are some questions that I get asked quite often.
Inquiring Minds Want To Know!
Please be aware that I do not work for
All answers are from my own personal experiences.
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,
To find a meeting in your area,
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
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
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
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
150 to 174 pounds
175 to 199 pounds
200 to 224 pounds
225 to 249 pounds
250 to 274 pounds
275 to 299 pounds
300 to 324 pounds
325 to 349 pounds
more than 350 pounds
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?
the chart for recommended weight ranges used by Weight Watchers:
Ages Up To
25 & 45 Years
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?
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).
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
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
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!
you say is the key to weight loss?
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.
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.
This 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!
You should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a
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.
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?
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.
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:
Cool Whip = 1 Point Per Ounce 1 Box of Instant Sugar Free Pudding Mix (dry) = 2 Points
1/2 Cup = 1 Point (48 calories)
1 Cup = 2 Points (96 calories)
1 Packet = 2 calories
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?
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.
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
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
How do I
figure up the points in a recipe that doesn't have nutritional information
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:
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
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.
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
You can also get them at
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
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.
BellyDance Fitness for Beginners - Fat Burning
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,
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.
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
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. :)
suggest any cookbooks?
Below is a
list of cookbooks I own and think are really good. (Click each link for
reviews and details).
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).