Maybe I am just getting old and set in my ways but the new Weight Watchers SmartPoints stinks. I've done Weight Watchers for many years off and on and it's like AA ... it works when I work it. I started doing it in 1999 and really enjoyed the boundaries and parameters it set for me ... without rules like "no this" and "no that." It was like, sure, you can have all the junk you want, but (1) you won't lose weight this week (2) you will feel like crap (3) you will use up all your food points and then some for the day on one hamburger, fries and shake! It was never a "diet" ... a diet makes you feel restricted and you want to rebel. Weight Watchers always worked when I would do it right. Then ...
(1) They took away my option for my ActiveLink. It was an activity monitor that clipped on my bra that I paid like $100 for and it was cool because I could plug it in and it would tell me how many activity points I got each day just doing any movement. Yes, I could plunk down another $100 for their new version, but no thanks. If I'm going to nuts on tracking my movement, I'll just find a clip-on fit bit or something and have it sync to my iPhone all cool like that.
(2) They changed the plan AGAIN! AGAIN! I know they have to stay fresh and relevant as a company. I get it! But this is not good. And I cancelled my $44.95 a month plan. Here's why:
I used to get 26 points per day of food points and an extra 49 per week. That extra 49 felt like a lovely safety net. Use them or not. Use them all and exercise and probably maintain your weight or lose weight. Use none or some and definitely lose weight. That's a total of 231 per week and it went by fat, carbs, fiber and protein. It was called PointsPlus.
First of the year they changed it on me. Now it's 30 points a day to make me feel like I'm getting MORE. But I only got 26 extra per week. This is a total of 236 per week. It's called SmartPoints and it goes by calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein. More, right? Wrong. Here's why:
THEY CHANGED THE VALUES OF THE FOOD BY A LOT. INCREASED!
My iced coffee in the morning used to be 4 or 5 points and now it's 8. My Greek yogurt used to be 4 and now it's 7. Who is their DANG MATHEMATICIAN OVER THERE? You can't give me roughly the same amount of points per week (FIVE MORE ... WOO HOO!) and then mark up my food by like 50% and more! Oh, and the points are not consistent from their app and their website.
What WW has done to us is they have given us a slight raise in our paycheck and then made the food at their market cost more. A lot more. Not cool.
Someone I know said they are losing weight more slowly on this plan but that doesn't make sense to me. They are giving you a tad more points but making food values higher, causing you to eat LESS points (food) and it just made me hangry (hungry + angry because your blood sugar is going insane).
So I'm going it alone and I'm scared. It's winter and I'm not walking. I have gained weight and my knees hurt again. Plantar faciitis makes it even more interesting (heel pain when I walk). I'm not very active in winter and so I have to stick with the eating better and that's the hard part when you just want to snuggle up in bed and on the couch with a movie and your kids. At this point in my life I am not wanting six-pack abs and a jiggle-free, skinny body. Those days are gone. I just want to FEEL GOOD and be able to get around well. I'm looking to the future and being able to travel comfortably and literally chase my grandchildren!!!
So what is my plan? You gotta have a plan! It's to log my food in a food journal daily and be honest about it. I have some points calculator options for my points crutch I need. There's an app I'm going to try out. I'll miss being able to scan bar codes on food and getting instant points values but I'll live. There's also something online I can try. I'm going to pretend like SmartPoints doesn't exist. I'm going to use PointsPlus values.
Here's the app I got for FREE (update = never mind! They go by "food score" and my 1/3 cup of half and half has a food score of 1 ... in WW it would be like 3 points ... I'll keep searching and do an update post):
And here's the online calculator that shows the differences (the WW app told me the same yogurt was 7 points, which is quite a bit out of your daily 30 for just a flipping yogurt that's packed with protein!):
I also got the Trim, Healthy Mama book and cookbook so I'll be reading that when I get a chance to see the deal with that. It would be great to transition to that and now have to keep track of points but just learn how to eat in moderation and eat healthy foods with the occasional treat.
So here we go. I kinda feel like I'm dumping a bad boyfriend and have to prove that I can go it alone ... until I find something better. I'll show you, Weight Watchers SmartPoints! What am I going to do with that "extra" $540 this year?!
I'm working on a blog post about Lose It, which is a free app (with paid option for only about $30/year and they run specials all the time). I love the way it keeps track of my steps and yet I don't carry my phone with me everywhere because I'm afraid of giving it a toilet dunk if I kept it in my back pocket, and I don't always have a back pocket! Anyway ... it has more food options to log than WW and I like it better in general and you can change your goals to come up with different calorie budgets in case you are still feeling hungry all the time. So far I am staying the same weight as when I left WW.
Update: I don't log anything now and my weight is holding steady even though I'm not walking much due to my freaking IT band/knee/hip issues. Trim Healthy Mama is kinda complicated but if I could drink a shake a day that would help a lot! Check out my chocolate shake and orange shake recipes here on the blog under the Healthy Living tag!
Please leave me a comment with your thoughts on the plan change or weight loss/health tips in general!
November 2016 update: Weight holding steady but Jessica commented about a $3.99 app called iTrackBites Plus that will track however you like ... so I'm trying the BITES Plus system and we'll see how it goes.