Activity and Your Weight: A Guide to Starting Out

Take it slow, go at your own pace and work up to a level that helps you maintain weight loss.
Activity and Your Weight: A Guide to Starting Out

Despite our sedentary culture, most of us realize the benefits of activity: It reduces the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers, and helps build strong bones. It helps combat stress. And it's a critical part of long-term weight-loss success: Research has shown that active people are much more likely to maintain their weight losses.1

So where do you start? The Weight Watchers approach encourages you to take it slow. We suggest that you build up your activity gradually, starting at whatever stage makes sense for you, and progressing at a pace that feels comfortable. So that this time, your efforts will help you feel great and lose weight — and keep it off.

Determine your activity stage
You've already taken an important first step toward losing weight by coming to Weight Watchers. The next step is to determine your current activity stage by following the guidelines below.

1. Understand activity PointsPlus® values
Once you start paying attention to activity PointsPlus values, you'll notice what a difference activity makes and you may be eager to add more movement to your day. This is how they work:

  • You earn activity PointsPlus values, for any physical activity you do.
  • There's no limit to the number you can earn and save each week within the PointsPlus Tracker.
  • You may swap activity PointsPlus values for food PointsPlus values one for one and they can be used any day of the week.
  • You will boost your weightloss by not swapping your activity PointsPlus values for food.
2. Think about how active you are
Activity includes anything from household chores to walking to sports. Plot a typical week out using the chart below:

Day Activity Minutes Intensity
(estimate based on the chart below)
Mon Walk around the block15Low
Tues Go for a swim at the Y 30 High
A reliable way to determine intensity level
Tune in to your body's clues to determine the level of intensity of a given activity or workout. Your perceived rate of exertion has been shown to be a pretty accurate measure of intensity level2, so use the chart below as a guide.

Can you talk? Can you sing? Is your breathing... Do you sweat? Your INTENSITY LEVEL is
Yes Yes Regular No Low
Yes No Often and deep After about 10 min. Moderate
Only in short
No Rapid and deep After 3-5 min. High
3. Determine how many activity PointsPlus values you earned.
To do this, simply convert your typical weekly activity into activity PointsPlus values with the Activity Calculator.

Now you can identify your activity stage.

1 Klem, ML et al. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1997; 66, 239.
2Pollock ML et al. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 1998; 30 (6), 975.
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