Joined Weightwatchers Online

Author: Shizuo Akira

Last night I decided to join WeightWatchers Online. Why? Well, even though I know that some of the recommendations in their system aren't really healthy for you, such as replacing sugar with Splenda, they do have a "system" in place to help you stay on track and to lose weight. So, I decided to sign up and to see just how their system works. I knew a little bit about their "Points" system before I signed up and it sounded like a pretty simple way of tracking your daily food intake, without counting calories.

At first glance, it looks like the US version of the system might be more sophisticated than the Canadian one, but I can't be sure as I've only signed up for the Canadian one. Once you sign up it establishes your current weight, you setup a weigh-in day (once a week use testrx), and it calculates your ideal weight based on your height and age. You then setup a 10% goal for weight loss, as well as an ultimate goal based on a weight you pick. For example, it told me that my ideal weight should be between 139lbs and 167lbs and asked me what "ideal goal" I wanted to go for. I think on my frame, if I was 139lbs I would look like a skeleton so I set my "ultimate goal" at 160lbs for now. As I get closer to it, I can always adjust.

I'm kind of disappointed that they don't track body fat index. Meaning, they basically ignore the fact that if you're building up muscle tissue as you're working out towards your goal, your body fat % might be dropping but your weight might stay the same. I guess their target market customer isn't supposed to be building muscle mass on the program? Anyway, I will just track body fat % on my own anyways.

The tools they have online are pretty cool, but I was somewhat disappointed at the foods they have in their database. I went out for dinner to Red Robin yesterday and I tried to input their data into their system and it seems like they have every restaurant in the system except Red Robin. If I was Weight Watchers, I would have a full time staff member just dedicated to searching out restaurants in North America and typing in their food values. If it's a franchise restaurant with more then lets say 10 locations, it should be in the database.

I tried to go to Red Robin's menu's online and using their nutrition guide typing in the calories and fat and fibre content to calculate how many points the foods were, but it's kind of useless because Red Robin online reports their American versions of the meals which are totally different from the Canadian version. For example, I ordered cheese sticks, and the Canadian version came with like 5 or 6 cheese sticks, but on the Red Robin menu it shows the American version picture and it looks more like 12 cheese sticks, and the dipping sauces are totally different too. So, basically I was left with no choice but just to guesstimate how many points those were.

One cool thing is that if you exercise, you can earn points back to add to your daily total. For example, I run on the treadmill for 30 minutes each day, and so I earn an extra 5 points for that. However, even there the system is just a guesstimate, as you just pick "Jogging" as the form of activity, and type in how many minutes and it calculates 5 points based on 30 minutes. However, what if someone is jogging really fast for 30 minutes, compared to really slow for 30 minutes? If I run 1.5miles in 30 minutes versus 3.0 miles in 30 minutes, it seems like I get the same number of points. I'll have to research this a bit further and figure out the true point value of my daily exercise.

I'll keep reporting my findings as I get more used to the system. For now I wouldn't say that I'm totally blown away by it, but it is pretty cool.

References: Small anti-viral compounds activate immune cells via the TLR7 MyD88–dependent signaling pathway H Hemmi, T Kaisho, O Takeuchi, S Sato, H Sanjo, K Hoshino, T Horiuchi, S Akira Nature immunology 3 (2), 196 2002


Hi I'm Victoria Stefano! I traveled all over the world, and I often miss the strap of my backpack and embark on an undefined adventure. But my favorite place is at home. So, I write about everyday life. About the moments that make our life worth living. I wish you to experience the peace, freedom and blessing that lurks in the small corners of your daily life.

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