The “points” system created by Weight Watchers is a great tool that allows individuals to lose weight healthfully while still letting them enjoy some of their favorite foods in moderation. Each food is broken down into portion sizes, and then a point is calculated for it. When you discover your points allowance, you can choose from a wide variety of foods when planning your meals. Weight Watchers encourages its members to follow some basic guidelines for good health, which, when followed, will provide optimum nutrition and eating satisfaction. The good health guidelines are as follows:
- Eat at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruits every day
- Whenever possible, choose whole grain foods
- Include 2 servings of milk products each day – (calcium supplements, if unable to consume milk products)
- Drink at least 6 glasses of water each day
- Have some healthy oil each day
- Make sure you get enough protein – for vegetarians or vegans choose high quality vegetable proteins, beans, peas and lentils
- Limit added sugar and alcohol
- Take a multi vitamin-mineral supplement each day
Your points daily allowance is composed of several factors and can be determined by completing a quiz created to evaluate your nutritional needs. This quiz is based on several factors.Your sex and if you are nursing
- Your age
- Your current weight
- Your height
- Your activity level – from sitting down all day to physically hard work most of the time
The sum of the points allotted for each of these is totaled to arrive at your daily points allowance.
It is important to eat these points every day. Eating fewer of them will not aid you in your weight loss goals, and in fact may slow your efforts down or stop your weight loss altogether. If you exceed your allowance simply continue eating normally and don’t let it stop you from reaching your goals. A key to losing weight with the Weight Watcher’s Point System is consistency.
In addition to your daily points allowance, everyone is alloted 35 additional points per week known as a “weekly points allowance”. You can choose to use them to allow more flexibility in planning your menus, or not use them at all and speed your weight loss.
You may also acquire additional points known as “activity points”, if you choose to add exercise to your routine. These points are calculated differently. The criteria used to determine these points includes:
- Your weight
- The intensity of the activity
- The duration of your activity
Something that individuals may find distressing is that the less you weigh, the longer you have to exercise to accumulate the same number of activity points you obtained at a higher weight. The effects of this however, can be countered with an increase in muscle mass through strength training which assists you in burning more calories, even when you are not exercising.
This way of eating makes you much more aware of what you are putting into your body. By following the good health guidelines and limiting the “junk” food that you consume, you will be pleasantly surprised at how easily the flex points system fits into your lifestyle.