Friday, February 18, 2011

Weight Watchers Learnings

Today was my Weight Watchers weigh-in day after doing this for five weeks. I was very successful the first two weeks and lost one pound each week. After that I lost half a pound, 0 pounds, and then gained half a pound back. So the total weight loss is only two pounds in five weeks. I'm disappointed, but after doing some numbers analysis, I'm not surprised.

According to Weight Watchers, I get 29 daily Points Plus food points per day, plus 49 weekly points. You can use the weekly points all at once (one big meal on a weekend), or you can use some of it every day. So that means I get 252 points per week to eat (29x7)+49=252. You also earn points for Activities. For example, 45 minutes of lap swimming is 6 points, as is 40 minutes of running. A 30 minute walk is only 2 points. You can trade in your Activity Points for food points, but I never do.

My food and activity points versus my weight, by week.

Graph:  WW Points I've eaten versus Weight

Learning #1:  it looks like I should eat between 200 and 220 points per week to lose weight.  The last two weeks I've eaten 251 and 242 points respectively, and have not lost weight.  I am perplexed how Weight Watchers can give me 252 weekly points and think that I can lose weight if I ate all my points.  It does not look like I can eat more than 220 points per week and lose weight.

Graph:  Activity Points versus Weight

Learning #2:  I need to exercise more if I want to eat all my points.  I should aim for at least 25 activity points per week.  That's a solid 40 minutes of vigorous exercise for five days a week.  You can see that the last two weeks I've not only eaten more, but exercised less and have not lost any weight, but gained 0.5 lbs.

Graph:  Net Points (Food Points minus Activity Points) versus Weight

So if I can stay below 200 net points either by eating less or exercising more, then I can be successful at losing weight.  You always hear the "Eat Less, Move More" to lose weight mantra, but here it is in plain numbers to prove it!  BUT, I still can't believe WW gave me 252 points per week and expects me to lose weight.  That's too much.  That is a false sense of security, LOL!

Learning #3:  Carbohydrates cost a lot of points.  I need to eat less carbs and more whole grains.

Learning #4:  When eating stuff that I know cost a lot of points, I need to cut back on the portion.  It is okay to save half my food for later meal, or toss it.

Learning #5:  Need to continue to fill up on mostly vegetables and some fruits too.  I'm not doing too bad here but can do better.

I gotta say, being a numbers person, I really love the charts and graphs that I put together, LOL.  I hope to be able to report better results in the weeks to come.  :)

PS - I already know I'm not fat, or even over-weight by many people's standards.  But I'm 8 lbs over what is my most comfortable weight for my active lifestyle and what I used to weigh 4 years ago.  You don't have to leave me comments about how I don't NEED to lose weight.  I already know that.
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