top secret weight watcher's formula
November 28, 2005 8:04 PM   Subscribe

I'm starting weight watcher's with my spouse. She brought home this slide rule thingy that calculates the top secret WW points allowance by measuring fiber, fat, and calories. Has this slide rule thing been reduced to a simple formula anywhere on the internets?

And super bonus question: Has anyone had luck with "the hacker's diet" ?

If you don't know the answer, but have any inspirational weight loss anecdotes, that's cool too.

additional trivia: I am 40, 6'7, 238 lbs., and just read a scary article on belly fat.
posted by mecran01 to Health & Fitness (26 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
There can't really be a conversion formula, because the Weight Watchers slidy-thing doesn't do fractions/decimals. I do have a fresh supply of anecdotes and tips, though.

FWIW, I have happy testimonials from Weight Watchers -- my grandmother, my mother, and I all lost a lot. My grandmother has made it to her goal weight and is maintaining; my mother is still losing; I plateaued but am (happily and easily) maintaining because my work is my biggest concern at the moment.

The hackers' diet is a cool thing of the moment, and sure, it's cool to understand how your body works -- but WW is about a zillion times better for me, because I can know the basics of body-fuel but I don't have to analyze everything I eat.

The real trick to WW is finding loopholes you can live with. Find zero-point foods you enjoy so you can assure yourself you can eat as much as you want and never be hungry. There are these off-brand purple fudgsicles that taste like delicious fudge and are one point apiece -- those are daily dessert around here. In general, try to buy as little Weight-Watchers-brand food as possible: you're saving money and you're eating better (fresher and less "fake").
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:23 PM on November 28, 2005


Yeah, uh, so I lied. No experience with this program/site, so I don't vouch for it.
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:24 PM on November 28, 2005


google is your friend.
My fiance swears by the hacker's diet. If you weigh yourself every day, you'll get a very good idea of how many calories you should be burning/eating on daily basis. The palm version seems easier to use than the excel version.
posted by j at 8:24 PM on November 28, 2005


I read a recent study that said Weight Watchers is the most successful diet in the world in terms of people sticking to it and keeping the weight off long term, so there's that for ya.
posted by Brittanie at 8:25 PM on November 28, 2005


j, look at your source. It's a crap site, complete with pop-ups, that shills for an expensive regime called "Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle." I wouldn't trust that site as far as I could raise an eyebrow.
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:27 PM on November 28, 2005


IIRC, it was roughly calories/50 - fiber/3 + fat/5. (I'm very sure about the cal, less so about the fiber & fat)

The calories/50 is the biggest predictor of points. Something really fatty only adds a few on top.
posted by unixrat at 8:28 PM on November 28, 2005


WW has really tried to crack down on providers of free information about their offerings, which is unfortunate, and the real formula is top secret but a good approximation can be found here. If you want the real thing you just just analyze WW's patent application (kidding!)

If you or your wife have a PDA, you should DEFINITELY download the WW for Palm application. WW forced most hosts of the file to remove it, although WW is not making any effort to offer a similar program. It's a really fantastic and useful application that includes a food journal, calculator, and a food and restauratn database. If you email me I'll send you a link to the group.
posted by apple scruff at 8:29 PM on November 28, 2005


I have pop-up blockers, so I didn't see that part -- I apologize for that. But the patent sites and the formula, as far as I can tell, are correct.
posted by j at 8:30 PM on November 28, 2005


I found it easier to do in my head if I divided by 50 at the end:

points = (calories + 4 x fat grams - 10 x fiber grams) / 50

(Figuring out the formula from the slide rule was one of the only times I used algebra after leaving school.)
posted by smackfu at 8:34 PM on November 28, 2005


As long as you remember that only the first four fiber grams count, smackfu has the formula correct. Also, you always round up the final number, so even if you get 5.01 points, it's really 6.

I've found it much easier to just calculate number than to carry the slider around. I also don't find myself 'cheating' so much on things that are right near the line. Something is either over the number or it's not, and I don't 'pretend' that it's not really on the line.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:48 PM on November 28, 2005


my boyfriend has lost about 50 pounds the last few months on weight watchers without even excercising enough. if that's not inspiration for you, i don't know what is!

the most important thing is to keep with it. even if you know you've not lost weight, or have gained weight, just keep going back.
posted by booknerd at 9:53 PM on November 28, 2005


WW is great. It's so simple, and have a points limit for each day is a wonderful way to calculate the calories/fat/fiber that you eat every day. Once I get into it, I barely even think about it, it just becomes a way of life, and I don't miss a lot of foods. The most important thing to remember is to don't get discouraged if you totally blow your points and pig out every so often. You can often reach a plateu of you're eating the same points everyday, and in my experience a little variance, even a high point one is good for shaking things up.

I've lost 70 pounds on WW, and I am only 5 pounds from my goal weight of 165. It's exciting.
posted by corpse at 6:06 AM on November 29, 2005


Also, in my experience, the flex plan works much better than the core plan. That's mainly because I need that limit, or I'll eat 500 apples in a day.

I save all my flex points for beer.
posted by corpse at 6:09 AM on November 29, 2005


Re: the bonus question: the Hacker's Diet (which is composed almost entirely of common sense, really) worked quite well for me when I wanted to drop 20 pounds--I took the weight off in two months. It isn't fun, but what diet is?

The thing about it that's worth noting is that its primary aim is to convince you to permanently reform your eating habits, instead of just showing you how to take the weight off.
posted by Prospero at 6:11 AM on November 29, 2005


The forums on weightwatchers.com used to have a lot of information on the formula - some people even had Excel spreadsheets they would share. I'm not a member anymore, so I can't access the info, but if you can get on there you will find recipes and info galore.

I was only an online member, so I'm not sure if you are a "real world" member if you also have access to the online stuff.
posted by Puppy D at 6:17 AM on November 29, 2005


Not necessarily interesting, but helpful: dwlz.com, while rather painful to look at, has a bunch of good WW information, including points info for over 400 restaurants.
posted by undertone at 6:26 AM on November 29, 2005


dwlz is indespensible.
posted by corpse at 6:32 AM on November 29, 2005


Thank you, there were more "best answers" than I could check off. This is very helpful!
posted by craniac at 9:36 AM on November 29, 2005


A question about this formula:

points = (calories + 4 x fat grams - 10 x fiber grams) / 50

Should it read:

points = (calories +(4 x fat grams) - (10 x fiber grams))/50 ?

Or does it not matter?
posted by craniac at 9:37 AM on November 29, 2005


I tried the hackers diet briefly last summer, and I had some moderate results (but I also increased my exercise regime at the same time). Researchers have just found that weighing yourself every day may help maintain or lose weight.

craniac - order of operations dictates that the multiplication steps are performed first, so those two statements will provide the same answer (although yours is clearer).
posted by muddgirl at 10:17 AM on November 29, 2005


I lost 55 pounds in about 4.5 months. I just ate ~1300-~1600 calories a day and did an insane amount of elliptical training (up to 3 hours straight at the end, burning off between 5 and 10 thousand calories a week). I'm sort of off my diet till the end of November, though.
posted by delmoi at 3:19 PM on November 29, 2005


My ex lost 101 pounds on Weight Watchers, most of it while with me, going from a nice girl with extra pounds to a depressed hottie that considered herself more attractive than me. Which wasn't far off, to be truthful. The system really works, and can transform anyone with the appropriate dedication.

Me, I lost 60 pounds without a system at all. It took 5 years, all told, but I simply stopped eating so much and learned to love fruit juices in the morning. I went from obese to the high end of my healthy range (6 foot 2, 185 pounds) without any particular diet or exercise. I look much better than I ever did, though I need to tone myself quite a bit.

In any event, whether with a system or not, the key is fewer calories. That's why I like the Hacker's Diet, it just teaches you to pay attention. WW too.
posted by Pacrand at 4:20 PM on November 29, 2005


My ex lost 101 pounds on Weight Watchers, most of it while with me, going from a nice girl with extra pounds to a depressed hottie that considered herself more attractive than me. Which wasn't far off, to be truthful. The system really works, and can transform anyone with the appropriate dedication.

Ouch. Law of unintended consequences indeed.
posted by craniac at 5:59 PM on November 29, 2005


It's a crap site, complete with pop-ups, that shills for an expensive regime called "Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle." I wouldn't trust that site as far as I could raise an eyebrow.

The fact that we have a small yellow pop-up on the site (which appears only once) and recommend a book to our readers does not make the information about the weight watchers points formula any less accurate.

Best wishes,

Christian

Christian Finn, M.Sc
Founder, The Facts About Fitness Ltd.
http://thefactsaboutfitness.com/
posted by christian_finn at 1:23 AM on November 30, 2005


Yeah, The Finn's formula works. Although popups are tacky.
posted by mecran01 at 4:34 PM on December 2, 2005


If you or your wife have a PDA, you should DEFINITELY download the WW for Palm application. WW forced most hosts of the file to remove it, although WW is not making any effort to offer a similar program.

I come late to the game, admittedly, but incorrect.
posted by WCityMike at 12:50 PM on January 6, 2006


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