Product Type: Weight Watchers Diet & Weight Loss
Newest Review: ... really need this feature. All in all I would recommend this calculator if you are on the Weight Watcher's diet. It's not something I use ... more
What's the Point of this then?
Weight Watchers Points Calculator
Member Name: i_am_joy
Weight Watchers Points Calculator
Advantages: Easy to use, invaluable for working out the points and keeping me on track
Disadvantages: I keep forgetting to deduct the points when trying to use the Tracker system
When you are using Weight Watchers to lose weight you are required to count the points values allocated to each and every food available. They produce a very comprehensive Shopping Guide, which is a book listing thousands of food and drink products along with their points value, but obviously an annually published book cannot possibly include every single food available in every single shop.
And this is where the Points Calculator is worth its weight in gold. Points are worked out depending on the calories and saturated fat in food, as long as you have these two figures you can work out the points value using your calculator. Even if you don't have the saturated fat content you can work your points out by simply halving the full amount of fat in the product, although using this method you will not get a 100% accurate result.
The Points Calculator is incredibly easy to use and has another useful function which I will explain more about later. It comes with quite a thick user manual, but I found the calculator to be so self explanatory that I have only had to refer to it once and I don't even know where it is now!
To find out a points value you simply press a green button marked 'POINTS'. You will then be prompted to add first the calories and then the saturated fat, pressing the green 'ENTER' after inputting each. Your points value will then be displayed on the easy to read 2 inch x 1 inch screen.
I think the keypad of the Points Calculator is laid out in a very straight forward and easy to use manner. The basic calculator digits have purple keys, and the more exclusive Weight Watchers functions are located to the side and coloured in bright blue and bright green. It means I am not looking in bewilderment at a row of grey keys and wondering what on earth I am supposed to press next.
This can obviously be used as a standard calculator and all of the main buttons you will need for basic mathematics are there, I have used it many times in the supermarket when I feel I am nearing my budget to avoid overspending. This also has the added bonus of me being able to work out the points values of food before buying them, a recent box of flapjacks was placed back on the shelf after I worked out that each small finger would cost me 11 points - half of my entire days points allowance! If I had not worked it out then I would have bought them, and probably ruined my diet for the week by eating them all.
The other clever function of this calculator is that you can use it to keep track of how many points you have eaten that day. You programme your daily allowance into the calculator and click the blue 'ND' (New Day) button, this will store your allowance and whenever you eat or drink anything containing points you click 'USE' and the calculator will deduct this from your allowance. This helps you to keep a real time running total of how many points you have left for the day and in theory you should never go over your points allowance by accident again. You can check how many points you have left by pressing the 'PL' (Points Left) button.
I personally don't use my Points Calculator for this purpose because I simply forget to input the points I've used, so before bedtime am frantically trying to remember everything I've put in my mouth since 6am! I much prefer to use my Weight Watchers journal as I write in details of each meal and manually add up the points, I think it helps me to focus much better on my diet to be able to view what I've eaten that day and it's also a source of inspiration if I'm stuck for a meal idea as I can look through my book and find something I've previously enjoyed.
Also, if you attend Weight Watchers meetings you will get support from your Leader and if you are having a bad patch she may well ask to see your Points Tracker for the previous week or two. If this is the case I can easily whip my journal out of my bag for her to have a look at, then she will make suggestions based on what I have logged for that week. Sometimes the extra cream cake I ate will stand out on a week when I haven't lost weight, but other times it can be a more subtle reason such as too many meals based on carbohydrates. All the advice my Leader has given me from looking in my journal has proved accurate and on the following week I have usually lost weight, she would not be able to give me these invaluable tips just by looking at numbers on my Points Calculator screen.
Having said this, there are many members in my Weight Watchers group who do make use of their calculators for this and they are successful with their weight loss efforts so it's really a matter of taste. I did attempt to use my calculator like this when I went away recently and when used properly it's accurate and reliable, if only my memory were as good!
The Points Calculator looks nice, it's a slightly oval design in a nice glossy silver. If you're embarrassed about being on Weight Watchers, and some people are, then no-one would recognise this as a diet tool if you took it out of your bag in the supermarket or at work. It looks like one of those funky calculators you can buy in Claire's Accessories, in fact it's very similar in appearance to a pink one from here that I bought for my granddaughter last Christmas only more grown up looking. It flips open and closed so the screen will not get damaged while in use and is of excellent quality; I've had my calculator rattling around in my bag, worked points out with greasy fingers and even had my baby granddaughter chew on it when she was teething recently. Despite all this it still looks brand new and the cover had not chipped or scratched at all, apart from a few teethmarks on the edge but what a lovely reminder of my granddaughter's baby days!
I paid £9.95 for my calculator from my meeting, I would have paid more but don't tell Weight Watchers that or they'll put the price up next year! It's not exactly an essential because you have the points listed in your shopping guide and upon joining Weight Watchers you'll be given a sliding card Points Finder (which is actually more accurate than it looks), but the Points Calculator makes it so quick and easy to work out your meal that it really is an invaluable tool for me. I recommend it.
Summary: I would honestly be lost without my clever Points Calculator.