Is Weight Watchers Working For You?

Last year I asked my Weight Watchers friends how they felt about the PointsPlus program which was fairly new at the time, and many of you had a lot to share on the subject.  And now that Weight Watchers has adjusted its plan again, I’d like to ask the same questions now that we’ve had some time to adjust to the modified plan…

Are you losing weight at the rate you were before? 

Are you happy with the results? 

Do you feel like zero point fruits is helpful or harmful?

Has your points allowance changed yet? If so, by how much?

Are you calculating activity points accurately?

After adjusting the plan (reducing my daily p+ by 4 and not counting fruits and veggies as “free”) I’m much more satisfied with the results on the scale.  In January, I lost 8 pounds, and in February I lost 4 pounds.  (I didn’t exercise for the second half of February because I was sick, hurt and traveling) so I’m pleased with the number even though I hope to make March more successful in terms of numbers.

Now that I’m back in the gym (even though it still hurts) I’m tracking my activity points in addition to my food, and it motivates me to watch the points add up.  I’ve also found that by counting fruits as 1 p+ (with exception of bananas which I count as 3+ based on the nurtition facts) I’ve making better food choices throughout the day in 2012.

Do I think the new Weight Watchers plan is perfect?  No, but I like the results I’m seeing with my personal adjustments, and I’m much more comfortable with the plan now than I was a year ago.  How do you feel about it?  Have you made any personal adjustments?  And if you’re not a Weight Watchers member, what do you do to stay on track with your goals?

 

42 thoughts on “Is Weight Watchers Working For You?

  1. I’ve not been to WW for about 3 years but I still have all the books that were new then. I’ve heard from both friends here in the UK and US that it’s not the same as it was and that most of those who talk about it are having less positive things to say about it than they would have done 18months to 2 years ago. Like I said I haven’t given the new pro points thing a go myself but if there was one nearer to me I would give it a go.

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  2. I haven’t had any success with the program since they changed to Points Plus. Part of it is me not really having my head in the game, but part of it is the program. I’ve been attending my meetings since I paid for a 12-week session, but I haven’t weighed in about a month because the scale goes back and forth with the same 2 -3 pounds. I’ll finish out this session, but will probably skip the next one. I’ve started tracking over at My Fitness Pal. Right now, counting calories seems to make more sense for me. I can track my exercise there, too.

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    • My fitness Pal looks cool, I use Lose It .com most of all I can either update on the web or on the app on my cell phone. Does this one have an app?

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    • I feel the exact same way – I’ve had so much more success since I moved to counting calories and tracking on MyFitnessPal. The best part is that so many of my friends are one there, too, so there’s built in support. Plus, most of the foods I eat are already in the database, even the obscure ones.

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  3. I have always loved WW. I was not happy with the PP system at first, but I did have success on it. The new PP2012 system, I don’t really follow. What can I say? I was already made that a Miller Lite was costing me 3 Points, no way was I upping it to 4! I did re-adjust how many Points I eat in a day. Instead of 29 (old PP), I eat 26 (PP2012). So far so good, although I think I’m going to start counting bananas as I am eating them on a daily basis. I will say this, this is my 1st time on WW in the 13 years I have been with the program (I’m an on again off again member) that I have actually lost weight at the recommended rate. Usually I lose 2.5-3 lbs a week, and this time I usually get 1-1.5 with a great week or 2 every once in a while.

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  4. Are you losing weight at the rate you were before? I am losing less per week but more consistently. So my over all totals are better than ever. 54 just on PP.
    Are you happy with the results? Yes, I feel like the PP plan is something I can do for a lifetime.
    Do you feel like zero point fruits is helpful or harmful? I love the 0 PP fruit but I try to limit the fruit part to 3 -4 a day.
    Has your points allowance changed yet? If so, by how much? My PP has gone down by 8 so far due to weight loss not the 2012 changes.
    Are you calculating activity points accurately? I hope so …. I don’t normally eat my AP but I would like to say I am adding them up right.

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  5. I forgot to mention that I love the push to more clean eating part of this WW plan vs. the prepackaged stuff I used to eat. I really like the new PP plan. I was a 6 time drop out of the points plan.

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  6. I lose less each week on this plan, but I find that I’m still losing consistently which I will take any day of the week.

    As G_twins said, I’m not eating nearly as much packaged food as I’ve done in the past. I just feel better when I’m following the PP plan. WW is the best program for me.

    I have 35-45 more to go and then maintenance. I’ve never gotten this close to maintenance before. My goal is to reach lifetime in 2012 or at the latest by my 33rd birthday in March 2013.

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  7. I did WW for about 3 months. At first I liked it but then I didn’t because I had way too many points and felt like I needed to eat more. I wasn’t losing weight and just ended up not doing it anymore. I started to just exercise more and eat less and that’s been working for me. I think it is great for people who are just starting out on their journey.

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  8. I’m not on WW, but I am losing weight. I guess I just take it one day at a time and keep track with the weekly weigh ins. So far so good, but I have a loooooong way to go!

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  9. I really like the the PP plan … however, it only likes me when I choose to follow it! The zero points fruit has really made a difference for me. I don’t count my fruit, but knowing this it’s zero has made me gravitate to it for snacks. I don’t feel the need for the 100 calorie packs of snacks that used to be my go to food. And now every meal also contains a fruit and/or veggie. I really like the “push” to eat clean. Dec/Jan I bombed … but I used the “I can’t wrap my head around this new plan” excuse. Feb was better in reigning in the excuses and popping back on track. March is currently … and WILL BE… awesome!

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  10. I had much more success on the points plan than the PP plan. I have had times were I perfectly followed each plan and times were I kind of followed and then times were I was totally off both plans. I lost more and on a regular basis with the points plan. With PP I have not changed my number or counted fruit as points, but am thinking I need to do this as the weight is not coming off when I am doing what the plan says I should do. I find it disappointing that people need to take the PP plan into their own hands to make it work, what’s the point of being part of a weight loss program when you have to figure it out on your own anyway?

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  11. I find p+ much easier this time around, then the old points program. I have also changed my mind set, this is a lifestyle not a diet. When I have a bad day I just remind myself of how I used to feel and I don’t want to go back to that. I also have to remind myself that the p+ program is eating healthy, making good choices for myself. The things WW is asking me to do are things I should be being and should have done a long time ago; eat fruits and veggies, drink water. I’ve lost 40lbs so far and sometimes it doesn’t coming off fast as I would like but I’m having success even it it’s one pound at a time.

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  12. i’m not on WW, never had been but i read alot of these blogs and please dont take this the wrong way but ww is complete garbage. why pay money for this b.s.? can you just eat healthy by saying, okay for breakfast I’ll have some egg whites and fruit, lunch some protein/veggies, a small snack and dinner some more veggies + protein. I dont get why there needs to be points? activity points are also worthless IMO bc i feel it often justifies people to eat more then they should.

    the zero point fruit is crap to me because I eat tons of fruit thorughotu the day and thats still 300-400 calories in fruit. better then a 400 calorie small cupcake but its still the same calories.

    anyway end of rant. I dont think WW is for the very overweight/obese. just use your brain- eat less, exercise more! eat whole, healthy foods. ITS NOT VERY HARD

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    • It actually is very hard for some people. And the daily meal plan you outlined might work perfectly for you, but the criteria can change based on a lot of factors, including how much weight a person has to lose, gender, age, etc.

      I actually am not a WW member, but everyone I know who has used it has had marvelous results. Some of us need the support of having a specific program outlined to help us reach our goals. It seems a little rude for you to come on here and call a program garbage, and insinuate that overweight people who need some guidance in losing that weight don’t know how to use their brains.

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    • Perhaps it’s “complete garbage” in your opinion, but WW helped me change my life. Apart from the obvious 100 pound loss, I’ve also seen dramatic improvements in my balance, blood pressure and overall health. If I never lost another pound, I’d still be grateful to WW for helping me figure out one of the most difficult tasksI’ve ever had to face.

      Your opinion is your right, and my opinion is that it’s ridiculous. To suggest that it’s “not very hard” means that either you’re full of bs or that you just don’t face the struggles that I face. (If the latter is the case, good for you.)

      Regardless, I hope that people reading this don’t allow your shameful tactic to affect their view of themselves. It’s hard enough for some of us without comments like that one…

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    • NOT VERY HARD????? I am offended and dazzled by your ignorance. Your opinion of WW is irrelevant, but to tell someone that is obese to just use their brain is sheer stupidity. Sadly, we can’t will people to be intelligent.

      As someone who has struggled her whole life with weight and I am not talking 20 lbs, I can speak from experience. Losing weight for someone prone to be heavy is difficult and if you would read the science journals, there is a genetic component that makes it almost impossible in many cases.

      Each person has to find what works best for them and that thing that works may change over time. My parents, not knowing any better, started me on a yo-yo dieting path as a pre-teen, with WW actually. That started years of dieting for me that was unhealthy and actually made my ability to lose weight harder. I did WW several other times unsuccessfully while I saw others succeed on WW.

      It was always a means to an end because I didn’t understand my body and the effects that ‘dieting’ was having on it. Today I have lost 120 lbs. in less than a year after finding out what my body responds to the best and overcoming, as most obese people must do, that idea of ‘dieting’ at all. This is a lifestyle

      Now, I am still very overweight and may never get to what the medical books say a normal weight is for my height. I don’t know if it is truly even possible for my body, but I will continue to eat well and count my calories. But, to just ‘use by brain and eat less and exercise more’ may not get me there ever. No matter how hard I work.

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    • I had once agreed with you about WW as “garbage” until at age 46 I found myself almost 70 lbs overweight! I had cut out grains, increased exercise to 3x’s a week and started drinking tons of water with NO WEIGHT LOSS whatsoever! I was virtually lost and thought I resembled a hunch back troll. Finally gave up my pride and followed a friend to a WW meeting and 5 months and 30lbs later I realized it was portion control and processed foods that was my problem along with too much salt. I really thought I had “known” right from wrong, but obviously WW knew something I didn’t. Might not be for everybody, but I don’t take pills, don’t buy pre-packaged foods and am not killing myself working out 7 days a week, but am now losing on average of 1.5lbs each week. I am healthier than I’ve been in over 10 years and have more confidence in myself than ever. My family and friends are so supportive of me, I’m proud of myself and I feel like I’m more in control of myself than ever before. Weight Watchers helped with this – so I’ve changed my mind – not garbage, but a new way of life that works for me!

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  13. I followed WW years ago. I think it’s a great program, but even then if I ate the allotted number of points I lost very little, if any, on a weekly basis. If I had added activity points, I probably would have gained. I do much better with counting calories. I eat the amount of calories I should eat at my goal weight and I lose.

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  14. I just started weight watchers 7 weeks ago so I have only done the PP, but so far it is working for me. I’ve lost a little over 15lbs. I think the 0 points for fruits is helpful for me. Of course I don’t go overboard and gorge myself on them, but it helps me make healthier choices. I love salty things and am in love with pop chips and veggie chips, each with 3 points for serving. If I’m getting hungry for a snack though I’m not going to reach for those and “waste” points when I could eat an apple for “free.” In that sense, it is helpful for me. I’ve dropped down 3 points since losing the weight and going over my points hasn’t been much of a problem. So far so good!

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    • Hey Amanda, I know this was 2 yrs ago, but I’m loving the PP on WW and sometimes I do “gorge” on cantaloupe – but my body doesn’t seem to have problems with that. I hope you found your happy place goal!

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  15. I was in Maintenance when WW switched to PP. I hit goal in April 2010, and in December 2010 when they switched, I found myself not eating my daily points allowance… every day. I never came close to eating my activity points, either. Part of it was, I already rarely ate packaged foods, so my daily food points values were already low; have fruit be 0 PP just meant I never ate all my points.

    I quit the program because I found the new program wasn’t helping me in maintenance any more. I’m still within my maintenance window, but use My Fitness Pal to track my food instead.

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  16. I did Momentum for a while and my losses were good. I can’t remember exactly what they were, but it was enough for me to stick with it long enough to lose 64 pounds. I did not exercise at all during that time.

    When the Points+ was first introduced, I signed up and tried it out. I lost 5 pounds the first week, than gained 2 pounds every week after that for 2 months. Needless to say I quit.

    When I started back at the gym this time around, and restarted Momentum, I did not lose any weight at all. No weight, no inches, nothing.

    I threw Points out the window, and went back to plain old calorie counting. I haven’t seen the scale move much, but I have been losing inches and my scale says my body fat % is slowly decreasing too. Its only been a few weeks so not sure how it will go, but in summary, Momentum only worked when I sat on my ass all day, and P+ did not work at all. No desire to try the revised P+ program.

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    • Also, as Kris said above, on P+ I could not eat all my dailies no matter what I did, and never touched the extras, yet still I gained every week.

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  17. PointsPlus is far from perfect but I work around it. I have been lifetime since 2003 and knew immediately that I would not be able to use the plan as presented. I immediately discarded the 49 weekly points. I count fruit portions as one point. I never ever eat exercise points. I eat 26 points a day and bank three points each day to use for the weekend. After a year on PointsPlus, I knew that I could eat 29 points and maintain.

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  18. I am not saying that overweight people dont know how to use their brains, I just think it’s common sense. WW is a money making scheme. people have “marvelous results” because they actually start caring about what they are putting in their bodies. you can do this with or without ww.

    i wasnt trying to be rude, she asked for opinions on WW and I am giving mine. I know people that are still losing and gaining the same 2-3 pounds/maintaining the same 50 pound weight loss while they still have 100 more to lose from WW, yet they are still paying to be part of this program. I just don’t see why people need these “points” to lose weight . ww is not magic its simply paying attention to what goes in your body and you can do this with or without ww.

    I just get sick of hearing people who have been on WW for years only to gain/lose the same weight over and over again. losing weight is about determination and willingness and you can do that with or without a set plan that is all.

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    • Actually, WW is more than a diet, more than just counting points and eating right. WW offers community to like-minded people struggling with the same issue. Research has suggested that this comraderie aids in weight loss. It also offers a light version of “change therapy”, where people can work on behavior modification, which is the real key to long term health and wellness.

      Good luck to you, SC. It sounds like you know exactly what to do and have no problem doing it on your own. For my part, I need the community and support each and every day.

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  19. I’ve gone to WW a few different times over the last 10-15 years. I definitely preferred the regular point system, but I’m making adjustments and getting used to the new system. I tried doing it at home for a couple of months, but really felt I needed the support, so I just started attending meetings about a month ago. I’m still trying to figure out the fruit issue. I do think you have to be careful with the 0 points fruit. I wasn’t going overboard on fruit, but I wasn’t losing what I thought I should be at the beginning, so I started counting points for fruit. I’ve been using the full points value for fruit based on the nutritional value, but have to be honest – I’m really hungry all the time. I have been using some of my 49 extra points. The week that I used all of them was the week I lost the most, which I found interesting. I usually don’t use my Activity Points, but if I really need something else to eat, I might use 1 or 2. I use e-tools to help figure out activity points. I think I’m usually pretty accurate. When in doubt, I go with the lower amount earned.

    I think SC is missing the point. A lot of us have struggled with extra weight for years. We know a lot about how to lose weight. I personally have done so much research on nutrition and exercise, I feel like I could make a career out of being a personal coach/trainer. Having the information doesn’t make it easy. Even when I was thin, I had to work extra hard to stay that way. Even though I hate spending the money, the meetings work for me. I like getting to know people that are working towards the same goal as me. I like the weekly encouragement from the leaders. I like the helpful tips they share every week and the good conversation about what works for different people. I don’t think the Points are magical – it’s just another method of weight loss that works for me.

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  20. Personally, I love the 0 points fruits. One of the reasons that I love it is that I know that I, occasionally and several members would be say” AAAH I am not paying 2-3 points for a stinking banana when I can get a 100 calorie snack pack of x bollicky processed overly sweetened garbage for the same points”

    I feel like the structure of the Points Plus system is much healthier than it was previously.

    I run my APs through E-tools but I don’t eat my APs anyway, so meh, YMMV.

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  21. Hey Kenlie,

    I had to give WW a break – while I think there are great things about it – I have been on it for so long, and have a long way to go, that the almost yearly changes were getting to be annoying. I decided that I needed to sort of go back to the basics and worry about Calories In vs. Calories out and not worry about how many points something is this year. I also wasn’t feeling the “love” as it were at the meetings. When I hit my 50 pound loss mark, it was sort of glossed over – maybe because 50 should seem like a lot, and I still look like I have a long way to go… but that is just a personal thing. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my fitness pal – and find it so easy and user friendly. I have yet to find a food that isn’t on it, and best of all it is free!! It has a bar code scanner and everthing, and I have had more success just watching real calories on that in the last 2 months than I did all year last year going to meetings with WW. I am down a total of 60 pounds and aside from a gain over the holidays, 25 pounds have been since January 1 of this year with My Fitness Pal. Bottom line though, you have to stick with what works for you and maybe even change it up as needed. You are such an inspiration – keep up the great work!!!

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  22. This is my personal opinion about the free fruits. I think it all depends on how many Points+ you have per day. I’m seeing people with a higher number of daily Points+ have issues with the free fruit. While people on with the minimum daily Points+, like myself, think free fruit is a Godsend and really help us stay on track. Honestly with 26 Points+ and having to track fruit, I wouldn’t be able to get all my Good Health Guidelines in and my recommended protein and complex carbohydrate intake. But I only eat at the most 2 fruit servings a day because in my head I’m thinking fruit is still a sugar and I need to watch my intake. But YMMV and no one knows your body better than yourself.

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  23. I’m not losing the weight like I was before, but I also think that my dedication isn’t as strong. I really need to step it up because Weight Watchers will work if you’re willing to work at it.

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  24. I love the new plan. When I actually stick to it I always have a good number 2-4 lb loss per week. But I do exercise 45 min 5 days a week and I never count my activity points. Too much of a hassle. And I don’t use my flex points through the week. Instead I have an “off day” once a week.

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  25. I know you know how I frustrated I am… I just feel like the new plan has some major flaws. Depending on tomorrow’s weigh in, I will be reducing my daily points target and counting fruit, like you are. It just doesn’t seem as steady as the old fiber rich plan. It makes me sad :(

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  26. I think people follow points but don’t actually follow the eating recommendations. They are concerned with how much they are eating and not tracking what they are eating. I would say the guideline boxes are as important as the points.

    I ate they same amount of fruit now as I did when I as on the the old program. My best WIs were when I was over but ate a really healthy balanced diet with a lot of activity. I lost 40 lbs on the old plan going over my points almost every week. With the new systems I don’t go over and I have few points left most week.

    I’m convinced that people who are not following the program as designed are those who are not losing weight.

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  27. SC,

    One of the reasons that Weight Watchers works for so many people is that it offers a structured social support group for people who want to lose weight and take better care of themselves. It provides an environment where like-minded people gather to provide support and strategies for achieving a common goal. This is key — many people who are unhappily overweight and have trouble changing their lifestyles are often surrounded in environments that resist (or outright sabotage) the development of healthy attitudes. For most people, changing environments isn’t a viable option because they are often created by their families, spouses, friends, workplace, and/or ethnic culture. So yes, in theory, losing weight is a simple concept, but in practice, the reality is a whole lot different — there’s a huge psychological aspect to it. Weight Watchers recognizes and addresses this issue by teaching their members the necessary practical and psychological skills to achieve lasting weight loss and live at a healthy weight. Some people take longer to learn these things than others, and so they’ll yo-yo more often in their weight — but that’s a reflection of the person and not the company.

    It sounds like your definition of “money making scheme” is a company that sells you common information that you can learn and implement on your own. By that logic, education is one giant money making scheme. That’s clearly wrong. I challenge you to get yourself an advanced math textbook (say, Topology) and make yourself learn the material until you can master it like a professional mathematician would. I’ll bet you all the money in the world you can’t do it. The only way is to learn from someone else who has mastered that skill and can work effectively with you. Weight loss and living a healthy lifestyle are the same kinds of things — they are skills that can be learned. People who make a living from sharing and teaching their skills to others aren’t “money making schemers” — they’re called professionals.

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  28. I have been on WW for going on 4 weeks, the first week I lost 5 lbs and it seems to have come to a stand still. I count my fruit at one point and veggies as zero except carrots I count as one… I have been eating according to the old WW I was on it about 10 years ago when I lost all the weight from having a child… now I weigh the same as if I was pregnant and freaking out. I know WW works, but don’t understand why I haven’t lost in almost 3 weeks. I wanted to lose some more weight before I started walking or working out for motivation, I am trying not to get discouraged so I will keep counting points I stay between 25 and 27. I bank a few points every day (making it 22 to 24) so that I can eat fried onions on Friday night (they are the onion petals at outback, NOT the blooming onion and I split those with my husband so but I count them as 10 points and that is probably too many points for the amount I eat) anyways, that is the only time I really go off the points for one day after banking several points that week…. any clues? I really was excited and hoping to shed the weight but it has stalled out big time…

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  29. Not working. I had so much success on Ww before they recently changed it. I cant seem to lose 1 lb. sure i can adjust my points and not use them all etc etc but if im having to do that.. Clearly its not working. Im bummed because i really really loved Ww and would recommend it to so many people and now i cant. I wish theyd consider switching over to the old plan at least keep it more similar.

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  30. Here is the deal. I have been doing weigt watchers since 2000. I am 5′ 11″tall. I startd at 226. I have been down to 191 and back up to 213 several times. The most I ever kept it off was eight months. I am at 209 and on my way back down now.
    I have learned we are just machines. How much you eat and move depends on how much weight you will lose or gain. For my life style 22 points will cause me to lose 4 pounds a week, 50 points will cause me to gain 2 pounds per week. You need to see what works for you. Although I continue to win battles, I fear the war is lost. I just keep fighting. That is all we can do.

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  31. I did the old points system in 2008 and liked it okay, lost almost 20 pounds, then my father died and I fell off the wagon hard. I don’t lose weight easily, I’m middle aged. I have also struggled with ADD and food addiction issues. For me, I really need the structure of weight watchers and for someone to tell me, “you can eat exactly this.” It’s not that I’m not intelligent, it’s that I need a push and some focus. It’s too easy for me to say, oh, salmon is healthy, potatoes are healthy, I’ll eat five. I just got on the new points plus system last week as I’ve been working out religiously with no weight loss. I love the new system, it’s more points but healthier food, definitely helps me to grab some fruit instead of using too many points. Today was my first weekly weigh in and I lost 3.5 pounds, I really like it.

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  32. I was never really overweight most of my life, but I always supported my mom and grandma on their Slim Fast powders and such. But about 12 yrs ago I had gained 30 lbs and a friend told me that after 35 women have a harder time losing weight – so I ordered the 6-wk Body Makeover. I followed it to a “T” and lost all the weight I wanted FAST. It revved up my metabolism all with fresh food, no salt, sugar or oils. It was tough. I quit over the next 10yrs and tried several times to get back on, but couldn’t maintain it with a job. Tried to go it alone with cutting carbs, breads and exercising but I just couldn’t get a hand on the weight loss. 5 months into WW and I’m down 30lbs and GAINED a ton of confidence! I guess you just got to keep trying things to find what works. Good luck all!

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