish together, their value changes to 4 PointsPlus.  That’s a big difference! Am I the only one who didn’t realize that?

So I’ve begun adjusting PointsPlus in a way that works for me.  My goal is to continue creating healthy habits and to lose weight. And while PointsPlus guides us in that direction, counting fruits and vegetables as zero points doesn’t work for me.  I require moderation so I’ve created self-imposed limits that allow me to feel satisfied while making better choices.

Are you a Weight Watchers member? If so, how has the plan affected your lifestyle in the last (almost) year?

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63 Comments

  • Reply
    Kris
    August 5, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Weight Watchers got me to goal in April 2010. I continued using the online tools for maintenance until they switched to Points Plus – I just couldn’t make it work in my head. I eat a LOT of fruit – being able to treat it as free meant I either a) never ate all my points daily, or b) ate too much.

    I like your modification, it makes a lot of sense to me!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      It has definitely been working for me which is a relief…

  • Reply
    Sarah
    August 5, 2011 at 1:42 am

    I have no personal experience with the old weight watchers system, but I thought there was something wrong with it when you could eat a banana or 3 pieces of licorice and it was counted the same. I think that the new changes are wonderful because they promote eating a lot of fruits and veggies.
    I think really I am just so happy to be seeing results that I am a big fan (9.8 pounds down in two months, yay!)

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      Way to go Sarah!

  • Reply
    Joan
    August 5, 2011 at 5:27 am

    I was on the old plan and did well. When PP came about I was thrilled, I loved it. That is until I started gaining weight. After talking with my meeting friends I found that those who were losing stopped losing, those who were trying to maintain were gaining. Everyone seemed very frustrated. About 3 weeks ago our leader told us that if we ate more than one serving of fruit or veggie at one time, we were to count the points. I read the literature, everything I could find on the website and found nothing that mentioned that little fact. We were just told at the beginning “just don’t go crazy” eating fruit. I don’t eat that much fruit but I’m struggling to keep off what I’ve lost.

    That’s the long way around saying that I also find the new program confusing and have modified it to work better for me. I’ve read and heard that a lot of people are doing the same thing. I’m even considering not going to meetings any more and just doing it myself since I’m already doing my own thing but I’m sticking with the meetings because of the accountability it gives me and seeing the friends I’ve made.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      August 5, 2011 at 8:07 am

      I really think it depends. I have lost 32 lbs on the new plan. We do WW at work, and honestly, it works for most of us. You just have to eat fruits and veggies in moderation. I am doing so much better on thsi plan, because I make healther choices.

      I am sorry it isn’t working for you, hopefully your modification will work better!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

      I feel your pain Joan…the rate at which I was losing was painfully slow..and after experiencing the level of success I experienced on Momentum, PointsPlus was extraordinarily disappointing.

      PointsPlus works for me now because I’ve made those changes…but keep going to meetings…the accountability factor helps..and that hasn’t changed. 🙂

    • Reply
      Alexa
      August 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      I don’t know if your leaders said anything, but mine was pretty clear that anyone with less than ten pounds to lose OR trying to maintain (ie: Lifetime) were to count points for fruit. The “free fruits & veggies” are really meant for people who have a lot of weight to lose, the idea being that a little won’t hurt… but it WILL hurt someone who is smaller/maintaining b/c of course fruit has calories. If they don’t make that clear in the literature, they should.

      But really everyone’s body responds differently. I try to really limit how much I eat of *certain* fruits (like bananas, grapes), but generally find the PointsPlus works for gradual weight loss. But if I want to go dramatic… I will start counting the points.

      • Reply
        Kenlie
        August 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm

        I suppose I’m going dramatic. LOL I wanted to start losing at a faster rate, and this has definitely helped that happen for me.

      • Reply
        Marla
        August 6, 2011 at 6:36 am

        You are the first person I’ve ever heard say this. I do not think I have one person in my meeting on maintenance though. But I am closing in on that last 10 pounds so it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

  • Reply
    Jane
    August 5, 2011 at 6:40 am

    I do not use weight watchers but I am familiar withe the program and the new Points Plus system. As a woman who has lost 220 pounds and is no longer obese I can honestly say it has never worked for me to not account for a food simply because it is fruit or vegetable. I have up to three servings of fruit a day and I have up to 7 servings of vegetables a day. If I was to consider fruits or veg free foods I would be eating two bananas each day and mangos and pineapples at each meal. I could easily eat an entire cauliflower if it is seasoned, mashed and mixed with fat free ricotta cheese. By portioning my food and accounting for it each day I am successfully maintaining my weight loss without playing games with the healthy body I live in today.

    Jane~
    Keepingthepoundsoff.com

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      220 pounds gone…….wow…the things you said about counting everything are so important for me too, but wow…I’m just blown away…220 pounds…congrats!

  • Reply
    Tammy
    August 5, 2011 at 7:18 am

    Our leader tells people all the time to cut back on the fruit! Even though it is 0 PP, it contains sugar. It is usually better to eat a 0 PP veggie. She also told us that if we are going over the 5 servings of fruit/vegetables a day, to count the extras as PP. It was also explained to us that using fruit/veggies in a dish would alter the PP value. I think there was also something about that in one of the newsletters we get at the meetings. I have those, so I’ll go back and look for it so I can post what it said. I think everyone has to tweak it for themselves while still following the basic program. My problem is that my daily PP target hasn’t changed since they started the new program. So, this week, I’m making a change to that and subtracting some from it for a few days to see if it will shake up my system.

    • Reply
      Tammy
      August 5, 2011 at 10:13 am

      Here are 3 things from the newsletter that refer to the fruit situation.
      April 24 – 30: The eTools Recipe Builder adds up the nutritional info from all of a recipe’s ingredients, including fruits (and vegetables, too) , and then figures out values from there. Whe we made fruit free, we did so for fruit that is unaltered and in its singular state. In other words: an apple – not an apple pie or an apple compote, both of which are eaten in a very different way.
      May 8 – 14: (answering a question about how many servings of fruit to have). We’d like you to eat at least five, to fulfill your Good Health Guidelines requirement. We’d be happy if you had a few more, too, because they would probably “crowd out” other less-great choices. But do eat to satisifaction, not to excess: While there is no limit, we did use five servings as the basis for the allowance for fruit and vegetables that we built into the daily PointsPlus Target.
      July 10 – 16: (answering a question about Recipe Builder assigning values to fruit). We want all of our recipes to be consistent with each other, and we want them all to be consistent with any recipe you might have at home with nutritional information. So we calculate every recipe the same way – we add up all the nutritional info and calculate the PointsPlus values from there. Read More: Search “Your Questions About Fruit, Answered” on WeightWatchers.com.

      I know this is long, but I hope it helps!

      • Reply
        Kenlie
        August 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm

        That did answer a lot of questions for me Tammy. Thank you!

  • Reply
    mary
    August 5, 2011 at 7:21 am

    kenlie thank you…i have been suspicious of the new plan and have the old one..i think its time to break out the old plan and just do it!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:21 pm

      Yep…starting and being consistent are key regardless of how we’re doing it. 🙂

  • Reply
    Heather
    August 5, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I have experience with both the “old” WW system and now the Points Plus. I do like the eTools and when I actually follow the plan closely, I do well. I have been having my own struggle lately of actually following the plan – I find myself using far too many points over the course of the week (having negative weekly allowance). I guess in one sense, it’s still good that I’m recording everything I’m eating, even though I’m far over. I just have to figure out a way to reign in the controls – it’s a mental exercise 🙂

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      Heck yeah, it’s mental….keep trying Heather!

  • Reply
    TC Meagher
    August 5, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Hello to everyone,
    I’m doing the Dukan diet, in a modified way. I really could not go on every other day just eating protein so I have been mixing veggies in. Here and there I will go and do a day of just protein, but just watching what I eat had been a great learning experience for me and feeling good about what I eat has been life changing. So in 3 months I have lost almost 17 pounds. I made my husband promise me that when I get to 20 lb lost he is going to go out with me to buy a dress. For me wearing a dress is a big deal, I’ve been hiding behind frumpy cloths for too long.
    TC

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:23 pm

      Oh TC! Stop hiding in those frumpy clothes now. I love dresses..I wear them constantly and feel so much cuter than I would in sweats, you know? I don’t have to know you to know that there’s beauty in you now – inside and out!

  • Reply
    Kati
    August 5, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Okay, so I’m a WW girl through and through…I love the plan and my meetings. I found out I was pregnant in January (woohoo!) so I’ve been temporarily kicked out of WW lol, but I too went through the shift from momentum to p+. I don’t think I was ever really nervous about it, thanks to the support and encouragement from my meeting leader. She was able to try it out before it went public and had GREAT success!
    I found that with p+ I made even better choices than before. I like (not love) fruit, and some veggies are okay (most are gross), so I didn’t have a problem going overboard with it. I did, however, find that I increased my intake of fruits and veggies…which helped me lay off the processed and other not-so-good foods that were easy.
    To sum up my experience with p+ … we’ve been trying to get pregnant for five years, and after only about a month on the new program I got pregnant. I’m not saying it is entirely a result of p+, I’m sure the 25 pounds I had just lost on momentum is what really “tricked” my body into working properly, but I have faith in WW.
    I love your spin on it though. Portion control and moderation is as HUGE part of being successful with WW, and I think it’s awesome that you’ve made it work for you 🙂

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm

      Congrats on the baby Kati! =0)

  • Reply
    Brooke
    August 5, 2011 at 10:04 am

    I sent you an email about this, so I’m glad you covered this on your blog. I have been on WW through every change they have had over the last few years. The changes have never really affective my weight loss, but this time…….it did. I had been tracking calories and I just wasn’t policing myself well enough with it, so I thought I would go back to the “sure thing” that always had me lose weight. I did lose when I first started (probably the change between what I was eating and cutting it), but I was back up the next week. So, I was really careful and watched my points and added in a bit more exercise………..still gained. After losing only 1.6 lbs in the first THREE months of WW I was ready to quit. I decided to give it another try though. I did what every here has said. I only eat about 2 servings of fruit a day and then I try to have 1-3 servings of vegetables a day too. I still count them as zero (unless like Kenlie says their are a lot together). I saw a little change with that. I started swimming an hour a day, which was a big change from my 30 mins in the gym. Even doing this………..I was up and down……..up and down……….I got tired of it. But giving up wasn’t in the cards. I started tracking my weight everyday for a month. I would use the lowest weight as my official. What I learned from doing this was that I was in a maintenance phase. I was literally going up and down 2lbs every other week. With doing an hour of swimming a day…….I couldn’t think it was my exercise. So, it had to be what I was eating. But I had been very good about staying in my points with rarely going into my weekly points. I re-read the materials to make sure I wasn’t messing something up and I was doing it right. I went into my weight tracker and my goal area where my points target is. It shows a link where you can manually adjust your points. It doesn’t recommend this and it really doesn’t say anything about not losing weight (more about losing too much), but it lets you reduce your points by -3 points. So, I waited until my weigh in day and reduced my points manually by -3. I’ve been doing this for a week. I thought I would be starving…….I’m actually more content. I slowed my exercise down b/c I didn’t want to reduce my points and kick up exercise at the same time (thinking better safe than sorry). I’m down a pound this week. And my weekly numbers are all down. I don’t feel deprived or the need to even go over into my weekly points. I’m going to continue this little experiment for another month and see if I get out of a maintenance phase and continue to lose. Its just an FYI.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      I’m curious to see how this goes too Brooke. It sounds like this might be the ticket for you. Please keep me posted!

  • Reply
    Tracy
    August 5, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I was a member of Weight Watchers up until April of this year, because when we switched to ProPoints (the UK’s version of Points Plus), I found it hard to lose weight on the new plan – I’d lose one week, gain another, lose, gain, gain, lose, gain, etc.

    For others, however, the new plan worked like a charm – my leader’s weight dropped off in leaps and bounds! But it wasn’t for me. Nobody in my meeting could understand where I was coming from when I was saying that I wasn’t eating my weekly allowance because I ate so much fruit – and fruit that was high in calories and sugar, i.e. bananas and apples and pineapple, etc. They said I shouldn’t be counting calories as well as doing ProPoints, but I figure if I’m eating three large bananas a day as well as two apples and half a pineapple, that’s an extra 500 or 600 calories a day that I’m not counting! No wonder I wasn’t losing, or was gaining weight!

    I’ve gone back to counting calories, and doing a meal replacement, for the minute, until I can figure out what else to do. I think I’ve got white carbohydrate intolerance, if there’s such a thing, because I tend to lose weight faster when I’m not eating those things, and bloat a lot and get really uncomfortable when I *AM* eating them.

    I really wish that ProPoints *HAD* worked for me, because I know the science of it’s sound. Maybe if/when I rejoin, I’ll do as you’re doing, and count the fruit/veg like that, and it’ll work better. 🙂

    (And if anybody’s reading this comment and wondering about my exercise: I weighed about 380lbs, and I go to Spin class 3 times a week, and Zumba once a week, but spend most of my time in front of my computer, otherwise. My average daily burn on a no-exercise day is about 2,700kcal/day, according to my BodyMediaFIT. And that’s the same, even when I was going to WW and gaining weight.)

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      I think the key words in your post were “until I can figure out what else to do.” We have to keep trying right? I am…and I’m happy to know that you are too. We’ll get there if we don’t quit.

    • Reply
      Kris
      August 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm

      I find I do better when I cut out any “white” carbs too – I’m actually wondering if I’m sensitive to gluten. I’ve been doing a modified Paleo diet this week – lots of leans meats, nuts, fruits, and veggies, no breads, no pasta, etc. I’m violating Paleo by eating 2 servings of dairy daily, but no grains.

      I’m down 3 pounds, and feel far less bloated. (I don’t have a lot to lose, I’m pretty much in maintenance mode, so 3 pounds is huge for me).

      • Reply
        Kenlie
        August 5, 2011 at 4:15 pm

        I’ve never considered cutting out white carbs, but I don’t eat a ton of them…and I have noticed that when I eat foods that aren’t processed (just in general) I feel a lot less bloated and lighter on my feet.

  • Reply
    Joanna
    August 5, 2011 at 10:28 am

    I considered getting in to Weight Watchers a long time ago – but it was you, Kenlie that made me think twice about it. After I read about your reservations with the Points Plus system, I started looking into it more and more.

    In my head, I just can’t wrap around something being zero points – but eating more than one suddenly accumulating points. It must be my mathmatical brain, but zero times zero is ZERO!! Look at your example with the veggie combination. All the veggies are zero points, but when you add them together – you get 4?? That’s just too confusing to me. Again, 0+0=0 NOT 4!!

    It was just too complicated for me to get involved with – so I didn’t mess with it. I think your modification makes WAY more sense. By just giving the fruits and veggies 1 point… it makes sense. That way, they are still low on points, but if you eat too much you use the points.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      Uh oh…I don’t like the sounds of this…what are you up to instead Joanna?

  • Reply
    Cynthia (It All Changes)
    August 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I agree completely. I think the new zero point fruit and most veggies was designed for those who don’t already make those healthy decisions. But it’s easy to abuse the fruit as my old leader would say.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      Yep…it is easy…so I’m policing myself now. =)

  • Reply
    Cathy
    August 5, 2011 at 10:50 am

    The WW Online Program doesn’t mention anything about limiting fruit, nor does it say anything about more than one veggie at a time changing the PP count. Nice.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      I found that information on the recipe builder Cathy…when I built a recipe…

  • Reply
    Kim
    August 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

    Kenlie, you are definitely not the only one who didn’t know about the veggies being 1PP+!! I had no idea that they became point values…Thank you so much for blogging about this!!! I jsut built a recepe a normally do and it came out to 4PP+!!! I have been counting it as zero since the program changed over.

    Thanks again!!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      That’s a big difference over time. I’m glad we both know now!

  • Reply
    Carrie@shrinkingcarrie
    August 5, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I agree with the whole fruit issue. I’ve just decided recently that I will add 1 point for every serving of fruit that I eat. I really like the points plus program, but you definitely have to stay away from processed foods or you won’t see a loss. I’m totally feeling what you’re going through!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      It’s about more than just the loss, but the losses matter to me too..you know? I still eat processed foods, but I eat less of those than I did before..which is a win in my mind.

  • Reply
    aggie
    August 5, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I have virtually the same salad every day and had been counting it as 3, but in recipe builder, it’s 5!! Thanks for the idea bout modifying the 0 points fruits and veggies. I’ve had such a hard time with the PP plan. The first 38 pounds came off so easy on the Momentum plan. Then I gained almost 15 back and have been gaining and losing the same 5 pounds for about 3 months. Grr!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm

      Mix it up Aggie, and keep going…You know you can lose..just have to figure out what works for you! 🙂

  • Reply
    Bella
    August 5, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I’ve done WW many times in the past, and while I never had the same success that you’ve had, when they brought out Points Plus, I knew I was done with WW. WW always had me eating way too many calories to lose weight.

    For me, counting calories is much more realistic, and I have no problem finding the nutritional info for whole foods. It does take more effort to enter the information in, but to me it’s worth it instead of eating too much processed food.

    I think you’re absolutely right to have a problem with the “free” fruit. I mean, how can it not be counted, when the average piece of fruit is 50-100 calories? That adds up, especially if you have several throughout the day.

    I love the concept of WW – the meetings, the tools, the support, the plan – I just wish they would de-mistify the Points program and just make it simple and realistic.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 5:42 pm

      I think that’s the goal they have in mind. Counting points does make it much more palatable for me overall, but I still have to control my intake if I want to lose…

  • Reply
    Caron
    August 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I’ve been an official WW member since August 1, 2002 and made my goal in April of 2003. I kept all the weight off for six years and then had a two year period where I was above goal by three to 10 pounds. When they came out with the PlusPoints program I read all the material and wasn’t sure I wanted to adjust that much. This post by Sheryl Yvette (http://www.sherylyvette.com/2010/11/weekly-meeting-topic-new-points-plus.html) changed my mind and I decided to “make it work.” The CEO of WW even commented on her analysis of the program and it is great.

    Anyway, after two years of being above goal, I made goal again in about three weeks and have maintained that for seven+ months. I will admit that I have modified the plan for me. I am 5’3″ and my goal is 140. I do have the daily 29 points each day but do not use the additional 49 weekly points. I have one portion of fruit a day that I do not count. All other portions of fruit are counted as one point. I did a post on “the fruit diet” as my leader said that she had people saying at the scales that they could not get in all their points each day. Yep, they were on the “fruit diet” and eating it all day long. That will NOT work.

    I hope you find a way to make WW work for you again. 🙂

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm

      Yes, David (ceo) loves the new program and is making it work for himself in maintenance. And it’s working for me now that I’ve made some changes….

  • Reply
    Dana
    August 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I’ve heard the plan works for some, not for others. I reached goal on the old plan and I have maintained using it as well. I can’t go with 0 pt fruit, I’ll eat all of it. 🙂 I need the point system to tell me that I’m done. I can’t just say, “oh I’m satisfied” and stop eating. I’ve been on lifetime for years, but I will always stick to the same program I lost on because it worked so well for me. Good luck!!

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 5:50 pm

      I need it too..=0)

  • Reply
    Tricia
    August 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    I just started Weight Watchers on the points plus system and I find it hard to believe fruits and veggies are zero points. I think its a great ideal to count them as at least one point. Thanks for advice I may try that because I didn’t lose as much weight my first week as I had hoped. Too many bananas, LOL.

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      I just have to count them because if I don’t, I eat too many…ha

  • Reply
    Ali
    August 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    SUCH great timing! I read this post in the middle of writing MYpost about going back on Weight Watchers…….I know that when I having something to follow, I always do well.

    Thanks, K.
    Ali

    • Reply
      Kenlie
      August 5, 2011 at 5:55 pm

      Wow…how awesome….=0)

  • Reply
    Amanda
    August 6, 2011 at 12:06 am

    We talked about this a lot last week at my @work meeting since we just started a new session. She said a lot of people have that problem. I eat three to four servings of fruit throughout the day, but I combine them with other things.

    Example – protein shake with two servings of fruits (frozen banana as ice and a cup of berries); peach with lunch; apple and nuts or cheese for a snack

    In other news, had to share – reached 10% goal yesterday. I started WW for the last time in March. I’ve lost over 70 now doing many different plans, but I feel that WW is the best plan for me.

  • Reply
    Courtney Gosvener
    August 6, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    I totally see your point, although things like onions and green peppers are extremely low calorie so I think you would have to eat a ton to actually gain a 1+. But, I totally don’t agree with all fruits being 0+ because I like sugar and if I allow myself to eat a ton of oranges that is still calories. I am at the beginning, although I have done WW for a while a few years ago. I think in the beginning for someone who is struggling to cut out the “bad bad” foods like pans full of Mac and Cheese, maybe having broccoli and stuff 0 is a good thing. But, if I struggle to lose, I am going to evaluate how much “free” foods I am eating!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    August 7, 2011 at 10:33 am

    I’ve only done the WW P+ program, none of the others. And like so many have mentioned, free fruit sounded great, but something about it didn’t click. So, in conjunction with using the WW Online Program, I’ve continued tracking my calories at SparkPeople. I’ve found that depending on my fruit intake for the day, my calories can range from 1050 to 1550 all for 29 P+.

    500 daily calories are a pretty big deal. Shoot, a 500 calorie daily deficit over a week’s time is a pound lost! Ergo, looking at the inverse…

    Yeah.

    But all that said, I’ve really had good success with P+ because of the emphasis on whole foods. It just takes a bit of tweaking (and for me, maintaining two tracking systems). Hopefully this will get a bit more refined in the WW tracking eTools and so forth over time.

  • Reply
    KLA
    August 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

    I believe that WW is the best structured diet on the market. Unfortunately, I’ll never go on WW again.

    I first joined WW when I was a teen (around 1989). Back then, I planned my meals by picking a protein, starch, vegetable and fruit for each meal and I believe I had extra free choices for snacks. I liked checking off each item and actually found it satisfying.

    When WW changed to the points system, I did not like it at all. I never really had much success with points, so I gravitated to the glycemic-index inspired core program. With the help from running and a strength plan from my trainer, weight practically fell off the year leading up to my wedding.

    However, after giving birth to my children (and I’m now way bigger than my highest previous weight) dieting (even with the help of WW) had become impossible.

    That’s when I finally went to a cognitive therapist and discovered that I’ve had an eating disorder for more than half my lifetime and following a structured diet (like my many WW outings) only made my cravings, overeating, food obsession and bingeing worse.

    Funny enough, I wrote about this in my last blog posting (WW is too restrictive part 2) if you want to check it out. I include tips for dieters on WW at the end.

    But, I can’t forget 20+ years of WW experience, so I’ll always aim to drink 8, 8 oz glasses of water each day, and eat as many core foods as possible.

  • Reply
    Hilary
    August 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    That’s a glitch in the recipe builder, that you’d think they would figure out how to fix but I guess they haven’t. I remember mentioning this on David’s manmeetsscale blog (can’t find the comment though) and he said that he would just list the ingredients separately. In a way this defeats the purpose of the recipe builder, but those veggies should only be counting as 0 points, and not what the recipe builder says. Enter them all separately when you’re calculating-that should provide the more accurate reading–because of this I don’t even use the recipe builder. I would maybe try emailing David or someone at WW to double check, but I’m almost certain that’s a computer error and shouldn’t be eating into your points. Just my two cents though!

  • Reply
    Shelly
    August 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    I recently joined WWpointPlus and in two weeks have lost 5.8lbs so I am very excited about the plan. I do not count the points in the fruits and non-starchy veggies but if I ever “over-eat” on the zero point foods I make sure its the veggies since the sugar in fruit scares me LOL…anyway, I had a couple of rough days being invited to lunches, parties etc… one day a mexican meal which took all my points so for dinner I had an entire head of cauliflower (mashed) and counted no points and felt totally satisfied. Next day was my weigh in and had great success. I love points plus for that reason, days where I eat a “crappy meal” the zero point veggies come into play my next meal, it really makes me choose my calories carefully because I know the sacrifice I have to make the rest of the day. Most days I try to balance my meals/points out fairly evenly, but just wanted to share that so far I am lovvving the plan.

  • Reply
    Barb
    August 23, 2011 at 11:22 am

    This has been a very interesting read, thank you. I joined the WW PP+ program three weeks ago. I was told to eat 39 points a day. 39?? With fruits and veggies being free, this seemd like an awful lot to me and I found myself eating more sweets to get all the points in at the end of the day because the instructor kept stressing that you HAVE to eat all your points. The second week after gaining half a pound, I had to sit through the training again and then the instructor went over my log and said that I wasn’t eating enough protein and dairy. I was very discouraged. I don’t like dairy but have started eating 2 yogurts a day and trying to eat some protein with each meal. I typically eat 4-5 fruits a day with one at breakfast, three for lunch and one as a snack later for lunch. In three weeks I have gained 2 pounds. WTF?

    After reading your comments, I am cutting my 39 points down to the regular 29 that it seems everyone else at my meeting eats and I am assigning one point to servings of fruits. I will keep veggies at zero and keep drinking my caffiene free tea. I am 46 and figuring that I will need less points to lose weight at this stage in my life.

    If anyone else has any more advice, I sure would like to hear it. I want this weight GONE!

    Thanks,
    Barb

  • Reply
    Barb
    August 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

    I am sorry, I wanted to add 2 things. One is that I didn’t realize that adding the multiple zero point vegetables equlaed 4 points!! That still blows my mind and I don’t understand it. Are you cooking them with oil and it is the oil that has the points?

    Also, I keep seeing references to the Momentum program…what is that? How was it different?

    Thanks so much!
    Barb

  • Reply
    RAZ
    August 24, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Kenlie-

    I just found your blog and in exploring it found these posts on Points Plus. I’ve been on WW since the beginning of 2010 and I’ve lost 109 pounds so far. My experiences with PP were exactly the same as yours. It took me 9 weeks on PP to realize that something about it didn’t work for me and to take matters into my own hands. I still count PP but I’ve reduced my daily points allowance to something that works for me AND I count all fruit as either 1 or 2 points depending on the fruit and the portion size. I figured out my BMR and then figured out how many calories I needed to lose a pound a week. I divided that number by 40 which is about what a PP is and so had what I now use as my PP target each day.

    Until the other day I still counted veggies as zero points. Then a few days ago I decided to grill some Portobello Mushrooms. I brushed the mushrooms with some Light BBQ sauce and grilled. I also track calories and when I went to log in the mushrooms the 3 Portobellos came to 228 calories and that was before I added in the BBQ sauce. If I wasn’t counting calories as well as points I would have said this was zero points and that would have been a major mistake for me. Since it was a vegetable I decided to count it as 4 points – 1 point for the BBQ sauce and 1 each for the mushrooms.

    Thank you so much for your blog and for sharing your journey. On my first reading today I found it inspirational and something I think will be important to me as I continue my own journey and I plan to return often.

  • Reply
    KJ
    September 14, 2011 at 6:54 am

    I am happy to see all this info! I followed the plan pretty well and lost 5 lbs. the firsdt week and 2 the next, then gained 0.4 then gained another 1.2. I was devistated and stopped going to meetings. I think I am going to try to calculate the fruit and veggies as 1 or 2 points, and see where that gets me.

  • Reply
    Brandi
    November 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you for all the posts! I really thought I was losing my mind. I’ve been on WW for 2 1/2 months and have gone up and down, up and down with my weight loss/gain! I understand that there are going to be changes to the PP program in December – do you happen to know anything about it?

  • Reply
    Monica
    May 31, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    I started when the momentum program was out. I lost nearly 2 stone and maintained it for a couple of years. Then the pp+ came out and I struggled like most people did. Not losing much or putting on weight. I quit ww and put it all back, but I just could not go back to pp+ as I felt it punished protein too much. I can’t live on fruit and veg because I’m quite active but don’t lose weight easily. So I was constantly starving on pp+. As of next week I’m going back to momentum where I found I could eat a more balanced diet, rather one focused more on fruit and veg. I never went hungry on momentum and I also had never lost so much weight or felt so good. Pp+ just does not suit me at all.

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