Weight Watchers Just Changed Their Program Again—Here's What You Need to Know
WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) just announced the rollout of PersonalPoints, their most individualized and customizable program yet. According to a media release from WW, "It's the first time in the company's history where no two plans are alike, making it easier for members to achieve their goals and sustain them over time."
What You Need to Know About WW's PersonalPoints Program
The plans are completely customized for each member.
When members sign up, they complete a new "PersonalPoints Engine," or an assessment to gauge their food and activity preferences with WW's nutritional algorithm to generate an individualized weight-loss and wellness plan. Each member has a unique "PersonalPoints" budget and their very own zero-point food list (based on the foods they love and reach for often, such as avocado or potatoes) to help them stay full and satisfied. These zero-point foods don't need to be measured, weighed or tracked, which helps to make a healthy eating pattern more sustainable and realistic.
"Everyone's truth is unique. Everyone's life is unique. That's why it's important to have a weight-loss program that is just as unique as you," said Mindy Grossman, president and CEO at WW, in a media release. "PersonalPoints is individualized in a way that has never been done before—built around your favorite foods and your goals—so you can still embrace and savor all of life's moments. We give you the tools to build powerful habits—without restrictions, but with results."
It's WW's most advanced food algorithm yet.
WW tapped its team of dietitians and scientists and updated its points system to reflect the latest research. The new algorithm places a greater focus on fiber (to help you stay full for longer) and unsaturated fat (for a heart-healthy boost), and prioritizes natural sugars (like those found in fruit) over added sugars.
You can earn points for healthy behaviors.
For the first time in WW history, you can earn extra points for eating nonstarchy vegetables (think: carrots, broccoli or Brussels sprouts), reaching your daily water goal and getting some physical activity. These points will go toward your daily budget, so you can make room for all of the foods you love.
It may help people with diabetes live a healthier lifestyle.
WW has added the question "Are you living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes?" to their lifestyle questionnaire. Consistent with the American Diabetes Association and the International Diabetes Federation guidelines, this plan helps users with diabetes choose foods that support a healthy eating pattern and are less likely to impact blood sugar levels (such as lean protein, legumes and healthy fats). You can learn more about how your WW plan will be tailored to your diabetes here.
It's not just about losing weight.
Though the app can help you track your food and lose weight over time, there are also plenty of other features that support a generally healthy lifestyle. In the app, you can track your water intake, explore your sleep pattern, take a video workout class, try out guided meditations and more. Rather than completely placing the focus on weight loss, the app has tools to help you get healthier from the inside out.
"Our new program will completely shift the way people think about a weight and wellness journey, helping people realize from the start: 'I still can—and I will—enjoy my life while losing weight,'" said Gary Foster, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at WW and author of The Shift: 7 Powerful Mindset Changes for Lasting Weight Loss. "We have purposefully created a scientifically advanced program that puts our members front-and-center so they can find satisfaction in adopting habits that are livable, realistic and—importantly—sustainable."
The Bottom Line
We love the whole-health approach that includes lifestyle factors such as sleep and mental health. EatingWell's Associate Nutrition Editor Jessica Ball, M.S., RD, adds, "It's great that nutrient-dense foods like nonstarchy vegetables are additive to your diet rather than points to be taken away. While this is a big improvement for the sustainability of the Weight Watchers' program, rigorously tracking daily food intake and exercise can sometimes foster an unhealthy relationship with food. The WW program is a great way to kick-start healthy habits and create a healthy routine but, as always, listen to your body first and know that there are many markers of health beyond weight loss."