Gaining Weight on Weight Watchers: What to Do?

March 30, 2020   35 Comments

Are you gaining weight on Weight Watchers? The Weight Watchers (WW) plan has been proven to help people lose weight but some of us have a tough time.

Gaining Weight on Weight Watchers: What to Do?

All of us want that magic bullet to drop the pounds right off us. Especially after you have spent the money, time, and effort eating on plan (within your points). It takes discipline to eat the right things!!

There are over 300 comments on my post - not losing weight on Weight Watchers’ Freestyle. Why? Because gaining weight on Weight Watchers is common and members want to support each other to get them to their ideal weight.

From one Weight Watcher’s member:

Only 3 weeks in and I had a gain. That never happens when I'm following the plan. I’m beginning to let that lingering fear that this is yet another plan that won't work for me creep in. I can't help but be discouraged by my own numbers. I love the flexibility of the plan but I have to get this weight off.

Yes!! I hear you sister! I have been absolutely crestfallen by the pounds that have stuck on after all my effort.

But, you have to keep it in perspective and take a look at the wins from the week that led to a weight gain.

It is far easier to talk about what you GAIN instead of what you LOSE. Some things you might have gained (other than pounds) with a week of WW:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables.
  • Awareness of when you are actually hungry versus mindless eating.
  • Smaller portion sizes that can sustain you.

Also, while you may not have lost pounds, you may have lost inches. I encourage anyone who is trying to lose weight to measure their waist.

To calculate your waist size accurately, measure from the top of your hip bone level with your belly button and do not hold your breath!

The road to significant weight loss is not a beautiful straight line for almost anyone. It has dips and flat areas. You have to remember how long it took you to put on the weight and realize it is going to take you at least that long to lose it.

With the new WW, there are three plans - Purple, Blue, and Green. Get a handle on one of them but if it doesn’t work for you - look over the fence at another choice. You may have not found your groove yet.

Have you been gaining weight on Weight Watchers? Why do you think this is happening?

Let’s all share our solutions to weight gain while attempting big dietary changes.

Other posts you might like:

Not Losing Weight on Weight Watchers Freestyle

Not Losing Weight on Weight Watchers Freestyle

Are you not losing weight on Weight Watchers Freestyle? I hear you!...

New WW Changes for 2020

New WW Changes for 2020

WW (formerly Weight Watchers) has made some big changes for 2020. WW always changes their program a little bit so 2020 is no exception......

Get Free Email Updates! Yes please!


I know exactly why I'm gaining while on the WW program...when I actually stop and track the things I'm eating I see that I go over my allotted points on those days. Not even taking into consideration the days when I don't track. I've steadily gained 10 pounds since they started switching the program around, first to Freestyle and then to the multi-colored plans...none of them are working for me as well as the old plan simply because I don't track as diligently as I used to when I was on that one simple program where I counted every point.

I'm not sure what it's going to take for me to re-dedicate myself to the program like I did then and find a way to lose this 10 pounds...I start every day with good intentions and get plenty of exercise (thankfully, otherwise that 10 pounds would probably be 20!) but the food...still making poor choices and eating too much...and I just can't seem to stop!

Sue G. You explained it accurately. I have the same problem.

Work with a Registered Dietitian

@ SueG Amen, sister. I'm in that same boat. Hate it, but apparently not enough to jump ship and get back on track. Ugh.

I gained ten pounds back from the 35 I lost. I just got so tired of the food I was eating, and all the recipes online and on WW amounted to much of the same stuff. And it got boring. I love to cook, which is part of the problem. I'd look at a recipe for a good chicken curry and then one for boneless, skinless baked chicken breasts, and get so tired of making the right choice. sigh.

I am a registered dietitian and I have been disappointed in the changes that WW has made. I have many clients with the same complaint of "why am I gaining weight on the program?"

From my observation, many that I see take the "zero points" allowed in fruits, eggs, etc. to task and are eating TOO many calories from them. I get the concept of filling up on fiber, but folks, fruits are 80-120 calories per serving and eggs are 75-100 calories each and they are NOT "Free of calories"! Several of my clients were shocked to learn of this and when they limited fruits to 2-3 servings/day, and used more vegetables as a "filler", they experienced more weight loss. A key is keeping food records and realizing that the really only "free" calorie items are water, diet gelatin, and "nearly free" foods are raw, nonstarchy vegetables (such as celery, cucumbers, etc).

Cyndy, I’m the same as you!

Plus I’m on disability while I await back surgery (who knows when that will happen) and can’t stand for long periods of time prepping food etc.It’s easier to cook what I know that’s fast and easy. PLUS I live in a rural community and many WW items are either not available or very expensive. And I sure don’t want to go into the grocery store every few days for produce. Quite frankly, I don’t know what to do. How to get into that mindset when I’m just grateful that my family and I are well!!!

@Rita the dietician, as to why one can't lose on a diet: the foods you describe are boring and repetitive. Very few people can sustain that kind of eating for very long. I think you also have to factor some other things in: the metabolism you are born with, your physical and financial circumstances (see Kate from Alberta above), and whether or not you live to eat or eat to live--in other words, do you really enjoy food in all its forms. My husband eats a terrible diet, for instance, but eats to live. Plus he has an incredible metabolism. So his diet doesn't affect his weight like mine does mine. The one other thing I will say about his eating is that he does not eat between meals until after dinner, when he might eat a bowl of popcorn or half a dozen cookies. Or two containers of full-fat, sugared yogurt.

A lot of this is the luck of the draw, in my opinion.

I find that when I gain it's simple - I haven't tracked. Even when I am over in the points department, if I have tracked everything, then I don't gain - or at least, only gain 1/2 pound. We gain weight because we have eaten too much of the wrong thing. It really is just that easy - those of us with a "slow metabolism" should eat less of the "pointy" foods and more free stuff. Sure, fruit has calories, so does everything - but it's fat free. (Eat an apple - all that chewing is what makes you feel full.)

I struggled with all the new programs. Happier now that I can go back to green.Apparently beans are too many calories for me when they are free points and I love beans. Same with ff Greek yogurt.I need to watch every calorie and keep my fitbit steps around 1600 to lose anything each week. I am not naturally active and hate it but I gained 18lbs from Lifetime and want to get it off.Doesn't help that I'm almost 70 and have digestion issues and many allergies to food and food preferences. I get to feeling hopeless on program then I went on a cruise and lost 2 lbs not counting, eating what I wanted. Can't explain it except that I was walking constantly. So I kept up the excessive steps at home and yep, that was the key. Not sure every day it's worth it. Like I'm on a forced march.

When I first went on Freestyle I lost over 30lb. I felt great. Then we decided to move and it was eating out alot and having my favorite beer because it was summer. Then Christmas came and family came and the pounds came...and came....I went back on Freestyle (Blue) and tracked and was so good but I still gained....grrrrf! Now we are in isolation and I find I am eating things I didnt even enjoy before (and still dont but still eat them) out of boredom ....but I will persevere and get back on track....I know I will! Summer is coming.

I quit WW long ago because they got away from their core program that helped me get to lifetime, and was very close to Am. Heart Assn. guidelines. You had so many carbs, meats, fruits, vegetables and dairy, and you checked off boxes for each serving. The “eat whatever you want” they’re doing now doesn’t provide the nutrient balance you need.

@Cyndy, I totally agree with you. There are so many factors that contribute to one's weight. And my husband sounds an awful lot like yours! I've been on WW for several years, and I am weary of being over-vigilant. I feel like when it comes to my food choices, I have to "sleep with one eye open." Otherwise, the pounds start to creep up. It gets very tiring and I, too, love to cook. The same boring foods just don't cut it. I'm hanging on by a thread, but hoping for a more livable solution. Yes, I know "no foods are off-limits" but there must be a better way.

Not sure what has caused this awful gain , it just doesn’t seem to work anymore

Has anyone here tried a whole food plant based diet? It's none or very infrequent animal products, and many people feel so good after 30 days they eventually stick to it for the rest of their life. I know it's been a life saver for my family who not only reversed several health problems [ulcerative colitis, hbp, cholesterol, pre-diabetes] but lost weight as a bonus. It just seems to me its a very exciting adventure into so many delicious new meals and such an eye-opener as to how many amazing things can be done with plants. Just wondering if any have tried it for weight or other health issues. Below is one woman's story [who I follow for recipe ideas].

The program works. Every WW program since the 50's has worked. But it needs to be worked. When you follow any of their plans, THEY WORK. But it takes consistency and persistence. If it were easy, the world would not have a weight problem. I look at my own tracker and see that when I track and stay within the points, I ultimately lose weight. When I go over the allotted points, I gain. It really is that simple!

@Lisa, oh, it definitely works. And, yes, it is simple. Just doesn't seem sustainable in the long run.

I've lost track of all the program "names" over the years. All I know is 3 years ago (ish?) when they changed programs, I gained weight and quit. Now that they brought back Green (not sure what it used to be called?) it is working again for me. I need structure and I need enough points to have something indulgent once in a while like cheese, wine, something sweet. Green does that for me.

I have made it to lifetime using the smart points system and then during my process it changed to Freestyle. I too gained weight on that program and gave up for a while.

I find that eating my veggies, less starch and carbs is helpful but it seems that if I eat anything out of the normal, I gain weight. I am not talking burgers, I mean maybe a sandwich and baked chips or pretzels and hummus and within the serving size.

@Beverly - Oh, my gosh! Right?? I know what you mean. The same thing is happening to me, making me think something is awry. Snack Girl, is there any science supporting this phenomenon? We are not going on a bender here - just eating something normal. Thanks!

For the first time in my life I am sticking to Weight Watchers. It is normal for your weight to fluctuate. I also did Noom at the same time. Noom helps with the thinking process of eating. I loved it but I am no longer paying for it. I did their program for about 6 months, and have lost all the weight I wanted. I am on lifetime with Weight Watchers. I have kept my weight off for a little over 6 months. It still isn't always easy. Exercise really helps. I have scoliosis and a sciatic nerve that really hurts but I can do Zumba and Hip Hop dancing. Walking is getting harder because I have a bunion on my left foot. It will hurt. But losing weight really takes time. Noom helped me so much.

I have only lost weight on WW way before the points system. The more something is changed, the less it works as well as the original, in my opinion. If you look back at the very first WW program, there is so much freedom in the variety of foods because it is based on specific amounts of carbs, fats, fiber, protein, fruits and veggies, water intake and exercise. ALSO, I think the processed snacks are a mistake to market. If you look at the Dash program or Mediterranean program, it is basically good, wholesome food with treats mixed in so that you never feel like it is a diet. I hate counting anything, and I hate being restricted...that only makes people frustrated. You will find what works for you, but don't spend money on it. Just because you pay for something does not mean it is quality investment.

I've been on weight watchers for years. I am 72 and since Nov 2019 until now I've lost 30 lbs. Yes I've had to watch what I eat and plenty of times I've gone over my points. You must be consistant and track each and every point if you expect to lose. I think WW is a wonderful program and will make lifetime member in a matter of weeks.

I have the same problem as the other members talked about. Hard to lose weight.

I am totally disgusted. I was doing the green plan on my own, then signed up for WW & I am on their blue plan. When I was doing the green plan on my own, I lost 5 pounds in a little over a week. I have now gained all of that back since I went on the blue plan that they said was best for me. I do the Elliptical every day for 1/2 an hour, watch everything that I eat, use chicken breast that is supposed to be zero points (and I hate chicken breast) & I am gaining weight. I'm totally discouraged.

I found this article in error. I was looking to know if Weight Watchers specifically for those people, like myself, who dreadfully needs to gain weight but the appetite just isn't there for 4-5 servings of a WW recipe. There is no medical reason why I have lost 60 pounds in the past two or three years so ... I need help with gaining weight AND being a Type II diabetic.

I have never joined a weight loss program, but desperately need to loose 20#. Have been on Purple for 1 month and have lost only 2 #'s. I am a very active 65 y.o.

Totally disappointed!

I had been working out for a month and eating more on weight watchers then I ever have. I normally only eat once a day and mostly vegan meals. Suddenly my weight started going up so even though the eating more had seemed to be helping, and it was going up fast I was at a loss so my fiancé and I back tracked everything I had done since it started going back up. It was a busy week we had to go into town a hour drive from our home almost daily to landscape our front yard and it was hot out the place we stop for drinks didnt have any unsweetened tea so each day I would grab a diet coke. So I thought that was ok because it was 0 points. Then we looked up how diet coke or other diet drinks can effect weight loss. It turns out the ingredients can knock your body out of ketosis and even cause weight gain in some people. I also read that it takes 2 to 3 days to leave your body if your a light soda drinker, 2 to 3 weeks for heavy soda drinkers. So I made my self some lemon water to take with me the next few trips and cut out the soda I started going back down 4 days later.

Been feeling constipated or opposite. 6 weeks in down 8 but for 2 wks stomach been bothering me. I cut down bagels cheese some fruit. Really worked

Green is a version of the old PointsPlus. Only fruits and non starchy vegetables are 0 points. You can follow the new assessment yourself on WW. To get to Green, on the assessment answer fruits and vegetables for most days. Skip all other questions to go to NEXT. You will have to choose a protein to be 0 points. Choose tofu even if you don't eat it. This will bring your dailies to 27. Throw in water and a couple of vegetables and you will be at 30 daily points in po into. Weeklies will be lower. I don't pay attention to them much. 30/35 works for me. Same plan different math. If you want to do the plan on your own, you will have to paper track. There are plenty of on line calculators that will track smart points. They count calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein. This is doable but you will not have a baroda scanner. I hot tired of the changes. Dropped the program and have consistent lost 1.5 per week. Good luck. Feel free to email me. Jennifer

This week I gained a half a pound for the first time. I never went over my daily points or used any of my weeklies. Not sure why I gained?

Here's what's driving me nuts. I have been on Weight Watchers for a long time. My first half a year I lost 30 lbs, and then gradually, very slowly, lost another 10. I was patient and fine with periods where I would plateau and not lose anything, that didn't bother me so much. But recently-- like in the past month-- I have put on a whole bunch of weight, like nearly 10 lbs-- and here's the thing: I have genuinely not changed a single thing about the way I eat or my habits. Everything is exactly the same. I eat practically the same thing every day, as I have done since the beginning of my diet (I don't get bored of the same foods somehow). I track points exactly the same. I have no idea what in the heck is causing me to gain weight. (No, I'm not pregnant and haven't had any major health or medication changes). Because I have no idea what I did to gain the weight I don't know what to change in order to avoid gaining more weight! All my clothes are super tight on me! It's driving me crazy!

List 3 then 4 then gained .8 , list 3, gained three ! This plan is nuts and here I am with a six mo commitment! It is totally irritating to be told:” eat zero point foods until satisfied and not full ! “ If I could do that I would not be 59 lbs over weight ! It is a Ridiculous plan. I wish I could go back to the old plan that works or have some one help me understand what I am doing wrong. And I don’t mean read a pre written statement . Seriously help me

I was doing so well with the 32 points and less zero point foods. So disappointed that they changed it back. The old didn't work for me before and it's not working now. I am actually gaining weight and so frustrated. I will go back to nutrisystem.

I have had success using WW and lost 35 pounds but then went off the program and gained it back over two years. I am now doing it again and was discouraged when I gained a half pound today because it's been coming off fairly quickly and easily. However, when I looked back at what I ate yesterday, there was a lot of sodium, so I'm not concerned that it won't come off again also, depending on the amount of carbs you eat, regardless of whether it's only one point for a piece of bread, you will gain weight. You have to be viligant and about not only how many points you are eating, but what constitutes those points.

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