Weight Watchers Update

So this week I was flat – didn’t lose, didn’t gain. As that this was two weeks that included two Thanksgiving meals, lots of wine, and dinners out… I don’t feel so bad about it. Also there was hardly any exercise.

This week they informed us that Weight Watchers changed to PointsPlus. PointsPlus doesn’t just create points based upon calories, fat, and fiber. Now they also consider protein and carbohydrates. No more little slider tool in the back of your tan book – you need to buy one of their PointsPlus calculators (in my meeting they are $5.95 until the New Year and then going up to $11.95), use their online eTools (requires subscription), or get the free app for your SmartPhone.

TONS of grumbles in the room when they stated this. While everyone was bitching about the change, I download the app on my Droid. Super simple, super easy to find, and free. I also bought a calculator, though I am really anti-purchasing WW-specific stuff.

In theory, PointsPlus is extremely appealing to me – everything I hated about Weight Watchers is now gone – the need to eat all these fake foods to stay in my points range. I went to the grocery store and checked out English muffins. I used to eat the Light/High Fiber muffins which are… fine but a bit tasteless. Well now the regular Thomas English muffins made with whole grain are the same points as all the low-fat, high-fiber, super-light, etc. versions. Fruit is now 0 points which I think is FANTASTIC – fruit has so many healthy benefits and satisfies my sweet tooth. I love that I can share a banana or apple with Emerson, or indulge in a whole tub of blueberries or raspberries this summer without guilt.

I now have 29 daily points. About 70% of our meeting attendees are at 29 points, the rest around 32 points. The sample woman in the marketing is a Lifetime member, a Leader, and is also at 29 points. This is just a bit more than what I already was allotted with the old program, while it’s a drastic increase for my mom and other women in the room who are at a lower weight. I see it as having to be more creative with my food choices since with this new program, a lot of things have gone up in points (hello my standard breakfast oatmeal or English muffin).

The thing is, PointsPlus in the long run is healthier, and I think makes becoming a vegetarian or pescatarian more possible while still losing weight. A recent New York Times article quoted a blogger as saying PointsPlus is, “Weight Watchers meets Michael Pollan.” And I love that fact. It takes away the bit of guilt I have had being on Weight Watchers. I can buy one type of food for everyone in my family, and eat healthy whole foods.

That being said I haven’t fully committed to PointsPlus just yet. It’s hard – I used to go to the market or a restaurant and just choose that which was low fat and high fiber and then get home and figure out the points. I knew what sort of foods to buy – the lunchtime Lean Cuisines, the Laughing Cow cheese, the wood-like English muffins or bagel thins, stockpiles of frozen veggies, whatever fresh veggies that were in season, and the ever-present bottle of spray fake butter. Now… I need to kill the battery on my SmartPhone walking around figuring out Points for items. Can I eat garbanzo beans? Is the Ronzoni pasta now better than the Barilla? How much is creamer for my coffee? I haven’t had the time yet so I have been eating pretty much like I did before.

Thursday night was leftovers, so I had a can of Progresso 1 pt soup (actually 2 if you consume the whole can which anyone does, and I didn’t check to see the PointsPlus value), some steamed broccoli with garlic and crushed red pepper, and half of a tuna filet from a previous meal. Friday during the day I hardly ate anything because I have been feeling ill – think I had oatmeal and a cup of low-fat banana yogurt and a half of a banana chopped into it. Friday night we steamed shrimp and had it with a big salad of lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, red onion, and then a bit of blue cheese and walnuts sprinkled on top. Yesterday I went to a holiday party and scarfed down more crudités than anything else because I really didn’t know Points and wanted to enjoy a couple glasses of Cava. Today I plan on really reading up, getting to understand PointsPlus and learn my new arsenal of easy foods I know I can rely on.

How are you guys doing with PointsPlus? Are you making the switch? Any tips you would like to share?

9 Comments

  1. December 6, 2010 / 7:44 pm

    This was the week I decided to recommit to the program, having been off way too long. I’m really excited about it, particularly the fruits thing. I love me some fruit. I don’t mind recalculating points on my favorites because, as my leader pointed out, people really only eat about 2 dozen different things anyway. Once I get those figured out, I’ll be golden.

    Also, I finally figured out my eTools login stuff (I have the monthly meeting pass, which includes eTools), and figured out how to access the WW mobile site on my Android. Makes a world of difference to me — I hate writing stuff down, but I love playing on my phone.

    I’m actually excited about this week’s weigh-in!

  2. Anonymous
    December 6, 2010 / 7:00 pm

    I like the new PointsPlus concept, but I wish they would give us the choice to use that OR the old Points system, at least for a while. I just don’t have time right now to learn a new system (especially having to reconfigure the new points values of everything…)

  3. December 6, 2010 / 3:34 pm

    I was looking at this recently, since I have a few more lbs to lose and am thinking about WW. I am eager to see how the new Points Plus program works for you. You are looking fab, BTW!!!

  4. December 6, 2010 / 2:45 pm

    I am back on WW because of Points Plus. To be honest, I had completely let go of WW because I was sick of the fake food, sick of counting points for fruits that I knew were good for me, sick of eating things that I knew were not the best but was being told I had to eat. And I gained weight. I was so insistent on not eating those things, that I rebelled in a big way and ate things I really knew I shouldn’t. And I’ve felt very poorly–my body hasn’t “run” as well. I restarted this morning with points plus, and I’m super excited and renewed. I’m actually going to be writing on my blog about it later–he he. 🙂

  5. December 6, 2010 / 2:12 pm

    I switched over a week ago Sunday. For the most part, I really do like the change, but like others, am frustrated that I don’t just ‘know’ how to do it any more. I think it’s good though, because it keeps me on my toes! I haven’t weighed in since switching (I typically weigh in on Tuesdays) so I’m not sure how well it’s working yet. I only have 4lbs left to my goal, and I think this will be better for me to maintain my weight long-term. All I know is that I’m back in my size 6 everything (ALMOST into my favorite size 4 jeans) and so I’m a happy camper!

    Kat
    gingerandthegeek.com/kitty-corner

  6. December 6, 2010 / 12:11 am

    You’re right – you do have a ton of food available if you make the right choices. Even with some of my carbs counting more, I’ve never come close to using all my activity points for a day, let alone actually went into my Weekly Allowance, – so I shouldn’t complain.

    I guess the 2 things that bug me are not being able to figure out PP values quickly in my head and the fact that the Points values on frozen meals are all wrong right now and the second thing will go away as soon as they get new stock in the stores.

    Of course, I could just stop eating frozen meals that are too high in sodium anyway and make my lunch like I do when I’m not at work.

  7. December 5, 2010 / 11:10 pm

    I am LOVING the points plus. I changed on Monday when eTools introduced the program. My weekly WI is on Friday. So being on PP only 4 days, plus the 3 days of the old program, I lost 4.2 lbs.! I was thrilled. I’ve been on a 6 month plateau and still have 18-23 lbs. to go.

    I feel like I am eating so much food. I went from 24 points to 29 PP. Although I did free up the 3-5 points a day I spent on fruit, so I really gained 8-10 PP a day. Plus the 49 weekly points plus all the activity points I earn. So much food. I eat every darn point allowed to me while losing weight so that I can eat the most while maintaining. I’ve lost 62.2 lbs. so far on WW doing this.

    Anyway, I am very satisfied, love the free fruit especially. The foods I like went up more than my points did, but I’ve not found it hard to manage that at all using the weeklies.

    I wish you the best of luck!

  8. December 5, 2010 / 9:36 pm

    I just joined again, and am hopeful the Points Plus will address issues I had in the past with Weight Watchers – pretty much the same thing you said, you wind up eating a bunch of processed stuff to get all your points in. I’m really glad veggies and fruits are mostly zero points now, and they’re acknowledging that all calories are really not created equal.

  9. December 5, 2010 / 7:47 pm

    The Points Plus has been more of a mindset issue for me than anything else – I get more points per day, which pretty much makes up for some of my favorites going up in points (my Total and bagel thin in the morning, for example).

    I was already mostly eating small portions of lean protein and veggies for dinner, so that’s stayed the same.

    My main issue has been lunch- I usually eat a lean cuisine or Smart One for lunch while school is in session – and all the listed points values are WRONG and they don’t have any of the Points Plus stuff in the stores yet. So, this means that I have to stand there in front of the frozen food refiguring everything on my phone before I purchase – which sucks.

    So, I’ve mostly stuck to grabbing ones that only have a protein and some veggies in them until they get the new points values on the package. I guess that I could avoid the whole thing by making my own lunch and taking it with me – but that’s just one more thing to do in the morning and I don’t want to.

    I also almost freaked out when I figured my Progresso Light Clam Chowder – it went from 3 points a can to 6 points a can. So I can’t use it as a snack anymore – it would have to be my whole lunch.

    The other soups aren’t too bad – the ones that were 0 per serving and 1.5 points a can mostly went to 3 and the 1 point a serving went to 4 per can. And my yogurt went up by a point per serving as well.

    The fruit thing is nice – just be aware that it’s only for fresh fruit though. Canned fruit – even packed in water has a Points Plus value.

    I don’t like having to figure the points on everything though – I could pretty much do the old points in my head and I was right most of the time. This is a whole new ball game – so, if I don’t have time to figure the points ahead of time, I mostly stick to high protein, low carb stuff.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

powered by chloédigital