Weight Watchers Just Updated Their Program—and Now Potatoes and Pasta Are Zero Points

Users will have the option to choose one of three customized weight-loss programs to suit their lifestyle.

Weight Watchers, which recently rebranded themselves as WW, was rated the number-one "Best for Weight Loss," according to the 2019 Best Diets rankings by U.S. News & World Report. Part of the reason for the company's success is that they consistently evolve and change their diet plan as new research comes out. Last year, WW incorporated hundreds of "zero-point" foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, beans, tofu, chicken breasts and fish into their Freestyle program, so users could eat as much healthy, unprocessed food as they wanted without feeling deprived.

overhead shot of pasta with shrimp in a blue bowl

Pictured Recipe: Creamy Lemon Pasta with Shrimp

Now, WW has announced another update to their program, which they're calling myWW. According to the media release, the company says it's their "most customized weight-loss program ever" and is "driven by science and behavioral insights." They also tout that it offers more flexibility and freedom, making sticking to your plan easier than ever.

Losing weight can be a deeply personal journey, and everyone's food requirements and preferences are different. WW recognized this need and is now offering a personal assessment that matches users to a myWW plan that works best for their lifestyle.

"As the world's leading weight-loss program and partner in wellness, we inspire healthy habits for real life—and everyone is different," said President and CEO, WW, Mindy Grossman, in the press release. "We are constantly listening to our community, and we know they want a more customized approach to weight loss. With our new myWW program, we help you find the weight-loss approach that fits your life."

The new myWW program has three, color-coded options—green, blue and purple—to help users make food choices that'll help them reach their weight-loss goals. Here's what the colors mean, according to WW:

  • Green guides people towards 100+ ZeroPoint foods, with the largest SmartPoints Budget to spend on other foods they love.
  • Blue is based on 200+ ZeroPoint foods to build meals around, with a smaller SmartPoints Budget. Current WW members will recognize this plan as WW Freestyle®.
  • Purple is comprised of 300+ ZeroPoint foods and a more modest SmartPoints Budget.
Weight Watchers graph
Weight Watchers

The purple color is the most different from previous WW plans, since it includes over 300 zero-point foods—many of which have never made the cut before—including air-popped popcorn, potatoes (any kind), legume-based pasta, lentils and whole grains such as farro, brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa and whole-wheat couscous. It's not that WW users couldn't have these foods, but a modest serving size would usually run between 5-8 Smart Points on Freestyle.

Lisa Valente, MS, RD, and EatingWell's nutrition editor adds, "I'm glad to see that whole grains are being given the green light, at least on the Purple plan. A lot of people lump all carbs into one category but whole-wheat pasta and gumdrops deliver different nutrients to our body. Because they're higher in fiber—and more filling—it's harder to overeat whole grains. It makes sense that you shouldn't have to measure them out and give them a points value. The more you can listen to your body's cues about how you're feeling—hungry, energized, full, etc.—the better."

In a six-month trial of the program funded by WW at the Medical University of South Carolina's Weight Management Center, participants experienced an 8% weight loss, 2% decrease in systolic blood pressure, a 7% reduction in fatty or sugary food cravings and, perhaps most notably, a 24% decrease in hunger.

Gary Foster, PhD, chief scientific officer, WW, said, "It is scientifically proven that customized approaches lead to greater engagement and more behavior change than generic approaches. The new myWW program enables people to live their lives and still lose weight. We will match you to the right plan, the one that is the most freeing and flexible for you and gives you the confidence to succeed."

We're glad to see some customizable options for WW fans—especially since they now include more "free" foods than ever! To learn more about the myWW program, check out WW.com or download the WW mobile app.

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