Meal Planning Service

Amazon is running a local deal on eMeals meal planning service. Folks on the forum who find it hard to come up with a menu might find the ~30-60/year service helpful.

Deal: http://local.amazon.com/boston/B00I1042AK

More on service: http://www.emeals.com/

Comments from GoaDie Free.bee:

They have plans that work with both SF or points. The “clean eating” or “paleo” plans are mostly Power Foods or easily modifiable.

The “Portion Control” plan, which they say “just happens to sync with today’s popular portion control programs” gives points values for the meals. I can’t vouch for their accuracy, since I don’t use that plan, but the sample I looked at seemed reasonably close.

Still Alive

Just a note that we’re still here. Weight Watchers launched the new for 2013 program already “Weight Watchers 360″ mostly the new program is tweaks around the existing 2012 program and PointsPlus. The program adds an emphasis on “Spaces” and “Routines” to help members meet their goals.

Wishing everyone a happy holidays and if you have posts you want covered let me know.

Activity Points – A Perspective from Crewahl

From his WW blog (reposted with permission)

We get lots of questions about calculating or using activity points – and a lot of differing opinions. These tend to be shaped by personal experience or preference, as is my own.

Basic concept – your body burns calories for fuel, and the more you exert yourself, the more it burns. Similarly, when you consume less calories than you burn, you lose weight. So there are two possible levers to impact weight loss – intake and activity. The challenge is that there’s nutritional info for most foods, but no “activity info” for activity.

WW has some information in their articles. Go to http://tinyurl.com/IntensityOfExercise for the official WW guide to calculating activity points. My approach/observations?

– I started when WW assessed your activity level as a baseline, and you earned activity points for activity above that baseline.  I still follow that approach, since it intuitively makes sense to me. If I’m more active than normal, I need more fuel.

– Some of the activity points calculated by the tracker are just wacky, so you can’t take it literally. For example, walking 18 holes of golf would earn me 18 AP. when I compare that to walking in general, it just seems high – so I only allow about 60% for that one. Essentially, you’ve got to decide what works for you, and experiment to see how it affects your progress.

– I eat my activity points. Some people don’t.  Short version is that for me, it seems to offer a little more flexibility if I eat them. Yeah, I lost weight slower – but that’s okay with me; I got where I wanted.

– While activity is a lever to impact weight, I’m persuaded the bigger lever is intake. Why? I can eat five points of food in less than a minute, but it takes an hour of walking to burn it off.  Essentially, it’s too easy to out-eat your activity.

– Activity points drop for a given level of activity as your weight drops. Make sure you’re recalibrating what you allow for activity as you lose weight.

– If your weight loss stalls and you eat your AP, how you calculate them might be one of the first places to look for the problem. Historically, people overestimate activity earned and underestimate calories consumed.

– Activity is more about fitness than food. (Took me a while to get there.) I’d suggest you don’t start counting the three minute walk to the train, the fourteen stairs into the office, the time spent walking around the grocery store – you get the picture. If you’re looking around for little tiny pieces of activity points to pick up, you may be thinking about this all wrong.

So don’t fear activity points – but use them with some caution and some common sense. Don’t be greedy about accumulating and using them.

One person’s opinion . . . . .

Future Program Changes

A thread by Free.Bee highlighted remarks on the earnings call about planned 2013 program changes.

Quoting a bit, there is a suggestion that this will be more than the 2012 changes but less than the full switch from Points-to-PointsPlus that we saw in late 2010:

“It is definitely more significant than the change that we put in this year, which I would say was a pretty modest level of innovation.

So, I think it’s what we would typically… If I had to ballpark it, I would say it’s what I would categorize as what we’ve historically called a major innovation. So, let me kind of provide a little bit of color around my definitions. I think of innovations in three buckets. One is platform change. The next level down is major innovation, and the next level down below that is what I would call minor innovation.

I would call PointsPlus 2012 a minor innovation. I would call PointsPlus itself a platform change, platform changes typically being every 10 years. Major innovations for us have typically been every two to three years. Momentum was a major innovation. There were a number of others like it. I would put this current rate in that category. At least that’s the expectation we have for it as we’re thinking about our marketing and PR plans as we go into January. ”

You can read the full transcript on Seekingalpha.com.

Are We Destined to Fail at Weight Loss?

A thread about a Cracked.com OpEd of sorts discouraging weight loss gathered some steam.

My editorial: I continue to believe that most weight loss fails not because we are destined to get fat again or because the metabolism of formerly fat people is slower, but because people return to old patterns/habits and overeat. Our obesogenic food environment in the US does not help, but the main thing that happens is people go back to over consuming calories.