How To: Do the Weight Watchers Diet Without Meetings, Part 1

I'm not really what you would call a "meetings gal." (Honestly, though, would you call anyone a "meetings gal?" Maybe you would call someone a "support group gal," but I'm not one of those either!) A friend of mine told me about WW, and we made plans to go to a couple months of meetings together, but between money and schedule problems, that never happened... So I decided to do it on my own. I found some resources to help me get started, and accumulated tricks that work for my lifestyle. And now, you can benefit from my tricks! Because if you're anything like me, do you really have time to toodle around on the internet? (Besides your daily blogs, of course!)

First, you have to track down the basic information. You can find out how to calculate points here and you can find out how to figure out your allotment here. BUT, if you don't want to click through and pull out the important information...

How to calculate your point allotment:

  • Gender: female = 2 pts, male = 8 pts, nursing female = 12 pts.
  • Age: 17-26 = 4 pts, 27-37 = 3 pts, 38-47 = 2 pts, 48-57 = 1 pt, >58 = 0 pts.
  • Height: <5' = 0 pts, 5'-5'9" = 1 pt, >5'10" = 2 pts.
  • Weight: Divide your weight by 10, round down, and add that number. Ex: 164 lbs is 16 pts.
  • Activity level: mostly sitting = 0 pts, occasionally sitting, mostly standing = 2 pts, mostly walking = 4 pts, physical labor = 6 pts.
  • Bonus points: You get 35 "flex points" per week, but I find that if I don't add them in to my daily goal, I don't eat them. So, I add another 5 points to my daily goal, and then mentally allow some flexibility.

The points given are calculated for a safe 1-2 lb/week weight loss. If you don't want to lose weight and just don't want to gain, add another 4 points to your daily goal. Keep in mind that before counting bonus points, the minimum allowed points is 18 and the maximum allowed points is 44. Also, pregnancy is not alloted for, because if your doctor or midwife says you need to diet during pregnancy, then he or she should help you develop a plan so you don't starve your beebee.

Now that you know how many points you get per day... How do you count them? The basic equation uses calories (c), fat (f), and fiber (b): c/50 + f/12 - b[limit 4]/5 = points. Using a little algebra, we know that 50c = 1 pt, 12f = 1 pt, and 1b = -.2 pts. If you remember that, it gets pretty easy to calculate points in your head just by looking at the label! (Of course, I complicate things for myself by converting everything into calories, and then calculating points from there... Whatever works for you!)

There is also exercise points that you can earn, to replenish your body after working out. Honestly, I think the calculation for exercise points is complicated... So I use a web tool like this one.

Once you've got all this figured out, head over to Part 2.

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