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WW Food and Point Issues ...other than recipes

Frustrated. Weight Watchers has skewed math logic.

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Old 08-26-2010, 10:53 AM   #1
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Default Frustrated. Weight Watchers has skewed math logic.

*deep breath*

The points calculating logic is not at all logical.
And frankly? it ticks me off.

I'm going to use 2 examples today. My Silk Creamer, and peanut butter. But really, anything can be used.

I get 2 different points values depending on how I enter it into the food tracker (i do e-tools).

My logic: Values are values. If I eat Food A that is 60 cals and 3 gr fat, it has the *exact same nutritional value* as compared to 3 servings of an item that is 20 cals and 1 gr fat. Same. SAME. But if I enter in 1 item, 3 servings.....it tells me 1.5 points. If I enter in 1 item of 60 cals....it tells me 1 point.
I'm sure it's something to do with wonky rounding but it's misleading. I'm consuming the exact same amount of calories, yet 3 servings of Silk creamer is 1.5 pts compared to another food item that calculates at 1 point. A. it doesn't seem fair and B it doesn't seem accurate. Which is it??? Bc at the end of the week, it's 7 pts vs 10.5pts.

Peanut Butter.
oye. I have this every afternoon. 1 tbsp with 1 banana. When i first looked in the database, I saw a listing for 1 cup of PB. A listing for 1 tbsp creamy PB. A listing for tbsp just "peanut butter". If I halve the calories/fat/fiber on the label, then 1 tbsp (HALF a serving) is 2 points. If I put it in the counter for the full 2 tbsp serving and tell it I ate half a serving? 2.5 points. again, another 3.5 pt discrepancy at the end of the week.

That's 2 items I have daily. 2 discrepancies, which add up to a total variance of 7 points. That's a lot!!!!!

I'm so frustrated. Like, I can't even put it into words.

I'd tried calorie counting in the past and couldn't find a number that worked for me. I can't exactly switch points to calorie counting, bc you can have 3 items all the same calories but bc of fat and fiber, different points values. So depending on what I eat and HOW I calculate it.....geez I can't even begin to figure out the large range of calories I consume a week. No WONDER I'm not getting consistent results.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:19 AM   #2
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Fiber?

Edited to say: Sorry I misread your post.

I have no idea. I hate Weight Watchers personally. It makes me obsess over food and I binge worse than I did when I wasn't on a diet.

Last edited by DaughterOfVenus : 08-26-2010 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:31 AM   #3
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Logic and science comfort me. Big fluffy guesstimates make me hyperventilate.

I'm not bingeing but i AM obsessing and living in fear of failure. Mostly bc no two weeks have been consistently alike and I can't figure out what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:37 AM   #4
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I always looked at WW points as being a way to avoid obsessing over every single calorie and use round numbers instead. I don't think perfect mathematical equations are necessary as long as what you are doing is working for you.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:41 AM   #5
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In the overall.....it's working. But in the week to week? I'm making MUCH MUCH healthier/smarter food choices now and yet week to week my scale losses are all over the board. I know, it is for everybody, WW or SouthBeach or Calories. But I'm trying to figure out whats "right" and whats "wrong" for my body so that I have more good weeks than disappointing weeks, and I can't figure it out with all this big happy kindergarten round crap.

sorry if I'm coming off *****y.
i'm having a 100% meltdown right now while everybody stares at me like i should be in a straightjacket

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Originally Posted by Nada View Post
I always looked at WW points as being a way to avoid obsessing over every single calorie and use round numbers instead. I don't think perfect mathematical equations are necessary as long as what you are doing is working for you.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:54 AM   #6
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You had the answer in your original post-it's the rounding. A whole cup measurement is only going to have one chance to round off that last point to less/more one point. A tblsp is rounded down 3 tblsp rounds up the first and second and so on. Yes.it.is.very.annoying.

For what it is worth I gave up on peanut butter because it is so so easy to over indulge and nudge up the portion size. I find that turkey deli meats go so much further.And cantaloupe instead of a banana doesn't give me a craving for sweets. I'm on the Sonoma diet not WW, so portion control and high fiber are the main controls for me.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:04 PM   #7
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Started to keep track of the calories along with my points. So that I have some idea of the range that I am in.

The rounding stinks! I was told at meetings to go off the label. The books and etools - use the national average for items - i.e. creamy peanut butter - there are like 10 brands. SO they average it.

You have lost a bunch of weight, you are doing really well!!!!

Don't give up, this food and eating stuff always changes. I know it can be tough to be flexible but, remember "one day at a time" and you can make it happen.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:27 PM   #8
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WW knows what it is doing and works great if you do what they tell you. They are encouraging you not to eat multiple servings of the same food. That's how we got where we are. You only cheat yourself in the end.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:59 PM   #9
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It's not wonky rounding - it's just simple rounding.

Some WW leaders (when I was a member) would tell us to round to the nearest whole point (don't deal in "halves") and others would say rounding to the half was ok.

Rounding to the nearest "whole point"

1 + 1 can equal 1, 2, or 3:

.6 + .7 = 1.3 = 1

1.1 + 1.3 = 2.4 = 2

1.4 = 1.4 = 2.8 = 3


That's not wonky estimation, it's the nature of estimation. It's only "misleading" if you don't understand the strengths (speed and ease) and weaknesses (precise accuracy) of estimation.

To lose weight you don't need super, precise "rocket science" math. If you're a pharmaceutical chemist, estimation math could be deadly -but for weight loss it works just fine.

I'm not a Weight Watcher's member, but I follow another type of estimation dieting: I count "exchanges" (which I first learned in Weight Watcher's, as WW was an exchange program until 1997). I prefer the exchange plans, but I did great on points too. When I don't lose weight, it's not because of the inaccuracies of estimation food plans, it's because I'm not following my plan.

I've "straight" calorie counted, and it works too, but I find estimation math easier, because it's a lot easier to memorize exchange and point counts than calories. I first joined WW in 1974 (I was 8 years old), so I have 36 years of experience with exchange plans. I have more exchanges memorized than calories or points - so I stick with what's easiest, and with what I can do in my head).

I think that's why WW has always chosen estimation plans, they're convenient and easy to track. It's surprising how many people can't count to 1,000 and can't do (or hate doing) 4 column math. I'm not saying these people are stupid, it's just seems to be true. I can't tell you how many times I heard people in WW (and other weight loss groups I've joined) complain that they loved the exchanges or point system because "calorie counting was too complicated."

I've got good math skills, but I like exchange plans, because I can just check off boxes as I use each exchange (and for me, it forces some balance - in WW the healthy guidelines do the same thing).
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Last edited by kaplods : 08-27-2010 at 03:07 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:48 PM   #10
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I do ww, and i have the calculator... i do not about on line , is there any ways to take off the decimals .
I happened to my , I was getting crazy so i just do whole numbers I do not even to haw many decimals, some times i can eat a piece of bread that is 1.4 (round to 1point) Right but in the other hand I may eat 1 spoon of sour cream and is .7( round to 1 ) so the it is , one for another.

1 piece of bread 1.4 (1)
1 spoon of sour cream .7 (1)

1.4 + .7 = 2.1

1 + 1= 2

I will recommend to use just whole numbers.
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Old 08-26-2010, 08:46 PM   #11
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If you like really exact math, maybe calorie counting is better for you. I, like one of the above posters, prefer WW because the exactness of calorie counting stresses me out more. But if the rounding stresses you out, then maybe it's not right for you.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:54 PM   #12
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Hi. I'm new but I've been doing weight watchers for almost 8 years. I had a lot of success at the beginning where you could "bank" your points, and have had worse and worse success with the new systems.

There is an actual equation that WW uses, though the specific one itself is patented. The one I've seen most often that "matches" with the WW is the following:

points = (calories/50)+(fat grams/12)-([min{r,4}]/5)

min{r,4} just means that it's the number of fiber grams or 4, whichever is smaller.

There are a few other equations out there, but that's the gist of it.

Hope this maybe helps calm the frustration.

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Old 09-10-2010, 08:59 PM   #13
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I remember our leader telling us that if we had 2 servings of something, don't get the point value of one serving and then double it (i.e. one serving is 2 points so track 4 points), instead add up the total calories/fat/fiber and calculate the points of that. And she was right, a lot of times the points value would be different.
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Old 10-21-2010, 05:55 PM   #14
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I was told that if it is at all possible you should add up the total nutritional value of all foods in the meal and use that as the point calculation.
For example, if you are making a sandwich, instead of calculating the point value of every different ingrediant, take all of it together.

This can often change the point value a point or two either way, which doesn't seem like much but it does add up. Do this especially if you have a tendancy to use a lot of low point or free foods in dishes. (Excluding vegetables, of course)
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