Living the Lifestyle

The continuous journey that is weight maintenance. My tips, advice, struggles and how I live life and still maintain!

Apr 12, 2009

The Great Debate - Weekly Points & Activity Points

Lately on the message boards it seems a lot of posts have the same underlying tone...using weekly/activity points...basically anything above your daily target is considered "cheating" and there is this fear of gaining at the scale.

If we weren't meant to use them, then why are they there?

Something I notice a lot of people tend to overlook is that WW is giving you the tools to put the program into place, it's up to you to use the tools to your best advantage in order to make this easier to stick with for the rest of your life.

The weekly points/activity points is something that you need to figure out ... what works for you, what doesn't. Just because say I can eat all 35 of my weekly points and still lose - doesn't mean the next person is going to be able to. They may be able to only eat half of the weekly allowance.

I guess what I'm getting at is DON'T BE AFRAID TO EAT!!! To some I understand this is a different concept, and I can understand why. The way things are marketed these days and the way society seems to have it embedded in their heads is in order to lose weight, you must diet and in order to diet you must give up the foods you love.

Well, the reason I joined WW was because they weren't telling me to do that. They weren't telling me what I could and couldn't eat, they were telling me to still enjoy the foods I love, just make them work with the program.

I have learned that the weekly points aren't bad, depending on how you use them. When I joined the program was called Winning Points (I believe 1-2-3 Success had just phased out...) and you were given a range of pts to eat for your weight. So ie. you're 150lbs and your range is 18-24. You eat anywhere within that range and whatever you don't eat you "bank" for later in the week. Now look at it this way, if you ate 18pts a day which is the bottom of the're banking 5pts per day and adds up to 35 if you save them the entire week. I had great success with that program, and when they rolled over to Flex/Core (old program now) I had no problem taking advantage of those extra points because I knew I had success with them.

You need to think of food as "fuel" for your body. In order to keep your metabolism going you need to feed it. The difference with feeding it now is rather than have something like a big mac and fries, you're having a nice sensible meal and snacks when you need them. Plus, one thing I always tell my new members when I am explaining the program to them is if they eat like a bird now, they'll eat like a bird for the rest of their lives. Cutting things out and saying you're never having it again is not a realistic approach to losing weight. Yes, it will work in the short-term while you're following the diet and losing the weight...but what about maintaining? Are you REALLY going to give up chocolate, etc. for the REST of your life?

Embrace WW for the lifestyle change it is. I have yet to feel deprived and I really do feel like I'm eating more now than I was before. It's the foods you choose and how your spend your pts.

If you need them, use them and if you don't - then don't. Just pay attention to what your body and the scale are telling you.

There's always the question too of the activity points vs. weekly points. When they changed from Flex/Core to Momentum, the guidelines for activity pts changed and you can now bank them throughout the week. For onliners the change in how they were swapped happened - use weekly pts first and then if you go over them then dip into AP's. I have seen quite a few people who are hesitant to do this because they were using the AP's first before. Remember, WW does research and scientific studies for their program - they will only make changes if they know it's for the benefit of you. Again, this is another part of the previous program they've kind of brought back to WW.

To me it's "safer" (and I've told lots of people this) to use the weekly points before the activity points. The WP's are given to you by WW - so you know they're accounted for in the program. Yes, we do earn the activity points but a lot of people tend to overestimate the activity they do and then if you eat those AP's you're eating too many.

Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely not telling you what to do...remember, yes I am a WW leader but my opinions on here are solely my own and nothing to do with, had to do my own "disclaimer". :)

I really apologize if this seems like a long ramble, but it's something I have been wanting to post about for a bit. I definitely welcome thoughts/opinions if you think differently :) I never have a problem understanding the other side!


Blogger Ash said...

Amen sister!

I think you need to experiment with the Points to figure out what works for you - but definitely - do not be afraid to eat! I always tell my new members (re: 35 extra Points) "I wouldn't tell you that you could have them if you weren't allowed to eat them!"

As for using WPA or AP's first, I think people need to do whatever is less confusing for them. Counting Points shouldn't be rocket science, so if you find one or the other easier for you then do it! Personally I tend to use my WPA first and then dip into the AP's but only because that makes sense in my head.

April 13, 2009 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Lindz, I completely agree. I actually have greater losses when I use my Weekly points and some of my APs, because I do not starve myself. People ask me why I went to the Sugar Shack since I'm on WW. Well, because I won't give up Sugar Shack all my life, DUH !

Some days, 20 points will be enough for me, some days, it won't. Then I eat some of my weekly points. Basically, when you look at it, it comes to what common sence should be telling you. You're planning a big night out ? It makes sence to be careful the week before (So no eating the WPs) then eat whatever you want that night(Use those 35 points). That's what my mom and my sister do, and they are not on WW. They're just eating healthy, and use their common sence =)

April 13, 2009 at 10:54 AM  
Blogger Leanne said...

Great post!!

And totally true. I embraced the AP/flex points this week. I used all but 9 (I had 19AP's). I don't think I will always use them all but when it comes to holiday weekends if you have them, use them.

I did not lose this week but I did lose inches. Sometimes WW is not just about the scale.

April 13, 2009 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Dani - tkdchick said...

Its too bad that combining the use of WP and AP's that WW dosen't have a formula that says you are this size/weight/body type/activity level therefore you need to fuel your body this much.

I find its such a tenuous battle to get the balance between calories in and calories out! Weeks I think I've done great, I've been active, I've eaten well, not been hungry and oh crap! I gain.

Then sometimes I slack things up a bit and whoila great week at the scale.

I understand the idea behind it all but its so hard to put it into practice!

April 13, 2009 at 7:05 PM  

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