Instructables

Weight Watchers Points Tracker

I'm not really sure how useful this is going to be to people, but as it's helped out several friends, I figured I'd share it here.

<<<skip this section if you could care less about Stump's story hour>>>

A good portion of my immediate family and their significant others have been doing Weight Watchers.  My mom and girlfriend kept asking me when I was going to do it to.  Hoping I might get out of it, I told my girlfriend I'd do it to so long as she kept track of all my points.  She agreed, and so I was stuck.

(To be fair, I agreed to Weight Watchers as opposed to any other diet as it seems more of a “how to eat properly/lifestyle” kind of thing as opposed to a “diet” kind of thing, so it also peeked my curiosity.  Like, “How much SHOULD I be eating compared to what I have been?” (Answer: A lot less)  To express this point, you don't have to lose weight while on the program, you can adjust how much you eat to gain, lose or maintain whatever weight you want.  It's kind of interesting to realize the amount of food intake it requires to affect your body.)

After a month of letting my girlfriend track my points, I decided to do it myself.  I wasn't going to learn anything about what I was eating if I didn't take part.  Soon after I started tracking, I realized I needed some kind of automated system that I didn't have to constantly add, subtract and keep count of for days at a time.  All of the information was already stored in a fairly easy to follow spreadsheet my girlfriend made, so I decided to add a few formulas to keep track of things a little easier.

To put simply, this spreadsheet keeps tabs on what you're eating, how many points it costs, and determines how many points you've used/have left for the day and week.  Like I said, I'm not sure how useful this is to anyone else, but I figured there'd be one or two people out there that might enjoy.

<<<If you were skipping story time, this is where you should pick back up>>>

Please let me know if you have any questions...I edited the files a little bit in hopes that it makes more sense.  Feedback is always appreciated.

Who this is for:
  • If you want to try weight watchers, or currently use weight watcher, but don't want to pay them, this might help you.
  • If you want to count your calories in a point system, this might be for you. (This is essentially a glorified calorie counter.)
  • If you want to keep track of what you eat, this might also be for you, though it may not be in depth enough.

What this isn't:
  • This doesn't tell you how many points things are worth, that's your job.
    • A quick guide to points:
      • Every 50 Calories = +1 Point
      • Every 10 Grams of Fat = +1 Point
      • Every 5 Grams of Fiber = -1 Point (you can't go below 0)
      • (and don't forget to keep an eye on serving sizes!)
  • This doesn't tell you how many points you should shoot for.  Again, your job to find out
  • This doesn't track Workout points. I don't believe in them, I don't use them, I didn't add them.
What this is:
  • You enter in what you eat.
  • You enter in how many points it costs.
  • It will tally everything for you.
  • Tracks Weekly Points which are bonus points that tally though the week
    • These are a buffer in addition to your daily points
    • They count down throughout the week (you don't want them to go to zero)
    • ...use it for a couple of days and it should start making sense.
What you need to do to make the most use of this:
  • Download the appropriate file and put it in a place that's easy to access.
    • I use different computers depending on where I am, so I also downloaded Dropbox and put this in a folder that's shared with all of my computers.
  • Figure out how many points you should eat and enter that in the ??????? field on the spreadsheet (see the attached picture).
  • Enter in what you eat, as you eat it, and see how things go.
  • If you use this, and your weight changes, ten pounds more or less, make sure you re-figure out how many points you're allowed to eat.

Voila! Now you don't have to pay $17.00 a month to a website to track your points for you!

Attached you'll find the Open Office and Excel versions of the same file.  Choose what suits you.

Picture of Weight Watchers Points Tracker
WW.xls9 KB
WW.ods12 KB
julia7242 years ago
Thank you very much for this! I am doing the old Weight Watchers Momentum and I have been looking for a tracker. I appreciate it. :)
jmancuso2 years ago
This was appropriate in the past but now...WeightWatchers uses Points Plus!  In November 2010, Weight Watchers in the United States announced that its Points system was being replaced by a new PointsPlus system. The old system was based on a calculation based on calories, fat, and fiber content. The new PointsPlus system is based on protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber:
  Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weight_Watchers#Calculation_Aides for the exact formula.
lindapg272 years ago
Thanks so much for this. I've been on and off Weight Watchers for most of my adult life. I get tired of keeping track. I was afraid of points and learning a new system. I recently went to a free meeting and it sounded less daunting, but I know what I need to do and need to get back into control. This will be so helpful until I can afford the meetings again. (if I need to) - Linda
StumpChunkman (author)  lindapg272 years ago
Of course! I'm so glad it's helpful to people. It's been a long time since I've used it, and they've updated their whole system since then, which makes me a little sad. Best of luck though! I really hope it helps you and makes things a bit easier!
It's really thoughtful and very kind of you to share this help. Many people , especially in this economy can't afford to attend W.W. meetings, and the fact that you recognised this and made such an informative and sensitive Instructable is to your credit. I battle obesity, and have since my twenties.  I lost 40 pounds on W.W., but sadly I put it all back on and then some-it was and is my fault.  Over eating is so much more than just knowing about what to eat, it's also why we overeat, and finding healthy strategies to work with that  don't involve food. It's a life long quest it seems. I find I get disgusted with myself for over eating, and then discouraged,. and then I give up for a while, and then try again... (you get the picture) Have you found any info about how to deal with the psychological origins of why a person over eats?  I would love to read it.  Thanks again so much.
StumpChunkman (author)  porcupinemamma4 years ago
I've looked around a little bit, and there's really far too many varying reason about why people overeat to try to quantify it any way.  I did find a quick 10-point article, and a long 6 page article that both seemed like they might be okay (I haven't read completely through either so I really can't say).

Personally, I think think a lot might be attributed to a lack of education as to what people are supposed to eat.  Restaurants strive to have the largest amount of food on your plate, and some do it for the smallest amount possible.  When I was much younger I could supersize my meal for a quarter (it made me feel kind of empowered).  Beyond that though you even have buffets, which seem to have the goal of deciding how much you spent was worth in their food.

I think if more people were trained from a young age to understand proportions, and how much they should eat, it might not be as big of a problem.  Unfortunately the speed of current life, and the need for a quick meal leads to inexpensive, packaged, not very nutritious meals.

Sorry i couldn't be more help.
You have been a help!  You got me thinking and motivated to look into my situation further. The emotional side of my brain is in a power struggle with my logical brain. Early negative messages are still very real to the emotional right side, which from my research I've learned is unable to tell time.  So, for me, I think the answer is not about restrictions.  It's about honouring the hurting emotional side and being more respectful.  Once this happens, I think there will be less of a power struggle, and positive results will follow.
I can kind of relate, as ever since I stopped smoking (2002) I have been an "anxious" eater....feeding on quantity until full as if not getting enough will cause me to starve or something.  It is VERY difficult to deal with (buffets are OUT :-) .
scoochmaroo4 years ago
Sorry,
I'll stop giving you candy at work.
My bad.

I'd like to try this, but it sounds complicated. There are too many things that "it's [my] job to find out." ;) 

(Plus, I consume so few calories, and still maintain the same weight. . . I need something to boost the metabolism I think.)
 
Good work!  This took a lot of concerted effort.
StumpChunkman (author)  scoochmaroo4 years ago
hahaha.  No worries, those are tasties that I'd miss far too much if I didn't partake.  You just can't be made when I decide not to have that second or third one.  ^__^
lemonie4 years ago
Yes, I know someone trying, but she couldn't resist helping herself to delicious-cake this afternoon. I knew someone else would start a diet on Weds, then give up, munch through a packet of biscuits an announce she was starting again next week... And someone else who regularly attended Weight Watchers, but loved a take-away and booze.
Ultimately you need a logical-device in your mind, a psychological-drive/control like "If I do not work I will not pass (my exams)". People structure around points to make things easy, but if you can cheat or "sod the points for a day" you spoil it.
"I'll die or get sick if I don't" in your head is what will really make it work.
The classic is "I only had (that) so I can have a bit of (this)"

L
StumpChunkman (author)  lemonie4 years ago
Yeah, the same is true of most habits that people want to break.  If they're not wholly in it, it's not going to work.

I will say, it helps having everyone around you doing the same thing, because you don't have to really think about it.  It's when I'm at work and everyone decides to go on a cookie run, or order pizza that I have to watch myself.

If you don't have the will-power, or self control to keep yourself from eating the whole tub of Ben & Jerry's, then no diet will help you.

This program, however, is nice because you can have those little excursions, and still stay within what you're allowed to have.  There's no rule about anything you can't eat, it's only on how much calories you take in.  So if you do decide to have the cookie, you just have to be able to not have it's equivalent later (which is a bit of a challenge if you're not used to it).
Yes, the energy-balance is the scientific way to go about it. A cynical person might think paid-diet schemes contrive to failure (well you'd lose your customers if you succeeded) - they just push that people aren't committed enough... I'm not that cynical, I just recognise it's tough.
Although, I have to admit been pressured into walking 1 minute to the shop to get the packet of biscuits, but I didn't want the "I'm asthmatic"-strop if I refused...

L
Dear Dr.What,  Would you like my name and number? (lol just kidding) I am indeed "plushie" lol-.  It's really heartwarming that you accept and are attracted to larger women. My knees are shot, and heart disease runs in my family, so it's just not for vanity that I am concerned. Never the less,( lol) I am sending you a kiss on behalf of big beautiful ladies everywhere.
 I'm not attracted to larger women....  

I'm attracted to larger men.
well, o.k. :0) I think it's still wonderful that you don't discriminate against large men.
Doctor What4 years ago
 Hmph.....   I don't like it when people try to lose weight, unless it is for health reasons....  I am attracted to plushie people.
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