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Old 01-08-2002, 03:17 PM   #1  
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Default A points question

It's been awhile since I posted here... boy, lots of changes The site looks great, though.

Years ago, I argued with my WW leader that diet bread should count FOUR slices for one point, not TWO slices for a point, because of the fiber (in the first incarnation of the Points system, you could "count" an unlimited amount of fiber. Four slices of diet bread was 160 cal, 1 gm fat, and 10 gms of fiber, which translated to ONE point on the OLD Pointsfinder.) And WW said (then and now, I believe) that whenever label data is available and the Pointsfinder (or, equivalently, the WW Points formula) is used, that takes precedence over the WW "book", which is only based on AVERAGES of similar foods.

Well, of course WW then changed the rules to only allow us to "count" the first four grams of fiber in a serving of a food (that "Four or more" mark on the Pointsfinder), which bumped my four slices of diet bread up to TWO points like the WW book said. I grumbled loudly, but went along with it

But imagine my surprise this morning as I idly perused my diet whole-wheat bread label... this particular brand (a local one, sorry!) has, for TWO slices, the following data: 70 cal, 0 fat, 6 fiber. That means that FOUR slices should be 140 cal, 0 fat, 12 fiber. Because of that darn "Four or more" mark on the Pointsfinder, that works out to TWO points. But if I do it for TWO slices (which is what the label says a "serving" is), it's 1/2 point (actually, I don't use the Pointsfinder itself, I use the WW Points formula because I'm used to it.) So if TWO slices are 1/2 point, FOUR slices should be ONE point, right? The discrepancy, of course, is in the fiber. If "one serving" is 2 slices, I should be able to "count" four of the 6 gms of fiber in those two slices, right? If I double the serving size BEFORE I use the Pointsfinder (or the WW Points formula), in effect I'm "losing credit" for all the fiber in those OTHER two slices, and it "costs me" a Point.

So, whatta ya think? Any leaders, wannabe leaders, or other experts out there want to help me out? Would the "official" WW position be 2 slices = 1/2 point so 4 slices = 1 point, or would it be 4 slices = 2 points?

Dan
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Old 01-08-2002, 04:11 PM   #2  
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Dan, do you really care what the "official" WW position is on this? The change in the program renders the calculation of points no longer mathematically linear. Now it DOES matter (which it didn't before) whether you add up the cal/fat/fiber of your boca burger, slice of cheese, and bread and then calculate or instead calculate points for each element of your sandwich separately. The internal mathematical consistency is shot to ****. You're on your own, with your (well-honed) instincts.

FWIW, the book says when eating more than one serving, calculate the points per serving and multiply by servings. Which means if you want your 4 g fiber discount twice, go ahead. BUT now you're gonna have to count 2 cups of skim milk (160 cal/0 fat/0 fiber) as 4, because it's two 2-point servings.

At some point, you know more about what works for you than they do. I'm pretty sure you must be at that point.
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Old 01-08-2002, 05:08 PM   #3  
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The reason WW capped the fiber at 4 grams was people like you trying to get things like 4 slices of bread for one point and then complaining they weren't losing. Even though we don't count calories, CALORIES DO COUNT! Slow losses or no losses point this up. Why would you eat 4 slices of bread in a day...don't you want to eat a variety of healthy foods?
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Old 01-08-2002, 05:41 PM   #4  
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Didn't the old program require that, even if something calculated to "0" pts, only the first serving was free, and subsequent servings were 1 pt each? I also thought of the rule of thumb that 1 pt is *generally* 50 calories. In this case I would be inclined to error on the side of less calories and count 2 slices as 1 pt -- or at the very least, the first serving as 1/2 a pt and additional servings as 1 pt each.

Good Luck! Holly
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Old 01-08-2002, 05:52 PM   #5  
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Quilter,

If you believe the USDA's food pyramid, then it's very easy to think that a person could eat 4 slices of bread in a day (6-11 servings per day recommended in the breads/cereals/rice/pasta category). Heck, he's got room leftover for more...
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Old 01-08-2002, 05:59 PM   #6  
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Quilter: Gee I dunno... a couple of pieces of toast in the morning, a sandwich at lunch... doesn't seem unreasonable to me that a person could eat FOUR slices of bread in a DAY. Or even in one meal-- what if I want TWO grilled cheese sandwiches (FF cheese of course!) for part of my lunch? Some of us eat more than others you know... tell ya what, I promise not to criticize YOUR food choices if you won't criticize mine

Oh, BTW, I lost over 100 lbs "tweaking" the WW system for everything it was worth points-wise. So they didn't change the WW plan because of "people like me".

Bumby, thanks for your insightful response. Actually, I've often thought that WW's "Points" system was originally conceived to be linear with respect to all three variables (Calories, Fat, and Fiber) simply because it just seemed most reasonable to try it that way first. With experience and research, they probably found that the fiber needed to be limited. I always thought it a bit strange that fiber, which is undigestible carbohydrate and, like all carbohydrate, is about 4 cal/gm, "earned" us a 10 cal/gm "discount" on our points. But there IS research that shows that increased fiber intake results in faster "transport time" through the digestive system and thus, fewer calories (of all kinds) being absorbed. I'd always assumed that was the rationale for WW "pushing" fiber. That and the fact that fiber is so good for you in other ways too

SAAAY, I wonder if one could argue that, since for no-fiber foods the relationship still IS linear, one could go on counting that skim milk as 3 points, while counting my diet bread on a per-serving basis... Just a thought...

Rupertsmom: Long time no see! Howyadoin?

Dan

Last edited by Daniel1953; 01-08-2002 at 06:03 PM.
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Old 01-08-2002, 06:11 PM   #7  
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Quilter,

Why are so many of your posts so bitter and hostile?

As for the recommended number of servings of bread and grains each day, please consult a registered dietitian, who will confirm that 6-11 servings is optimal.

Dan,

I'm guessing you're at goal by now, since you were really going gung-ho the last time you came around. Congratulations!
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Old 01-08-2002, 06:18 PM   #8  
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Hips: 'Fraid not... I address THAT issue a bit in the "Where are they now" thread. I've only recently regained my "gung-ho-ness" But regained it I have...

Lyon: I was always told that, except for the foods designated as "free" by WW, one always had to count a serving of a given food as SOMETHING. So that Fiber One cereal that, because of the fiber, came out 0 (or NEGATIVE, if you used the WW points formula!) still had to be counted as a point (but back then we weren't officially "allowed" to use HALF-points ) Actually, since they put on the limitation on how much fiber one can "count", ARE there still any foods that, because of their fiber, end up as 0 on the Pointsfinder? It'd have to be a food that has 4 or more gms of fiber per serving but only 40 cal or less... with the exception of the already-"free" veggies, I can't think of an example of such a food...

Dan

Last edited by Daniel1953; 01-08-2002 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 01-09-2002, 11:27 AM   #9  
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Say, Dan, looks like you actually could have FOURTEEN slices of that bread for 1 point if you don't cap fiber (assuming no fat). Each slice has only 5 "effective calories," right? Jeez, even FIFTEEN slices would put you right on the line. This is the kind of thinking (did you know a WHOLE BOX of Kashi worked out to only something like 4 points if you did it that way?) that warranted the fiber cap. (People like ME, I guess. Except that I still managed to get to goal and maintain it.)

I still think it would have been more sensible to impose either a change in the formula (e.g. -5 cal/g rather than -10) or some percentage cap (points reduced by NMT 20% or something). I mourn the loss of internal consistency. Of course, we always had the silliness of the 70 calorie item eaten once at breakfast and once at lunch costing one point each time, but if you had two at dinner that would cost you 3. This just compounds it by introducing a complication that works the OPPOSITE way.

My approach to the fiber cap has been flexible. I count up my Boca patty and light English muffin separately, taking the "fiber discount" on each element. But if I'm making a recipe, I total up cal/fat/fiber for the whole recipe, divide by the planned # of servings, THEN apply the cap and calculate. I also mentally note (o.k., it isn't just mental--I have to tell DH also) things like, "this is 2 points for a quarter of the pot, but if you take a second serving, charge yourself 3 points for that." If I'm doubling servings of something, I apply the formula to the total cal/fat/fiber for MY serving (who's to say what a "serving" is?).

Holly, as far as counting multiple servings of items that work out as zero: I would not count every serving after the first as one point. It depends on the food, really. Sometimes you get quite a bit for that 1 point. I would, instead, actually CALCULATE the points from MY serving based on the NI. Example: 1 serving "food x" = 15 cal. That's zero. Next 2 T = still 15 cal. The two together (30 cal) might warrant a point, but I would allow myself up to ~4 servings (60 cal) for a point. Vegetables, note, often work out to next-to-nothing for very large amounts. A bag of asparagus in my freezer has 4 servings at 25 cal, 2 g fiber each. Even with the fiber cap, that would be 1 point for the WHOLE BAG. Not zero for the first serving and 3 for the remaining 3. Don't cheat yourself. WW is assuming you are eating a certain # of calories in zero-point vegetables.
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Old 01-09-2002, 11:34 AM   #10  
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Hey, Bumby, what's this brand of light English muffin you're eating? I can't seem to find one. Thanks in advance!

P.S. I'm STILL pissed about the Carl Buddig formulation changes that put a bag of turkey up to 2 points!
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Old 01-09-2002, 11:53 AM   #11  
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Shake--
Mine are the local grocery store's house brand. I hear "America's Choice" makes one, too. They have 90 cal, I believe, and >4 g fiber, and 0 (?) fat. Comes out to 1 point IF you eat one at a time .

The Buddig Lean Slices was a bummer. But, I just add it to my list, which goes back to the Fruit-a-Freeze tragedy of 1998.

Entries in my "too-good-to-be-true file":
Fruit-a-Freeze (2 g fat went to something like 6)
Veggie Booty (used to say 6 g fiber, changed to 2)
Baker's Breakfast Cookies (who knows what THAT true story was)
Kedem Tea Biscuits (mislabeled)
Big Daddy (thank heaven they don't have that around here)
Pirate's Booty (re-formulated to accommodate new equipment, points increased)
Boca Chef Max flavor reformulated, points up from 1 to 2
I could go on...
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Old 01-09-2002, 12:16 PM   #12  
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Ha! As always, you slay me, Bumby.

In addition to the rude points awakenings you mention, let us not forget the mysterious disappearances of numerous great products. It's gotten to where I won't say "I love this product" aloud in the grocery store, lest the directional mikes pick it up and promptly alert the manufacturers: "Customer X loves President's Choice sweet-with-heat mustard! Discontinue production! Discontinue production!"

Thanks for the Eng. muffin suggestion. We don't have America's Choice here but I shall keep searching...

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Old 01-09-2002, 04:40 PM   #13  
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Yes, Dan, the food pyramid does say 6-11 servings of GRAINS per day, and if you look at the list this includes rice, pasta, corn, potatoes and many things besides bread. That is also the recommendation to maintain a healthy weight. Just last week they came out and said that 6-11 is too many for those over 60 and they are changing it. Maybe we need more than bread.
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Old 01-09-2002, 04:59 PM   #14  
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Yes, Dan, 'fess up. We just KNOW you never eat rice, pasta, potatoes, corn or any other item in this food pyramid category. We're CERTAIN you slam down bread all day, every day, to the exclusion of all other grain products. And we suspect you never eat any fruits, veggies, proteins or dairy products, either.

Oh, wait...maybe we DON'T know all this. Maybe we'd just be wildly speculating and trying to cover our previously unfair criticisms of you if we made such an assumption.

Quilter, get a grip, girl. Life doesn't have to be so rough. Most people have good intentions, really--give 'em the benefit of the doubt, huh?

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Old 01-09-2002, 06:33 PM   #15  
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Man, where's the LOVE people? It's freakin BREAD!

tee hee...ahhh..the good ole days....
 
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