Weight Watchers Overhauled Its Program Again—Here's What Changed & What It Means
WeightWatchers (WW) is an old favorite when it comes to losing weight. The program has been through plenty of changes over the years—including two makeovers since 2019—but it still has plenty of endorsements. Just this year, U.S. News & World Report named WW one of the three best diets for weight loss.
The folks at WW are angling to keep that title as they once again make adjustments to their signature points system. The program still aims to make the WW experience super-personalized for each user, calculating their points budget based on an estimation of their metabolic rate, but a major piece of the the old PersonalPoints system is fading out: the ability to choose your own zero-point foods.
When the company updated their program in November 2021, they added a feature that allowed users to select foods they always reach for—like oatmeal or potatoes—and make them a point-free part of their WW plan. The program also no longer adds points based on a user's healthy choices—previously, a WW user could gain a point each day by drinking 60 ounces of water, or even gain a point by eating a certain amount of nonstarchy vegetables.
"We're constantly evolving the WeightWatchers offering to meet our members where they are, using the latest nutritional and behavioral science to help them achieve their weight-loss goals," WW Chief Scientific Officer Gary Foster, Ph.D., said in a media release. "We modified the program to reflect what our members have told us they need in order to be successful: a proven program, a simplified experience and community at its core."
In place of the personalizable zero-point food options that WW users may miss, the folks at Weight Watchers have debuted a slate of more than 200 ZeroPoint foods that don't need to be tracked. The selection of ZeroPoint foods is broad, including tons of options you could build a meal around. Nonstarchy veggies—like cauliflower and cucumber—fruit, eggs, yogurt, fish, chicken and turkey breast, popcorn and beans are all point-free options. That means you could enjoy a filling, flavorful meal like our Sheet-Pan Harissa Chicken & Vegetables without logging many points at all. Plus, with snacks like popcorn or hummus and veggies being ZeroPoint, you can feel free to reach for them whenever hunger strikes—no need to do any mental math.
Of course, not *everyone* will have the exact same ZeroPoint list. Folks who choose WW's diabetes-tailored plan can expect to find their ZeroPoint list tailored to foods that are less likely to impact their blood sugar. The diabetes-friendly plan is shaped by guidelines from the American Diabetes Association and the International Diabetes Federation, so people with diabetes will have that extra level of guidance. (If you want to check out the WW diabetes-friendly plan as a way to manage your blood sugar levels, consider checking in with your doctor or registered dietitian to be sure the plan is a good fit for you.)
While WW enlists plenty of experts—including quite a crew of Ph.D.s and dietitians—to create its plans, weight loss is a personal journey that will be different from everyone. If you find a diet frustrating and unfulfilling, then it isn't sustainable for you, and that's OK. Folks who want to stick with WW but miss their free serving of oatmeal or avocado for breakfast should consider not logging those items, especially if that's what makes the plan enjoyable and usable for them.
If the new WW plan sounds just right to you, you can check it out for as little as $23 per month. Just remember that the most important part of finding a new diet is making sure that it's sustainable for you and your lifestyle—whether that means taking full advantage of the new ZeroPoint list or adding some extra avocado past your app.