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We’re going to dive right in…that’s how the magic happens right?! If you are skeptical about joining Weight Watchers because of the price, I totally understand. It can seem like a lot and if you’ve never used the program before you are going in blind. Avoid all the stress of paying for a monthly service and just use these steps to do the program for free at your own pace. You’ll have a bit more steps to do to get the full effect of the Weight Watchers Smart Points system but it can be well worth if you can’t afford (or don’t want to pay) for the full system!
How To Do Weight Watchers Smart Points For Free
Step 1: Figure Out Your Points Allotment
Knowing how many points you are allowed to consume daily and weekly is key for any Weight Watchers program. The Smart Points system is no different. You get a daily allotment and then you also have a weekly balance to draw from. In my experience I’ve never needed many of the weekly points. By learning to make smart choices with my daily points I avoid having to use the weekly points.
This is a great resource to calculate your daily and weekly points allotment for the Weight Watchers Smart Points system. They’ve checked it against the actual program calculations and it’s the same! Because there are no calculators available for the Smart Points system we have to use these but fear not, they’re correct. You also get your daily allotment in a weekly points. So if I’m allowed 30 points per day I’m also allowed 30 per week overage. Make sure to keep recalculating as you lose weight!
I will say this as a word of caution: don’t lump all your weekly points into a big splurge meal or a cheat day where you go totally wild. Split them up and use them wisely over the course of your week. This will help you keep a balanced and healthy lifestyle in check which is what Weight Watchers aims to teach.
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Step 2: Get Active, Get Moving, Vamoose!
A big part of the Weight Watchers Smart Points program has to do with FitPoints or Active Points. These are points that you work towards with activity and movement. If you have a smart watch or a phone app that tracks your movement this can be a huge help. You set your own goals for the FitPoints so in reality you should just set a step or movement goal for yourself.
I try and get at least 50 minutes of active time in each day. If you prefer a step goal you can track progress in that way as well. A 30 minute cardio workout and a walk in the afternoon or morning keeps me moving and it makes it easy for me to meet my exercise and movement goals.
Note: you don’t have to do an intense workout to see results with Weight Watchers. If you make a conscious effort to move more in your daily life (in any way) you’ll see more and better results. Walking is just as good for you as running or cardio equipment at a gym! Just get out there and get moving and you’ll see results.
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Step 3: Calculate Points in All the Food You Eat
If you are not signed up for the Weight Watchers Smart Points program this can be the tricky part. The good news is that there are some reliable tools that you can use to determine the points on everything you eat!
Another great way to calculate points is by using the Weight Watchers Smart Points Calculator which you can buy via this link: here. If you want to do this completely for free though, just bookmark the link above and calculate your points via the web!
I use a kitchen scale to get accurate measurements for what I am eating each day. Don’t guess on your portion control! Weight your items with a scale like this one: Weighmax Electronic Kitchen Scale – Weighmax 2810-2KG black. It’s inexpensive in terms of keeping you on track and accurate!
Step 4: Find Great Weight Watchers Recipes
You will see the best results if you are eating healthy items. Of course you can eat anything you like on Weight Watchers Smart Points program as long as you are accurately tracking your points. The results and overall healthy feeling will be more attainable if you use Weight Watchers Recipes.
You can find great recipes that are healthy and delicious here at Midlife Healthy Living as well as on Pinterest, in magazines, and on other blogs! You don’t have to eat special meals or even buy special ingredients to see success on Weight Watchers.
Step 5: Find An Accountability Group
Part of the way Weight Watchers works is through group accountability. The online program lacks this component a bit but as in most things in life, accountability goes a long way. There’s just something about having a support system that allows you to make good choices, share in victories, and help one another up after a slip up.
There are TONS of online groups through Facebook. If you don’t have one or don’t want to join with strangers, feel free to start a group of your own on Facebook. Include friends, family members, and other like minded individuals who can help you along the way. You don’t all need to be using Weight Watchers Smart Points to live a healthy and happy life, you might just enjoy having someone around to give you an extra push when you need one. It’s also always nice to have a supportive system in place for when you see small victories. Celebrating those can keep you motivated and on track!
Step 6: Take Advantage of Technology
There are so many great tracking programs out there for not just Weight Watchers Smart Points but for health and wellness in general. You can download free apps to your smartphone, tablet, or computer so that you can keep an accurate track of your food intake and exercise.
Keeping a log of everything you eat, drink, and do (in terms of exercise) can really help you stay healthy in the long term. It will show you what works and what does not. It will also help you control what you are doing. I know, for me personally, there are things I don’t want to log. I don’t like to log my cheats and my weaknesses so when I have to do that it makes me cringe. That little moment of annoyance with myself helps motivate me to skip the junk and find a healthy alternative.
There are pen and paper alternatives out there for those of you who like to write things down. I LOVE keeping track of my life with pen and paper. I have a stack of Happy Planners (they also make a fitness edition) to prove it.