Mar
21

Weight Watchers Points Plus 2012 – The Program

by MARIA on March 21, 2012

I just started back on the Weight Watchers, (my first week’s weigh-in will be posted tomorrow), because after waffling on what program to do, I’ve decided this is the one for me. Since I get so many visitors asking about Weight Watchers, I wanted to share a post with some details about the new Weight Watchers Points Plus 2012 program.

The Basics:

  • Based on your current weight, you get a daily PointsPlus target. This number will get smaller as your weight goes down.
  • Everything you eat and drink has a PointsPlus value.
  • You get 49 additionally points each week, which you can choose to use or not use.
  • You can earn more points every day by exercising. The weekly goal to start is to earn 14 points each week.
  • Track it all either on using their paper tracker or online (their online tools are not free, fyi).
  • You can choose to attend meetings for additional support (these are optional but highly encouraged).

Daily Food Goals:

As with any balanced diet, you need to aim for a certain number of servings of each food group – the paper trackers are great for keeping track of how many servings you’ve had.

  • Lean Protein: 2 servings a day – like 3oz of chicken or 1/2 cup of beans (Personally I eat more protein that that, especially if exercising).
  • Fruits and Veggies: 5 servings a day – 1 cup of lettuces of 1/2 cup of other veg.
  • Low Fat Dairy: 2 servings a day  (Serving sizes really depend on what you’re eating – for example, milk vs. yogurt vs. cottage cheese)
  • Whole Grains – They don’t really specify a total number of servings but
  • WaterAt least six glasses of water a day – They call it liquids and include milk and diet pop in that number, but I ignore all that and count water only. Milk really counts as dairy anyway.
  • Vitamin – They encourage a multivitamin daily.

POWER FOODS:

  • Although you can technically eat whatever you want to eat on Weight Watchers (as long as you keep track of your points), they do really suggest that you stick with “Power Foods”. Power foods are basically the healthier options that any dietician will encourage you to eat – lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, etc. The best thing about the Power Foods is that they are more filling and use up less points, so it’s a win all around.
  • Prior to this updated Points Plus 2012 program, Weight Watchers stated that most fruits and vegetables carried a 0 point value – so technically you could eat as many as you want and they wouldn’t count. Obviously, this was flawed because fruits and vegetables still have calories, so you definitely have to keep track of them. Now, with Weight Watchers Points Plus 2012, they suggest that you eat about 5 servings of fruit and/or vegetable servings a day, which makes much more sense in the end. The starchier veggies like potatoes and corn do not have 0 point values however, so you have to remember that.
Exercise:
  • As anyone will tell you, exercise is key when you want to lose weight, and Weight Watchers is no exception.
  • You can earn points for working out (the number depends on  your weight, the amount of time you worked out and the intensity) – you get a chart when you sign up that will give you those amounts.
  • Your starting goal is 14 points earned each week.
  • Each activity point you earn equals one food point – so you can choose to eat those or not.

Pointers for success:

I know a lot of people on Weight Watchers, so I’ve read and heard some great advice for success and meeting weight loss goals. These aren’t rules or anything, just things that work for some people on the program.

  • Although you can technically eat whatever you want, eat healthy and mindfully so that you’re actually eating well and losing.
  • Make sure to eat your daily points in full every day.
  • Cut out white flours, sugar and salt as much as possible.
  • Drink water as your only beverage. If you feel bloated, add a slice of lemon to your water to help.
  • Don’t use the additional weekly 49 points regularly – only use them only on rare occasion when you have a party or event.
  • Do some sort of daily exercise.
  • Even when you do earn additional points from exercise, don’t use them.

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Are you on Weight Watchers? What is your best advice for success? What do you do with your weekly points and earned activity points – save them or use them? Would love to hear about your weight loss is going.

(Please note: I don’t work for Weight Watchers – I’m just someone trying to lose weight gained from babies and burgers.)

 

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Wendy March 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm

I have to say Weight Watchers has been really successful for me. I’ve lost 13 pounds in 11 weeks using online only, no meetings. This is my first try at it.

What has worked best for me: I use up all my Daily Points first, then any Activity Points I’ve earned that day. I opted to trade Activity Points for food FIRST rather than tapping into Weekly Points, and having Activity Points expire daily rather than weekly (it makes more sense to me to trade them in the same day I earn them). Some days I trade them, some days I don’t – it probably works out half and half.

Weekly Points I hoard as much as possible. My weigh-in day is Monday, right after the weekend when we’re out running around a lot and probably having at least lunch out, plus we usually go to my husband’s parents on Sunday, which is always a crap shoot. We never know what they’re going to serve and they sure don’t worry about using low-fat ingredients! I try to keep some semblance of control by taking smaller portions but I like to have lots of Weekly Points available just in case they throw a super high point meal at me (and they have)!

Some weeks I don’t use the Weekly Points at all, some weeks I tap into them a bit. I’ve never completely used up all my Weekly Points – I figure that’s my cushion if I’ve forgotten to record something or underestimated some points values.

One thing that’s worked really well for me is planning meals ahead. We plan and shop for our dinners for the week on Saturday, so before I go to work each day, we decide what we’re having that night and I plug it into the Tracker. That way I know what I have for the rest of my day and can plan my lunch accordingly in the office cafeteria (although I’m trying to take lunches more often so I have more control over things).

Same with dinners out – I check the restaurant menu online and plan what I might like to order ahead of time, then figure out the points as best I can -granted, it’s a bit of guess until we’re sitting there and see the actual serving size but at least I get some idea of the potential impact and can work the rest of my day around it.

The other thing to keep in mind is this is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle change. Once I hit my goal weight, it doesn’t mean I can go back to old eating habits – I think that will be the trickiest part of this whole process.

I wish you success with Weight Watchers. I’ve fought it almost every step of the way (for about a month I had a daily battle with myself standing in the cafeteria trying to talk myself OUT of ordering fries on the side – I managed to resist the urge but boy, it was a struggle!) but I’ve managed to stick to the plan. As it turns out it does work, it has gotten easier, and I love that clothes that haven’t fit properly for a couple of years now do!

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2 MARIA March 21, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Thanks so much for your comment Wendy. The planning in advance is great advice, and one I hear and read a lot in weight loss success stories. Planning is the key and also treating it like a lifestyle change is super important.

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3 Chantal March 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm

I haven’t been on WW in over 7 years but I lost 40lbs on it when I was. I have to say that I did eat my exercise points. Especially when I was getting closer to my goal and was at the lowest points per day there was at that time (which was 20). It worked for me. If you (or one of your readers) find themselves on a plateau, eating your exercise points can help.

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4 MARIA March 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

That’s great advice Chantal! Thanks so much. And congrats on losing 40lbs. That is awesome!

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5 cinamongirl17 March 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I’ve debated on going on WW…it’s all the point counting and tracking that stops me. That and the motivation to keep on doing it. I need someone constantly yelling at me to start eating healthier. In November I lost 10lbs by cutting out sugars and white flours and doing excercise. I kept it up in December but lost all energy to keep it going. I’ve gained only 3lbs since but feel like crap because every morning I wake up and I say today’s the day I’ll eat better but by mid afternoon when baby’s down for his nap I sit down and eat all the wrong foods. So frustrating!!!!

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6 MARIA March 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I wish I could say I can’t relate, but I can. My best advice as someone who has been far from succeeding up this point, is don’t give up, just keep trying. You are worth it.

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7 Katrin March 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

WW is working for me this time. I have been with them off and on for years. For some reason, it seems to be clicking now. The weekly meeting really helps me. Have met a lot of great people and our leader is very motivating.

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8 Shawna Greyling March 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Maria, one of the most important tracking tools that you forgot to mention is that there are tonnes of free apps for your phone or tablet. I use one called WWDiary for my android phone and it is very reliable and accurate and is so handy since my phone is usually close by. It has a calculator so you don’t have to buy the WW one. It tracks and stores all the foods you enter, you can create a list of favourites, it tracks how many fruits and veggies your eat etc. It tracks your weight loss and calculates how many activity points you earn. I am too cheap to pay for the WW online tools so this works great for me!

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9 MARIA March 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Shawna, I had no idea there were free options, or I definitely would have mentioned them!!! I’m going to check them out asap. Thanks!

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10 Glenda September 18, 2012 at 12:19 pm

I am new at WW and have decided to go it on my own, along with hubby. We want to retire in one year so that is my goal. I need to lose 100 pounds. I have the points list of things I do eat and recipe books. I cant afford the meetings and online WW so it will be different.
The hardest thing I find is getting rid of bread and sugar. I noticed you can have sugar with WW, but that only makes me more hungry so I dont use it much. Only a teaspoon in a home made marinara. Now I concentrate on good marinades and dressing instead of white-sauce basis.
I have foot issues because of my weight, I believe. Walking is not on my list. I have found chair exercise online and will be starting there along with light hand weights. I need to get those ankle weights too.
I have a blog with recipes of fatty stuff. As of today my blog will be healthy WW recipes I invent.
Wish me luck. nice blog

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11 Kimberley December 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I ve lost 74 pounds in a year on ww and been at goal or just below for 5 months. I try to track everything, even bad things, i have a very active job and dont eat activity points but do use weeklys if i need them

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12 Lorraine December 30, 2012 at 11:23 am

Hello. I have been changing the way I eat for the past 2 1/2 years now. I have lost and kept of about 10lbs which is good. I stopped eating alot of fried foods and alot of starches. Yes I have them occassionally but not like I used to. I also for about 2 months was doing the atkins diet. Not very strict but for the most part pretty close. I would have a carb here or there but not alot. I lost 6-8lbs on that. I am considering WW cause I have had kidney stones and found that eating alot of eggs( which I was eating every morning) as well as red meat can cause kidney stones. So im thinking about WW. I have a cook book for WW and love to cook so that is a great help. I also have the WW mobile app which for some reason i can not add to the tracker for some reason. Not sure why. I was just wanting to communicate with someone who has had success with WW and see what tools they could help me with. I really can not afford joining at this time but want to get started on my new eating change which is going to be a little difficult since I am so carb aware and carbs are not the focus on WW. If anyone could help me get started and wouldnt mind I would greatly appeciate emailing :) Good luck to everyone

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13 Patricia January 2, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I did WW a while ago. Although I lost 25 pounds I wasn’t really ready to commit to the lifestyle change long term. I believe I am now. Started on Dec 30, 2012 on my own, which is pretty much how I did it before even with paying. Re activity points- I allow myself to eat them as i earn them. If I workout in the morning I can eat them that day. If I work out in the evening I can use them the next day. I do not carry them over day to day. Feel line that is cheating. That’s what the extra 49 pints are for if needed. Documentation and planing are huge!!! I plan about 75% of my food, and write down everything. It’s not like at work where if you don’t write it down it didn’t happen. The scale will know if you cheat. Atleast be honest about it. One more thing- I am most successful when I allow myself a pig- out day about every 2 weeks. I don’t plan it out- I just go with how I feel, and give myself a day of no documenting or planning when feeling fustrated or controlled by documenting and planning. I have never gained in the weeks I did this- actually they were my biggest losing weeks. Just my 2 cents.

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14 Mike January 4, 2013 at 2:03 pm

I am fat. I know I am fat and every bit of research I have found tells me I am fat. That same research tells me to stay away from carbs, fat, fruit, most decent tasting vegetables, bread, sugar, flour, orange juice, artificial sweeteners, anything white, anything processed, wheat, gluten, and most meats.

I think that leaves me with kelp and water — I guess anyone can lose weight on those two things. My biggest “beef” (pun intended) is that WW advertises that you can eat anything you want and still lose weight as long as you count points. Well, I want a whole 14 inch pizza for dinner — guess what? That exceeds my points for a week – so I can’t have anything I want as advertised. Also, who in the world measures everything that goes into your mouth. No one can live this way – normal people go to friends houses to eat for dinner. What are you supposed to do? Go over and pre-measure what your host is supposed to cook for you? Yeah, I can see that happening!

It pisses me off that there are over 650 distinct diets and the public is supposed to find one that works? I am ready to go eat 20 Big Macs and wait for the hearse to pick me up.

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15 Patricia January 6, 2013 at 1:00 am

Mike- I need to loose weight not because the scale, BMI charts, or society tell me so. I need to do it because I have rheumatoid arthritis and an 42 and want to still be walking when I am 50. I need to be nicer to my joints. For me, weight watchers reminds me of what a portion size is. And gets me thinking about why I am eating as well as what I am eating. It helps me make educated decisions. Like the other day when I wanted Kraft Mac and cheese. I should have 26 points worth of food a day. One serving is 9 points. I was able to say- a full box will be 31 points… So I will only eat 2/3 of full box. Lol. Still ate it, but with knowing how bad it was. I try to follow WW about 75% of time. It works for me.

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16 Marianne February 1, 2013 at 6:31 pm

I have just joined WW 3 weeks ago and am happy to say I have lost just over 8 pounds. I am in the swing of things now and am finding it very easy to track using an app on my phone. It seems like a great plan as I am still able to enjoy my favorite foods. (in moderation of course) I can see this being a life long choice. My husband has joined in on counting his points along with me as well, which I think is great to have the support with me. My kids have not complained at all seeing more healthy choices on their plates and are always asking me how many points everything is and they also like coming to my meetings. Anyhow just wanted to say thank you for the great website!

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17 jennifer April 25, 2013 at 9:42 am

can i use artificial sweetners (weigh less ones) instead of suger – what are the points for sweetners or are they seen as “sugar” anyway

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