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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 03-22-11, 01:02 PM   #1
Brando_T.
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Weight watchers, and other tools.

Thought I'd make a check-in thread. Anyone remember me? I've made a few posts over the past couple years, been doing a lot of lurking.

so, some stuff:

1) I joined Weight Watchers with the New Year Resolution crowd on January 4th, and finally got the kick that restarted a weight loss trend for me. BigPolishJimmy and I have been tracking our weight together for about 60 weeks now, and I was flatlined until I joined WW. They tweaked their system slightly last December (if anyone is interested in details, I'd be happy to talk about them) and it's working for me - 15 lbs since Jan 4th. I had joined WW about 10 years ago and had success then as well. Previous tools, such as Fitday or Daily Plate just didn't produce results.

2) Habitforge.com is a very interesting site designed to start or break habits. I've been using it to try to break a horrible "midnight snack" habit, and while I haven't gotten up to the 20 day point, it has helped. Check it out.

3) I just got back from a trip to Orlando (from southern Ontario), and it was sad to see the weather changing back to winter as we drove back north. Seriously, it was grayer, windier, and colder as soon as I crossed the bridge from Michigan. I am jealous of the Spring that is occurring down south.

4) So, I have at least a few more weeks of basement trainer. I've been using Sufferfest DVDs for when I want a hard interval training, and bike races for the steady aerobic base builder workouts. Milan-San Remo is ready to be burned, apparently it was a great race last weekend.

5) I signed up for a 100km ride (Tour de Grand) on June 15th. This will my first organized ride (third 100km ride) and I'm weirdly nervous about it.

I'm suffering from "vacation hangover". Hence this meandering post.
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Old 03-22-11, 03:08 PM   #2
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sounds like your really being proactive, keep after it. I was in orlando a couple weeks ago so I know what you mean. we've had a couple of nice days here inNew York but spring is still a ways away.
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Old 03-22-11, 03:18 PM   #3
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It's not my thing, but I've got a rando pal up here who is doing the WW thing and doing very well with taking off the weight. If it works, then go for it.
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Old 03-22-11, 07:12 PM   #4
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I know several people who have done very well with WW, so stay with it and I know of no reason why you won't do well.
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Old 03-23-11, 05:12 AM   #5
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I forgot to mention that this isn't the online version - it's pen and paper, and going to the meetings once a week. I figured since online tools like Daily Plate weren't getting results, it was time to go old-school. Sometimes apps and spreadsheets aren't the way to go.

and, to any single male Clydes out there, WW meetings would be a fabulous way to meet women.
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Old 03-23-11, 05:27 AM   #6
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I've been on WW since last April (two more weeks and it'll be a year) and it's worked pretty darned well for me. I had a little trouble adjusting to the new system in December, but I'm back on track now. I had lost about 50 pounds on my own, very slowly, but had bottomed out and regained about 15 of them. Since joining in April I'm down about 70 pounds now, and am poised to break out of Clydehood in the next week or two.

I highly recommend going online with them. You don't have to track online to use it (though I do). Even without tracking it's still a fantastic resource for food information. They have a points calculator, lots of recipes, articles worth reading, etc. If you do track there, they have a pretty big database of foods with points already calculated, and activities with points already assigned. They even have a feature where you enter the ingredients you have on hand and it suggests a dish you can make from them.

I don't discount the meetings at all - I couldn't do this effectively without them, but a lot of their efficacy depends on the leader you have.
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Old 03-23-11, 08:40 AM   #7
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I didn't signup for the online version, although in retrospect I should have.

I did create a google spreadsheet points calculator that I use while at work. The formulas are available from Wikipedia.

and for me, the meetings are not great, it does depend on the leader and the crowd. I need to go for that formal Wednesday evening weighing event. This evening! won't be pretty though, was on vacation mode all last week.
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Old 03-23-11, 08:47 AM   #8
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You're results have been fantastic, while I have been slipping lately, but I've been working on bikes again and actually got outside for a couple of rides. Nothing like wrenching on my road bike to stir the want to ride agaan. Oh yes, it's on like Donkey Kong and I swear I will catch up with you.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 03-23-11, 09:06 AM   #9
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How do you who use Weight Watchers approach the activity points?

Reason I ask is that if I eat up all the activity points I earn, according to their calculator, I'll gain weight. I think it's the coarseness of the calculator (Bike rideing, <12 mph or >12 mph) to blame. I seem to do OK if I disregard the weekly points, and then eat up to half the activity points.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
How do you who use Weight Watchers approach the activity points?

Reason I ask is that if I eat up all the activity points I earn, according to their calculator, I'll gain weight. I think it's the coarseness of the calculator (Bike rideing, <12 mph or >12 mph) to blame. I seem to do OK if I disregard the weekly points, and then eat up to half the activity points.
We talked about this very thing at last week's meeting. I almost never eat my activity points for several reasons:

1) I usually don't need/want to. The extra weekly points provide just about all the "cushion" I need.
2) The point values assigned to different activities are not always an accurate assessment of your work. So much of it is subjective (how hard did I work today while mowing the lawn?) that it's easy to overestimate your points. Also, like you pointed out with cycling, there are activities that provide different point values depending on the exertion level, and they don't vary linearly. Cycling's point values change at the 12 MPH threshold, and when you cross that threshold, the points are, IMO, way out of proportion to your workload. The 12+ points might be accurate for someone riding 18-20 MPH, or is doing non-stop hill climbing, but way, way too many for someone riding a flat MUP at 12.5 MPH.
3) As I've gotten lighter, I've found the margin for error in daily mis-steps and slip-ups has become razor-thin. Dipping into my activity points for more food is, for me, a sure-fire way to see my weight go up at the next weigh-in. (There. I've used up my allotment of hyphens.)

I'm not suggesting everyone should approach activity points like I do, nor that they need to. That's just been my own experience.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:26 AM   #11
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While I keep track of the activity points, I don't use them. I eat my daily allotment and try not to dip into the 39 (or 49?) extra points for the week.

my biggest problem with activity points is what is medium and what is high - as Craig points out. Not eating the activity points removes that concern, but it's nice to accurately count. I had seen somewhere that 45 calories burned is an activity point, so I try to go with that.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:47 AM   #12
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I have lost 70lbs over the last year by my self, I started by reading Dr. Phils books, "The Ultimate Weight Solution' and "Life Strategies", the rest of the information I learned off the web. Oh yeah, read men's health, there are lots of workouts and healthy recipes too.

Both books point out the the pitfalls and traps, they are really good reading.
For me it's was a lifestyle change, it's only food, what is food, your body needs it as fuel to keep up your energy levels. That's it!
If you need it to satisfy your taste buds every meal you eat, then that could be a problem. Look at the packaging on food from the store, how many times have you heard, if you cannot spell it don't eat it.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:49 AM   #13
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It was easier to calculate activity points on the old plan, when a good rule of thumb was one point equals 50 calories, whether consumed or burned. The calculations are no longer calorie-based, so even if you have a HR monitor, bike computer or workout calculator that tells you how many calories your workout burned, it's a little harder to translate that into WW points. I can't speak to the 45 figure you mentioned - I'd not run across that.

I know what you mean about the desire to get an accurate count for non-eating purposes, just to use as a gauge of how much you're getting out there and moving. I just watch them add up and take the number with a generous grain of salt.

Last edited by CraigB; 03-23-11 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 03-23-11, 12:01 PM   #14
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The wikipedia article, which is quite interesting and provides formulas from WW's patent application for the system, calls out 70 calories for an activity point - my mistake. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weight_...B_Nov_2010-.29

Doing the math, 1 lb of weight loss is 3500 calories, so you have to burn 50 Points (or eat 50 points less) to lose a pound.

Last edited by Brando_T.; 03-23-11 at 12:02 PM. Reason: wrong activity point value
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Old 03-23-11, 01:16 PM   #15
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The wikipedia article, which is quite interesting and provides formulas from WW's patent application for the system, calls out 70 calories for an activity point - my mistake. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weight_...B_Nov_2010-.29
I'll have to take a look at that. My gut tells me there's got to be more to it, though, unless they calculate activity points differently from food points. Under the previous system, a 350-calorie food item would almost always net you 7 points (unless it was unusually high in fat, in which case it would be more points, or high in fiber, in which case it would be fewer points), and you could count on activity calories being handled the same way. But at 70 calories per point (if consumption is calculated that way) that 350-calorie item would now net you 5 points. But in every instance I've seen since the implementation of the new plan, foods have generally increased in points across the board*. That old 7-point Panera half-sandwich now costs you 9 points.

It would be interesting to know exactly how they calculate everything.


* with the exception of fruits and vegetables, most of which are now free.
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Old 03-23-11, 02:28 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
How do you who use Weight Watchers approach the activity points?

Reason I ask is that if I eat up all the activity points I earn, according to their calculator, I'll gain weight. I think it's the coarseness of the calculator (Bike rideing, <12 mph or >12 mph) to blame. I seem to do OK if I disregard the weekly points, and then eat up to half the activity points.
I just started last week and I have the same concern. During the first week I averaged 10pts under my allotment, didn't dip into the exercise or activity points, and lost 2.5#. If I'd eaten all the rest of those points I'm pretty sure I'd've lost 0.

Food points are figured at 1 point = 35 calories, according to the equation published in the patent. Of course, they've done some other fudging to account for the 0 point fruit and vegetables.
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Old 03-23-11, 05:54 PM   #17
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I started the new program in mid December and have lost 25.6 so far. Early on, I thought I would never be hungry enough to eat through my weeklies, but alas! - Now I do every week. I am not upset about it, I have only gained when I went so far off program that I couldn't see it in my rear view mirror and even then it was less than 2 lbs. I have done the meetings in the past and this time I am doing it online. Love it. I have the WW app on my iPhone and it really helps out. I don't track activity that occurs in daily life (ie. mowing the lawn, etc) and whether or not 15 activity points is too much for riding on my trainer - it is working.
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Old 03-25-11, 02:10 PM   #18
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I have been on WW since September of 2010. I weighed 318 lbs when I started, and I am currently down to 277. This school semester at OU, I decided to take a spinning class. It has really rekindled my love for biking. My weight loss has been pretty random. Some weeks I don't lose any, others I lose almost anywhere between 1-5 lbs. Sometimes I think the difference is how much water I have been consuming during the days prior to weighing. Overall, I really like the program and it has worked pretty well for me.

My spinning class is on Mondays and Wednesdays for 50 minutes each day. In addition to that, for the past couple weeks, I had been biking 30 minutes at a 20 MPH pace on Tuesdays and Thursdays. With my wedding coming up in July, I am bound and determine to lose even more weight. Have to make that tux look good . This week I upped my Tuesday and Thursday workouts to 45 minutes each at a 20 MPH pace. Next week I am going to keep the same time workouts, but try to bike everyday. I have been riding my 1982 Schwinn World road bike to school since I was a freshman and as a graduation present, my mom is getting me a Kurt Kinetic Road Machine trainer so that I can come back to my apartment after work and get in a good workout. I am really excited! I would love to upgrade at some point to a Cannondale Synapse Alloy 5 (with different wheels that have more spokes), but since I am getting married, that will take a bit.
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