Tuesday, August 2, 2011

F.A.Q. #2: What's the deal with you and Weight Watchers?

This post is LONG overdue. When people learn that I started losing weight by counting points, they always want to know if I was a WW member, why I quit counting points, would I rather count points or calories, etc. So I will try and answer everything I can about me and Weight Watchers in this post.

FYI, unless I specify otherwise, the points I'm referring to is the OLD WW plan (Momentum)--not the new 2011 plan. Also, keep in mind that this is only MY OPINION.

Did you count WW points or calories to lose weight?
Both. When I first started losing, I was counting points because I had the materials at home already. I kept a paper journal to keep track of points used, and I used Sparkpeople to type in my recipes to calculate the nutritional info per serving (and I determined the points from that). After a while, I started counting points AND calories, and then eventually just switched to counting calories.

Were you a Weight Watchers member? Did you do the online program?
No, I was not a member, and no, I didn't do the online program either. I had been a member in the past (numerous times) and had only bad experiences with it (see below for that story), so I chose to do it on my own. I weighed in at home once a week and followed the WW program of counting points.

Why did you switch to counting calories instead of points?
As I lost more and more weight, my points values dropped (per the WW program). I felt like I was STARVING all the time, and so I decided to see how many calories I was getting while counting points. I discovered that some days, I was only getting 1000-1200 calories and others I was getting 1500-1600 calories, while eating the SAME NUMBER OF POINTS per day. It just depended on what food I was eating. You all know I have a love affair with nut butters, and one serving of nut butter was about 1/4 of my allotted points for the day, even though it was only 190ish calories! No wonder I was starving. I could understand if I was eating complete junk food, but nut butter is healthy--and I felt like I was being punished for choosing to eat it. So I started to count calories instead of points, and I felt much better.

I no longer felt like I had to eat a perfect serving of something in order to get a full point worth. For example, if 1 Tbsp. of jam was 1 point, I would always eat the full Tbsp., because 1/2 Tbsp. was also 1 point. But when counting calories, I could eat 1/2 Tbsp if I wanted and count just the calories--I didn't feel like I was getting gypped out of 1/2 point of food. If you think of it in terms of money, it would be like paying $1 for a large soda or $1 for a small soda--naturally, you'd want the large because you're paying the same price. Does that make sense? When I switched to counting calories, there was no manipulating the serving sizes to get the most bang for my buck, so to speak.

Do you recommend Weight Watchers?
There are positives and negatives to the program (in my opinion) so I will spell them out for you...

Positives:
  • Counting points is easy to keep track of in your head. When you get, say, 25 points per day, it's not hard to keep track of the math throughout the day. So if you don't like to write things down, this could be helpful.
  • It's easy to memorize the number of points in your favorite foods, so you don't have to look up foods in a book or online forever. 
  • For someone who is used to eating complete junk, they will learn that choosing healthier foods will allow them to eat more than if they choose the junk. Weight Watchers also has guidelines that urge you to choose healthier foods.
  • There are certain "free" foods (non-starchy veggies) that you don't have to count against your points. You can bulk up meals with veggies and not have to count them.
Negatives:
  • When counting points, there really isn't a difference between healthy fat and unhealthy fat. WW tells you that you should choose healthy fat, but when calculating the points for a food with fat, the type of fat is not a factor. So if you enjoy foods with healthy fat, like avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, etc, you will feel like you're being punished for choosing those foods.
  • It's easy to manipulate the program to get more food for the same number of points. You might learn that something with 40 calories is 1 point, but if you have a serving and a half, it is ALSO just 1 point. So naturally, you'd choose to have more.
  • You can essentially live off of junk food--processed food with lots of added chemicals. WW encourages you to eat fruits and veggies and whole foods, but many people eat frozen dinners, packaged cookies, etc, and count the points for it. (This is also true of counting calories, not just counting points). For example, if a packaged muffin calculated to 1 point, you could have that or you could have an apple for 1 point. Naturally, if you like junk, you'd want to choose the muffin.
  • You have to pay for the materials and/or the cost of being a member or using the online program. It can be expensive! 
A random day from my Weight Watchers food log

To be fair, I will also post positives and negatives for calorie counting.


Positives:
  • You truly get what you pay for (in calories, that is). For example, if 55 grams of cereal is 210 calories, then you could shave a few grams off and have 50 grams for 191 calories. You cannot manipulate the system to get more for free ;)
  • There are many FREE online programs that you can use to track calories--my personal favorite is Sparkpeople. I also like My Fitness Pal.
  • If you are very honest with your food tracking, it WORKS. 
  • You don't have rules to follow or special "phases" to go through. You just weigh/measure your food and track the calories. Very simple.
Negatives:
  • It's hard to memorize the number of calories in food items, and it's nearly impossible to keep track of calories without logging it (either on paper or online). Doing the math in your head is very difficult.
  • There are no "free" foods, such as veggies. You have to count everything.
  • Because calories are much more specific than points, you have to be very accurate when weighing or measuring your food. "Eyeballing" doesn't really work when counting calories.
  • You can eat tons of junk food and lose weight, if you're counting the calories, which makes it harder to make healthy choices. There is no "reward" for making healthy choices.
Random day of calorie counting on Spark (hopefully it's readable)

Overall, I think Weight Watchers is a great program for people with a lot of weight to lose (you get enough points that you won't feel like you're starving). It teaches you healthier foods to eat, and encourages you to eat them. It definitely WORKS, if you follow the program. However, for someone with less weight to lose, I think counting calories is better, because you can make sure you're getting enough calories. (Like I said, I was not getting nearly enough calories when I was down to 20-24 points per day).

I also think Weight Watchers is a good program for people that don't like to write down their food intake, because it's easier to track points in your head than it is calories. However, if you tend to be a bit of a perfectionist (like me) then you'd probably like counting calories better.  For someone who is just starting to lose weight, all the numbers of calories can get confusing; so counting points might be less overwhelming.

Why didn't you go to the meetings or do Weight Watchers online?
As I mentioned before, I'd had nothing but bad experiences at the WW meetings. I also tried the online program for 3 months, and wasn't impressed. I'll spell all that out for you here...

Meetings--When I was fat and joined WW, I felt like the only thing they cared about was my money. I think it was about $11 per week that I had to pay. The meetings consisted of a weigh-in (which was done just before the meeting, and it was private (they don't announce your weight or anything); and a 30ish minute meeting where the leader would pick a topic to discuss. I never once felt like the leaders or the receptionists truly cared about whether I lost the weight, as long as I paid my dues.

The first 5-10 minutes or so of the meeting was simply the leader handing out stickers to members that reached a milestone or members that just had a good week and wanted to acknowledge that. The meetings, I felt, were usually dominated by one member who insisted on talking about herself and her problems/successes the entire time. I found it really annoying to hear a member go on and on about how she doesn't like vegetables and never will and that means she'll never lose weight, etc.

The leader would try and talk about a topic for a few minutes (I remember at my first meeting, the topic was BLT's--bites, licks, and tastes--and how those can add up and be bad for your weight loss. I never really learned anything at the meetings, because it just seemed like common sense to me (I think I've gone to a grand total of about 25 WW meetings in my life, at about 4 different WW centers).

The worst experience with going to a WW center was just recently. In January 2011, I went in to buy the new materials for the 2011 program. I was only about 130 pounds at the time, and a small size 4. The receptionists were SO RUDE to me, and one even made a snide comment implying that I really didn't need to be there. (She had no idea that I'd just lost 120+ pounds). Then they told me I wasn't allowed to buy anything unless I became a member, which I thought was really stupid. Again, it was all about the money for them! I'd been buying 3-month food journals there for over a year, and suddenly I wasn't allowed to buy that unless I became a member?! Registration happened to be free that week, so I "joined" for one week just to buy the new materials. The receptionists were a little peeved that I refused to buy a 12-week pass. I walked out of there resolving that I'd never walk in to another WW center again.

Online--I did not feel that this was helpful AT ALL for someone that isn't familiar with the program. Thankfully, I already knew the program like the back of my hand when I paid an arm and a leg for bought the membership. It's essentially the same type of thing that you can get for free from online calorie counting sites, only they track your points instead of your calories. I used the recipe builder part the most, which calculates the points in your recipes, but now I just use Sparkpeople for that.

What do you think of the new (2011) Weight Watchers program?
I tried the new program for 2 weeks, and I actually ended up gaining weight on it. I thought it would be fun to try something new, and it was, but I quickly found that I hated the new program. While I'm not a vegetarian, I eat that way a lot of the time--and I found that most of my favorite vegetarian dishes were LOADED with points. Not because they were "junky" but because they usually contained beans or lentils of some sort, and maybe starchy veggies. The new points system calculates the points values based on carbohydrates, fat, protein, and fiber. Carbohydrates play a big role in it, and since beans and starchy veggies have a lot of carbs, I (again) felt like I was being punished for choosing those foods.

I was used to eating quite a bit of fruit (I love fruit!) and fruit is a "free food" on the new program. So I didn't cut back on my fruit intake at all, and I think that contributed to the weight gain that I had. I wasn't eating a TON of it--maybe 3-4 pieces of fruit per day, one of which was a banana. Again, this was an attempt to get people to make healthier choices. I am very knowledgeable about health and nutrition, so I like to make my own decisions and not feel punished for it. That is why I like counting calories vs. points.

Another thing that I wasn't crazy about with the new program is that it is hard to estimate points in a food. With the old program, I could pretty accurately guess the number of points in just about anything--but with the 2011 program, I could be off by many many points.

So, I hope this has answered your questions about me and Weight Watchers. I don't want to come off as too cynical about the program, because it definitely CAN be a great program for some people. It certainly helped me to lose weight in the beginning. As I progressed into healthier eating, I just found that WW wasn't for me. However, even now, sometimes I'll count points instead of calories if I'm going to have a super busy day--if I don't have time to calculate my calories, I just add up the points in my head to stay accountable.


Update (1/16/2013): I decided to give Weight Watchers another chance in September 2012, by joining their online program. I did really well with it, and surprisingly enjoyed the program this time around, so I joined the meetings with just 5 pounds to lose. I reached my WW goal weight, and am now a Lifetime Member!

30 comments:

  1. Very informational Katie. Thanks for sharing. I was in WW, back in the 70's, lost some weight on their plan, (of course gained it back plus some), but back then there was no points involved. As far as I'm concerned, I think the points system is just a gimmick, something so that WW can be different from other weight loss plans and get people to join. Otherwise we could just do it on our own, but if we want to know the "points" in something we have to belong to WW. Like you say, it's all about money with those guys.

    I don't know how the WW on-line system works. But I do know how Spark works, and I like being able to go there daily, and get motivated and inspired, because THAT's the kind of support I need. I don't necessarily follow their "plan," I just count calories (after years of doing that I know the calorie count of many many things), and try to exercise daily. I do log in my food and exercise, although not as religiously as when I was losing weight, but I mostly depend on the Spark site for motivation.

    The free fruit thing that WW brags about now simply cannot work! There's calories in fruit, and when you eat as much as you like (I could eat a lot of fruit!) you're going to gain weight, I don't care if WW says it's free or not. In the end you can't cheat your body and the scale. Your body always knows and keeps track of what you're putting in it and it WILL show up on the scale.

    Thanks for the very enlightening evaluation of both plans. We know what works for us!!

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  2. I remember doing weight watchers as a teenager by using my mom's materials. Thinking back I was making pretty poor choices (I didn't understand the ins and outs of food like I do now). Weight watchers doesn't really teach you about the foods you eat and what's in them. I remember eating a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast and often we ate Pizza Hut for dinner. I did lose weight though, but when I hit one of the threshholds and had to reduce my daily points I struggled a lot and was always hungry so I gave up. Like you said, you get to a point where you feel like you're starving. I definitely prefer counting calories for all the reasons you mentioned. :)

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  3. Great break down. I think it will be beneficial to people trying to make the decision to sign up for WW.

    I never did WW but I have a lot of friends who have done it and love the program. I counted my calories to lose weight and it worked for me. I think 1000 calories a day is way too low and often times WW points mean very little food (according to my friends on it) or at least the OLD version was that way.

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  4. Thank you for this. I tried WW once when I was in high school and I really have to agree with you on the fact that they seem more after your money! I felt like I was eating more junk and manipulating my points just like you said. Thinking about it now I really only ate processed prepackaged WW meals. One of the meetings I went to was all about their wonderful prepackaged meal options. Sparkpeople and counting calories is the only thing that has truly helped me. The ONLY thing I took from WW was their low calorie "Snickers" ice cream bars. Those things are so good and really allow me to satisfy my sweet tooth because real Snickers ice cream bars are like my addiction, but they are 10 times worse for you!

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  5. Your thoughts on ww are very similar to mine when I did the program. I ended up starving myself into a looooong plateau.

    WW doesn't work for me now with the way I eat. I choose a lot more fat and protein, which is punished on WW now points wise.

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  6. Very informative, thanks! I've done WW w/ success in the past (after kids #2 and #3) but I just haven't been able to get back into it. I'm a member on Sparkspeople but making the time to enter all my info every day is a chore. I think I need to go the good ol pen and paper route and count calories. Once again you gave me that push that I needed. Thank you. :)

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  7. I am a lifetime WW member. I am currently working to get back to my goal. I am definitely not hungry, but I am only on week 2 so I will have to see if I continue to lose.

    I do think constantly changing the program is a "gimmick" to suck in money. Let's face it. WW is a multi million dollar franchise, not a non profit. :)

    I liked the old "exchange program" better. The one where you got 2 fruits a day, 2 milk, 5 grains, etc. You also had some "optional calories" to spend on treats. I thought that program really helped people learn to eat nutritiously.

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  8. I enjoyed reading your point of view. I did WW a few times, lost a few pounds and quit. I got frustrated with all the sales pitches for their stuff.

    Now I count calories and if I stick to 1200 - 1400 I loose. I also like that I can get a nutrient breakdown - how much fibre, fat, carbs, calcium, etc ...

    I like that SparkPeople also tracks workouts which can be very motivating.

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  9. I did WW once in my life, in summer of 2001. I only weighed 155 at the time and wanted to get back to 125 - a weight I've since discovered is far underweight for my body size. It worked quickly, but soon I was subsisting on 18-23 points per day, around 900 to 1150 calories, which had my starving all the time. I felt it was far too easy to just manipulate the system to eat more as well, or to eat more junk and less healthy options. I don't know if I would have gained the weight back - I lost about 20 lbs - because I got pregnant and that throws everything out the window. I do know that I've tried to go back several times since and each time I get sick from the lack of calories and quit in a few days. I don't like the new program at all.

    I will say, though, that I never went to meetings and I loved the online program. It helped that my mother in law had an extra slider guide for me to borrow - they wouldn't even give me one of those if I did the online program! Crazy. But I liked the support system and chat rooms and stuff, much the way I like Spark.

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  10. I never did weight watchers but my thoughts were that it feels like a diet. If you are on a diet, it feels like you are giving up something. If you feel like you are giving up something, then it could lead back to bad habits again. My choice was to change my lifestyle(how I think about food). I counted calories at first(and hated it but knew is was necessary) and then after just watched what I ate. I can see the benefits of both though.

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  11. I loved this post, it's really cemented my beliefs in counting calories. I really didn't like WW either.

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  12. When I first started my weight-loss journey I just cut out a lot of garbage and didn't eat after dinner (night-time bingeing being a big problem) and exercised religiously. After losing about 50 pounds that way, I was stuck on a very long plateau. A friend recommended My Fitness Pal. I was VERY anti-counting calories! I didn't want to be obsessed with every morsel I put in my mouth! But I gave it a try, and lo and behold, it worked! I'm down another 27 pounds. It made me realize that I can eat a lot when I eat REAL food! I remember when Rosie O'Donnell joined WW she said that fat free Cool Whip was like no points, so women were eating TUBS of it! That's definitely not teaching someone how to eat for life and living!

    I love MFP because it boils weight loss right down to what it is- Calories In VS. Calories Out.

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  13. Hey girl, I just wanted to say that I loved your post on Sparkpeople this morning. It was great to see someone who was in a similar bought as I am & successfully lose weight. I was about age 14-15 when I was 220 lbs. I successfully got down to 130 lbs by the time I was 16 simply because I became a lot more active (Rowing) & I was eating healthier. My mom didn't cook for me much, so I often ate a bagel, cream cheese, & fruit for dinner..something simple like that. Then I went away to college (BGSU), where they had yummy things like popcorn chicken & such. At the time, they didn't have a lot of healthy food in the dorms.. & the fruit that they did have did not look very good. I gradually started picking up bad habits & at least 10-20 lbs per year. I am now somewhere around 230 lbs. It makes me sad to see that I had already lost the weight once & I let this happen again..I always tell myself that I must have been is some sort of fat coma as I was gaining the weight back. BUT I hope that I can get the motivation & perseverance back..like you did! You are an inspiration! And I agree with your youtube video...being healthy brings a lot of great things into one's life.

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  14. Awesome post! People keep asking me if I'm doing WW again and I say no, that I'm just counting calories and trying to make better choices and it's like they don't understand why I'd do that, that it's so much harder. But it's really not when you have to know the calorie count of whatever is translated to WW points anyway.

    I thought it would be harder than WW but 7 months into this, what I'm doing is so much easier, more consistent, and I've been much more successful.

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  15. very interesting! just joined WW about 3 weeks ago, and I also feel like I am gaining weight from all the fruit I eat. I totally stay within my points range. so odd!

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  16. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I am a WW and have done just about every points plan they've had. I lost faster on previous plans than on Points Plus, however, I am eating better on PP. I am still working out the kinks and may start counting fruits at 1 point each (which was their value on previous plans). With any plan, you have to change how you eat, not just what you eat, in order to be successful long term - that is the key. I found calorie counting to be a little overwhelming and difficult. Counting points is easier for me, personally.

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  17. Wow! I'm suprised at all the negative comments about Weight Watchers. I have been on Weight Watchers for 11 years (maintaining for 10) and have loved it. I never felt like any of it was a gimmick or they wanted my money. The new program is awesome and they've recently made some adjustments. There is a lot of science behind Weight Watchers and why they keep updating. Would you want to use the same computer you were using 10 years ago? Probably not, because they keep getting better. The calories for fruits are actually considered in their program and if you ever use any of their recipes, their points plus values are figured using the nutritional information for fruits and vegatables. As for not just letting anyone buy their materials, it's because they don't want someone to come in, not knowing the program and go home and DO IT WRONG! My guess is if you are doing Weight Watchers and aren't losing weight you are doing something wrong. If you are doing Weight Watchers and feel frustrated, talk to a leader. Some leaders/receptionists are better than others, keep shopping around until you find a meeting that fits.
    However, your story is amazing, I've just found this blog and am looking forward to browsing some more.

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  18. @Anonymous

    I actually said that I think Weight Watchers is a great program for some people. I'm just not one of them. I went to many meetings in my lifetime, and I had bad experiences. It doesn't mean their program doesn't work. It just wasn't the right "fit" for me and my lifestyle. (And I DID try the new program).

    Congrats on 10 years of maintenance!

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  19. Thanks for sharing this.

    I have similar issues with attending meetings at WW Centers. I have attended meetings in 2 different states and found things similar to what you described. I love their program and decided a few years ago to only purchase their WW at Home kits, where I get only materials for a one time fee. I use my own journals. I do feel like the program doesn't take into consideration the eating needs of someone who works out intensely and I have found myself combining WW points values with Clean Eating principles. I guess it just comes down to doing what works for you and that is different for everyone.

    Congratulations on your success--you are an inspiration! I love that you have done it on your own terms :)

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  20. Nice to see a different opinion about WW. I tried WW for the first time in 2008 and I HATED it, for a lot of the same reasons you didn't like it! The meetings sucked, it was all about the money and I wasn't impressed. NOW, I am doing WW online and for whatever reason, I really like it so far. I started in October 2011 and this is by far the longest I've ever stuck with any sort of program. But, I do have a large amount of weight to lose right now, so it does seem to be working. I think I'll keep an eye on things and maybe start tracking calories too, just to see. Might be helpful when things plateau :) So glad you shared!

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  21. Great post :) I had a friend who became WW obsessed. She imposed her point counting on others, and it was nuts. I use MyFitnessPal, and my big problem with WW is that she could eat Oreos and candy and end up under on points for a day - without actually eating anything nutritional. Like you said, fat from almonds or an avocado is the same as fat from potato chips or a Snickers bar.

    I like MyFitnessPal, it keeps track of types of fat I'm eating, how much protein I'm getting, etc. The iPhone app even charts what percentage of your calories is coming from fat, carbs and protein.

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  22. So glad I found your blog , I started my journey a little over a week ago and am also counting calories , I was thinking of joining WW but am so glad I read this post as it makes great points for why counting calories is really better :) Thanks for a great inspiring blog , looking forward to learning more from you and being inspired by your journey !

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  23. It is so enlightening to read the "negative" reviews of Weight Watchers. I have been successful on this program-it gave me my life back. Having been overweight my entire life I had to do so much more then change my food in order to be the healthy fit person I am today.

    I disliked Weight Watchers when I began as well. I wanted to do it on my own so I rarely stayed for meetings. I lost but I didn't stick with it. It wasn't until I made a commitment to myself and recognized that I had a lot to learn and this was one way I could "learn" to start my change.

    For those people who feel they need the support of people, in person, WW is a great choice. I see a lot of comments that you can eat 'bad" and still work the program-I would assume you could do the same with counting calories. In fact, WW has "Good Health Guidelines" that focus on what you are supposed to eat in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The meetings-that it seems many who believe the program doesn't work don't even attend-are designed to explain just that, how to eat. How to change your way of thinking, how to believe in yourself, how to recognize you deserve this.

    I understand that there is a different program out there that might suit some. But I do want to say that for those reading this post-WW may be for you. But you have to give it a try and be open to letting it and yourself work.

    I would just hate people to look at this post and think WW would never work for them.

    Thanks for the info.

    Maria start weight 213.5-current weight 125 (more fit and healthy then I was in 5th grade!)

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  24. Great breakdown! My mom swears by it and I tried it a couple of years ago after my personal attempts at getting four pregnancies' worth of weight off my body. I felt like I was constantly cheating--I wasn't eating healthier, I was just trying to get more for my points! That wasn't the life I wanted to live, and then to have to pay for it...haha. I know so many people that the program has helped (although, not permanently)but for me, it seemed like waste of money.

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  25. I've had some success with SP, but like you mentioned you have to be very diligent when it comes to counting calories. I decided to try WW (not thinking that it would actually work)starting this Jan. and I've lost now 20.2 lbs. One thing that you mentioned was that you were lowering your point to 20-24 points a day and one of the things that I learned was that you aren't supposed to go below 26 points and you do get activity points when you exercise as well as an additional 49 points just in case. I find that I rely on my daily points and activity points.

    It's what you put into the efforts regardless of SP or WW. If you are going to eat highly processed foods you can do so regardless of counting points or calories. It's really about changing your mindset of what you are putting into your body and moving your body more.

    That's really unfortunate about your experiences with your WW meeting center. I'm grateful that my meeting center is very welcoming and encouraging and I have a great leader who cares about our group (she just won an award recently for being such a great leader).

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    1. I just want to clarify that when I was getting 20-24 points per day, it was on the OLD Weight Watcher's program. I know that the new one has a minimum of 29 (or maybe they lowered it to 26). But I was following the guidelines at the time.

      I think it's great that you've found a program that you've had success with and that you enjoy!! WW is a good program--I just preferred counting calories. But you're right, regardless of what you choose, it's about changing your mindset :)

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  26. I'm new to your blog, will be running my first marathon on June 3rd. Good luck this weekend!

    My WW experience went from very good (5 years at goal) to a total bummer when the meeting I attended was canceled. I had to switch to a different leader who I felt was all about the money. I was 0.2 pounds over and was charged for it! Her meetings were pretty boring and I wasn't going to pay to sit through them. I haven't been back in about a year, but I've managed to keep the weight off from the things I've learned in the process. I'm sure training for a marathon has helped, too.

    Totally agree about being punished for eating good foods. Brown rice is another example. WW Magazine had an article that said to eat brown rice "occasionally." I eat cake occasionally, but I'm going to eat good carbs regularly!

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  27. I too have participated in the "new" and "old" WW programs. I appreciate the positives and negatives you outlined. I think you provided a well-balanced assessment of why you chose to stop. You stated more than once that it is a personal decision on what an individual feels works for them. I am sorry that some of the current participants of WW feel offended by your opinion. Since discovering SparkPeople, I have decided to stop WW. SparkPeople works better for me because of its specificity regarding intake, strong online support/accountability AND it is free. It is more work, but I feel more confident in making the necessary changes in my lifestyle. Thank you for putting to words what I unfortunately was struggling with identifying in making the better choice for me.

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  28. I really think you should put your update at the beginning, especially because as new readers read this post, it really sounds like you are arguing against WW until the very end. I 100% agree that WW has improved by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and having lost 50 lbs on it myself, I completely understand some of your complaints, especially the bits about the money (though I find that more with WW products, and staff has always been lovely to me, even though I'm now 5'8 and a sz 4). Anyways, I just feel like it's a little misleading, but I'm glad you lost 5 lbs on the new program!

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  29. Someone showed me your blog recently so I've been checking it out. You are the first person who has said exactly how I felt about WW over the years. I have used many of their programs over decades and everything you said about the meetings, money and "cheating" the system was true for me.

    After decades of failed attempts to lose weight, I have finally found my rhythm. Started 18 months ago with just exercise and when that became second nature 7 months later I rejoined Sparkpeople which I can't say enough good things about. As of today, I'm 99.6 pounds down. I LOVE SP!

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