Is there a way to know how many smart points I should eat each day/week in order for me to lose weight without being a Weight Watcher member and is there a place to calculate Weight Watcher smart points if you are not a Weight Watcher member?
We have had people writing in asking these Weight Watcher related questions. I would like to start by saying that I am not paid by Weight Watchers for endorsing anything they do or for sharing what I consider to be useful tools and resources for those who are WW members. I am simply a blogger who talks about my Weight Watcher journey and I invite others to come on the journey with me. I am happy to answer your questions as honestly as I can but there will be some questions I will not know the answers to and will have to direct you to the Weight Watcher website. I do not believe you have to be a Weight Watcher member to lose weight, but I do think there is a system in place that is helpful for people who are having a hard time losing weight on their own.
Okay, so back to the top two questions… I am not able to give you a calculator or give you a number of points based on your weight. Finding your smart point “allowance” and having access to a calculator is part of the Weight Watcher program that you buy into when you sign up for a membership. Once you are a WW member you can easily find the smart points for any food, and recipe, using your Weight Watcher app or by signing in on the WeightWatcher.com website. (keep reading for more on the calculator)
Meal Planning Mommies is not a replacement for the Weight Watcher program as a whole, since there is much more to the program than just having access to a smart points calculator. The program offers the number of points per day/week that are ideal for each member, it gives members the resources they need to calculate points for foods and recipes, and it creates a community of like-minded people that encourage and inspire one another. I wanted to answer a couple of questions that have been asked in messages to us in regards to Weight Watchers.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT WEIGHT WATCHERS FROM MPM READERS
How many smart points per day can I eat and still lose weight?
Weight Watchers gives each member a number of points per day that they suggest he/she eat, as well as bonus points for the week. These numbers go down as the member loses weight, but the new system factors in more than just a person’s weight. The new “Beyond the Scale” system takes into account things like your age, your gender, your weight, and your activity level, and not just on your weight alone so I am not able to give you a number based on your weight. You can, however, purchase a Weight Watcher SmartPoints calculator and get your “allowance” and track your smart points. Purchase your calculator here. To read more about what you are able to do with the Weight Watcher smartpoints calculator, you can go here. The problem with the calculator is that it does not give access to the recipe builder or the search option to look up points for particular foods so it is going solely on nutrition facts alone.
How can I know how many smart points a recipe is? Can I just plug in the nutrition facts for the recipe into a calculator?
The new Weight Watcher “Beyond the Scale” system no longer goes strictly by the nutrition facts alone when you are finding the points of a recipe, but it does use a calculator for individual foods, using the nutrition facts from the food label. Weight Watchers has what is called a “recipe builder” and this special tool factors into account that fruits and vegetables are zero points. So, if you plug in the nutrition facts for a recipe into the WW calculator you might not have the correct points. The Weight Watcher smart points for the recipes shared on here are calculated using the Weight Watcher “recipe builder” tool that I have access to because I am a paying Weight Watcher member. (picture above from WeightWatcher.com)
Do you really need to go to the Weight Watcher meetings to lose weight?
Prior to starting Weight Watchers I got a message from an acquaintance. She was asking if I would like to join her “team” and we would lose weight together and win money if we lost the most weight. As I looked into it there was no real accountability and no one guiding you in HOW to lose weight and I knew I couldn’t lose weight on good motives alone, and unfortunately even money is not motivating enough on its own for me. For some people it really is as simple as “Eat this, Do that, Lose weight.” I am not one of those people. I need accountability and I need a system that provides structure and flexibility at the same time. I think that the combination of structure, accountability, and flexibility is what makes the Weight Watcher system work.
(picture above from Mobihealthnews.com)
Many people are able to lose weight with an online membership alone, using what it called OnlinePlus. For me, I need to go to the meetings. It spurs me on to stay on the course, and to get back on it when I stray away. I understand that what works for one person does not work for another so I am simply sharing my experience. Yes, you can lose weight without going to the meetings, but for me personally the meetings are what keeps me in the game. I would encourage you to do what works for you, but with or without the meetings it has been proven that it is easier for MOST people to lose weight when you find a group of supportive friends to walk alongside of them, as referenced in this article here.
WeightLossBuddy.com is a free option if money is what is holding you back. I have not joined, but it seems to be a great way to connect with a “buddy” who can travel the road with you. In their mission statement they say, “Our goal is to remove the overwhelming feelings of loneliness that dieting can produce, while replacing them with encouragement and self-esteem builders.”
Is there another option out there that is better than Weight Watchers?
Okay, so no one has actually asked me this question, but it is a question worth considering. Weight Watchers offers thousands of success stories over the past 50 years so it has definitely proven to work for members who want to lose weight. One thing that has become increasingly obvious to me, though, as I read through comments and messages from OUR readers is that a great portion of the MPM readers who are drawn to this blog right now are just starting Weight Watchers. These are people who are googling for resources as they embark on their weight loss journey. There are also many who have been on the program for a while, but the majority of our new readers are in the beginning stages of Weight Watchers with me. I personally believe (and I could be wrong) that Weight Watcher helps people get a jump start on weight loss. It provides ideas, options, and support to get the ball rolling, but at some point those members taper off or start looking for the next step in their journey to gain a new kind of success. These are people who have reached their goal weight and are looking to maintain their new weight. Perhaps they are bored with Weight Watchers, but it seems these people begin to look into new exercise options and dive into healthier eating options that go beyond a points system. I could be wrong about this, but it is something I have noticed as I read the many testimonials of other bloggers. Back to the question: Is there an option better than Weight Watchers? Yes and No.
(Picture above of Katie from Runs for Cookies)
If you are looking for an alternative to Weight Watchers you might consider counting calories, which has also proven to be an effective way to lose weight. For an example of someone who started her weight loss journey on Weight Watchers and eventually switched to calorie counting and managed to lose over 100 pounds you can check out Katie’s website called “Runs for Cookies”. Katie is adorable and is very transparent about her journey, which has been, and still is, inspiring to me.
How about you?
If you have read this far into this post chances are pretty good that your are either trying to lose weight or are considering trying.
Where are you at and what have you found that works for you? We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas! Drop us a comment.