Monday, May 23, 2011

Counting Points DOES Help Lose Weight

I have now successfully completed my third week of Weight Watchers (Plus Points) for Men. I have lost 13.4 pounds since I began, averaging a 4.5 pound loss per week. For me the most significant measure of my success so far was the ability to wear a Cubavera I had not been able to wear in nearly a year.

The biggest tool in my fat fight has been the Weight Watchers iPhone App. I don't like carrying around a bunch of workbooks or calorie counters. I am not going to sugar coat it; I eat out more than I should. Nevertheless, I have managed to lose weight each week. I have been able to do it because I've counted the points especially with the help of this handy dandy app.

In a nut a shell, I think the point counting system works because it forces you to make choices. A few days ago a fellow teacher had a box of dark chocolate squares on her desk. I thought out loud, "dark chocolate is supposed to be healthier for you." I picked up the box and calculated the points.  7 Points! 7 Points for a little square of chocolate.  I put it back, explaining if I was going to use 7 points, I was going to make sure they were "worth it." A man at tonight's meeting talked about substituting a steak (7 points) for a high point custom salad (32 points). Being able to make an informed choice, even if I decide to eat the chocolate, is empowering. I get to make the choice and instantly see the impact it has on my allotment of points.

You get the best out of the free app if you are a registered subscriber to the WW eTools. Here's a brief overview of the app.  

Home Screen
The home welcomes you by letting you know how many points you have left for the day and in your "weekly" points. The home screen also has a number of thumb nail images of recommended meals with their PointPlus values. You can swipe over these to browse and see if you want to use one for a meal.

The Menu tab appears at the bottom of the phone and pulls up the Menu Page which is the main menu of trackers and calculators. Like other iPhone apps you can swipe across the screen to get to the next page which contains all of the extra features.

The main page contains mobile versions of the PointsPlus Tracker, PointsPlus Calculator and Weight Tracker. Whatever you input on the mobile version will synch with your eTools on the Weight Watchers website. You can use the PointsPlus Tracker to immediately input foods as you eat them. You can even find a calculations for several popular restaurants. The PointsPlus Calculator helps you figure out how many points a particular food is.

Whether you choose to use the mobile app or not, counting the points works. I can not overstate the empowerment it gives you. As you log points, you are aware that you are beginning to make the right decisions to get yourself back to a healthy state.

Happy counting!


Jan said...

I don't have a smart phone but the app sounds great. It's the choices, choices, choices. I'm a lifetimer...that needs to get back on the straight and narrow.:) Thanks for your post.

Don A. Gonzalez said...

Jan, thanks for your comment. I know I have a long way to go to reach my goal weight loss, but I have found blogging about my weight loss adds a dimension of accountability I need.

I love hearing lifetimer success stories. It lets me know it CAN be done.

Thanks again.