A Weight Watchers wake-up call

Looking to take off some extra “baggage” put on over the weekend, I decided to break out my old Weight Watchers book, complete with its falling-apart paper slide-rule of a “points calculator.”

sliderule

This old cardboard “slide rule” that calculates calories in relation to fat and fiber is the sort of primitive technology that appeals to me…

Toward the end of my 90-pound weight loss back in 2010, my daily target was 19 points*. But now that I’m a few years older, this gizmo tells me I have to subtract another point.

Well, that’s a wake-up call. Yes, everybody knows their calorie needs go down as they age, but it’s hard to keep that in mind when you feel younger and stronger at 49 than you did at 39.

On the plus side, I also took a look at the “activity calculator,” which I frankly always found hard to use because it measured intensity of workout by how quickly you break a sweat. (My sister sweats much more than I do, and more quickly, but it doesn’t necessarily mean she’s working harder.)

It was interesting to see that using this criteria I could probably award myself twice as many activity points for Tuesday’s 7-mile run/walk as I could for a standard 7-mile run. I definitely sweat much more on a run/walk because I push myself so much harder during the 4-minute running segments. (Usually I’m still gasping for breath by the end of the 1-minute walk.) Whereas on a standard run, especially if I’m ”running blind” without a watch, as I’m prone to do, I rarely push myself that hard.

I’m not going to dink around with activity points, for the reasons stated above. But it was still interesting to consider.

*These are the old WW points that preceded Points Plus. I think the program may now be moving away from points altogether, but I’m not sure, as I don’t necessarily try to keep up with the changing trends.

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5 Responses to A Weight Watchers wake-up call

  1. I never worked with points, but I do try to guesstimate calories. I go by basal caloric needs for my age/weight, and add to that what I estimate I burn for daily activities and exercise.

  2. Sandra says:

    I did weightwatchers a few years ago and lost 17 pounds (which I regained because I knew how to count points and not calories). But from day one to the end, I was always at the lowest range for points. I couldn’t go to a lower point number. That was beyond frustrating to me.

  3. tischcaylor says:

    Wow, that’s too bad. When I did it you always moved down a point every time you got to a new “decade” of weight. … but I guess if you’re at the minimum, that’s all you can do? I get bored with WW and try different things from time to time. But it had been a LONG time since I tried this old-style points thing, and I’m having fun eating things like low-fat popcorn that I had moved away from.

  4. bgddyjim says:

    Dink… I haven’t heard that word in a while! Awesome.

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