Earning activity points on the Weight Watchers Points Plus system is as easy as being active. This can be from exercising, fun activities or even household chores.
If you are a member, then you know that the foods you eat are assigned a certain value based on the nutritional content. You also know that based on your age, gender and current weight, you are given a certain amount of points for your daily allowance.
But did you know you can get extra points to use towards food for the exercises you do? These extra points are what you earn on Weight Watchers for being active.
Exercising while trying to lose weight is a key component to success. But exactly what are these extra points for and how do you use them?
Activity Points are only used on the Points Plus Plan. If you have switched over to the new Smart Points, then you will be using Fit Points.
There is no standard calculation for Fit Points. Instead, it is personalized and based on certain information such as gender, age, weight, height and current activity level.
As part of the WW program, you are rewarded for exercising. First and foremost you are rewarded with success as most people will lose weight when they include exercise.
The points you earn are based on the activities you do, which is why they are call "Activity Points". Depending on the intensity level (more on this later), your weight and the duration of your workout, you will be rewarded with points.
These points can be used towards food or extra treats for that special event. As stated above, you have a certain amount of points to use each day. In addition to the daily allowance, you also get extra weekly points. On top of that, you can now bank points from your activities to use as well.
Where there is some confusion is when to use these points on the points plus system. Well the decision is really up to you.
You can choose to save up these points and use them during the week only when you use all your weekly points. You can also choose to use the activity points only on the days you exercise if you need a few extra rewards.
Of course, you can choose not to use them at all. It's entirely up to you. The one thing that you cannot do is roll over these extra points into the following week. These points, along with your weekly allowance, are reset on your weigh in day.
If you want to start exercising and using the activity calculator, then you will need to know how to measure the level of intensity of your workout. Since this is a bit subjective, below are some general guidelines to help you select the right level.
If during your workout you can talk or sing, your breathing is regular and you are not sweating, then this is a low intensity workout.
If your breathing is deep and often and you start to sweat after 10 minutes, this would be a moderate workout. Another measure is if you can still talk a few sentences but cannot carry on a whole conversation or sing, then you are at a moderate level.
A high intense workout can be measured by heavy breathing and sweating after 3 to 5 minutes. You may be able to talk briefly but you for sure could not sing a song. If this sounds like your workout, then select the high level on the calculator.
So you plugged in your details using the activity points calculator and got the results. You may be wondering how it's determined. The formula is simple. It takes your weight (in lbs) multiplied by the duration (in minutes) times the intensity factor.
Basically, on the original points system you would earn 1 point for approximately every 100 calories you burned. Also, on the original method, food points values were 1 point for approximately every 50 calories.
So exercising to get the activity points still creates a deficit in calories consumed versus calories burned.
On the points plus system food points values in many cases went up. Good news is the activity points you earn in many cases also goes up. With the original method you had to burn approximately 100 calories to earn a point.
However, with the points plus system, you need to burn approximately 75 - 80 calories to earn 1 activity point. So even though the food points values went up, you can add more activity points quicker.
All in all, the results are approximately the same on both systems. You earn points for your activities to use for extra food. Since the food points values are different for the two points systems, the activity points calculator factor was also adjusted accordingly.
The formula used to calculate the activity points is the same for both the points plus and the original WW points system. The only difference is the intensity factor used for the two methods. This is how the plus system gives you more points for your activity.
Below outlines the basic calculation for the original and points plus method.
Another thing you may be asking yourself is what counts towards activities to earn points? Some activities are obvious such as a brisk walk, 30 minutes on the elliptical, riding a bike and running around the track.
While these are obvious other activities may not be as obvious. For instance, many people may forget to count their strength training or ab crunches.
Because you may not sweat as much or feel like it is an intense workout, these structured exercises will burn calories and earn you some activity points. Other items that can earn points are a lot more fun than the aerobics and weight lifting.
Things like dancing, a round of golf, bowling and even playing a friendly game of touch football at the family picnic will get you some extra points to swap for food if needed.
Additional activities, which may not be as fun, can also earn you points. These include housecleaning, gardening, yardwork and more. Basically, any physical activity above and beyond your normal daily routine will earn you some extra points for these activities.
So get up and get moving and earn some extra points by exercising. Be sure to figure out how many extra points you earned by using the activity points calculator.
Points Tracker Spreadsheet
Download this free spreadsheet to track the points you earn from your activities. Record the foods points and the spreadsheet will automatically adjust the allowances as needed.
Food Points Calculators
Check out the WW points calculators on this site. You will find one for the plus system and one for the original method.
If you are not sure where to start with exercising, then check out this article. Adding exercise to any diet plan can help you lose the weight faster.