Weight Watchers new PointPlus™ Program Review | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


We’d like to thank Mary from Musings of the Sixties for being our Shrinking Guest Contributor and giving us her opinion on Weight Watchers new PointsPlus™ program! If you’ve never tried Weight Watchers, now is the perfect time, and if you’re a Weight Watchers veteran, this new program might have some growing pains, but we think it will ultimately be there best program yet!

What’s not to love about the new Weight Watchers PointsPlus plan? As far as I’m concerned, almost nothing.

I’ve been doing Weight Watchers on and off for over six years. One thing I love about Weight Watchers is that they save your stats so as you join and drop out and re-join, there’s a record of your weight. It’s rather sobering to look back and see the gains and losses and status quos.

I’m really optimistic that the PointsPlus program will go a long way toward eliminating these ups and downs. I think it will be an easier program to live with making the ‘ups’ a thing of the past.

As many already know, the new program allows all fruits and most vegetables without the penalty of a point. Not one. And I think this is something that a lot of people have problems with. It’s just hard to believe that we can eat all the fruits and most of the vegetable categories that we want and still lose weight. My theory is that it’s a little bit like drinking lots of water. Water, fruits, and vegetables keep things moving through out system. Without copious amounts of all these things, foods might have more time to dwell in our intestines where all the calories and carbs are fully absorbed into our systems. That’s my theory.

Weight Watchers says that they’ve factored the caloric impact of even the highest-calorie fruits into their calculations. In other words, they’ve calculated how our bodies process all the different foods – whether they leave us feeling full for a long time, whether they provide the nutrients we need in our day -to-day lives, and whether or not they the lead to cravings and cavings. Fruits (and most veggies) are so beneficial that they want us to eat all we need and want. And let’s be honest here. Most of our systems are not going to allow us to eat too many of these no matter how beneficial they are. There will be repercussions. So there’s kind of a self-limiting quota on how much we eat.

The glorious aspect is this. No matter what diet plan you follow or how carefully you plan your diet, there will be times when you think you HAVE TO EAT! And on the old plan, with just 20 to 23 points or so (for me) there was no room for a 2 point banana or a 1 point cup of grapes. When you start putting grapes in a cup, there just aren’t that many and I never wanted to waste my few points on something that seemed a little less rewarding.

Now, during those struggle times, grab a handful of grapes or an apple or a banana. It’s all good.

The new plan focuses on a couple of main points. One is Power Foods. They could not emphasize more the importance of this category. According to Weight Watchers PointsPlus Getting Started booklet, “Power Foods are evaluated on their ability to fill you up (provide eating satisfaction which keeps you fuller longer), on how much of a PointsPlus bargain they are, and on their impact on health (how their sugar, sodium, saturated fat, total fat, and/or fiber content stacks up against that of similar foods). “Foods are ranked within categories using a proprietary formula. Those that rank the best are deemed Power Foods.”

So we’re encouraged to eat these “good-for-you foods” and we’re given more points with which to do it.

Conversely, the “not-so-good-for-you foods” now calculate out to a higher point value. I used to eat one 100 calorie pack of Hostess Strawberry cakes every day and I likely will continue to do so. But more often than I’d like to admit, I’d have two or more thinking it really wasn’t THAT big of a deal. After all, one pack was only one point. Now one pack is 3 points and it’s very unlikely that I’ll waste six or more points on such a small volume of food. The same is true of the Quakes that I was once addicted to. The points value has gone up but those darn things are no more filling or better for you than they ever were. I’ll be continuing to leave those alone.

Basically, I feel like we’re leaving behind the manufactured and engineered foods (that may not be so good for us after all) and our future is with the high protein whole grains and lean meats – the foods our forefathers ate and the foods that will always be with us – eggs, grains, meats, fruits, vegetables, and nonfat and low fat dairy.

The new program also emphasizes exercise far more than I remember it being talked about before. It encourages everyone to get moving and keep moving. And ultimately isn’t this the secret to ongoing weight control? I love that they even advise the typically sedentary person to start slow but START! And to work into at least a half hour a day of exercise. I would suspect that everyone that habitually exercises at least a half hour a day, will start to edge into a little more. After all if a little can make you feel so much better, think what a little more will do.

The bad part of this wonderful new program is that all your old Weight Watcher calculators, Dining Out guides, and recipe books that list points values, etc. are obsolete. And, no, there are no refunds – even if you bought your tools JUST before the new program kicked in. Weight Watchers does offer a new points calculator at half price – $5.95 for this month only to help you get started; and, of course, the old recipes are still great – it’s just that the points values are probably different. If you’ve always just done Weight Watchers online this won’t impact you. You can look up almost everything and if it’s not there, you can use the online calculator to figure the points. However, if you attended meetings and have reams of pamphlets and cookbooks that include obsolete point values, it’s a bummer but for me that’s a small price to pay for a program that I expect to change my life.

Ultimately Weight Watchers is a reputable company with undisputed integrity. I trust them but I’ve done a poor job of maintaining with them. I’ve never felt the program was at fault – only my own weaknesses. Now they’ve given me a fresh start. I feel like I did back in ’04 the first time I started the program. Only now the tools are better and easier to use.

Thank you, Weight Watchers! I’m ready to soar to my new goals!

If you’re doing Weight Watchers, leave us a comment and let us know what you think about the new PointsPlus Program!

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