Weight Watcher Points for Newbies

SmartPoints

When I joined, all I knew was that you counted points.  That’s it.  No-one explained to me how you count points or the various methods of swapping but don’t worry, you will become a master at understanding points.  Points will be the focal point for pretty much everything, and they work.  The better you are at understanding points the more effective your weight loss can be.  By “effective” I mean you will lose weight but won’t be hungry.  There’s no reason to starve yourself on WW if you are doing it right.

Basically, all food is given a point value called Smart Points and you are given a point target, or guide, for daily points (dailies) and weekly points (weeklies) on top of those you can earn fit points which are additional points you can earn by expending effort, like walking, running, exercising, cleaning, gardening, ironing etc… (more on this shortly) and then there are Rollover Points, which are up to 4 of your daily points you don’t use which you can accumulate (see below)

Daily Points

“Dalies” are your daily allowance of points.  Use them like currency.  When you eat food, you subtract the points from your total.  IE: If your total is 28 daily points and you eat (spend) 8 points for breakfast, you have 20 points remaining to split between lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks including soda, wine, beer or alcohol.  It won’t take long for you to master the calculations, but it can be a little scary at first until you get the hang of it and find ways to maximize your points value so you don’t go hungry.  You will find that you make conscious decisions to eat different food based on the fact that they are low points.

You are supposed to eat most or all of your daily points, but you can “rollover” 4 points a day – see below.  Remember, however, don’t go crazy and only eat half or none of your points; they are there to help you lose weight.  Eating only half will not make you lose weight more effectively and in fact, your body is likely to go into starvation mode which will slow down the weight loss into a “plateau”

A lot of people even refer to something which is high in points as “expensive” which means it may not be worth the points.

Points are allocated based on your starting weight & height, so you may start off with quite a few points.  They are designed to help you lose weight at 1-2lbs a week.

As you start to lose weight, don’t be surprised to wake up one morning and your daily points have decreased.  It’s not punishment, don’t be alarmed… it means you are being successful with your weight loss and have crossed a minor threshold of the formula which calculates points for your height and weight.

Rollover Points

With Freestyle, you are now able to “rollover” up to 4 daily points if you don’t use them on any day.  These act like weekly points and accumulate as you earn them, but they will expire on your weigh in day and you will start again for the next week.

These are ON by default in the app and you can turn them OFF if you don’t want to use them (I use my Fit Points instead) see below.

Weekly Points

“Weeklies” are like money in an investment account, for when you need a little extra during the week.  You can use as many or as few as you like at any time you like.  By default, when you run out of your dailies, you will dip into your weeklies if you continue spending points.

They will expire and then reset on your chosen weigh in day.

Weeklies are handy for special occasions or sudden cravings (if you must).  Many people only eat half of their weeklies.  They have learned where their body balance is and they gain weight if they eat all of them.  Once you get to know what is working for you, experiment a little and see what the result is and make adjustments to suit your needs.  Remember, everyone is different, and WW has a different experience for everyone.

Some people eat their weeklies over one, two or three days in order to “change things up” which is aimed at fooling your body and keeping it on its toes.  Look up @ssprengel23 on Connect or search for #sprengelstyle for a few ideas.

Fit Points

You can earn extra points by working out, walking, running, basically any exercise, or even housework…<under Activities> in the app.

You can also sync your Fitbit, Garmin and other types of fitness/step trackers with the app and points will be added to your bank when you earn them.

3-5 Fit points are earned after 3000 steps.  The more steps and activity, the more points you will earn and the equal smart points you can use.  This is good encouragement to move because for me 3000 steps get me a glass of wine or a WW ice cream bar.

These will expire and reset along with your remaining weekly points on weigh-in day.  Don’t panic you get a new set of weekly points each week.

You can set these points to be used ahead of weekly points if you like, by changing the “swap points” setting in the app.  This is what I do, and it helps motivate me to get more steps in as I use these for wine (don’t judge me, its what works for me).   The way this works is when I earn fit points, they are used first if I go over my daily limit, and when I have no fit points, my weekly points are used.  I like this because I can manage my weeklies for the weekend and use fit points during the week if I want to.
I usually have quite a few weeklies left over at the end of my week but that’s OK.  Fine tuning what works is a good habit to get into.

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