I have been a Weight Watchers member for more than a quarter century, and those of you who have been part of the program for longer than that can back me up here; Weight Watchers programs are constantly changing.
When a new WW program is released, I follow it like clockwork. Some programs are better than others, but staying current helps me stay on track with my health. Plus, it keeps me stay active in the WW community, and try I can try new recipes I find without converting points to older programs!
Last year, as Weight Watchers was releasing the new ThePoints® program, I detailed the past programs I found helpful. I also explained my complaints with the PersonalPoints® program, mainly how difficult the points system was to track and use.
The PersonalPoints program lasted one year, which makes me wonder how long until we get another Weight Watchers program change.
Will Weight Watchers be changing plans in 2023?
Although the Weight Watchers plan change in 2022 happened suddenly, a new program change in 2023 will not occur.
Weight Watchers pulled PersonalPoints quickly because the program was just a lousy product and was not making WW International the money the top brass expected it would make.
ThePoints program has addressed several issues members had with PersonalPoints. Unless a massive shake-up at WW International happens, another change is highly improbable.
Why Weight Watchers changed programs in 2022
The program changed last November because members didn't like the system and canceled their memberships.
Anecdotally, I had to supplement my WW tracking because PersonalPoints had me doing mental math every day because of all the earned points for eating select food items.
Having a diet and sticking to it is difficult enough. Adding any additional barriers is hard on veteran WW enthusiasts like me but downright awful for friends just starting the program.
I had to start counting and tracking calories as a failsafe to ensure I was not miscalculating my PersonalPoints and unknowingly sabotaging my weight loss goals.
If I were starting Weight Watchers in 2022, had no loyalty to the system, and struggled to find it helpful, I would have thrown in the towel and canceled my membership.
WW International lost 15% of paid subscribers after moving to PersonalPoints. CEO Sima Sistani told investors on a call that members were unsatisfied and lost interest in PersonalPoints compared to older programs.
While WW changes programs often (typically every 2 or 3 years), last year's change was an outlier and ONLY done because members were unhappy and lost interest in the program.
When business is struggling for WW International, changes to the product take place.
Why I Like the new Weight Watchers Plan
ThePoints is essentially trying to be two things: 1) A weight loss program that is simple to use and 2) a modern fitness tracking app (Think MyFitnessPal)
As for tracking points, the new WW program is incredibly intuitive for tracking points, with a personalized daily point allowance in addition to a slush fund allotted weekly.
Every food and beverage is assigned points based on the nutritional value of the items you consume. More WW points for higher calories/saturated fat and sugary foods, while fewer for protein and fibrous items.
I like this setup for the flexibility it offers when you have weeks you want to splurge on brunch or a night out!
As for fitness tracking, WW continues to allow members to track their activity and will link up with several fitness devices, including Apple products, Fitbit, and Google Fit. Members receive extra points to use on food based on the activity tracked in the app. Unlike the past program, extra points for water and eating certain foods was removed to make the program more intuitive and easy to follow.
Tracking my activity and giving extra points for food keeps me motivated. The amount of points varies on each personals assessment, but it is typically 3 to 5 additional points for 3,000 steps.
With the simplified food program and keeping ZeroPoint foods as a focal point of the program, ThePoints should be a lasting product for WW.
I credit Weight Watchers for successfully navigating the logistical challenge of changing up programs as quickly as they did. Large corporations typically take longer to pivot products, but WW did in just a few months.
ThePoints is a simplified plan that makes Weight Watchers much easier to follow and, conversely, much more helpful to successfully achieve weight loss goals.
The market for diets and fitness apps is constantly becoming more crowded, and WW will need to change to stay competitive. Still, the current program will be in play at least into 2025.
How Does Weight Watchers Work
Weight Watchers is a popular weight loss program that offers a personalized approach to healthy eating and lifestyle changes. The program is designed to help you lose weight by creating a calorie deficit through a simplified calorie-counting system, which assigns points to different foods and drinks based on their nutritional value.
When you join Weight Watchers, you are assigned a daily SmartPoints budget, which is based on your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level. SmartPoints are assigned to different foods and drinks based on their nutritional value, with higher values assigned to foods high in sugar and saturated fat, and lower values assigned to foods high in protein and fiber.
Weight Watchers offers a range of resources to help you stay on track, including a mobile app, online community, and in-person meetings with trained coaches. You can track your daily SmartPoints budget, record your meals and snacks, and get support and encouragement from other members.
In addition to tracking your food intake, Weight Watchers encourages you to make healthy lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, and practicing mindful eating. The program also offers a range of healthy recipes and meal plans to help you make nutritious choices and stay on track.
Weight Watchers has been shown to be effective for weight loss, with studies suggesting that members can lose up to 2 pounds per week on the program. By providing a flexible and personalized approach to healthy eating and lifestyle changes, Weight Watchers has helped millions of people achieve their weight loss goals and improve their overall health and well-being
New Weight Watchers ZeroPoint foods
At the core of every WW program is ZeroPoints foods (complete post on ZeroPoints). Not having to measure or track these items helps add more sustenance to my meals, and it's a game changer for snacks.
The new ZeroPoins items are similar to past programs, including:
- Fish and shellfish
- Non-starchy vegetables
- Non-fat yogurt and cottage cheese
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Corn and popcorn
- Chicken and turkey breast
- FruitsTofu and tempeh
These items are recommendations by national and international nutrition guidelines and are core for healthy eating. They are also tasty, flavorful, and crucial meal items.
Onward to using ThePoints and keeping our weight loss goals throughout 2023! Before I go, here are a few of my favorite zero-point recipes.
Great Zero-Point recipe ideas to try: