Tag Archive | weight watchers

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.”)


Doing the best of diets

At the end of last year, I talked about the concept from a book called Eat Move Sleep about choosing the healthiest and best part of diets that you’ve done in the past and doing those things instead of following any one diet.  As I thought about it and talked to others about it, I realized I hadn’t really hit the surface with some of those diets.  Here’s an updated list of the “best of diets”:


  • helps avoid having too many carbs, especially refined ones like flour, pasta, and sugar

(Gestational) Diabetic Diet

  • opts for a balance of carbs, protein, and fat to reduce insulin spikes
  • completely eliminates sweets and desserts

Weight Watchers

  • requires tracking of food (in the form of a journal/point totals)
  • helps with portion control
  • allows “cheating” as long as you have to points to use on the food–in other words, no food is off limits so that you don’t feel deprived
  • encourages exercise since you can earn extra (activity) points by working out
  • encourages fruits and vegetables because they are “free” foods that don’t cost any points
  • requires weekly weigh-ins to track progress

As you can see, Weight Watchers (WW) really does have a lot of good things going for it.  I thought about joining up, but since we were trying to get out of debt as soon as possible, I couldn’t rationalize spending $17 a month to lose weight.  Luckily, I’ve done it a couple of times and know the basics of it, and with a little help from the Internet, I’ve been able to do it for free.  (Stay tuned for a future post with the details.)  I’ve also been avoiding sweets completely except if it’s a holiday or a birthday (so less than once a month), and I haven’t had pop or diet pop at all since January 1st–cutting out artificially sweetened drinks or things that are mostly sugar.  I still have things with sugar like ketchup or jelly, but in limited amounts.

By doing these things, the goal I set on January 1st was to lose 10% of my weight by Easter.   Do you think I’ll do it?  Or maybe I’ve already done it?  Wait and see!

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