Tag Archives: Weight Watchers

Points vs PointsPlus

This post isn’t for everyone, so if you’re not into the Weight Watchers thing or learning more about it, rest assured there will be pictures of my bunny insulting me in the next post.

…or in this post. Rude.

I’ve been on and off Weight Watchers (WW) for about 4 years. When I started the program, I lost 26lbs in the first 4 1/2 months and then stayed on the program and maintained my weight for about 3 years.

After that 3 years, I got seriously tired of counting points. So, even though I was still counting them, I wasn’t very strict about it and gained a few pounds back. Then I decided I needed a change and for a year I counted calories instead. Counting calories helped maintain my weight, but I never really lost what I had gained back.

When the Points system switched to the new PointsPlus system, I decided to give WW another shot.

For those of you who don’t know, the basic idea behind WW is that every food has a PointsPlus value and you get a certain amount of PointsPlus values you can eat each day. WW also has Weekly Points values, which are “extra” points you can use if you go over your daily allotment. Activity Points can be earned from doing exercise. More Points = more eating.

For 3 years I was all about WW and counting Points. I was one of those people that worked out all the time, but never lost weight because I didn’t realize what I was putting in my mouth. WW didn’t restrict any foods from my diet and really taught me how to make better food choices. 

For the last 3 or 4 months, I have been doing the PointsPlus system. Now that I’ve tried both Points and PointsPlus, I thought I would talk about differences between both systems and my general impressions.

*Note: I have never gone to a WW meeting. I have only used the online tools. So that is where my experience lies.

WW gives you a fancy little tool to track your food and excercise each day and use of their tools is about $17 a month. When I first started, the online tools weren’t so “high-tech” and they worked much better than their glamed-up counterpart.

The online searchable food database sucks. While you can find certain foods, other foods are missing completely. (For example, you won’t find any Lean Cuisine dinners in the database because that’s competition for the frozen Weight Watchers meals. Lame.)


WW also has a smartphone app that allows you to track food and it syncs with your regular online tracker. The phone app (I used the one for my Droid X) is painfully slow and annoying.

The online tracker also allows you to see nifty little charts that you’ll be enthralled with for about a month. Also, it lists all your weight statistics and measurements, if you choose to put those in.

No matter how many times I used the online tracking tools, a “Welcome to the Plan Manager” pop up would appear. And no matter how many times I clicked the “Get Started” button and went through the orientation, the pop up would appear like I was a brand new user everytime I logged on. Super annoying.

Here are the main differences I found between the Points and PointsPlus system:

  • You get more PointsPlus per day. (I had 21 for Points value and 29 for PointsPlus.)
  • Most foods are higher in PointsPlus values. (For instance, a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich was 2 Points and is now 4 PointsPlus.)
  • Flex Points are now called Weekly Points.
  • There were 35 Flex Points for the week. There are now 49 Weekly Points for the week.
  • Activity Points roll over each day if you don’t “eat” them. They were zeroed out at the end of each day on the Points System. Now, remaining Activity Points are zeroed out on your weigh-in day each week.
  • If you have used any Weekly Points and then gain Activity Points, the Activity Points will replenish your Weekly Points.


No one knows, Jackie.

  • You can choose where you want PointsPlus overages deducted from first – your Activity Points or your Weekly Points. (Not sure why this even matters. If you eat, you eat.)
  • Activities are given higher PointsPlus values. (For example, I used to get 6 Points for 50 minutes of running. Now I get 9 PointsPlus for 45 minutes of running.) This makes up for higher food values.
  • WW accounts for protein in its values, when it didn’t before.
  • Fruit is now a zero PointsPlus food. (Fruit used to range from 1-2 Points values on the old program.)

Overall, I think WW is a great program. It really teaches you a lot about eating the right things and eating the naughty things in moderation. I think that the rollover Activity Points is the best change to the program and is the small advantage that makes PointsPlus better than the Points system. So, the new program is a slight improvement. With that said, I don’t think the differences in the programs matter that much. For me, eating 21 Points a day or eating 29 PointsPlus a day still equates to about 1200-1300 calories and not much food.

I think WW needs to improve its online tools with a bigger food database and a less annoying and convuluted system. They also need to add an area that shows a tally of daily nutritional values. When on WW, I have no idea how much protein/carbs/fat I eat each day and that’s important for me to keep track of with all of my workouts. I’m no longer on WW and am back to counting calories with my Tap and Track phone app, mainly for that reason.

Have you ever tried Weight Watchers or another diet (ahem, way of life) system? What are your thoughts? Did I miss anything?


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Working Out and a New Eating Plan

(last night’s) Workout: Crossfit  (30 min) 

My chest and back were still beat-tired from our weights workout on Monday, so our Crossfit trainer Michael decided to go “easy” on us and give us a leg routine instead. Thanks?

We did 4 sets of 50 lunges (25 each leg) and 50 deep squats. Walking to the car after this workout sucked.

I probably don’t need to say this, but I will. My ass hurts. 

After I got home from Crossfit, I had a tweet from Miss Stephanie over at The Almost Runner. She had a request:

I don’t know about a video, but I will ask Michael to take a few pictures of our exercises when we see him on Saturday and see what he says. He told us we’re doing the Spartan workout, so prepare for me to look like I’m dying in all pictures.

Also prepare for me to look like this afterwards:


On Monday, I decided to join Weight Watchers (WW)…again.

Five years ago, I was close to my weight high. I looked like this:

Sweet sweet Jesus. That hair.

I went to lunch with my friend Jenn one day and noticed she had lost a lot of weight. I asked her how she did it and she told me WW. After grilling her on the specifics, I was sold and joined the next day with the goal of losing 10 lbs.

One month later, I reached my goal. So, I set a new one. Three and a half months after that, I reached my next goal. I had lost 26lbs in 4 ½ months total. WW really overhauled my bad eating habits and taught me what I was doing wrong. Once I lost those 26lbs, I had a few comments from others that I was too thin. I never thought that was the case, but I also didn’t mind when I gained a few of those pounds back.

This is probably 7 lbs over my lowest weight.

I kept the weight off for the better part of 3 years and stayed on the Points plan. But then things started happening, like honeymoons, cruises, and vacations. So, I gained half of that weight back.

During that time, I got really tired of counting Points and looking at every food as a Point value and not something to enjoy. But I still wanted to track what I ate to keep myself accountable (if I don’t, I eat way too much). So, I switched to counting calories instead.

For the past year, I’ve counted calories using the Tap and Track application on my iPod.

Side Note: Awesome app and totally worth the $4.99 if you like to track calories/nutritionals/excercise. They keep improving it with updates and it has an AMAZING food database. You can also track Points on it. They call it “Food Score” to keep it all legal-like.

Now it’s time for a change again. My best friend joined WW in January and has lost close to 30lbs. She looks AMAZING and is my inspiration. ❤ ❤  I’ve been counting calories for a year now, and I need something different. Since I was on WW a few years ago, they have overhauled the program and I think it’s better. It’s just different enough to get me back on track.

My goal is the same as it was the first time: Lose 10lbs.

Since Monday, I’ve debated talking about this on the blog, mainly because it can get really tiring hearing everyone’s snide comments about what I’m putting in my mouth. Things like, “Would you like some of this or is that too many POINTS for you?” or getting asked how many Points something is while your eating gets old fast. Hopefully telling the world (i.e. my awesome readers and friends) will help keep me accountable. Or maybe it won’t. I guess we’ll find out.

Do you keep a food or exercise log? (I’ve kept a food and exercise log since I first started Weight Watchers 5 years ago.)

Unrelated, but did you see the video of that tornado in Alabama? OMG. I would crap my pants if I was there and I feel so bad for those people. My heart goes out to them.


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Weight a Minute

Workout: 1 hour with personal trainer

This morning I had an awesome workout with Linda and the Hubs. Linda really knows how to put together a workout that makes you praise Jeebus once it’s over.

But, I’m not going to talk about the workout today. I’m going to talk about what we did before the workout: our body fat composition.

To give you a little history on me, I am not a small girl. I’m 5’9” and big boned (that’s what she said). And my weight has gone up and down my whole life – literally – that I can remember. I diet. My weight goes down. I slack. My weight goes up. And the cycle repeats.

Here’s me at (or around) one of my heaviest weights.

At my BFF's wedding

In 2007, I decided to join Weight Watchers. I became a WW freak woman within a week and within 4 1/2 months, I reached my goal weight. Total weight loss = 26 lbs.

Here’s me at (or around) thinnest. I had several people tell me I was too thin. (First and last time in my life I’ve ever heard that. I should have recorded it and made it into the most awesome rap song known to man.)

By the way, I don’t normally dress that way. It was a 60’s party. I usually wear Hammer pants and Hypercolor t-shirts only.

Why yes, I do notice I have a beer in my hand in both pictures. < —– one woman party

After 3 years on Weight Watchers, I got so sick of it. I got sick of counting points. I got sick of looking at exercise in terms of Activity Points and what that translated to as far as eating. I got sick of looking at every food in terms of a Points number. I got sick of people asking me “how many points is that?” anytime I put something in my mouth. And I got sick of hearing,  “are you sure that doesn’t have too many points?” if I was eating anything slightly indulgent. It really pissed me off.

So, I decided to drop WW and count calories and protein instead (which at the time was a good thing for me, because WW didn’t take protein into consideration in their Points system and I was starting to lift weights). The calorie counting went well for over a year until a couple vacations and the holidays happened.

Right now, my weight is somewhere in between those two pictures above. (I still count calories now, using the Tap and Track app on my iPod Touch.)

This is me...about 5 minutes ago.

That brings me back to the body fat composition I had taken today:

  • I gained 6 lbs.  (This is on top of the 7lbs I’ve been slowly gaining over the past several years.)
  • I lost 4lbs of muscle.
  • My body fat percentage went from 17% to 22%.

Now, I’m not oblivious to gaining weight. My pants are tighter and I can see it looking at myself. I mean, I’m not giving up sugar this week because I want to. But let me tell you when I heard the results, I did all I could to keep from crying in front on Linda.

Let me be clear. I don’t think I’m fat. But I’m on my way back to where I started and that freaks me out because I wasn’t happy then. I worked for 4 1/2 months to drop the weight, then another 3 1/2 years to keep it off (which is a LOT harder than losing it. Trust me.), and 2 years with Linda to drop 9% body fat and not look like a tasty marshmallow. I basically screwed it within about a 4 month time frame. I know running races isn’t helping either considering long runs make me go all Man vs Food on the kitchen.

So, I wrote this whole thing just to say…I’m really disappointed in myself. I’ll get back to where I was, I know I will. It just sucks to have to start in the back again.

Sorry to go all serious blogger on you today. It won’t happen too often, I promise.

Tell me someone out there remembers Hypercolor t-shirts?


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