New Weight Watchers Freestyle Review: Hate or Love?

January 2, 2018   906 Comments

The new Weight Watchers Freestyle program has had about a month to simmer and now it is time for a review.

New Weight Watchers Freestyle Review: Hate or Love?

UPDATE WW CHANGES 2020: New WW Changes 2020

Check out my post Weight Watchers New Program Freestyle if you are looking for information on the new program.

I am hearing all sorts of complaints and joy over what is a major change for the program. The people that hate the new program have one thing in common: they were losing weight (or maintaining) on the old plan and now have been not as successful with Freestyle.

Wouldn’t you hate a program that messed with the habits you have learned that actually help you lose weight? Losing weight is hard enough!

From one unhappy member:

The new program is too restrictive. I never ate more than 3 ounces of meat with any meal, so trading that 1 point of chicken or tuna or whatever for the loss of 7 points a day was not acceptable. I can no longer fit red meat, condiments, avocados or a bit of red wine or a tiny candy bar into my week, so I gave up and quit the program.

Many people who have started Freestyle are finding it to be far more restrictive than Smart Points because you lose 7 points per day! If you had it all figured out – all of a sudden you had to refigure it out.

Or this member:

Gained weight and was very hungry all week long. High protein/low carb diets are the worst for me. If I wanted a high protein/low carb diet, I'd do Atkins or South Beach or any number of other diets out there. Weight Watchers was the one plan that knew how to balance carbs and protein for a healthy diet and weight loss. I'm extremely disappointed - all that protein isn't particularly healthy, it's EXPENSIVE, and it most certainly isn't balanced.

I agree that the emphasis on “Zero points” chicken breast, eggs, fish, etc. is pushing protein but I am sure that it is not as extreme as South Beach. I understand that this member is pretty frustrated with the program.

The people who love Freestyle are vegetarians who eat beans and tofu (zero points!) and others who find that the new zero point foods were already in their plans. So for the “free protein” eaters, the decrease in daily points was no big deal and made the diet easier for them.

I wish Weight Watchers would stop saying “you can eat whatever you want and lose weight” because while the statement is true – I think it is misleading especially given Freestyle. You have to stick to the zero points foods or you will be super hungry.

For those of you who are working the program and loving Freestyle – here are some recipe lists for you. All of these Freestyle recipes are very low in points and easy to make.

Please share your review of Weight Watchers Freestyle. Hate it or love it?

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 906 )

I'm in the not loving it camp. Also many of the 0 point foods have gotchas that make restaurant dining challenging, e.g. white meat chicken w/ rib meat isn't 0. So overall as someone who eats out at lot and already was fairly heavy on proteins the new plan is not working for me.

(Also if you had more than 30 points you lost more than 7, some people lost 11, the average seems to be circa 20%)

I love freestyle. i am basically eating the same as i did on smartpoints with a few tweaks to stay within my points. I definitely weigh and measure. i am not hungry and a few days a week don't eat all my daily points

I'm actually starting it today, and I'm very optimistic for the first time since Smart Points came out and messed me up. I think that I can make this work for me. I hope so. I hate boneless, skinless chicken breast, so I've decided to stick with bone in thighs and just count the points. Eating should not be miserable.

I'm loving it! Everyone in my meeting group loves it! I've lost more weight on Freestyle, although I was fine with smart points, too. I want to loose the weight, and for me, Weight Watchers works. I lost over 50 lbs on Weight Watchers 15 years ago, and in the last 7 years, life changed, and I just ate and ate, gaining it all back. My fault! I was overeating all the wrong things! Now, I'm down almost 32 lbs since I re-started in September. I'm not hungry, I feel so much better, and I'm loving the support and the results! If you don't like it, there are tons of other weight loss programs out there for you to try! Every "diet" doesn't work for everyone, but for me, I'm loosing at a healthy rate, eating foods I love, have no problem finding foods I can eat and enjoy at restaurants, and couldn't be happier with Freestyle!

I thought eggs were hi in choles terol and eating over 2 or 3 a week is unhealthy. Actually after a few days, i am sick of chicken and beans. I would love a big juicy greasy cheeseburger!

the funny thing is the 0 point thing. a calorie is a calorie whether it is free or not.

I absolutely love gives u so many more options I'm never hungry and always have roll over's basically the foods I always ate love fish chicken beans eggs so many things to do with these zero point foods.the other day I only had used 2 points and it was 3pm I had 20 points left..that is awesome to me!!!!I have lost3 pounds since starting it..only need to lose 10 pounds it happens slowly for me

It’s working for me. Slow weight loss for sure but i only have 7 lbs to lose to get back to goal. It’s all about a lifestyle of healthy eating most of the time. I have a problem with portion control so I’m better at abstaining than allowing myself a small daily treat. The weeklies allow you the opportunity to indulge once or twice a week. Any more than that, on any plan, sabotages weight loss.

I really like Free Style because I disliked tracking EVERYTHING ! However, I ate all types of beans and tons of white meet chicken before (try it with G Hughes Sugar Free BBQ sauce !) I feel like I actually have points left now and can actually achieve some blue dots !!

Love freestyle. No longer feel punished by eating healthy foods - instead, I feel rewarded! Freestyle pushes you to eat healthy foods but leaves room for indulgences. I ate a 6 course dinner at a French restaurant, including 2 glasses of wine, for New Years and didn’t gain— because I planned for it and have been adjusting my other meals/activity for the week accordingly.

I never feel hungry. If I’m out of points for the day and hungry, I can eat fruit and yogurt, white bean chicken chili, chicken salad, or tofu veggie stir fry for zero points. What?! it’s crazy awesome. I love it.

PS - I am a former weight watchers critic who loved points plus and did weird stuff like added fiber to macaroni and cheese to lower the points. :) I hate smart points but for whatever reason, freestyle clicks with me.

Love it!

As of my 3rd weigh in last Thursday, I'm down 9.8 lbs. I never lost that much when on points plus and I have less to lose now. So, you cant say well, it all depends upon how much you have to lose.

If you know you're having dinner plans, a party at the end of the week, you can eat wisely days before and bank your points, meaning you have more points to use.

The zero point foods are not magical.

Yesterday on fb, someone asked if they make a crockpot full of chili can they eat all of it, in one sitting?!

Where's the common sense?

Zero point foods still have calories. Zero point foods are the basis of your meals. You start with chicken, turkey, fish, beans and add to it.

If you're not into change, nor open minded and have your mind set from the beginning that its not going to have sealed your own fate.

There have always been suggested/recommended portion sizes in the WW food tracker. This has not changed.

I love beans and eggs but how many are you really going to eat before you are gagging?? But it is a bonus I could live with. Adding a little chicken and beans to your salad is a plus. I did not like the last WW program. But could live with this new program. Enough to make me want to go back to the meetings!

I'm liking Freestyle. Being able to eat beans and tofu for no points is amazing!! I believe people have to tweak the program. So for example it's really hard to get ground chicken breast here (according to my meeting). So people are just counting extra lean ground chicken or turkey as 0.

If you're getting sick of the same chicken, same eggs, same beans, etc., change it up. There are so many good recipes out there! Make scrambled eggs, frittatas, quiches, and anything. Make burgers from ground chicken or turkey, or beans, tofu, or lentils. Make a pasta sauce using lentils or ground turkey. The sky is the limit!

I do find it take makes planning. I lost 7 points. My workday breakfast is going to stay the same. 6 point shake. My workday morning snack is going to stay the same. 3 point overnight oats. Workday lunch and supper are where I'm using the 0 point foods. I only have 10 minutes to eat lunch, so I usually try a bean dish or a Buddha bowl. Supper is tofu or eggs or pasta filled with 0 point foods. I might make a big egg dish to take for lunches next week.

One thing my leader said to us is not too overthink it. Don't overcomplicate things. If you think it should be 0, count it as 0. I heard of some people who don't like white meat, counting 1 portion of dark meat chicken or the occasional chicken sausage as 0. Find a balance that works for you. And tweak the program to work for you. Don't overeat the 0 point foods and find new ways to eat them. Good luck to everyone on their journey!!!

I like it because it really is about eating healthy with the option of having weeklies and rollover points for treats. What I have always liked about WW is that they push what is healthy. Sugar and saturated fat, although delicious, are not healthy in huge amounts. But in moderation, we can have it. I have been a WW member since I was in middle school in the 70s and a lifetime member since 1993. I have been through nearly all versions of their programs. I am a fervent believer. Yes, I drank the Kool-Aid a long time ago (but sugar-free, of course).

I was on points plus and quit when they switched to smartpoints. I had lost 60lbs and just couldn't get anywhere on the new plan, so I can sympathize with the upset members. I just rejoined yesterday since I ate many of the new free foods when I was on pp. I am optimistic about this plan as I gained back half of what I had lost.

I love Freestyle. I have had no problem switching to it and in fact find it easier. I love that I can add peas and corn or chickpeas to my salad and not have to count those points. I really feel I am eating better than I was before and the rollover points saved me during the holidays. I actually lost weight.

I started back on WW because of Freestyle. I find it easy to do and i am losing weight. It two weeks I have lost 5 pounds which is great for me since it was over the holidays. Looking forward to reaching my goal in 2018.

I Love Freestyle the points that I've lost or off of the foods that are now 0 points anyway and it freeze it up so I can have a treat whenever I want in one month I've lost over 6 pounds and I never used to lose more than maybe .2 or .4 I feel awesome and my doctor is excited too so I Love Freestyle

I lost weight on Atkins and I still hate the smell of an egg. For all of you trying this plan, I hope you are successful. If you get tired of it you can always go back to another plan that worked. Weight Watchers makes you buy a new plan and then they make you buy another new plan, if you want to attend the meetings. The one thing all of their plans have in common is portion control. Also Oprah Winfrey really hurt my feelings when she said that the older white people have to die, in order for race relations to improve. My parents are in that generation she is speaking of and they NEVER EVER said anything to me to teach me to be prejudiced because they do not think that way. I find that to be one of the most ironic statements I've ever heard because so many white women love her. Smart Points plan works, if I use it! That is the key - do something - watch my portions, eat food with nutrition and that does not include WW snacks and other junk food. This is the time of year when many of us find motivation to get healthier. Good luck to everyone!!

I love it and I’ve been on maintenance for 6 years. I found SP too restrictive. I get 28 points on maintenance and 23 points if I’m in losing mode. If I’m trying to drop a few I don’t go over 23 points for the day. I also track on MFP to keep a daily count of calories.

I eat a lot of 0 point foods and know I can have 21 grams of dark chocolate as a treat if I so desire.

I lost my 30 lbs on points plus and I loved it. I persevered with smart points and I will persevere with freestyle.

It’s about tweaking the lifestyle to find out what works and what doesn’t one size does not fit all.

I wish everyone success in your journey.

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