Weight Watchers: Pushing Product or Promoting "Common Sense"?


Before we start, I want to emphasize that I am a Lifetime Member and made my goal and sustained it for several years. I have been a strong advocate of their program – until now.

Weight Watchers has unveiled their new “Freestyle Program” for 2018. The biggest change is a list of 200 foods that are now counted as zero points (yes zero) in addition to raw fruits and vegetables, the standby zero points foods that were previous in the program. Here is a link of the complete list for your perusal: 


If you are unfamiliar with the premise of WW, the idea is that you don’t count calories but points; foods have a points value and not all food is created equal. Each person has a certain number of points to eat per day depending on the weight you want to lose, your size, gender, etc. Several years ago raw fruits and vegetables became zero points foods to encourage everyone to eat healthier. Over the years, the “bad” foods have become higher and higher in points such as brownies, white bread, etc. Typically, a smaller person would have 23 points per day and a larger person up to 35 – 40. This new system has some potential advantages and disadvantages to it.


 * Advocates eating healthy foods

* Virtually eliminates tracking of food or measuring portion size

* More latitude in planning meals due to a wide variety of foods available


* Could invite “points hogging”++

* Could encourage eating too much protein and not enough balance

++ Eating zero points all day long and then spending the 23 – 40 points on junk or alcohol at night

In one way, Weight Watchers is encouraging healthy eating. But do we really need to pay Weight Watchers to say this? They also push their food and product A LOT at meetings which can be counterproductive to the message.

All in all, I still like WW over some of the wacky alternatives such as the Cotton Ball Diet (yes – there is such a thing) or taking HcG or “doctor” prescribed supplements. In the end, you sow what you reap. Use your common sense. Balance is the key.