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Frequently Asked Questions




 Below are some questions that I get asked quite often.
Inquiring Minds Want To Know!
Please be aware that I do not work for Weight Watchers.
All answers are from my own personal experiences.


How does Weight Watchers work and do I have to attend meetings?

Weight Watchers teaches you about nutrition and activity. You don't have to attend meetings, but I highly recommend them. The meetings are not only fun and supportive, but they also help you figure out why you behave the way you do when it comes to your relationship with food and exercise. Someone is always willing to answer any questions you might have and support you along the way. Not only that, but you'll meet lots of wonderful people going through the same struggles that you are. If you would like to see some of the topics discussed in the meetings, click here. To find a meeting in your area, click here. Of course not everyone has time to attend a weekly meeting, so Weight Watchers offers a way for you to lose on your own at home or online.

Please note: I follow the Winning Points plan. Weight Watchers has started a new plan since I started (I tried it and preferred to stick with the Winning Points Plan.. The new plan is called TurnAround and gives you a choice of two programs... (Flex Points - which has a single daily points target number along with 35 "Flex" points to use each week,  and Core - which doesn't use points unless you're eating something that isn't on the "Core" list). Since I don't follow the TurnAround program, I'll only explain the Winning Points program to you below. The way points are calculated are the same for all programs (with a fiber cap of 4 grams) so you don't have to worry about that. The TurnAround program is pretty much the same, but the way you count your points each day is a little different. There are several websites on the web that explain the Flex and Core plans if you're looking for a more in depth explanation. Just go to google.com and do a search for them.

With the Weight Watchers Winning Points plan, all foods have a POINTS value, depending on the food's number of calories, grams of fat, and grams of fiber. When you sign up, you'll get a points finder/calculator to help you figure those points out. It's very easy once you're shown how to use it. I even think it's kind of fun, but then again some say I'm easily entertained. LOL!

You have a daily Points range to use on any of the foods you want to eat. This is based off of your current weight. As you lose weight, your daily points allowance will change. The idea behind this is, the more you weigh, the more fuel (food) you need to keep your body working, and the less you weigh, the less fuel (food) you need. It's like larger cars need more gas to go than smaller cars.


What is my daily POINTS range?

Here is the chart for finding your points range:

  Your Current Weight     Daily Points Range  
less than 150 pounds 18-23
150 to 174 pounds 20-25
175 to 199 pounds 22-27
200 to 224 pounds 24-29
225 to 249 pounds 26-31
250 to 274 pounds 28-33
275 to 299 pounds 29-34
300 to 324 pounds 30-35
325 to 349 pounds 31-36
more than 350 pounds 32-37

How you choose to use your points each day is up to you, but once they're gone, they're gone! Think of it like getting a money allowance each day to buy food. Lets say you get 20-25 dollars (points) a day. You wouldn't run out and pay 20 dollars for breakfast, because then you'd only have 5 dollars left for the rest of the day. If you're anything like most people, you like a bargain. You want to get the most for your money (points). You'll want to spread your money (points) out and make them last until the end of the day so you aren't starving by mid afternoon. If you choose to spend your money (points) wisely, you won't be hungry. In most cases, you'll probably feel like you've never eaten so much in your life. LOL! I know I eat more now than I did before I joined Weight Watchers.


How do I find out how much weight I need to lose?

Here is the chart for recommended weight ranges used by Weight Watchers:
(feet, inches)
For All
Maximum For
Ages Up To
25 Years

Maximum For
Ages Between
25 & 45 Years

For All
 4'9" 92 106 111 115
4'10" 95 110 115 119
4'11" 99 114 119 124
5'0" 102 118 123 128
5'1" 106 121 127 132
5'2" 109 125 131 136
5'3" 113 130 135 141
5'4" 116 134 140 145
5'5" 120 138 144 150
5'6" 124 142 148 155
5'7" 127 147 153 159
5'8" 131 151 158 164
5'9" 135 155 162 169
5'10" 139 160 167 174
5'11" 143 165 172 179
6'0" 147 169 177 184
6'1" 151 174 182 189
6'2" 155 179 187 194
6'3" 160 184 192 200
6'4" 164 189 197 205
6'5" 168 194 202 210

Do you use banked points and earned exercise points?

No I don't. Not unless I've managed to go over my points for a day, then I'll take my exercise points into account. I try not to go over my points, but it does happen occasionally. My personal rule is, if I exercise (enough) then I allow myself to eat towards the higher end of my points range. If I don't exercise, then I try and stay towards the lower end of my points range. This is just what works for me. You may need more or less points than I do. If you aren't quite sure how to use banked points and exercise points, please talk to your WW Leader. You'll discover what works for you over time through trial and error.


What kind of exercise do you do, and how often?

I mostly walk, but I do like to ride my bike. I also have tapes that I can do indoors on days where the weather is too hot, cold, or rainy. I'm also trying to learn how to roller skate again. I use to speed skate, and I thought it would be a piece of cake (Yum cake! LOL!) to skate again once I took a couple of spins down the driveway. I was wrong. My sense of balance is way off since I gained a lot of weight. Even after losing 75 pounds, I still don't have my balance back. I'm getting a little better, but I'm still having a hard time. I still haven't left the driveway yet. LOL! I do other things like DDR and ride my Trikke (you can read about that below) and I just joined a gym (which I love).

I've also participated in Volksmarches. These are a lot of fun and you get to meet new people. A Volksmarch is simply a walk. It's not a race. The whole purpose of it is to have fun and simply finish the walk. I walk the 10K's (6.2 miles) but they usually offer a 5K (3.1 miles) for those that can't walk a 10K. The walks take you anywhere from sidewalks in neighborhoods to wooded trails in parks. You never know where they're going to take you. That's what makes them fun. :) They rate the trails from like 1-5 with 1 being a walk on easy paved surfaces and 5 being like serious hiking with gear and everything. The most I've ever done was a 3 which was hiking various terrain in the woods with hills to climb. A lot of the time, they take place during local festivals. Some are more challenging than others, but I highly suggest looking into one if you're looking to do something out of the ordinary. You can either walk for free, or you can pay $3 and get a credit. When you accumulate so many credits, you get awards. Sometimes they have drawing for extra awards at different events. The first event I attended was sponsored by New Balance Shoes. I won a $100 pair of hiking boots. :) I was pretty excited because I never win anything. 
A tip: if you're wanting to do this for credit, ask for the "New Walkers Packet" at your first event. The cost is about $5 (it might have gone up a little), but it more than pays for itself. It pays for your 2 books (events and distance) (these are the books you take with you to each event. They stamp them after you've finished. Then when your books are full, you mail them in for awards.), it also comes with coupons for a couple of free credits, and a few other useful things. You can learn more about the American Volksmarch Association (AVA) and see if walking events are available in your area by clicking
here. If you have any questions, feel free to email me.

As far as how often I exercise, I try and exercise at least 5 days a week (4 of them at the gym besides walking). Some weeks I don't make it. I like to go out and walk or ride my bike after the sun is starting to go down when it's cooler. There are nights where I get busy doing stuff and I don't make it, or I just don't feel like it. Then there are nights where I can't wait to go out and exercise. I honestly never thought I'd say that in my life, but it's true. :) I'm finding the more I exercise, the more I really enjoy it and want to do it. I exercised over 40 miles one week, then decided to take a week off. Just so you know, this is an extreme amount for me, I normally walk between 2 and 6 miles a night, or bike no more than 6 to 12 miles. I thought after exercising 40 miles, I deserved to take a break. I wish I hadn't taken the entire week off. The following week was hard for me to get motivated to exercise. I felt like I was starting all over again. Sometimes I don't walked nearly as much as I want to, but I force myself to exercise at least 4 days a week.  I won't take a week off from exercise again! I'd rather go out and walk a mile than not go at all. Actually, I'm to the point now where I enjoy exercising. On days that I don't go, I feel terrible and guilty. I always thought people that loved to exercise were weird. Either they aren't weird anymore, or I've become one of them, so I can't judge very well. LOL!


What would you say is the key to weight loss?

Attitude - Even if you have all the information in the world, unless you have a positive attitude about yourself and your weight loss, you're going to struggle. If you have it stuck in your head that you can't do it and you're going to fail, you probably will. If you feel like a winner,  then you will be.

Support - Find support such as weekly meetings or a weight loss buddy. Are you already attending meetings, but they aren't doing much for you? If you don't feel comfortable in a meeting, chances are you won't be attending very long. Try different meetings. Find a leader that makes you feel special and really cares about your success. 

JournalThis one is very important. If you aren't writing down what goes into your  mouth, chances are you're eating more than you should and probably the wrong things. Even if you eat something you shouldn't have, write it down so if you don't lose or if you gain, you can look back through your journal and figure out why. If you cheat in your journal, you're only cheating yourself!

Water - You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.

Exercise - Get moving! Even if you can't do much, just move around. Take a small walk. It might hurt at first, but I guarantee it will get easier if you stick with it and you'll feel so much better afterwards.

Recipes - Try new recipes. If you eat the same boring stuff everyday, you're going to eventually eat something you shouldn't have. Make yourself a promise that you'll try at least one new recipe a week. Shake things up and live a little. You might just discover a hidden talent in the kitchen. I did. :)


Are there any computer programs on the market that will figure points out for me?

Well, I don't know of any that will figure points for you, but I do know of one that will figure nutritional information for you. It's called Master Cook. All you have to do is type in the ingredients and amounts used, and it will tell you the nutritional information. You can also change serving sizes, and add ingredients to the database if they aren't listed. It's also a personal cookbook that can store all of your recipes. The Program comes in different versions. I have Master Cook 9 (I've also had versions 6 and 7 before). The CD has lots of recipes already on it for your convenience. You should be able to find a version of it at most computer stores in the aisle where cookbooks on CD are located (I bought mine at Best Buy). It costs about $20 and is well worth it.


Can I have as much zero point items as I want?

Not all things are what they seem. Serving size is very important when figuring up points. If you are using more than the serving size listed on the container, and aren't sure if there are points, contact the company that makes the product. Sometimes they are happy to help you, other times you might have to use a little force to get the info you want. Don't give up just because someone isn't willing to do their job. Go through the ranks until you reach someone that is willing to help you. If you just aren't a forceful person, there is usually someone on the Weight Watchers Message Boards that is willing to help you. Chances are if you're wondering about something, someone else is too.

While 1 serving (2 Tablespoons) of FF Cool whip is zero points, the entire 8 oz. tub has 8 points. So, if you use a recipe that calls for more than the serving size, you have to count it. Here are some things you should know:

Fat Free Cool Whip = 1 Point Per Ounce
1 Box of Instant Sugar Free Pudding Mix (dry) = 2 Points

Splenda Granular:
1/2 Cup = 1 Point (48 calories)
1 Cup = 2 Points (96 calories)
1 Packet = 2 calories

I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray:
12.5 sprays = 0 Points (10 calories; 1 fat gram)
25 sprays = 1/2 Point (20 calories; 2 fat grams)
37.5 sprays = 1 Point (30 calories; 3 fat grams)
24 sprays or 1 teaspoon = 1/2 Point (17 calories; 1.9 fat grams)
72 sprays or 1 tablespoon = 1.5 Points (52 calories; 5.8 fat grams)

Walden Farms Products:
Says zero calories on the bottle but when a friend called the company, they said there were 4-5 calories per serving, so be careful of how many servings you're using! (Thanks Elizabeth for this info!)


What kind of microwave popcorn do you buy and how many points is it?

I buy Jolly Time Healthy pop 94% Fat Free Butter Flavor Popcorn. If you have a Super Wal-Mart where you live, it's cheapest there. You can get 1 box which contains 6 bags for $2.
1 Serving is 1 point while the whole bag is 4 points.

Here is the nutritional information for 1 serving:
(1 Bag = 2.5 servings)
Calories = 90
Fat = 2 grams
Fiber = 9 grams (but you can only count 4)

I'm no longer buying microwave popcorn. The sodium was starting to get to me and I couldn't get myself to eat it anymore. I now air pop my popcorn. I've also stopped using I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray on it. I don't know about you, but I just can't use 12.5 sprays on an entire bowl of popcorn. I bought an oil mister (the kind where you put your own oil in and pump it up) except I don't use oil. I use warm water. Sounds gross doesn't it? It's not! If I want a buttery taste, I just spray the popcorn and sprinkle a little Molly McButter on it. Or I use other seasonings like Chocolate Marshmallow, BBQ, Apple Cinnamon or Jalapeno from
Kernel Season's. They are very good! I don't work for them, but you should check them out. My favorite is the Jalapeno and the BBQ. The BBQ tastes like BBQ on potato chips. :)


How do I figure up the points in a recipe that doesn't have nutritional information listed?

Well, there are a couple of ways to do this. The first way is to just figure up the points for each ingredient as you go and place the number next to each item. Like this:

Thin Crust Pizza
1 Can Pizza Dough (15)
8 oz. Pizza Sauce (1)
1/2 Cup Diced Onion (.5)
6 Slices Deli Select 98% Fat Free Ham (1)
43 Pieces Turkey Pepperoni (6)

6 Slices Mozzarella Cheese (6)

Add up those numbers and divide that by the number of servings you want.
Example: the total is 29.5 and you want 6 servings = 5 Points per serving.

Click here for the second way to figure up points. It's a little more involved, but I think it is much more accurate. This will take you to a new page. It was too long to post on this page.


I'm bored with the usual stuff, Are there any fun exercises I can do?

I'm not a traditional exerciser and get bored easy. Here are a few things I like to do...

I got some walking poles for Christmas a few years ago. This is what my parents got me and they came from Exerstrider.com. You can also get them at Walkers Warehouse, but the first site is the home of the guy that invented them. They are supposed to help you burn up to 70% more calories when walking. When I use them, I can feel them working in my triceps and my abs. They simulate cross country skiing except you're not on skis. If you can afford them and want to add more to your walking, I highly suggest them. They come with an instructional video and are easy to use. You might feel awkward or silly at first, but you'll get past it quickly. :) 

Dance Dance Revolution is a game I love. It is a game for PlayStation 2 (I think they make it for XBox and the computer too) that gives you a really good workout. I hardly ever sweat when I exercise, but this game makes me sweat. The best part is, this is really fun! You don't even feel like you're exercising! Basically you buy the game (I have almost all of them but my favorites are DDRMAX and DDRMAX 2) and a dance pad that has four arrows: up, down, left, and right. You step on the pad according to where the arrows are on the screen. It can get kind of crazy. One minute you're going at a casual pace, stepping on one arrow at a time and the next they've got you really moving and stepping on more than one arrow at a time. LOL! You step to the beat of the music, so it's not like you're just stepping whenever. Like I said, it's lots of fun! The best thing about this game is it has an exercise mode. You put in how much you weigh and how many calories you want to burn and it will tell you when you've hit your goal. :) Now where to get it... You could look for it on Ebay or amazon.com, but I got mine from different places because I didn't want to wait. I got the game at Toys 'R Us ($39.99), and the Pad (I got one called a Dance Beat Pad by Mad Catz) at Best Buy (19.99), but I've also seen them at Walmart for the same price, and I got my PlayStation 2 at Meijer ($199.99). I think they're cheaper now because they might be coming out with a version 3 soon.

Click here to buy all the stuff you need for DDR online.

I have BellyDance Fitness for Beginners - Fat Burning and BellyDance Fitness for Beginners - Slim Down DVD's. Both are by Veena and Neena Bidasha. The cheapest place I've seen these are at Target ($6.99 each).  If you don't have a Target store near you, Collage Video also sells them (for about twice the price). These are fun and you'll feel the results the next day (I'm still sore!). I must warn you though... there is some bouncing that might be hard on your ankles and some tapping that is a little hard on the feet if you're not use to it. It is a really good workout though especially for the legs and hips. The videos keep your arms in the air (above heart level) a lot, so you'll have a slight burning sensation there as well. :) If you're looking to increase your workout, I suggest looking into these tapes.

My newest exercise toy is a Trikke. I can't even begin to tell you what fun this is, but at the same time it's a whole body workout! There's supposed to be an infomercial out for it, but I've never seen it. I saw it for the first time when I was at a park and a guy in his 40's or so was riding it. He told me to check Ebay, which I'm glad he did because I got one brand new for half price. If you go to www.Trikke.com you can see what I'm talking about. They have video clips and stuff you can watch. They cost about $200 there, but you can usually find one on Ebay for $100 (sometimes including shipping). Just make sure it's not a knock off. I have an original Trikke 8. They have different sizes, but if you're an adult get the 8 (I think they have an even bigger one out now - wish I could get it). The maximum weight on it is 250 pounds, so if you weigh more than that and want one, there's a goal for you. :) If you buy one, be prepared for lots of stares, remarks and questions while you're riding it. It's still pretty new here in Ohio, so people are usually amazed at it. You usually hear "that looks like fun" if you're on flat surface or going down hill, or "that looks hard" if you're going up hill. LOL! And of course any kids you pass say "I want one of those". :) I've even been known to get off of it and let people try it (one guy rode his bike beside me for over a mile asking me questions). I usually ride about 7 miles on it and it takes me about an hour. You're supposed to be able to go up to 18 miles an hour on a flat surface on it, but I haven't achieved that yet. Maybe I'm too chicken. LOL! It took me about 3 hours to learn to ride it. I'm pretty good now and I can go up smaller hills (great workout). My Dad also has one and I'm the only one who hasn't fallen off yet (he's ok though, just skinned up his knee). He got too brave and careless turning the wheel, which can flip you if you turn it sharply to one side or the other too far. I do recommend a helmet and possibly knee pads if you buy one since you can get going pretty fast. Don't let my "falling off" warning scare you though, it's still great fun. You can fall off of a bike too, or trip walking on flat surfaces. :)


Can you suggest any cookbooks?

Below is a list of cookbooks I own and think are really good.
(Click each link for reviews and details).


Can you recommend any good exercise tapes?

Well, I can tell you that I really enjoy the tapes that I have. Especially the  walking tapes by Leslie Sansone. This is a list of tapes I think you may enjoy.... (click each link for reviews and details).



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