WW Food and Point Issues - Am I the only one who feel ripped off by some activity point calculations?




k8325
05-09-2012, 12:21 PM
Hi! I've been on WW for over a year and I have loved how easy it is to use, but have also felt some real frustration with activity points. Sometimes it feels like I am being punished or in the very least NOT rewarded for increasing my activity level. For example, I could get 6 points for running at 5mph, 6mph, 6.5 mph and 7mph (go me!) for 30 minutes even though the distance I run and calories I burn at those levels are drastically different. Then to top it off, when I lose weight, sometimes a 1 lb difference, I have to increase my time. Now it takes 32 minutes to get 6 points. Not a super big deal, but frustrating. Does anyone else feel this or have noticed this as well and is there anything you do to adjust your activity points?


Emmcakes
05-09-2012, 12:56 PM
I sort of do feel like the activity points do not represent the calories I have burned. For example, my elliptical machine is said to be very conservative in calculating calories burned (maybe 2/3 of what you would normally see at a gym). For one hour on the elliptical at a high level, I burn almost 600 calories. If I input that I did 1 hour of elliptical in the activity tracker, that gives me 6 APs, which doesn't reflect 600 calories burned at all.
The thing is I don't really mind it that much because I would rather have the APs be more conservative in order to make sure that I am not gaining weight. So I don't adjust them and just remember the effort I put in every day and know that it will pay off.

QuilterInVA
05-10-2012, 12:45 PM
You do know that you don't get to eat all your activity back - that's why APs reflect about half the calories you actually burned.


kaplods
05-10-2012, 02:01 PM
When I was on WW, I felt the same way (even though this was when points were calculated differently for food, so probably were calculated differently for AP too).

But then I realized that my disappointment was rather ironic - I wanted to be rewarded for exercise with food. Not the best way to lose weight, especially since my perceived effort was worth far more to me than the piddly amount of AP I earned for them.

Even though consciously I knew that almost everyone overestimates their exertion. People almost always overestimate the amount of calories they burn in exercise. It's why many people who try to lose weight by exercise alone end up losing nothing, or even gaining, because they eat what they think they earned, not what they actualy did.

What worked for me is realizing that AP weren't rewards for weight loss. They were there for people who really needed them because their points weren't enough to allow them to stick to plan without feeling ill.

If I wanted rewards for exercise, I had to choose them and give them to myself, not rely on WW to "reward" me (especially with food). In fact, looking at AP as "rewards" contributed to my destructive tendency to reward myself with food. I had to find other rewards.

I used a sticker chart, and to earn a sticker I had to exercise at least 20 minutes (for which I gave myself a sticker). I could exercise longer, but I could only earn one sticker per day. When I got 5 stickers (whether it took 5 days or 30) I earned a non-food treat of my choosing worth up to $5 (and if the budget were tight, it could be free).

I learned that if I chose the reward before earning the stickers, I worked harder. That is I worked harder when I knew that a book or magazine I wanted to read or a skein of pretty yarn (I knit and crochet) was only 5 workouts away, than when I worked for a generic splurge to be chosen later.

Koshka
05-11-2012, 01:14 AM
It so often seems to me that we tend to want to be rewarded for doing the "right thing" with more points. It seems that when we exercise we should get more points so we can eat more. When we eat whole grain foods versus refined carbs we should be rewarded by the foods being lower points (even if they are almost the same calories). It seems just backwards in many ways that when we lose weight we are seemingly "punished" by getting less points to eat. It is like we are rewarded for weight loss by getting to eat less which doesn't seem rewarding at all.

However, as kaplods points out thinking of more food as a reward is not really a good way to lose weight...

While I do think exercise can help people to keep weight off that has been lost and I think exercise has many health benefits, the fact is that exercise really doesn't do all that much to help you lose. The main reason to give activity points is that exercise makes you more hungry so you may need to eat a little more if you exercise a lot. That said -- if you in fact do that then exercise doesn't really do anything at all to cause greater weight loss (again, it is very valuable for other reasons).

k8325
05-11-2012, 09:36 AM
Thanks for the replies. I don't usually eat my activity points, so when I say reward, I mean like getting a better grade, as in an A instead of a B :) I like WW because I am super competitive with myself and like to always do better, go faster and the activity points are how I keep track of that.
@qyuilterinVA, yes I am aware of what I like to call the "good mind ****" of the WW system. To oversimplify, eating 1 point is about 30 calories intake while earning 1 point is about 80 calories output. :)
I guess I'm just frustrated that a 12 minute mile is point wise the same as an 8:30 mile but it my body doesn't feel the same way about it :/

Koshka
05-14-2012, 02:12 PM
If you are looking at activity points as the reward for doing better and so more points means you did better (a 95 is better than an 85, for example) then you will be disappointed as you weigh less and earn less points. You also earn less points as you get stronger and in better shape and doing the same exercise no longer exerts you as much. Maybe you should give your own points that rewards you for exercise performance? (you wouldn't eat the points, just get them)

kaplods
05-14-2012, 05:11 PM
Thanks for the replies. I don't usually eat my activity points, so when I say reward, I mean like getting a better grade, as in an A instead of a B :) I like WW because I am super competitive with myself and like to always do better, go faster and the activity points are how I keep track of that.

If you're just looking for the pat on the back - as Koshka and I suggested give yourself your own points. Only you, not WW can give you an "A."

Because many people DO eat some or all of their activity points, WW can't grant activity points as if they were pats on the back. They have to be based on the calories that really are going to be burned during the given activity.

One of the downfalls of Weight Watchers (though it's also a strength) is that it, like regular classrooms, "teaches to the middle." What I mean by that, while it's customized to some degree and further customizeable by the individual, there are limits to the flexibility. All the guidelines are aimed at the average person, not to you specifically.

In terms of "being graded" and comparing yourself to others, Weight Watchers isn't the best source of that information. You don't really get to see how everyone else is doing (only the top performers are recognized in the meetings, and accomplishments are rewarded, but you don't always get to know how long that accomplishment took the person).

I am NOT being down on Weight Watchers. I think it's a great program. I just can't afford it right now, and I prefer exchange plan dieting (which I learned in WW back when WW plans were always exchange plans).

You just have to find ways to "grade yourself."

tikanique
10-29-2012, 11:25 AM
I used to be able to get 9 points for a 40minute workout, now its 3. It was higher because I was heavier and I had to exert myself more. Now that i'm lighter and in better shape, the same workout no longer raises my heart rate the same way so I get way fewer points. The decrease in the activity points made me stop tracking them altogether. Instead I set a goal of working out 5 times per week and its been a blessing. Before I'd eat a portion of my activity points. Now I don't because i don't know what they are.

dosbabe
10-30-2012, 08:52 AM
For one hour on the elliptical at a high level, I burn almost 600 calories. If I input that I did 1 hour of elliptical in the activity tracker, that gives me 6 APs, which doesn't reflect 600 calories burned at all.

I used the elliptical for the first time last week. I only lasted ten minutes. How in the world do you last an hour? Do you watch some kind of TV program? I was also exhausted in ten minutes.

I walk four miles a day, sometimes prettty fast. Share any tips?

Jennifer 3FC
10-31-2012, 01:07 AM
Hi Dosabe, the first time that I got on an elliptical, I went for 7 minutes and then practically crawled out of the gym with spaghetti legs. :lol: By the end of the month, I could do 45 minutes solid. I was surprised that the endurance would build that quickly, but it did. I'd never last a minute without music or a tv on, though!

dosbabe
11-01-2012, 11:29 AM
You do know that you don't get to eat all your activity back - that's why APs reflect about half the calories you actually burned.

Thanks for sharing. I had no idea how it works!!!
:smug:

dosbabe
11-01-2012, 11:30 AM
Hi Dosabe, the first time that I got on an elliptical, I went for 7 minutes and then practically crawled out of the gym with spaghetti legs. :lol: By the end of the month, I could do 45 minutes solid. I was surprised that the endurance would build that quickly, but it did. I'd never last a minute without music or a tv on, though!


That's exactly how my legs feel, like spaghetti. How many AP points do you give yourself?

smashlers
12-18-2012, 11:15 AM
Ok, awesome. Before I started a new thread I though I would look to see what y'all said about AP's and their strange strategy. Since my weight is so high, any thing I put in there is giving me 1 or 2 points back. It must be really paying attention to the time. I spend 15 minutes on the treadmill (it will get longer/it BETTER get longer) and I get 2 points for that.

I don't even know how to use them, its just the instant gratification. I should look into how to cash them in... Or just not.

QuilterInVA
12-24-2012, 10:50 AM
New scientific information now says it's now how much we exercise in a given period, but how much we move all day. The new ActiveLink is extremely accurate and you establish a baseline of your normal daily activity. Until that is met, you don't get APs no matter what you do.