We’re also now using the Weight Watchers Points Plus system (we’re not active members of WW, but we’re doing it ourselves with the necessary tools). Back in 2008 when I was doing my workout, I was using the old WW system my family was on to help maintain a steady diet. I ended up eating the points allocated to me, but not touching the points I earned through my activity. I wanted to lose weight quickly, so I was fairly strict back then with not eating beyond my basic allotted amount.
This time around, I’m doing much the same, but trying to wrap my head around the new Points Plus system they revamped in 2011. It’s a little different, so I’m trying not to let my old Weight Watchers ways step up and take control. The new P+ calculator really helps, but like many old school WW members I’ve seen around the net, I’m a little wary of the points free fruit and vegetables that P+ has going. That, and the higher points allowance has my old school brain give pause a little. It’s nothing too troubling, as I understand the system has been overhauled and my previous allowance of 18 points is not viable on the new system. (18 points with Points Plus and I’d be really hungry!) I’m apparently supposed to be rolling with 29 P+ points, but I’ve reduced my goal to 25. Boo’s number is 44, but I’ve reduced him to 40.
That said, it’s going rather well right now (knock on wood!) I even sat down and made some tracker sheets for my activities and another for our daily food intake. They’re a huge help and it’s a good reminder to have of our remaining point allowance. Even Boo, who good-naturedly reports to me what he’s eaten, finds the sheets helpful to keep track of his points.
We’re sticking as close to the P+ goal as we can. We’ve both gone over a few times by a point or so, but I’m not ready to hang myself since our goals are already lower than the WW goals. We also have those extra activity points we’re earning as well as the bonus points for silly spending during the week, so we have some leeway for the odd point or two over here and there. That said, I’m hoping to avoid using these points often to maintain the best weight loss we can.
We’re not charging points for our fruits, yet, but we’re mindful not to go nuts and eat non-stop fruit all day. So far, it’s only been 5 days since we started WW, but hopefully the results will turn out good. I reckon it will, since I feel our main problem is lack of exercise and a structured diet.
I’m going to have to come back with the results, and we’ll go from there. I’m sincerely hoping it turns out to work well. I did some looking around on the internet to see the popular opinion on the Points Plus system, and it seems people are fairly divided in their success. Some lost more weight than on the old system, some slowed down, and yet others gained weight. Everybody is different, but it seems the biggest complaints they seem to have are:
- The new points goal is too high/too low and they can’t eat that much/little on the new system. It seems WW has reassured them that they can adjust their goal, but some folks find the adjustment too difficult, or the actual number too different from their old goal number. For us, it doesn’t seem to be a problem. The first day or so I was struggling to work out what I could eat to get up to my daily cap, but now that I’ve gotten a bit more of a hang of it I know more of what I can eat during the day to get to my goal.
- The new point values are confusing. I get this one totally, especially as on the old system you get used to knowing or figuring out the points of an item from memory or experience. The new system threw that all into a spin, and now that they count protein in the calculations, guesstimating or remembering the value of a food item is still newish. I figure just within time I’ll adjust. I suppose that’s a benefit of not being on WW for 2 years! Not too bad of a habit to break.
- The points free fruit and vegetable catch. I’m still a little wary about this one as well. I can understand WW encouraging members to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables by giving these things a 0 point value – and thus, making them more attractive than point-laden alternatives – but they still have calories in them. For those of us like my husband and I who regularly eat vegetables and fruit anyway, it’s not entirely encouraging us to eat more than we already do. Certainly, we don’t feel the need to binge on extra fruit or veg. I’m supposing this is for members who passed up fruit and veg for other less healthy options like snack bars on the old system (when the snack bar had less point value than a banana, for example). For now, we’re not counting our fruit or veg, but we may begin to if it looks like we’re eating beyond our daily recommended intake. I’m still keeping my eye on this, and I see quite a few P+ members who do the same; actually count their vegetables and fruit as part of their daily allowance.
Anyway, that’s about all for this update. My exercise week just ended with 15 miles, and my first Weight Watchers week will end on Wednesday. I’m feeling the temptation to step on the scale to peek at my progress, but I’m going to try to wait until Wednesday. I’m excited, but cautiously so. Here’s to hoping!