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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Monday, February 6, 2012

Diet Update + Well, Duh: Weight Watchers Users Complain about Points Plus System

Last summer I tried Weight Watchers' online program for a brief, unpleasant time. It did nothing but make me ragey against WW, inspired an epic rant on this very blog, and made me so cranky that I actually ate more just to be contrary. I am now on a diet and am using a competing (but free) online program, LoseIt, to track calories.
To recap, WW changed its points system to allow people to eat unlimited fruits and veggies. They then tweaked the number of calories in a point down to account for the added calories from fruits and veggies. They also cranked back the daily points/calories but gave a number of free weekly points/calories. I'm sure some people liked it, but not me. I'm a scientist. Even though I do eat lots of fruits and veggies, years of dieting have resulted in me eating mainly non-calorie dense ones. I wasn't going to suddenly start eating lots of bananas. It just made me cranky to have a target daily intake that was about 500 calories below what it should be. The fact that certain processed food, particularly WW's own products, had substantially fewer points than healthy things of similar calorie count, such as plain yogurt, also pissed me off.
Strangely enough, the strictly calorie counting of approach of LoseIt, or the rigid protein/carb/fat balancing act of the Zone never made me ragey like WW did. I just assumed that I am a cranky old badger and thought that the WW approach might work just fine for other people. However, even some WW oldtimers have been struggling with the new system. In contrast to my experience, they are having trouble losing weight and have had to cut their points further. It didn't say anything about them getting ragey or too hungry, so perhaps they were approaching it from the other extreme as me, but nonetheless it suggests that it's not a great system for more than a few people.
Anyway, that's enough WW ranting for now. I am doing well on my diet and exercise routine. I'm not going in 100% on either, but am eating less (and healthier) and working out about 4 times per week. I once read that people don't have unlimited supplies of willpower, and that has been my experience. There are times when I've had to pour most of it into my work, or just life in general. I'm sure you have too. This was the case as I got settled in here in my current job/life in Ithaca. Sadly, my metabolism is not such that I can do this all the time. Every few years I have to make losing weight a priority. I still feel like I need to put some of my spare energy into work, so this time I'm experimenting with a half-assed balanced approach. (This is also in line with my general New Year's resolution of being nicer to myself) It's going well so far. I have lost 7 lbs in as many weeks and have made some habits into a routine, which has made it easier by requiring less active willpower.

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