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Thread: Weight Watchers

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    Senior Member sherilinn's Avatar
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    Weight Watchers

    OK I admit defeat can't lose this weight on my own. Just wondering if anyone is a member of ww and what they think of the diet. Is it easy to follow etc?

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    I lost 40lbs on WW in approx 1.5 years. I then hit a plateau (because I wasn't following the plan as closely as i should), and have since gained back about 15 lbs. I had stopped going to meetings for a while, but recently started again, and am trying to get back in the groove.
    As far as the plan, it is pretty easy to follow. Foods are assigned point values based on their fat/carbs/fiber/protein contents. You get xx # of points per day and just subtract points as you eat throughout the day. The work comes in terms of having to calculate the points (using either the WW calculator or an app on your phone) which is not hard...just something you have to do. You have to track what you eat which is eye opening...
    I like WW because you can eat whatever you want...just need to balance your portions, and make better choices. THey have also designed the program so that you eat healthy...lots of fruit, veggies, lean proteins, etc. But you can still have treats.
    I like weighing in once a week because it keeps me accountable. The WW staff don't judge if you gain weight, so there is no shame or anything invovled. You may need to try a few meetings before you find a leader you like. I've met some nice folks through WW and found it is really the only plan that works for me.
    Oh, you get extra points in your day for exercise, so you can use that to work more food into your plan.
    Good luck if you try it!

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    It's pretty easy, especially if you can gt on-line frequently to log everything you eat. That's really the key, logging everything. Even that quarter of a doughnut you snuck in. And, as long as you're logging everything and paying a bit of attention to the points adding up, it's effective.

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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    I'll second everything Penny4 and pdlamb said. I lost about 80 pounds on WW, but due to my own stupidity have put about 10 back on. I'm still working at it, though, and fully intend to get as close to 165-170 as possible. My biggest problem is stress eating, and unfortunately, psychological counseling is the one area where WW falls down, IMO. Though in their defense I should add that they're not in that business, at least once you get past the motivational aspect of the meetings.

    One other thing that, as a cyclist, you should keep in mind about WW - do not under any circumstances take them at their word when it comes to how many activity points you get for rides over 12MPH. If you do, and you eat all those points, you will gain weight. I think those numbers are much more in line with rides over 17 to 18MPH.

    BTW, what's a quarter of a doughnut? I've never seen one.
    Last edited by CraigB; 11-30-11 at 07:52 PM.
    Craig in Indy

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    Senior Member NCbiker's Avatar
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    I started the year out at 265, I was at 210 this morning. I just track and log points, no meetings. I've had a few setbacks during the year where my weight went in the wrong direction, but for the most part it works for me. It teaches you proper portion control and what types of foods to avoid. You can find all the info you need to work the program online for free.

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    Senior Member sherilinn's Avatar
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    BTW, what's a quarter of a doughnut? I've never seen one.[/QUOTE]

    I don't know maybe one of those little donut holes :


    BTW thank you all I'm going to go tomarrow.

    If I could afford it I'd go back to Seattle Sutton. Loved the diet but boy was it ever expensive.

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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    I'll second everything Penny4 and pdlamb said. I lost about 80 pounds on WW, but due to my own stupidity have put about 10 back on. I'm still working at it, though, and fully intend to get as close to 170 as possible. My biggest problem is stress eating, and unfortunately, psychological counseling is the one area where WW falls down, IMO. Though in their defense I should add that they're not in that business, at least once you get past the motivational aspect of the meetings.
    You aren't stupid.

    I've been poking around looking for ways to handle stress and boredom (I have a bad cold and boredom is the issue today) other than eating. I remember back in college I learned to hypnotize myself. Before a presentation or a test I would make suggestions about how relaxed I was, how prepared I was, and how I was going to do just fine. I am thinking a similar strategy is in order. Maybe when I get up in the morning I'll relax myself and tell myself how healthy I've become and how healthy I want to stay, how I like being thinner, how my life is more full when I have energy to get out and do things, and how I am not starving, I am getting enough food no matter what my body says.

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    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    One other thing that, as a cyclist, you should keep in mind about WW - do not under any circumstances take them at their word when it comes to how many activity points you get for rides over 12MPH. If you do, and you eat all those points, you will gain weight. I think those numbers are much more in line with rides over 17 to 18MPH.
    I have this theory. I'm convinced that weight watchers and sites like livestrong have absolutely no intention of helping people lose weight. If they help everyone lose weight, then they lose a paying customer, so it's not in their business interests to do that.

    I signed up for livestrong the other day to help me track my calories now that the cycling season is winding down and I've got to watch what I eat more closely. They say that I can eat 3900 calories a day and lose 2 pounds a week, without any exercise whatsoever. Utterly absurd. Not even close to reality.

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    craig: question...... what do you do (or how to you record the points) if you eat something like an energy bar or energy drink?

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    If you talk to your leaders, they can get you material on things like dealing with boredom and stress eating.

    My local WW meeting lets me bring my commuter into the meeting since there aren't any secure places to lock her down.

    To follow the program correctly, you must do more than just track points; you have to also reach the 'good health guidelines' each day. These included things like consuming appropriate amounts of vegetables and fruit, drinking enough water, exercising daily, etc.

    Some of our members have lost over 250lbs on program...but the forlks that lose embraced this as their lifestyle....many are still attending meetings weekly 2-3yrs post loss. A lot of folks lose, then start getting slack on the program, or stop attending regularly. It's easy to do (I'm guilty of it) but the reality is the program is simple, efficient, and effective. I even have an app on my phone that I can scan barcodes and find points plus values. I track everything on my phone. I have a scale that spits out points plus values for things I weigh. After I joined, my roommates and my partner joined. Combined, in 4 months, we have lost 36lb + 27lb + 32lb + 29lb + 31lb for a total of 155lb for 5 people; 3 of us bike, 1 runs, 1 walks. The best thing is that there is a lot of support out there for WW...finding points plus values isn't hard, there often are multiple meeting options, and there's online support.

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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    I have this theory. I'm convinced that weight watchers and sites like livestrong have absolutely no intention of helping people lose weight. If they help everyone lose weight, then they lose a paying customer, so it's not in their business interests to do that.

    I signed up for livestrong the other day to help me track my calories now that the cycling season is winding down and I've got to watch what I eat more closely. They say that I can eat 3900 calories a day and lose 2 pounds a week, without any exercise whatsoever. Utterly absurd. Not even close to reality.
    Funny about Livestrong. For me it was dead on and I have been using it for close to a year now. I had to eat just short of 1200 calories, plus exercise, to lose a pound a week. That worked for me. I now eat about 1400 to 1500 calories a day and can keep the weight off if I exercise at least 500 minutes a week. Given I am sick right now I likely need to cut back the calories.

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    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    I have this theory. I'm convinced that weight watchers and sites like livestrong have absolutely no intention of helping people lose weight. If they help everyone lose weight, then they lose a paying customer, so it's not in their business interests to do that.
    While I generally find cynicism refreshing, I fear it's a bit misplaced in this case. Do you also think doctors have no interest in helping sick people since healthy people need their services less?

    Besides, Craig B is a WW success story. They helped him help himself.

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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    craig: question...... what do you do (or how to you record the points) if you eat something like an energy bar or energy drink?
    I have a WW calculator that I enter the food's nutritional info into (it can also be done on WW online site if you're a member). It takes protein, carbs, fat and fiber content into account and tells you how many points a serving equals. In other words, I treat things like that just like any other food I cram in my gullet. Just because it's a sports consumable, there's no reason to treat it like anything special when it comes to your calorie in/calorie out balancing act.

    I should add though that I very rarely use stuff like that anyway. If I decide to race again someday I might, but I've never been on a non-race ride where I wasn't sufficiently fueled and hydrated by regular food and water. I've tried a couple of gels and couldn't tell that they made any difference for me. My personal opinion is that for the vast majority, myself included, energy bars, gels and drinks are a waste of money.
    Last edited by CraigB; 12-01-11 at 10:19 AM.
    Craig in Indy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    While I generally find cynicism refreshing,
    Google "The money's in the medicine Chris Rock" and watch the clip on You Tube.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

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    Quote Originally Posted by CraigB View Post
    One other thing that, as a cyclist, you should keep in mind about WW - do not under any circumstances take them at their word when it comes to how many activity points you get for rides over 12MPH. If you do, and you eat all those points, you will gain weight. I think those numbers are much more in line with rides over 17 to 18MPH.

    BTW, what's a quarter of a doughnut? I've never seen one.
    Ditto that. Between cycling calorie calculators and HRM, I seem to burn about half the calories the WW activity point calculator indicates. If you get a reasonable estimate through one of these mechanisms, divide by 80 to calculate WW activity points+.

    Quarter of a doughnut? That's what you get when nobody's in the break room, so you break a doughnut in two. Then feel guilty, but still strongly attracted, so you break that in half and eat a quarter. Simple!

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    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    While I generally find cynicism refreshing, I fear it's a bit misplaced in this case. Do you also think doctors have no interest in helping sick people since healthy people need their services less?
    I think in general the medical industry is more interested in treating symptoms of disease than curing it. Examine how gastric bypass surgery is easily covered by most insurance companies, but I have to pay out of my nose to get dietitian and nutritionist help. You see this with many other areas of the health industry... especially with drug makers.

    Now sure, on the doctor level I'm willing to bet many, if not most, are actually interested in helping people*. After all, there are much easier ways to make money that don't involve spending 8-12 years in rigorous schooling if that's your ultimate goal. But that's only one part of the equation. Livestrong (.com, note it's run by a corporation that licenses the livestrong trademark from the Lance Armstrong Foundation) and Weight Watchers are corporations, organizations that exist solely to make money. Sure they may have been started at one point with a good intention, but as soon as shares are issued, boards of directors created, and CFO's get involved, it rapidly becomes about one thing and one thing only: what is the best way to make money? Hence you get the current healthcare industry today, where insurance companies have to be told, in law, to stop denying people coverage that they had paid for.

    * - Of course there are exceptions, which reminds me of a friend of mine who recently had her doctor prescribe her antibiotics for a common cold. Utterly ridiculous.

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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    ...it rapidly becomes about one thing and one thing only: what is the best way to make money?
    That's true, but the best way for WW to make money is not to prevent members from losing weight. If that were the case, for every one member who hangs on, continually paying dues while blindly hoping the pounds will come off, there would be 100 who quit, or never join in the first place. Not exactly a sustainable business model.

    Now if you want to suggest their weight maintenance plan is designed to fail, that would be a whole different issue, and one I have no experience with, not having reached goal yet. But even then I doubt there's that degree of cynicism in their board members.
    Craig in Indy

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    just a reminder about WW activity points; WW emphasizes that the best way to find the correct activity points for a particular activity is not to use the activity estimates, but to self-rate intensity, and use that with time and body weight. It's in the program book that you get at the first meeting. So, when I started mountain biking, 30 minutes of activity was 12pts (high intensity, no breaks, 220lbs) while now, 90 minutes of mountain biking is 9pts (light-moderate intensity, no breaks, 190lbs.) My leader, when she learned how much I increased my activity, was very careful to review how to calculate activity points, because I was making myself sick, early on, by not eating enough...and she knew over time my body would adapt.

    As for energy items during exercise. I carry a gel and energy beans with me only because I have pushed to the point of boinking a couple of times, and it is an absolutly horrendous feeling. If I'm 9 miles out on the trail, boinking can make returning disasterous. however, I consider those emergency supplies, and if I need them, I screwed up.

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    Senior Member Tall Cool One's Avatar
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    Activity Points

    I am a big fan of WW. I must say I have never paid for any WW services. I've just gleaned what I could off of the internet. I use the flex points philosophy. I know they have changed things around, but this system works well for me.

    I am a bit of a data junkie (high school math teacher/former basketball coach) so I found a translation from heart rate into minutes spent in each level of activity points. Here is what I found...

    HR% of max
    Light 40 - 55%
    Moderate 55 - 70%
    High 70 - 100%

    From there I use a converter to put minutes spent in each zone to activity points.

    I do have a word of caution in this system. If you are doing WW seriously and you are doing heavy duty training, you will probably need to adjust your activity points. If you are creating an extreme amount of activity points (such as when you are training for a half marathon or a century or some other intense training program) you will need to add more points to your diet. The activity points are designed to give you half of the calories you burn back in food. So, essentially, for every 100 calories you burn, you get to eat 50. When you are a big person (6' 7" 250 lbs in my case) you are doing workouts where you are gaining 20+ points on a long ride or run. You are burning 2000+ calories and only eating 1000 calories. Over time, that can create a huge deficit and therefore cause massive hunger. In situations like this I will multiply my activity points by 1.5. If I'm still hungry, I will go ahead and the other calories I am in deficit for the workout.
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    Senior Member imacflyr3's Avatar
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    I've been on WW now for almost 14 months. I've dropped almost 140 lbs so far. My wife and daughter are using the plan as well. My daughter is at her goal weight and has been maintaining that for almost 6 months. My wife is down 70 lbs. The plan absolutely works if you put the effort into it.
    I suggest going to the meetings and using the online tools. The plan is very easy to follow. You can eat any type of food you want as long as you track it, stay within your daily point goal, and meet the health guidelines. The e-tools has a recipe builder, all the tracking tools you need, and a food calculator to get point totals for any food not already in the tracker.
    They are releasing the update to the Points Plus plan this week, so it is the perfect time to jump on-board.
    Good luck on your journey!

    gh

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    Senior Member sherilinn's Avatar
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    Thanks. 140 lbs that is amazing! You lost a person

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    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    How do Weight Watchers meetings work? Do they have speakers? Do people tell their stories?

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    meetings have a leader and a weekly topic. different leaders present the topic differently. I find that it helps to find a leader that can appreciate your personal challenges and has a personality you like. I was very frustrated attending a touchy-feely previously stay-at-home mom lead meeting because she didn't really seem to get my working 12 hour day frustrations. now I'm at a meeting with a busy executive that helped me make the decision to bike commute to med school so that I was guaranteed ~45minutes of exercise a day. she helped me identify my top 3 'I wish I had __ to get healthy' issues (time to exercise, time to prepare meals, less stress) and find ways around them (bike commuting, once a month cooking, joining social activities away from school.) Some meetings are very passive, some are very interactive. It might take a bit to find a meeting that works for you. The other attendees can also be as important as the leader. I've been to meetings where nearly the entire group goes for a 30min walk before or after the meeting, and I've been to meetings where no one talks to each other.

    People can share their stories, particularly their successes (both weight and non-scale victories) and struggles, but you don't have to. You can fade into the background if you want. Weigh in's are private, no one but you and the receptionist know what the numbers are (though some folks share.) You show up, weigh in, then attend the meeting. that simple!

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    meetings once a week? Average cost?

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    I believe the monthly pass works out to be the best deal, at $42/month. You get access to all of their on line tools (recipes, cheat sheets, articles, shopping lists, recipe builders, restaurant guides, etc) and can go to as many meetings a week as you want. It's a pretty good deal. You can also ask to just sit in on a meeting for free to find out if it is something you are interested in.
    THey also sell lots of products in the WW meetings...reference books, cook books, food, scales, pedometers etc.
    But if you are used to doing things on line, there's really no need to buy anything extra.
    The most important item to have is a WW calculator. You can either purchase one at a meeting (I think they are $12?), or you can download a free app.

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