Frequently Asked Questions

Edit: I posted this on July 8, 2015, before Weight Watchers switched to the Smart Points program. All of my information about Weight Watchers is related to the Points Plus program only. Now back to your regularly scheduled reading. :)

A lot of people have come to me, asking for advice and information about Weight Watchers. It might not be for everyone, and that’s fine! But if you are interested in learning more, I have compiled a list of questions I get asked quite often, and I hope they will help you figure out if Weight Watchers is right for you! I have lost 55 pounds with Weight Watchers so far (check out my Weight Watchers-related posts here), and I stand by it wholeheartedly.

Weight Watchers_What You Need To Know

How much does Weight Watchers cost?
The cost varies based on what you need. If you only use the online resources (Weight Watchers app, website, online tracker, etc.), the cost is currently $20 a month. A lot of people enjoy going to meetings, too, and that raises the cost quite a bit. I’m not sure exactly how much because I’ve never done meetings. $20 a month might seem like a lot, but it motivates me to stick with it when I know I’m paying my hard-earned money for it each month.

What’s the difference between Weight Watchers and a free resource, like LoseIt! or MyFitnessPal?
The biggest difference is the cost. Like I said before, I actually like that I’m paying for Weight Watchers because I’m much more likely to stick with it. If I have nothing to lose (I mean money here, not weight), it is harder for me to stay on track. Also, the free resources count calories instead of PointsPlus, which I don’t like as much.

If you don’t do meetings, how do you find community?
I have found an amazing Weight Watchers community on Instagram (you can follow my Weight Watchers Instagram here!). A lot of people in this community also go to meetings and share all the information they learn, which is so nice if you just can’t afford or find a meeting that works for you. I feel like I know some of these people personally, and I love it. I know I have people who will talk me down when I just want to eat everything in sight or encourage me when I’m worried I’ll never become a runner. You can just search the Weight Watchers hashtag on Instagram and get plugged in really easily. There are also fun things we do, like care packages and giveaways, and who doesn’t like free stuff?

My husband is also doing Weight Watchers with me, so it’s really fun to have a partner along for the ride. He isn’t quite as strict on himself as I am on myself, but he is willing to try new recipes and exercise with me, which I appreciate so much. It’s brought us closer and helped us both get healthier and in such better shape!

How do you know how many PointsPlus you should get a day?
When you first join Weight Watchers, you will get asked your current weight and height, gender, and whether or not you’re nursing. The calculator will determine your Daily Points target with all of that information.

How do you calculate the PointsPlus in an item?
Your Weight Watchers app will have a PointsPlus calculator in it that makes calculating super simple. You can also get an actual calculator from a Weight Watchers store or at a meeting. You just enter the food’s fat, carbs, fiber, and protein content, and the calculator will give you the PointsPlus value per serving. It’s super easy, and those small numbers are much easier to remember than a caloric value.

How do PointsPlus work? How is it different from counting calories?
You will have a PointsPlus target for the day, and you should try to stay within that target most days. All foods will have a PointsPlus value, as well, and you just track everything you’re eating in the Weight Watchers app or on paper. Counting calories often involves much larger numbers, so it’s more difficult to keep up with, in my opinion. So, for example, it’s much easier for me to remember that a Fiber One brownie is 2PP rather than 90 calories, or a meal is 8PP rather than 450 calories (these are just random examples). Also, fruits and most veggies are 0PP, but, if you’re counting calories, you still have to count those calories.

Are there any foods that are zero PointsPlus?
Yes! All fruits and most vegetables are 0PP, so you should never go hungry! You obviously don’t want to overdo it and eat a whole bunch of bananas in one sitting since fruit does still have sugar in it, but it’s great to know you can fall back on fruits or veggies when you’ve had a larger meal or something like that. There are also other things that are 0PP if you only use one serving, like fat free Cool Whip and most condiments.

Is it important to measure your foods?
YES. I cannot stress this enough. It’s very easy to say, “Oh, a serving of cereal is only 3PP,” then fill the bowl full. But what we don’t realize is one serving of cereal is typically 3/4 cup, which is nowhere near a full-cereal-bowl amount. Portion control is a huge part of Weight Watchers and something I’ve learned a lot about through this journey. Also, be sure if you’re measuring something, like Nutella, to be honest. One tablespoon of Nutella is 2PP, which seems awesome, but that is ONE TABLESPOON. Not one HEAPING tablespoon or one tablespoon after you already ate a little bit out of the jar. You might lie when you track, but your body can’t hide those extra bites or nibbles. A lot of people say, “If you bite it, write it,” and it’s a cheesy but great motto for Weight Watchers!

Were you super hungry when you first started Weight Watchers?
I honestly wasn’t. I was terrified of that because I knew it would be such a big change, but the formula they use really works. What you’re eatingĀ  also makes a big difference. So, for example, you could eat one slice of pizza for 7PP and feel hungry a little while later, or you could have grilled fish, vegetables, fruit, and maybe a starch for around the same amount of PointsPlus and feel satisfied much longer. It’s all about making sure you’re being smart with your Daily Points.

Does your Daily Points amount decrease as you lose weight?
It does. It’s very gradual, but it’s exciting when you see the number on the scale go down as well as your PointsPlus target going down! I panicked when it first happened to me, but it just shows that you’re making progress. You learn how to work with your new amount, and it’s not bad at all. Once you get down to 26PP, you won’t go down any further than that, so don’t worry about only getting 5PP a day or something like that! I currently get 26PP a day and do sometimes feel hungry, but that’s what’s great about having 0PP options as well as Weekly Points.

What are Weekly Points and how do they work?
Every person gets 49 Weekly Points to use however they’d like. These are so awesome whenever you still feel hungry on days when all your Daily Points have been used or when you have a birthday party or function to attend. I love having these Weekly Points as a cushion because it’s nice to be able to indulge sometimes without having to “cheat.” Some people believe you should use all your Weekly Points each week (you have them, why not use them?), but I don’t always use all of mine. I like having some left over in case of a miscalculation or something like that, but everyone is different, and it’s fine to play around with it to see what works best for you.

Should you eat all your Daily Points?
I think so. That number is calculated for a reason, and you need to try to stick to it. If you don’t eat all your Daily Points, your body could potentially go into starvation mode, which makes it much more difficult to lose weight. If you’re totally full and satisfied and still have 2PP left for the day, I think it’s fine to not eat something that is 2PP and feel miserable. It’s very important to listen to what your body is telling you. But, more often than not, you should try to eat all your Daily Points.

What happens when you reach your goal weight?
I haven’t actually reached this yet, but I’m working on it! From what I’ve read, you go into what’s called Maintenance Mode and your Daily Points value increases a little bit. I plan to still track after I hit my goal weight because I don’t want to risk gaining all my weight back, so this is an exciting thing to think about! If you go to meetings, you become a Lifetime member, which is really exciting. I am honestly considering doing meetings closer to when I hit my goal weight so I can become a Lifetime member and get the cute little medals and things like that.

How do Activity Points work?
Activity Points are so great and such a motivational tool to get people to exercise! For any exercise you do, you earn Activity Points, which you can now eat. I typically don’t eat the Activity Points I earn, but a lot of people do and see great success. Again, just try it out and see what works best for you. Exercise is the hardest part of this journey for me, but I love seeing those Activity Points in my tracker (I’m a very visual person).

Where can I find Weight Watchers recipes?
The Weight Watchers website has a lot of great recipes on it, and if you search “Weight Watchers” on Pinterest, you’ll find loads of awesome dishes to try. My two favorite Weight Watchers blogs, though, are emilybites.com and skinnytaste.com. I would definitely check those out! Skinnytaste also has a great cookbook, if you prefer non-digital recipes. :)

Don’t see your question answered here? Please email me at maeganld214 {at} gmail {dot} com and I will get it added! Ready to start your Weight Watchers journey? Get started here!

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