I Hate Counting Weight Watchers Points

Points or PointsPlus® - whatever you call ‘em, I don’t like ‘em. I actually hate Weight Watchers points.

I hate counting them and I hate even thinking about them. I hate them because I hate limits and I hate precision.

Do I know how many points are in what I'm eating? NO! And I don't care, either!

Do I know how many points are in what I’m eating? NO! And I don’t care, either!

There! So now it’s out. Jackie Conn, general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine hates points.

And, no, this is no clever little ruse to trick you into agreeing with me while I write about everything that’s good about points and then end with, “Hey! Maybe points are great after all, and I don’t really hate them.

I will say in defense of points that they’re better than counting calories. At least they are a calculation that promotes better nutrition as well as satisfaction. It’s true that the source of calories is important, especially when you’re restricting calories to lose weight.

This is not for me. I'm not the organized fitness class type and "no pain/no gain" is no mantra of mine!

This is not for me. I’m not the organized fitness class type and “no pain/no gain” is no mantra of mine!

I think they’re better than trying to kill yourself to get to goal with exercise AKA “boot camp” or eating a popular breakfast cereal everyday for two meals and ending your day with one “sensible dinner.” And they’re better than eating diet cuisine that is frozen or freeze-dried and heated in your microwave. Ugh!

Points are better than any of those things but I’m no fan, nevertheless. Oh and I guess points are better than the old method Weight Watchers used to track and count food that they first called “exchanges” and later updated to the very tasty-sounding “selections.” Yes, points beat that, but I hate ‘em anyway.

If somebody said, “the only way to lose weight and keep it off is to count your points for the rest of your days,” I’d definitely pick fat over a lifetime of counting points. I wouldn’t like staying fat, but I know it wouldn’t be realistic to think I was going to become a faithful counter of points for the rest of my life.

By now you’re wondering if I’m at goal since I don’t count points. Yes, I am at goal.
At goal and having a nice. long beach walk. That's my favorite kind of physical activity!

At goal and having a nice. long beach walk. That’s my favorite kind of physical activity!

And you may also be curious about my feelings in general of Weight Watchers.

I love Weight Watchers. I love the meetings. I loved them as a member and I love them as the person whose job it is to ensure that meetings in Maine are L-I-V-E

Lifestyle enabling

That means no matter what your lifestyle may be, Maine offers a variety of meeting times and locations and meetings are kept to 1/2 hour in length so they can fit into anybody’s lifestyle.

Informative and Inspirational

If you’re going to make the effort to get to a meeting and give up a half hour to that meeting you should expect to get the information and inspiration you need to be successful.

Validating

Thinking you’re the only person on the planet who has a hard time managing food and activity habits can make you feel like a slug. It’s validating to learn that you aren’t the only person with such behaviors and even better to learn that others who did things even worse than you  have learned new behaviors that support weight management. If they can do it, you know you can too.

Entertaining

Again, you’re giving up your time to go to go to meetings. Every meeting should have an element of entertainment to make them worth your time and trouble to attend.

 I love Weight Watchers meetings’ holistic approach.

Meetings teach weight management by placing equal emphasis on eating, physical activity, thinking and behavior modification, and reinforcing new weight management thinking and behaviors in an environment of group support. 

In fact, I am certain that the reason why I can manage my weight without getting hung up on points is because of what I learned about myself and how my old limiting beliefs used to influence my unhealthy eating and exercising habits.

Through my association with Weight Watchers meetings and the program I’ve learned important things about myself and my weight. These things are how I’m able to stay at goal without being a slave to stupid points counting!

I’ve learned:
  • My healthy weight isn’t the same as my ideal weight.
  • I like good food – meaning food that’s good for me and tastes good too.
  • I can eat less and still be satisfied.
  • To say “another time,” if it’s not the right time to indulge.
  • To indulge without regrets or getting carried away / flexible restraint.
  • Physical activity is fun and makes me feel happy.
  • Moving more means more eating freedom.

I don’t feel like a phony because I hate points and I work for Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers even recognizes that not everybody loves or wants to count points. They developed an alternative approach to their food plan that only minimally relies on points counting.

It’s called Simply Filling.

WIthin the Weight Watchers food plan information is points values for all foods, which as you know, I ignore. I also ignore the nutrition facts on food packages since I don’t use the information to find points values. Bet you never thought you’d hear a Weight Watchers employee cop to that!

Some foods, however, have a green triangle beside them. That means that food is what Weight Watchers calls a Power Food. dreamstime_s_15528773That’s what they call any food that’s nutrient dense, lower in fat and calories, and in general, a food members can trust themselves to eat in amounts that won’t harm their weight-related goals – without tracking or counting! They happen to be the foods I enjoy a lot and mostly eat, too.

If I were following the plan exactly as written I would have to count points for foods that aren’t Power Foods. The plan allows 49 points a week. I eat foods that aren’t power foods, but I neither count nor track them. I have a vague idea of the points but it doesn’t really matter. I just pay attention to “portions and frequency.” That means I eat small portions and if I feel as though indulgences are becoming too frequent, I cut back.dreamstime_s_9024959

It’s become a very natural and flexible way for me to eat. It keeps me both satisfied and at goal.

I hate points, but that’s just me.
If you like them and they work for you, why on Earth would you change that just because they drive me crazy?
"Ack!!! Are you KIDDING me?  That piece of cake was 13 points and I only get 26 for a whole day?"

“Ack!!! Are you KIDDING me? That piece of cake was 13 points and I only get 26 for a whole day?”

You need to find what fits you. If points works for you, then points it is. If points are unbearable for you, them you may be a Simply Filling kind of person just as I am.

 

Jackie Conn

About Jackie Conn

Jackie Conn is the general manager of Weight Watchers of Maine. She is married and has four grown daughters and four grandchildren. Her experience with her own weight management journey and raising girls has given her insight into the struggles families face with weight, healthy body image, food and physical activity. She has been a regular guest on Channel 5 WABI news for more than ten years and appears monthly as a guest on FOX network morning program Good Day Maine.