Weight Watchers Smart Points: Is it Working for You?

Weight Watchers New Program

January 19, 2016   128 Comments

There have been some blips with the roll-out of the new SmartPoints program.

Check out my list of Smart Points Recipes for inspiration! The recipes are listed by Smart Points value to help you in your quest for staying on plan.

Some have complained of the points calculator not working and the recipe builder technology failing. Others have a tough time with new higher points value of their favorite treats (which they already had bought in bulk).

For example:

I'm all in with the new program yet feel the lack of chocolate may derail me. 12 pts is a lot of points for one and a half ounces. Any ideas out there?

whoa! You can take my chocolate away from my dead body. I would not be happy about this as I find chocolate to be one of the better small treats that rescues me from LARGE cookies.

Or:

I have been on maintenance for over a year and had figured out how many points I needed to maintain and meet my goal every day without using my activity points. I do not exercise so I can eat! Now WW has decided how many points I can have and I have a daily victory only by using every activity point and ending up with a row of zeros every evening. And I never have room for a treat. I can't live like this forever.

Oh dear. Did WW go too far in cutting back on sugar for maintenance of the plan? I worry a bit about this because total deprivation isn’t a good idea when it comes to our treats. We NEED treats in moderation because we are human.

My thinking is there might be stages to this new plan. The first stage is to cut down the chocolate and treats until you get rolling on the weight loss. Then when you get to a place where you feel good and start to WANT to eat healthy food most of the time – you can add back moderate treats.

I read this positive comment and I like it:

Finally WW has seen that a point isn't just a point, lot more involved. Same food, same point system. You decide. Are we upset because we're eating healthier? Do we want to lose weight, yet eat the same bad foods? Ever seen a fat cave man?

I have not seen a fat cave man! They always look so skinny in their selfies.

Change is hard and not very fun when it comes to something as difficult as weight loss. If PointsPlus was working for you, why would you want to change?

I would love to hear how it is going! Please share below.

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First 20 Comments: [ see all 128 ]

It's been an adjustment but I think it's a much better system now. Looking over my trackers from last year I was spending way too many of my points on sugary treats - EVERYDAY! I wasn't setting myself up for permanent weightloss because I wasn't dealing with what caused me to gain so much - constant indulging. I had just " fixed" the system where I could still eat crap food and lose weight. I think the message that WW is promoting now in their program is much better as you are being rewarded for making better choices.

on January 19, 2016

WW is NOT encouraging us to eat our fitpoints! In fact, it is the complete opposite! We are supposed to earn them now because it is the healthy thing to do, not to eat them. The person in your article is mistaken!

on January 19, 2016

I'm not convinced this is a better system, yet. I really fear it is too limiting, too much like a diet that most will never maintain and stick to "forever" which is essential to keep the weight off. I lost over 100 lbs and kept it off until the change in December. Now, I am fighting a weight gain and having trouble getting back to goal. The problems with tracking etc. online has really put a kink in things for me. I have always done ok over the holidays until this year. I wasn't able to use my online tracker and gained. I love the leaders, support staff, and members at meetings but have lost all confidence in Weight Wathchers the business. I think I am going back to meeting this week after a lot of debating with myself as to "what I should do." The only reason I am returning is because I can't think of a better alternative at this point but if one presents itself I will be gone. I am determined to keep this weight off but I no longer trust Weight Watchers International to help me do that. I feel like they want my money, period. I know that is a negative attitude but sometimes the truth is not pretty. Good luck to everyone in their weight loss and maintenance journey.

on January 19, 2016

I lost 90 lbs. under the old system of WW from June 2014 to present. I have never felt better, and my doctor is very pleased as well. I made goal but very much dislike the new Smart Points system. I will stick to old system. "if it isn't broken, why fix it."

on January 19, 2016

I'm doing it, and it's a day-to-day struggle. It's clearly changed from a lifelong eating plan to a diet.

The algorithm is flawed by not taking carbs into account. Now, the same size serving of white pasta is the same as 100% whole wheat. So, for me, I have to watch this on the side.

I never thought I'd do it, as I'm a lifetime member, but I've downloaded MyFitnessPal, and I'm doing it in parallel to the new WW.

I haven't dealt with them, but WW Customer Service has been a disaster, and they have been difficult when people have asked for refunds.

I believe that it is a PR disaster.

on January 19, 2016

I've been attending WW meetings for 8 1/5 years and lost 60 pounds; regained about 10 and have been struggling since to re-lose that last difficult 10 pounds. I find the newly revised program to be making me more mindful when I chose chocolate over fruit or other snacks. Chocolate is a part of my life; sometimes I indulge, sometimes not; but with 30 SP's a day; 42 weeklies and activity points - sometimes I actually use some of them...regardless of what I'm told...the weight is slowly dropping down...I'm a slow loser anyway and am thrilled to see by cutting back on fats here and there (switched to some of the FF cheeses) and getting in a little more exercise...yes, it's really good for me! Makes me feel better and stronger; I can do this for the rest of my life! Even if I never make it back to goal...I'm not 50-60 pounds heavier than I should be...at least! So maybe I'll be one of those people who will always be struggling with 10 pounds...but with my family history (300 or more pounds is common)...at least I won't be struggling with 100 or more pounds to lose...it's a compromise. I rely on WW weigh in's weekly to keep me mindful...I can do better...I will do better. I've never had long term success with any other weight management program. Fast off = fast on + more pounds...Find what works for you...and make it work for you for the rest of your life. WW works for me :)

on January 19, 2016

I am brand new to the smartpoint system so cannot compare it but I am not sure it is enough food. I am always hungry most days. If it is a day I focus on protein and less fruit or a day I have a nice mix of fruit and protein I am still very hungry. It has been 2 weeks and my scales at the health club say I am down 2 pounds but the WW scale says .08. Not sure what is going on there. Sure hope these scales are accurate. If the scales don't come around I plan on bringing an item in and checking these scales out. But in the mean time. I am walking around very depleted. :(

on January 19, 2016

I balked at the technical glitches and having spent/wasted hard-earned money on quantities of go-to, low-point foods that are now no longer worth their higher point values to me.

Having said that, sugar, fat, & salt are addictive and SHOULD be reduced for better health!

I agree that feeling deprived is the enemy & downfall of many programs and will always be on the lookout for low point treats. I will sacrifice 2SP for the satisfying crunch of a caramel rice cake or crunchy rice roller (both of which used to be 1PP) when wanting the crunch lacking in most fruits (except pomegranate seeds, which are the perfect treat - juicy, flavorful, crunchy, and NO POINTS!).

I'm a fan of protein and am glad to be able to have more protein for fewer points under the new system, though some meats are high in sodium (a price I'm willing to pay!).

This is how I see the new SP:

Higher points on sugar + lower points on protein + more points allocated per day = a redistribution of points forcing healthier choices.

Bottom line, the new SP seems like, theoretically, a good thing, but having initially lost over 80 lbs on PP, the proof will be whether it gets me the rest of the way to my weight loss goal!!

And I don't care what the WW ads say about 'beyond the scale...SP is about healthier living' (or whatever they say!) - I'm already living healthier. For me, it's TOTALLY about the scale, seeing those numbers drop!!! =)

on January 19, 2016

I have lost 56 pounds so far on the OLD WW diet. I am only 8 pounds away from my goal weight.

I am 51 years old. I have a broken back that prevents me from exercising. I had a full hysterectomy that has pushed me straight into medical menopause, which is like turbo menopause. The symptoms are terrible. I recently went through a very painful divorce that I did not want. I suffer from depression. I just lost my beloved 12 year old dog who was my heart dog and my constant companion to cancer. Yet I have managed to still lose 56 pounds on WW.

I have been on every diet under the sun, and WW is the ONLY one I could lose on because it was (yes I said was) the only diet I could stick with and stay on long term.

Ok, why did I say "was"?

I know sugar is bad for us. I've read every study. I'm not an ignorant person. Yet we still want our little sweet at the end of the day or when we feel stressed, or want to celebrate. That will never change no matter what all of the scientists and experts and studies tell us. And without those little sweet treats we feel deprived and we ultimately cheat. When we cheat we feel so bad about ourselves that sometimes we just give up. You know the saying - have one flat tire so might as well pop the other three.

I relied on those WW 2 point cakes and other WW treats and they got me through this journey and struggle. But now they are all double the smart points. My Go To Foods that were free before now have points - my fat free coffee creamer, Cool Whip Free and many more. Even my yogurt has doubled in smart points which I don't understand. The WW dinners that saved me when I was too tired to cook a meal have increased in points and are not worth eating now.

When I count the foods that used to be free, or low in points but have now doubled, I lose points from my daily eating so I'm hungry. Hungry and deprived are not good on a diet. This new WW will eventually fail, I'm sorry to say. Everybody in my meeting feels the same way.

I ask this very respectfully - did you try the old WW before you changed it? Because it has worked for me and so many other people.

on January 19, 2016

3 yrs ago I joined WW after trying every diet on the planet, with no real change. With WW smart points, I lost 60 lbs. changed my life big time. Over this past year I've retired and gained back almost 20 lbs. I wasn't aware of the changes WW made to the program and went online to join (as a lifetime member). I went online to start using the program and find where I might connect with a meeting (they closed the one I was using). I had a horrible time trying to understand and use the new program. I immediately connected with live chat at WW and requested my money back. After using the program for so many years and loving it, I don't understand why they would make changes. It's bad enough that you can't calculate the points without them but I bought the scale and calculator and made it work to maintain. Now I can't I see it as just another way for WW to make more money at our expense. I'm struggling to work a new way to lose the regained weight on my own. Trying to use healthy foods, non-gmo and organic, non processed foods. It's not easy, what's wrong with our health system....LOTS!!!!

on January 19, 2016

The plan was changed because of the latest science. Have you not read that sugar is like poison? Even the food pyramid has changed because of this latest science. I have lost 20lbs on this new plan since October and am loving it. When I was down 6lbs. I was down a clothes size. I am losing inches like crazy, have more energy and am sleeping better. I do not feel sluggish at all and have found so many new things to work into the program that I like. Do I still eat sugar? Sure... but not as often. I had a scone at Pinera the other day. In my opinion, those that are complaining about the new plan has not truly embraced it. Weight Watchers has your back as far as getting you healthy. I am going to be 60 next year and I want to be around awhile. I have been a member of Weight Watchers since the 70's and have been through many programs. This by far is the healthiest in my opinion. Look around at the obesity in the world. How did we get there? Processed foods that are not good for us. Sweets that are like poison. Shame on Weight Watchers for making us eat better. complain all that you want, but I am happy and healthier because of it.

on January 19, 2016

Before the switch to the new system I had plateaued. It had been several weeks (see months) since I had registered any kind of weight loss. My first thought was muscle gain offsetting the fat loss. On the new system, the weight is dropping again, albeit slowly. Do I like the new system? It's taking some adjustment, but it works for me while still allowing treats. Not sure where one poster is getting 12 points for 1.5 oz of chocolate, but people will find all sorts of niggly things to derail themselves when the status quo changes.

on January 19, 2016

I love the new smart points system. I tried the old points plus system about 4 years ago and found I used way too many points on snack foods like the ice cream bars...and that I wasn't losing weight consistently and then, ate too many bars...and was back into the food.

This newly introduced program addresses a healthier way of eating with more points for food choices that are essentially not healthy ones...and less points for "smart" choices, foods that are high in protein, fiber, vitamins...and 0 points for most fruits and vegetables.

I realize that many people are unhappy with the change. When something has worked one can say "if it is not broken then why fix it?" However, all advancement in science and nutrition as well, is not based on something being broken...it is about improvements and change for a better quality of health...and life.

The smart food program is here to stay, at least until scientific study shows that more tweaks will be healthier.

Life is all about change...and acceptance...and moving forward. As for me, this system finds me not craving sweets, having plenty to eat and with points left over. Now that has to be a very good thing for me!

on January 19, 2016

The new program is what inspired me because after losing over 75lbs by eating clean and exercising, I had lost accountability due to an illness. I joined WW just before Christmas and went back to meetings for a month. End result...gained 2 lbs. (But I willingly admit, I did not behave during the holidays) Since being off WW for two weeks...lost 7 BUT! I am more accountable. I stopped counting POINTS and attending meetings because I wasn't getting anything out of going to them. WW is not doing its members justice because they are not explaining the program well. I ran a POINT deficit even on days when I was eating as clean as I could. It's important to understand as well that chocolate or other prepared foods with hidden sugars may not be a daily choice on a plan that raises POINTS based on sugar content. Members need help to understand how to find suitable alternatives. If we knew how, we might not necessarily need WW. I was also VERY disappointed to see that exercise was being given the heave ho. (Oprah influence? I know she is not a fan of exercise...lol) Bottom line: Food is about feeding the body. Exercise is about keeping the body strong and flexible to manage the day to day and the weight loss formula has not changed: Calories in - calories out=? We all have to decide.

on January 19, 2016

I agree with Lynn. I have lost 40 pounds on the Points Plus. Why change now? It is suppose to be a life style change . What fun is life if you can't have a cookie now and then? I know not to eat too many so I am staying on Points Plus. One point two pounds away from goal!

on January 19, 2016

At first I was upset over the change, (I hate change), but now I really like the new program and how it makes me so aware of the sugar in my diet. Yes I like chocolate as much as the next person, but I will find alternative ways to get that chocolate in if I need it. When going out and my husband has that beautiful Death by chocolate cake, I make sure I eat all my meal and I very happily lean over with my fork and take just a bite to top off my delicious dinner. Will I have days where I will stumble and fall off? I sure will, but the getting back up and getting back on track it truly what counts. Now I love the new program. We CAN and all WILL do this! Have a blessed day!

on January 19, 2016

Lisa - could you please explain your comment about exercise was being given the heave ho. (Oprah influence? I know she is not a fan of exercise...lol)... I've not heard anything about reducing or avoiding exercise in my meetings? Just asking where you heard/read that. I though the whole point was to increase our activity - that's why they have those activity points accumulating during the week...?
Thank you

on January 19, 2016

I have been following the weight watchers simply filling plan. The new plan didn't really effect me because I was already eating healthy foods and hardly any processed foods. I think the new plan is trying to get people away from all the processed foods. To me it seems like the new plan is similar to simply filling and healthier.

on January 19, 2016

Find it punitive. A 53 calorie tablespoon of maple syrup is 3 points. Really?

on January 19, 2016

I feel like SmartPoints is Atkins in disguise. I don't eat eggs and I barely eat meat and poultry. That leaves very few other options for protein. And protein seems to be the food that had the least points.
Also, a lot of dairy products have gone up. Healthy ones, like Greek Yogurt. It seems like if you want to keep your points count down, you've got to eat artificial sweeteners. I'd rather carry extra weight than put that in my body.
It's not working for me.

on January 19, 2016

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