First Weight Watchers Meeting

The other day I wrote a lengthy post about wanting to lose a few more pounds. I decided in the end that instead of denying myself the calories I burn at the gym, I’d try only eating HALF of them back. That way I am still at a deficit of calories just not as drastic.

As a result of my debate about whether or not to eat all of my calories I had a chat with a coworker who is doing the Weight Watchers Points Plus program. She brought in her books and showed me the calculator.

I skimmed through the books and tried the calculator. It does not calculate calories; in fact that’s not even a subject matter in the books. I saw no calorie information listed. Instead you enter: Carbs, Protein, Fat, Fiber.

I guess the calculator is $6. After entering the above info it calculates how many points you get for what you’re eating. While I was flipping through the books I kept trying to calculate the calories of the food listed. Like I would see 1 Point and think “How many calories is that?” I can see that as being a struggle for me.

I went to the lunchtime meeting with some coworkers. It was packed–standing room only. People weighed in when they first got there then sat down and the leader talked for 45 minutes.

First she asked what lessons everyone learned tracking. The answers were pretty much what you’d expect. Most people said they struggled with the new system, but did like that fruits and veggies were “free.”

As they passed out sample candy bars she pointed out success stories for people who weighed in. One girl reached her 50 pound loss mark and everyone clapped at her success.

Another woman reached 40 pounds lost. She said that she started out really well the first 5 months of doing the program but that as the months dragged on she’s now struggling to lose the last bit of weight. Both women said that when they reach their 1 year anniversary on WW they’ll be “Lifetime” and at goal weight, so that’s cool.

The leader talked about Power Foods and what was more filling. She also shared a story about the family pressure she got this week to eat foods she would normally resist–cinnamon buns.  She talked about how she keeps her environment “safe” — free of temptations–but the struggle is when she goes out to other places where the temptations are!

The leader then talked about behaviors and asked the group to share things they learned. For example:

  • Are you eating fast? (She discussed the concept of “sneaky eating”…I know that was one of MY issues when I was growing up and struggling with my weight.)
  • Are you eating at the fridge? (How many times have I stood in front of the fridge and just stuffed cheese in my mouth and not counted it?)

Then she asked people to finish the following sentences:

  1. I’m very satisfied when I eat _______.
  2. I’m NOT very satisfied when I eat _______.

Finally she finished with a discussion on the differences between URGES and CRAVINGS. Urges are when we have the urge to just stuff our face but we don’t know why and we don’t have specific food in mind (i.e. boredom eating, in my opinion). Cravings are when our bodies crave something and it won’t stop craving it until we eat it.


All in all the meeting was good. I can see the benefit in belonging to Weight Watchers. If I had to go back in time and do my weight loss again I think WW would be a good choice if I didn’t count my calories.

The support system and encouragement is good. I think with losing weight you MUST have a support system. I didn’t really have that, I did it all on my own and sometimes it was pretty lonely. One thing I noticed was how many people seemed tortured about their food choices. It really seemed to be a struggle for them and they talked a lot about how they’ve wanted to give up and go back to their old habits. I’m glad that they are sticking with it, but I’m surprised how many people nodded in agreement that they were struggling.

I’m not sure if WW is for me. I don’t feel like I MUST lose 7 pounds for health reasons, like I’ve discussed before. And I don’t want to pay the cost of WW. I left the meeting just as undecided as when I walked in.

QUESTION: How would you answer the above questions? Do you do Weight Watchers? What is your opinion on it and how are you doing?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

27 thoughts on “First Weight Watchers Meeting”

  1. I’m glad you tried a meeting!

    I lost 72lbs. on Weight Watchers and became a lifetime member. I gained 65lbs while I was pregnant and attempted to lose it on my own. I realized I missed the support and structure of the meetings so I returned to Weight Watchers.

    After losing the baby weight, I started working for Weight Watchers. This was just before the new PointsPlus program launched. We underwent extensive training to learn the mechanics of the new program as well as the science behind it. As someone who cares about nutrition and not just losing weight, I’m extremely impressed with the new plan. It really focuses on eating good-for-you foods rather than just low-fat, light or low-calorie snacks that are empty of nutrition.

  2. I’ve done WW many times and just rejoined. I’m a big time food/carb addict and this new Points Plus has done wonders to my diet. Before a low fat muffin and a large apple had the same points. Now that they take in consideration carbs and protein that’s not the case. I’ve tried counting calories, doing shakes, eating/trying to watch my diet and honestly WW is the only thing I’ve ever lost weight on. I’m hoping this time will be the time I succeed. :/

    1. I’m so glad you found something that works! Different things work for people and I’m sure part of my “resistance” to signing up for WW is the fact that I lost my weight counting calories and it worked. If it hadn’t worked I’d be more open to doing WW.

  3. I confess, I’m guilty of both eating fast (I tend to inhale my dinners and have usually eaten and finished cleaning up the kitchen before anyone else has even finished their meal) and I peck while at the fridge and “forget” those calories later (or if it’s not the fridge, it’s the pantry!)

    I don’t log calories, but I try to do it for a few days every few weeks just to see how I’m doing. Sometimes I’m doing well, others have made me aware that I need to watch what I’m doing again.

    I don’t really know if I agree with fruit being “free”. I’ve known people to eat a lot of fruit and gain weight from it. I mean, it’s still calories going in? But then maybe I’m just biased because I agree that the whole calories in vs calories out thing is the biggest reason people gain.

    1. They have worked in the plan what average person would eat for fruit so it isn’t really free. Obviously if people are losing they have taken into consideration what someone might eat.

  4. I had done WW multiple times over the course of my lifetime. I always ended up gaining weight back. The last time I did it about 4 years ago, I was doing well and using their old Core program, which is pretty similar to now, only you have the number structure. I also did the old points program. I ended up getting stuck on a horrible plateau and ended up realizing that I was not eating enough food for the activity I was doing.

    I think WW is as sound as most programs out there. However, counting is still counting, whether it is calories or points. My biggest bravo to them is now making fruit free, which is something I disliked before because it made people afraid of bananas. Seriously.

    I still think the calories can come in a little low, but I honestly don’t know on the new program. The other thing with the new plan is that you can’t calculate something in your head anymore. With the old system, 1 point was roughly 50 calories, so you could estimate points on things without needing a calculator.

    1. Someone on WW once told me the 50 calories=1 point thing. So I still try to convert the points into calories. A friend gave me a WW candy bar today that’s 2 points. I thought “so how many calories is that? 100?” The calorie thing is just natural for me…

  5. Glad you got to check it out (so funny since it’s basically a rundown of my exact meeting today). I estimated with the new points and for me (which would be you too) it averages a max of about 1600 calories. That’s not including Activity points. As a longtime Weight Watcher (20 years), as much as I LOVE the program – old and new – I think there’s a LOT to be said for how you lost your weight. I think your self-sufficiency is so admirable, and you have so many skills that I think WW just can’t teach. I think you really OWN your weight loss and your workout regime is such an inspiration. I do want to give myself credit for losing my weight but I couldn’t have done it without WW. You did it on your own which a lot of people can’t do. For them (us) there’s WW. Whatever works, as long as it works, right?

    1. Thanks Tiffany. That cheered me up a lot. Sometimes I lose sight of where I USED to be and how through determination I arrived at where I am now (injury and all). I think WW is a good program, just not necessarily for me.

  6. I lost most of my weight going to Overeaters Anonymous ( I still go and i have not regained any of the weight in many years. There are no dues or fees, no weigh ins and the most wonderful support I have ever experienced. OA is the reason I did not gain weight when my father died, did not gain weight doing a long and unexpected unemployment and did not gain weight over the holidays. In OA I am accepted and loved without a weekly payment.

  7. Hi Lisa, I am currently on WW and I just love the new points plus system. I have lost 25lbs so far. I like the fact that you can eat real food. I also like the accountability. If it weren’t for the weekly weigh-ins I don’t think I would be doing so well. I do admire you for the way that you lost your weight. Your determination and hard work is remarkable.

  8. With the new point system doesn’t that change all of the frozen foods?
    They still have the old points. Does anyone know how much the calculator is? I think that would be of great benefit.

    1. Yes it does. If it says points value it is wrong. If it says pointsplus then it is right. They are still updating their packaging.

  9. I’ve never done Weight Watchers, but one question I have about the new program is how people cope with foods they can’t read labels for and how people learn to eat off the program for the rest of their lives.

    I am maintaining a 40 lb weight loss and gave up on counting calories because I have too many days in my week where I have to eat catered food or restaurant food that I don’t know how to “count.” It drove me crazy and tempted me to write off the whole day.

    You can lose weight on any diet, but unless you learn how to make healthy choices that you can keep making for the rest of your life, you will gain that weight back.

    I’m not trashing WW, I just wonder if this new program doesn’t make their customers too dependent on “the program” –good for their business model if customers keep paying, but not necessarily good for people who may need to do it on their own at some point.

    1. Coco I feel the same way, which is why I think WW isn’t for me. I struggled to figure out points. But I can figure out CALORIES with a simple Google search or using Myfitnesspal App.

    2. Any food, catered or not, you can find the points values or calories. I use the online tools which gives you access to many tools include the food tracker. WW has many foods already calculated in their search including many restaurants and/or famous brand packages. If they don’t, you can use the recipe builder where you can put in the ingredients and amounts and they will tell you the points per serving. Yes, the points do have approx. calorie amount but for some reason I found the points much easier to use. Maybe it’s a mind thing but it’s what works for me. WW teaches you how to eat healthy, what a healthy day of food looks like, and how activity effects your food intake. As with any diet, you do become dependent on them or you wouldn’t have to do them to lose weight. In WW once you get to goal they do not charge for meetings anymore. You just have maintain and come to a meeting at least once a month.

  10. For someone in my position — and yours — who wants to lose the last few pounds, I just don’t know that WW is the best route. After losing 100+ pounds, I think it’s safe to say that WE GET IT: portion control, calories, etc. I understand it’s another source of accontability, and has helped many people change their lives, but at this point in my weight loss I simply would not enjoy the cheerleading and basic tips.

  11. I did WW many years ago and went back for the first time last week to check out the new program since I’d been hearing great buzz about it. I was also struck by the total lack of calories in any calculations. Not sure if i will try WW again – just hate counting and calculating points, especially for recipes.

    1. Don’t you have to calculate calories for recipes if you count calories?

      With WW they take in consideration protein, fiber, fat, and carbs. When just counting the calories a 100 calorie pack of crackers would count the same as a medium apple. This is what helps me with WW. I don’t have a handle on portion control or with making good decisions. Just by the points themselves, I’m learning that an apple will keep me fuller than a pack of crackers. So, for me, it works.

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