PointsPlus 2012 Breakdown

I’ve gotten a LOT of questions about the new Weight Watchers program that rolled out this week, so I figured I’d do a post addressing the changes and see if you guys have any additional questions!

PointsPlus 2012 is very similar to PointsPlus, it just has a few minor tweaks from the original PointsPlus to make it a little bit more flexible. Since PointsPlus was the biggest change to the Weight Watchers program since it started, they wanted to test it out for a full year, get member feedback, and then go from there.

The basic premise is still the same – every food has a PointsPlus value that is calculated from looking at the macronutrients (fiber, fat, carbs, protein) and how hard your body has to work to break down the food. The values nudge you towards foods higher in fiber and protein, and lower in fat and carbs, but nothing is off limits.

Each day, you have a PointsPlus target that you have to eat at minimum, and then you get additional weekly PointsPlus that you can use or not use. You also have the opportunity to earn additional PointsPlus through activity, and as long as you stay within your daily, weekly, and activity pointsplus, you should lose weight at the recommended rate of half a pound to two pounds per week, over time.

So, what changed with PointsPlus 2012?

1.) New Daily Minimum

With the original PointsPlus, the minimum Daily PointsPlus Target (DPPT) was 29 PP, but with PP 2012, it has been lowered to 26. After a year, Weight Watchers was able to determine that people could still get in all the required nutrients per day with 26 PP. I am sure that largely has to do with the 0 PP fruits and veggies!

2.) Flexible Daily and Weekly PointsPlus Target

You know your body better than anyone. Everyone’s DPPT was recalculated this week, and some people who were at 29 PP were switched down to 26, 27, or 28. This number is FLEXIBLE, so if you were losing weight at 29 and were adjusted lower, feel free to switch it back up! This has more to do with people who were eating 29 PP and weren’t losing.  Also, the weekly target is now flexible. For some people, the 49 Weekly PP was too much. You can adjust this down from 49 if you feel like that’s too much for you, or else keep it the same.

3.) PowerStart

The Getting Started Session has been replaced with a 3-week PowerStart Session. Members felt like too much information was given at the GSS, so it has been broken down into three rotating sessions that have activities and are geared at program basics, bonding with the leader and other members, as well as focusing on managing your environment. After meetings, the Leader will go through a PowerStart session with you. These are GREAT and really let you walk away with something you can do right then to set yourself up for success!

4.) Activity Points Goal

Before, the idea behind activity was to “move more”. There was no target besides getting up to 28 PP over time (4 PP per day), but the new weekly PointsPlus target has been set at 14, which is about 2 a day. If that is too much for you, it is certainly flexible, but 14 is a good place to start.

5.) Switch between tracking and Simply Filling by the day

Besides the well-known tracking method, Weight Watchers has a method for people who don’t like to track called Simply Filling. The idea behind it is that you focus on eating Power Foods and eating until you are satisfied. You still get your weekly PP allowance, but you don’t have to track anything that is a Power Food.

Previously, you could only do Simply Filling/Tracking for a week at a time if you wanted to move back and forth. With PointsPlus 2012, you can do it by the day. So, if you have a party you’re going to and you don’t want to track, you can only eat Power Foods and not worry about tracking!

6.) Free E-Tools for Lifetime Members

This is AWESOME. Before, Lifetime members had to pay for E-Tools, which are the online tools for tracking your food, activity, and creating recipes, but for Lifetime members who stay current with their weigh ins, you get them for FREE. Woohoo!

So that is it! Nothing major, just a few things to make the program more flexible for the members. As you know, I am a HUGE fan of Weight Watchers, and I feel that these changes are great additions to the program. I think they will only help with member success, which is Weight Watchers #1 company value (for real).

35 Comments on PointsPlus 2012 Breakdown

  1. Lauren
    December 8, 2011 at 10:03 am (9 years ago)

    I am looking forward to getting all of my new materials tonight! Thanks for breaking this down!

    • Lauren
      December 8, 2011 at 10:12 am (9 years ago)

      Oh – and I am trying the recipe – Black Beans That Will Change Your Life. I am pretty excited – I have never had them before!

    • Beth
      December 8, 2011 at 11:03 am (9 years ago)

      See you tonight!!! And those black beans are AWESOME. You’re in for a treat! Make sure you add enough salt.. taste the broth to make sure!

  2. Sabrina
    December 8, 2011 at 10:04 am (9 years ago)

    I’ve been thinking about joining WW for a long, LONG time. I think I might bite the bullet soon! What do I have to lose by trying?

    • Beth
      December 8, 2011 at 11:04 am (9 years ago)

      DO IT. I love WW. 🙂

  3. Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio
    December 8, 2011 at 10:26 am (9 years ago)

    I think the changes are great. I hope people respond well to them. I like the ability to adjust points. The key is counting them and watching your portions. That’s what I’m learning!

    • Beth
      December 8, 2011 at 11:05 am (9 years ago)

      I think they’re great too! I’m excited for those who have been struggling to embrace the changes, myself included!

  4. Jen
    December 8, 2011 at 11:01 am (9 years ago)

    As a lifetime member I couldn’t be more excited about free E-Tools! Woo hoo!

    I’m also pretty excited to hear about being able to switch daily between simply filling and points – that’s pretty awesome.

    I go to Saturday morning meetings and have been looking forward to the new stuff all week!

    • Beth
      December 8, 2011 at 11:07 am (9 years ago)

      I know I am SO excited for the free e-tools! It was annoying to have to pay $12.95/month for them, and I really need them to stay on track! I have never tried Simply Filling but I think it’s a great tool for people who hate tracking!

      • Haley
        December 8, 2011 at 1:40 pm (9 years ago)

        I’m a Lifetimer and am excited to get the free e-tools…it’s about time! =) I’m guessing this will be offered 1/1?

  5. Jessica
    December 8, 2011 at 11:19 am (9 years ago)

    I am SO excited for the changes. I was one of those folks doing the 29/49 routine plus at least 30 APs a week and losing…nothing. With the drop to 26 and the ability to adjust the weeklies downward, I’m really hopeful that tomorrow morning’s WI will have good news for the first time since October 7th. I’m really excited to try out the Simply Filling on days where I just need to be free of the calculator, but most of all? FREE ETOOLS AT LIFETIME. YESSSSSSSSS!

    • Beth
      December 8, 2011 at 11:34 am (9 years ago)

      I know right!? They are such great, welcome changes. I’ve been sticking to 26 pts+ since last week (mostly) and even though I was a little in the red, I lost 2.6 this week!!

  6. Jen
    December 8, 2011 at 11:25 am (9 years ago)

    We have a lot in common Beth – was just looking at your journey – I lost about 90 pounds too and have been working at keeping it off.

    I need etools and my weekly meeting to keep on track too!

    in the old days I used to follow the old core program a lot and found success doing it, so this is a cool new addition for me.

    • Jen
      December 8, 2011 at 11:27 am (9 years ago)

      PS: I started my blog in February 2010 too! Small world.

      • Beth
        December 8, 2011 at 11:34 am (9 years ago)

        Wow it does sound like we have a lot in common!!!!

  7. Heather
    December 8, 2011 at 11:26 am (9 years ago)

    Thanks for the update! I achieved Lifetime back in 2002, but I haven’t weighed in for years. I should go back and get current with the weigh ins so I can get those e-tools!

    • Beth
      December 8, 2011 at 11:36 am (9 years ago)

      Yes you should!! I think you get an 8 week voucher when you weigh in for the first time and then have to go back and stay current to keep getting the vouchers!

  8. Karen
    December 8, 2011 at 11:56 am (9 years ago)

    Thanks for the breakdown. I left WW mid-year and have been using a weight loss app that is somewhere between WW and calorie counting. It works when I work it, but I kinda miss the community of WW. I have not done meetings for a while but you make them sound like fun.
    I guess all I am waiting for are the new year’s specials they run…I love a deal!

  9. Jess
    December 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm (9 years ago)

    Thanks so much for this! I didn’t totally understand the flexible points part and was bummed that mine had been reduced to 26 when I was already having difficulty eating within points, but now that makes sense. And I’m well aware my difficulty was more from lack of trying than anything else. Doing much better this week! 🙂

  10. The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    December 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m not a WW participant but thanks for taking the time to explain all of that to people who are. I’m going to forward this to a few people I know are doing WW.

  11. Roz
    December 8, 2011 at 1:02 pm (9 years ago)

    I think the changes are great. I know alot of folks (myself included) who’s losses stalled when points plus started. With the lower daily points, I’m hoping the scale starts consistently moving down again. Thanks for this recap! Have a great Thurs.

  12. Tori
    December 8, 2011 at 1:18 pm (9 years ago)

    I know there’s really not much that changed, but I’m super annoyed that certain foods’ points changed.. Like…Alcohol! I don’t drink alcohol often(literally, 2-3 times a year- holidays- if THAT!) and the main reason I DON’T is b/c I’d rather eat my calories 😉 BUT! Light beer went up to 4 P.P. and a shot of liquor went up to 4 P.P. also! What the heck?! So if I happen to have a few drinks at a wedding this weekend, I’ll be drinking at LEAST 8 P.P.! Ugh. Just annoying!LOL. Oh well. 🙂

    Thanks for the post!

  13. Jenny
    December 8, 2011 at 2:16 pm (9 years ago)

    I’m excited to get back to goal so I can get the free ETools 🙂 I like the changes, I think it’s going to work out well.

    (A little about my journey: I joined in Jan ’07 got to goal that year. Maintained for a few years. Last year started to gain and now am at 10 lbs over my ORIGINAL starting weight. So I have about 26 pounds to lose to get back to goal. And to toot my own horn, I lost 1.4 lbs this week! YAY!)

  14. cindylu
    December 8, 2011 at 4:45 pm (9 years ago)

    Is the free eTools only for Lifetime members who are within +2 pounds of their goal weight? Or is it for anyone who checks in monthly? If it’s the latter, that’d be awesome. I just returned for a meeting/weigh-in after about 18 months. I tried doing the Points Plus plan for a week, but un-learning previous points stuff was too much work for me at the time. Definitely want to get back to goal weight, so if eTools is available, I’d use it.

  15. Sarah
    December 8, 2011 at 7:45 pm (9 years ago)

    I think the reduced daily points is great because I know a few people who were struggling to gain weight! I can’t wait to check out these changes.

  16. Kelly
    December 8, 2011 at 8:42 pm (9 years ago)

    Very well stated. I just lead my first two meetings of PP2012. It went well and was well received. Looking forward to next weeks powerstart session.

  17. Kelsea
    December 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm (9 years ago)

    Does anyone know of any suggestions (if any) to an alternative method of finding points without the calculator, computer, or smart phone? I miss the sliding paper tool they had on the old program 🙁

  18. Hilary
    December 10, 2011 at 5:11 pm (9 years ago)

    Wow…the free e-tools is a great incentive to get to lifetime…that’s awesome! I also like the flexibility to play with things and make things work, I must confess, I have not had any success since contacting you a while back (although I sincerely appreciate your advice)…I’ve actually been to see the doctor and am getting some test results this week, so hopefully something will come of that!

  19. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    December 12, 2011 at 8:57 am (9 years ago)

    Thanks for breaking all of this down. I’m never able to make it to the meetings, and also skipped my last weigh-in (I was going out of town the next day and just didnt make it a priority). But, this explains everything very well. My points dropped to 26, but I find it impossible to stick to that, even with eating several servings of fruits and veggies. But, I’m also not really losing… not sure exactly what number I should stick to!

  20. LuckyFit
    March 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm (9 years ago)

    Hi! Thanks for this great post on WW updates for 2012.
    I am wondering if the PowerStart sessions happen after EVERY meeting everyday or if they are only offered a few times a week? I plan to attend my first meeting soon and am wondering how long it will take to complete all three PowerStarts. (IE: meeting tomorrow, 1 PowerStart tomorrow as well. Next meeting next week, 2nd PowerStart next week…) Does it take 3 weeks to do all 3 PowerStarts? Thanks!

    • Beth
      March 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm (9 years ago)

      Hi! The PowerStarts do happen after every single meeting as long as there are people to stay for them! It’s a rotation between the three topics – Power Choices, Power Spaces, and Power Plans, and it changes each week and then back to the beginning. I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  21. Nicole
    August 29, 2012 at 9:41 pm (8 years ago)

    Thanks for posting this!! Im starting pointsplus again and have been doing some research on it, im in college so im poor and cant afford it monthly right now! so I have an app that does the same thing! I entered my weight and saw I only get 26 points a day! But that is the new minimum right!?

  22. CJS
    October 28, 2012 at 3:43 am (8 years ago)

    Though it is going on a year later, I appreciate this info. I subscribed to WW 2011-12, and was there for the change from Momentum to P+. Currently doing Momentum again but also have the P+ info and calculator from last year, and wanted to see how the plan had been tweaked should I decide to try it again at some point in the future.

    No doubt there will be more changes going into 2013, but still glad to have this info now. Thanks.


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