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.
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).