Etiquette for Message Boards

Newbieposter synthesized a long thread on GoaD about etiquette on his blog here. These are copied here as good suggestions.

  • DON’T USE ALL CAPS – it’s considered shouting.
  • Don’t “hijack” threads. If you want to take a thread in a different direction, start a new one. Learn the acronyms and more about GOAD at
  • Use a clear thread name, because some read each thread but others only skim for topics that interest them.
  • Punctuation and paragraph breaks make reading posts easier. The Faulkner-ish stream of consciousness style of posting is tough to follow.
  • Please don’t post and disappear – that’s a “drive-by”. If you are looking for advice, some feedback to the people who offer it up is nice.
  • Read a lot to learn the ropes – “lurking”, in other words. Get a feel for the tone of the board before jumping in.
  • Read a few days’ worth of posts to see if whatever basic question you are about to ask has recently been answered.
  • Even a KITA or a “tell it like it is” can be couched in words that will encourage.
  • This is a two-dimensional media. Irony, sarcasm and humor don’t translate well. Consider using emoticons, even if you don’t like them.
  • Don’t interpret tone or intent where there may not be any.
  • Do your homework – Check the basic WW materials for info before posting a question.
  • Respect each others opinions, even if we don’t agree with them. Type a message as if your were speaking to that person’s face. It is often easy to forget there is a real person behind each of these messages.
  • Have an idea of who you are, and how you want to be known before you post. You *are* what you post.
  • Think twice; post once. (The “carpenter’s rule” for Message Boards.)
  • Don’t assume everyone’s first language is English or that they have the same educational background as you.
  • Don’t mock someone just to get a laugh.
  • Accept that if someone posts incorrect scientific/biological info on GoaD, it will be corrected. Better to have your ego a little bruised but have accurate info.
  • Opinions aren’t facts. Keep that distinction clear in your posts, and as you read others’ comments.
  • Don’t be afraid to post just because you disagree with someone’s opinion.

Gains at Weigh In

There was a good thread about experiencing a gain at weigh in.

EDITORIAL: Before considering making any changes to your targets or the system, make sure you are actually following the system as written. That said, under PointsPlus for 2012 you can change your target downward by 3 daily points (but never lower than 26).

Also: For more on the changes to PointsPlus made for 2012 see this third party article.

Biggest Loser Contestants and Weight Regain

There was a thread discussing Biggest Loser contestants and their weight regain. My blog post on the study can be found here.

But here’s one quote from the article:

More importantly, by week 6 participants’ metabolisms had slowed by 244 more calories per day than would have been expected simply as a function of their weight loss and by week 30, by 504 more.

EDITORIAL: This is a good reminder why Weight Watchers is a marathon not a race. Check our newbies page for tips for new people to Weight Watchers. So get in your Good Health Guidelines (GHGs) and feel comfortable eating your daily PointsPlus target.

Another Day, Another Too Many Points Thread

At least once a day, we get a post from someone saying they think WW gave them too many points.

If you provide the correct information (age, height, and current weight), the system WILL give you the appropriate number of daily points. While that number may seem high to you, it will be correct. As you lose weight (or have a birthday), you will be asked to update your information and your points will be adjusted accordingly.

Enjoy the points while you have them!

Reminder about the program: You are not required to eat every point assigned as long as you eat the minimum (26 DPT) and get in all of the good health guidelines (GHGs). That said, Weight Watchers is meant to be a lifestyle change, not The Biggest Loser or a crash diet.

For new folks starting out, check out our newbies page. If you are interested in getting a sense of the science about how many points you are assigned see this article or Steve0Mania’s deep thought series.


There was a nice thread on stress over at the boards. Lisa’s (Authenticity3) answer highlighted a bunch of common pitfalls from stress (small edits and reformatting for clarity here):

  • sleep poorly: and we tend to crave comfort, convenience foods when we’re tired, not to mention the pure fact of being awake more hours and how that affects our hunger levels. We also tend to move less in our general life during the day and skip workouts.
  • emotionally eat: for such emotions as the stress itself, procrastination, irritability, despair, and even self-destruction (no one else cares, why should I?)
  • mindlessly eat: because we’re so preoccupied
  • lack of planning: since we perceive ourselves as too busy to take the time.
  • lack of tracking: which often leads to feelings of failure on top of the original stress, and the attitude of “I’ve blown it already, so what’s it matter now?”
  • eating out more often: than you would otherwise, and maybe not making the best choices at restaurants.

Too Many Points Strikes Again… Sample Targets and Why Weight Watchers Got it Right

It seems like people–mostly men–keep thinking that somehow Weight Watchers assigned them too high a daily PointsPlus target (DPT). Your DPT is based on your gender, height, age and weight. If you are honest about those things you will get an accurate DPT.

Here’s an example of the approximate DPT for a 40 year old male who is 5′ 10″ tall (images thanks to My Virtual Model):

A couple of things to note, first off as a person loses weight their DPT drops. As this guy journeys from 250 down to 165 pounds, he loses 16 DPT.

Second if you use the TEE calculator at this website you can get a sense of how the DPT relates to your caloric needs:

Weight BMR TEE DPT Total P* Total P * 35 calories Daily Calorie Deficit**
250 2212 3282 51 62 2170 1,112
165 1776 2668 35 46 1610 1,058

* Total P = DPT + 7 weekly P+ (of the 49) + 4 P+ for 0 P+ food, e.g. fruit.

** Daily calorie deficit = (Total P * 35 calories) – TEE

Notice what Weight Watchers did there? They cleverly assigned you a DPT that creates about a 1,000 calories a day deficit. That is 7,000 a week, or enough to lose the advertised “up to 2 pounds a week”.

Also notice that for computing the target, one PointsPlus value is approximately 35 calories. The food you eat might have a bit more calories or a bit less, but for computing the target 35 is used.

Nostalgia for Old Plans?

If you are feeling nostalgia for any of the classic Weight Watchers plans because you think you have too many points (you don’t, check the newbies page here :D), perhaps investigate a classic weight watcher’s plan, Brad has some blog posts on them:

  • All on one page
  • Around 1997-98 the Points-based plans came around, e.g. Flex, Winning Points, Momentum
  • Late 2010 was the start of PointsPlus


Tips to Live By…

MassRunner has a good reminder about questions to ask yourself on days when you don’t track:

  • Did you practice portion control?
  • Did you MTBC (make the better choice) most of the time?
  • Did you eat basically the same “diet” as you did while tracking?
  • Did you get APs–if that was your normal practice?
  • Did you restrict yourself to that single meal or single day and then get back OP?