Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Opinions on WW Points Plus

The new Weight Watchers Points Plus system launched the Monday after Thanksgiving. I decided it was a great time to give Weight Watchers another honest try. After so many false starts, I was not sure whether my latest attempt would stick.

But it has. The reason why is because the new program (in my opinion) is great.

The new program emphasizes whole foods -- particularly fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins -- in a way it hasn't before. Here are the differences I've noticed:
  • The meaning of a point is re-calibrated - everyone receives a higher daily allotment of points, and a weekly cache of points too. For example, I used to get 29 points a day on the old program, but when I started Points Plus I got 38 points a day. Everyone used to get 35 extra points a week; we now get 49.
  • Many of the formerly 1 pt. foods are higher in points (e.g., Bagel Thins are now 3 points whereas they used to be 1). This applies largely to foods high in carbs and/or processed foods. I hear booze is higher too, but I rarely consume it so I don't know for sure.
  • Most fruits and vegetables are "free" and do not count against the daily points allowances. The only exceptions I know of are corn, potatoes, peas, and avocados.
  • Foods containing protein did not go up much in points values and therefore count less against the daily amount of points you can eat. For example, eggs and a cup of milk are still 2 points apiece as they were on the old WW plan.
I believe that the modified Points Plus program addresses many of the concerns/problems I had with WW previously, but retains the parts I like the most.

Modified parts of the program that I like
  • The program emphasizes (subtly) the importance of protein. The importance of protein is something I caught onto via trial and error this summer. When I have a meal that contains both carbs and protein, it keeps me fuller for longer and also curbs cravings for crap. I like that it is now easier to eat more protein because it is proportionally less expensive than it used to be.
  • I love the free fruit!!! I still eat a bunch of it, probably more than I have before.
  • I have openly criticized the WW foods that they used to sell. Although I do not eat 100% unprocessed foods, I would say that about 80% of what I eat is unprocessed. I like that they have gotten rid of the 1 point faux foods (e.g., 1 point ice cream with fiber added) that contain a ton of chemicals.
  • Although I was never at a weight where I had a restrictively low number of points (the lowest I ever had was 29/day), it was not uncommon for me to be hungry despite eating the "right" things (the filling foods, etc). I feel that the modified plan rewards the way I had been eating, and now allows me to eat more food.
  • I feel like I can live within my daily points. I could not do this before. I regularly ate 5-7 points above my target on the old plan (which was still technically ok since I usually earned 5-10 activity points/day and could use my weekly points too).
Parts of the program that stay the same that I like
  • I like that I can eat anything I want. While the program encourages me to make healthier choices, I can still have cheese dip or a donut if I want to and have the points budget for it. I also like that I don't have to subscribe to a fixed meal plan. That makes me feel like I have control over what I am eating, rather than being forced to eat a meal that is scheduled. It also makes me feel like I can go out to dinner with friends without feeling guilty about it as long as I plan for it.
  • I love the concept of weekly points and activity points. This makes me feel like I can splurge on treats every now and then with this plan.
  • If you follow it, the program works. I have lost 5.8 lbs in the 10 days I have been on the plan. It's hard for me to argue with results if I feel like I am doing it in a way that is honoring my body. (i.e., eating healthy foods vs. some other gimmicky crash diet)
Other than the annoyance/inconvenience of learning new points values, I cannot think of much that I do not like about the new WW Points Plus system. I feel a renewed sense of excitement about tracking and being on WW that I haven't felt in a long time. I have tracked every single thing I have eaten for 10 days, and I can't even think of the last time that happened before Points Plus.


  1. I feel the same way about the new program. I was following the old plan but never felt completely satisfied. I've been doing the new plan a little over a week now and I don't even feel like I'm on a diet. It's great to see people feel the same way as me.

  2. Sarah - that was an excellent overview. You should get paid by WW... because hearing that explained so well to me encourages me to give WW another try. I don't plan on doing so right now, but I'm much more open to it, and when I feel like I will take advantge of the program - I think I'll like it alot!(I always found it hard to stay within my points - and would stop counting towards the end of the evening... and fudge things a little...)


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