I just went in and changed my Weight Watchers week to start on Monday rather than Saturday.
I also did the same thing on MyFitnessPal. And, I set Fitbit to start on Monday, instead of Sunday (those are the only two options Fitbit gives you). The choice of which day to start with for all of these services may seem like a choice that doesn’t matter. But, I think it can be very important both from the mental aspect and for planning. This change for me is a major change for me since I weigh in on Saturdays. Before, my weigh in day aligned with the start of my week. Now, it doesn’t.
I would guess that most Weight Watchers members start their week on their weigh in day, although I have have known members who start on other days. For example, I have seen a number of members who start their week on the day after their weigh in. But, for most of the time I’ve been a Weight Watchers members I’ve started my week on the day that I weighed in. I do have some vague recollection that at one time in the last millennium I started my week on Saturday when I weighed in mid-week.
Since I went back to Weight Watchers several years ago, though, my weigh in day has been on either Friday or Saturday and I have started my week on the same day (with occasional forays to try other options). I had a few reasons that I aligned the start of my week with my weigh in day. First, it seemed to emotionally makes sense. Weighing in could be seen as something that happens after the end of the week to show the result of what I did for that week. So, if my week ended on Friday, then I would weigh in on Saturday morning and begin anew. The lining up of ending my week and then weighing in the next day made sense.
It also made sense from a practical standpoint. By ending my week on Friday, I would weigh in Saturday morning and then have all of my daily and weekly points available. Like many people, I tended to eat out on the weekend and I liked having all my points available to do that. I could eat out and use a lot of my weekly points on the weekend and then I went through the week days knowing exactly how many points I had left. That helped me plan.
Now, some people thought about these same factors and started their week the day after weigh in. They see weigh in as being sort of the last event of the week and think the new week should start the day after weigh in. I could see the appeal of that and for awhile when I weighed in on Friday I started my week on Saturday. But, I personally ran into a problem. I found that if I weighed in Friday and that was Day 7 of my week then I would tend to eat out that evening and if I went over on my weekly points it was no big deal because I knew that (1) I had already weighed in and (2) my week was starting on Saturday. But, of course, it really was a big deal because it meant I was eating extra calories that I really didn’t need to be eating.
When I switched to a Saturday meeting and started my week on Saturday, there was no temptation to overeat on Day 7 (Friday) because I hadn’t weighed in yet. The last thing I wanted to do was overeat on Friday and then weigh in Saturday morning!
So, for those reasons, starting my week on Saturday made sense. I double track at MFP so I set that as the start of my week on MFP. Fitbit, unfortunately, only lets me start my week on Sunday or Monday so I picked Sunday. That was always annoying to me that I couldn’t align Fitbit with Weight Watchers and MFP.
Despite all of the above good reasons to align my weigh in day with the start of my week, I just changed the start of my week to Monday (which had the added bonus of finally allowing Fitbit to align with my Weight Watchers week). The reason I did this is because of the fact that I am now swapping FitPoints before Weekly SmartPoints. I posted previously that I was setting Weight Watchers to swap FitPoints and I was experimenting with swapping FitPoints before Weekly SmartPoints. I have been doing this for the past few weeks and while I still like the idea I ran into a huge problem for me. This is something that might not be a problem for many people but is one for me because of when I tend to eat out and when I tend to earn FitPoints. What I sort of had in mind when I started swapping FitPoints first was that on most weeks I would eat my FitPoints and would eat few, if any, of my Weekly SmartPoints. My “goal” would be to end the week with all of my Weekly SmartPoints, with possibly eating a few of them if I ate out a major amount.
After 3 weeks of swapping FitPoints first, I realized the problem with having my Weight Watchers week start on Saturday. I usually go to a Saturday morning Weight Watchers meeting with my husband. We are both lifetime members so only have to weigh in the first visit of the month. After the meeting, we usually go to lunch. I like that lunch we have every Saturday. The meeting is close to an area that has a lot of restaurants that we like. Normally, Saturday is my highest point day of the week. In fact, I’ve average about 41 SmartPoints eaten on Saturday. Often, we also go out on Sunday. That is usually a little lighter and we don’t always eat out, but I average about 37 SmartPoints on Sunday. On weekdays, I often eat 30 SmartPoints (my daily minimum), occasionally less, and even when I go above it is usually not by more than a few SmartPoints. Occasionally, we eat out during the week but usually I go somewhere that it is point/calorie friendly.
So, the bottom line is that my food consumption during the week tends to be front-loaded. My exercise tends to be just the opposite. Usually after going to the Weight Watchers meeting and lunch, we do shopping or errands. By the time we get home, I am often tired and may end up taking off Saturday from exercise. Even if I do exercise, it is usually just walking outside awhile (if we get home early enough) or maybe the treadmill. Even on the days that I exercise on the weekend I usually don’t earn more than 8 FitPoints or so. My baseline is 3 so if I earn 9 FitPoints on Saturday, I can only swap 6 for food.
The result of all of this is that swapping FitPoints first, I am usually in the hole by the end of Saturday. If I eat 41 SmartPoints on Saturday and I earn 9 FitPoints that day, then I end up eating all 6 swappable FitPoints plus 5 of my Weekly SmartPoints. And, I almost always take at least one day off of exercise on Saturday or Sunday. Let’s say I take off Sunday and I eat 37 SmartPoints. If I don’t earn more than my baseline FitPoints, then I end Sunday having eaten another 7 Weekly SmartPoints. So, Monday gets here and I have 0 FitPoints to eat and I’ve eaten 12 of my Weekly SmartPoints! And, that assumes I exercised on Saturday enough to earn 9 FitPoints. That doesn’t always happen when we are really busy.
Now, in some ways that shouldn’t be a problem. My most active days of the week are the weekdays. And, I eat lower points during the week. So, I will refill those Weekly SmartPoints during the week. Let’s say it is Monday and I eat 30 SmartPoints. I usually go to personal training on Monday and maybe I earn 10 FitPoints that day. That earns me 7 FitPoints that can be swapped after my baseline. If I had started the day having eaten 12 Weekly SmartPoints, I end the day having eaten 5 Weekly SmartPoints. And, ideally, if I have a good week there comes a point during the week when it says I have 28 Weekly SmartPoints left and X number of FitPoints left. So, yes, it can work out. But, I found that I was absolutely hating this and was finding it demoralizing.
I started my Weight Watchers week last Saturday. This is where I am at this point. Because I am reverse tracking, Wednesday’s dinner and evening snacks were tracked on today;s dinner and snacks so I will have no more points eaten for today and still have Friday’s food to be recorded (Thursday’s dinner and evening snacks will be recorded on Friday). And, I will probably earn another 2 FitPoints this evening. I have already earned 6 FitPoints today to the point I am writing this post. And, yet, it sort of feels like I did nothing. I hate seeing that 0 FitPoints available to be swapped and that I only have 18 Weekly SmartPoints left. Now, let’s say I earn another 2 FitPoints this evening. That will make it 20 Weekly SmartPoints left. And, let’s say I earn 8 FitPoints tomorrow and eat none of them. I would end the week with 25 Weekly SmartPoints left. And, that is fine.
But, psychologically, it felt crappy the whole week. My food log always showed 0 FitPoints available to eat. Every FitPoint I earned during the week went to refilling Weekly SmartPoints. It just didn’t feel good. I felt like I was constantly catching up.
Now, here is how it looks after I went in and told Weight Watchers that my week starts on Monday (go to Settings and then to Weight to do this).
I felt such a sense of relief doing that. I feel happier looking at this and seeing I have 9 FitPoints that I can eat and still have 28 Weekly SmartPoints left. Now, lets assume I earn another 2 FitPoints today and earn 5 FitPoints that can be swapped tomorrow. I would then have 16 FitPoints available to eat on Saturday and Sunday even if I didn’t earn any swappable FitPoints this weekend. That would be fine. I could, say, eat 40 SmartPoints on Saturday and eat 36 SmartPoints on Sunday and would end the week with all of my Weekly SmartPoints available.
And, it isn’t just the mental aspect of this in terms of it feeling better. Doing this helps me to plan better. Last weekend when I ate out I didn’t know what I be doing for exercise during the week. I knew what I planned, but sometimes life happens. I get sick or I have to go somewhere and don’t do as much exercise as I planned or whatever. So, I might end up not earning enough FitPoints to cover everything I ate on the prior weekend.
But, with this new plan, I don’t have that problem. Let’s say that tomorrow for whatever reason I don’t earn 8 FitPoints. So, I wake up Saturday morning and I have 11 FitPoints available instead of 16. I know that when I go to lunch on Saturday. So, maybe I eat 36 SmartPoints on Saturday instead of 40. I can adjust what I eat to meet the number of FitPoints I have available rather than eating and hoping that I will earn enough FitPoints to cover what I ate.
For me, it is better to start my week on Monday at this time because of the fact that I am swapping FitPoints first. Doing this enables me to better plan my eating and I feel better earning the FitPoints mostly before I swap them. Obviously, this is a highly individual determination to be made. For example, if I ate out later in the week I would probably keep my weigh in day on Saturday. But, that is the point. The determination of when to start your week is an individual one. What will emotionally work the best for you? What will enable you to better plan? The answers to these questions will vary from person to person. But, it is important to answer that question for yourself to determine what works best for you.
If you track your eating or activity, when do you start your week? Do you align it with when you weigh in? What works for you?