Doing Weight Watchers for Free

So these aren’t the best pictures of me in the world, but they do demonstrate that since the beginning of January I’ve lost some weight, and if you remember, in the last post, I asked you if you thought I was able to reach my goal of losing 10% of my body weight by Easter.  Well, it’s almost Easter, and looking at those two pictures, before on the left, after on the right, what do you think?

At my home weigh-in on March 9, I had officially lost 11% of my starting body weight, so I was able to reach my goal almost a month early.  Now, I’m working on the next goal:  another 10% lost by October.

As I mentioned, I have been doing the “best of diets,” cutting out sweets and desserts except on special occasions and doing Weight Watchers (WW) for free.  It’s really the combination of these things that has made losing weight possible while at the same time not feeling deprived.  I eat out.  I make “cookies” out of nuts and dates, and I make “ice cream” out of bananas and strawberries.  And I still lost weight, so I wanted to share the resources that I’ve been using to help me.  If you’ve done Weight Watchers before, then it’s fairly easy to do it for free with the right tools.

If you haven’t done it, then it might be a little more challenging since you’re not familiar with the basics, but here’s the blog that made me realize that it’s very possible to do:

How to Get Weight Watchers for Free.  Really! by Freckleberry Fit

On this blog, she shares helpful links.  The first one you’ll need is a calculator to figure out how many points you can eat each day:

Weight Watchers PointsPlus Daily Target Calculator

Then, once you know how many points you can have, you’ll need a way to calculate points for foods:

Weight Watchers Points Plus Calculator

If you’re having a food that doesn’t include nutritional information (because it’s fresh/not packaged), then you might use Spark People:

Track Your Food

Then you can use the calculator to find points for it.  Luckily, there are many fruits and vegetables that are 0 points and are, therefore, free foods.  WW provides a nice list:

Zero PointsPlus Value Food List

If you exercise, you earn activity points.  I have found that I can’t actually eat my activity points and still lose weight, but each person needs to experiment with what they can and can’t eat:

Weight Watchers PointsPlus Activity Value Charts

Finally, besides your daily points, you also get 49 points.  Again, you have to experiment with what your body needs and can handle.  I can’t use the full 49, or I won’t lose.  I’ve set my weekly allowance at around 40 so that I can continue to lose larger amounts.  The weekly allowance allows you to splurge when you need to without having to feel guilty.

Consider giving WW a try if you’re trying to lose weight and eat healthier.  As I learned during my time paying for WW and participating in the online communities, WW really isn’t a diet; it’s a lifestyle.  I hope you give it a try.  To make it easier on you if you decide to try to do it for free, I’m sharing the Google Spreadsheet I use to track points and measurements.  It’s a Google Doc, so please create a copy of the spreadsheet first before entering your information; otherwise, everyone will be able to see it!

 WW-log(Click on the image to open the spreadsheet, and then remember to “make a copy.”)

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