Weight Watchers’ Simply Filling: Will it Work for You?

January 13, 2014   91 Comments

After posting last week about Weight Watchers, I got a few questions about “Simply Filling”.

Weight Watchers' Simply Filling

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I am not a Weight Watchers expert but I do remember a plan called “Core”. Simply Filling is, I believe, “Core” with a better name.

The idea is that you can eat EVERYTHING on this list - Simply Filling Food List – without having to count the points.

If you stray from the list, THEN you count. For breakfast, I could eat a bowl of fresh strawberries (no counting) and then a Krispy Kreme donut (6 PointsPlus). The total is 6!

But, the idea is that tracking is painful and so you should eat from the list and then you don’t have to count.

I think this list is very helpful if you are looking for foods that are low in calories and packed with fiber. One of the big challenges when you first start a weight loss program is how HUNGRY you get. You move from something like 2500 calories per day to 1600 and you can become seriously grumpy.

These foods will fill your stomach and stop it from sending those powerful, “I’m Hungry NOW”, signals to your brain.

My only problem with the list of foods is the dairy. There is no way I am eating fat-free cheese. I don’t understand the point of fat-free cheese – it tastes terrible and it doesn’t melt. Also, when you cut out the fat, you also cut out protein and calcium. Nope, not for me.

If I was on “Simply Filling”, I would eat regular cheese and count the points.

One part of the list that cracks me up is:

Game meats, including buffalo, elk, ostrich and venison

Yeah, I’m going out to get some ostrich right now. Maybe this is for a different country?

And desserts?

Sugar-free gelatin

Really? I can’t have crème brûlée? Sugar-Free gelatin is the only dessert listed so crème brûlée is definitely out.

Sarcasm aside, if you ate from this list you would be following a very healthy eating plan. It makes you focus on the foods that you are inhaling that are not on the list - like french fries. If you think it will help you, why not give it at go?

Have any of you tried Simply Filling? Please share.

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 91 )

I am a lifetime Weight Watcher member and I just shared with my leader on Saturday that the Simply Filling plan is not for me. In my opinion, it will work for new members or for members that can not let the mentally of eating anything you want and not tracking the points and relying on hungers signals to tell you when to stop. But for me, it's a mental thing. Don't tell me I can have anything for "free" because I will overdo it. Last week, I went back to counting points and made some adjustments with the 49 points and lost 2 lbs. For me, I think the 49 points is too much for me to have on a weekly basis. I had added the full 49 points to and it wasn't working for me. I do believe in eating the Power Foods and protein does have great staying power. The Atkins plan didn't work for me either because of the "eat all you want" mentality. The bottom line is, everyone is different and you have to find out what works for you and at the end of the day, you have to eat less than you burn to lose weight and there is no easy ticket to weight loss. I have tried it all and Weight Watchers works best for me.

I am employed by WW. I think Simply filling is a great, healthy, clean eating option. I will say this - people join WW hoping that they can lose weight - eat all they want unlimited - and not willing to change BAD habits! It doesn't work that way! Sorry! The REALITY is - if you are not eating to sustain your life (i.e. eating to live not living to eat) then you will NEVER - I repeat - NEVER lose the weight permenantly! This is the COLD HARD REALITY that most of my members fail to realize. So, Simply Filling is a great option because if you are eating for emotions - you are NOT going to eat 2 bowls of raw brocolli! And Lays chips ARE NOT a power food! People need to grasp the reality that this program along with counting points is only as GREAT as they are willing to CHANGE BAD habits. What needs to be addressed is eating for pleasure. Get out of the kitchen, get away from junk food and go get a hobby. That is what gets one to lose weight!! Not saying it is easy! But, it can be done, and WW Simply filling is a great, healthy, reasonable, liveable option. IMHO ;)

Sorry Lola but there are options on Simply filling besides raw broccoli! I could overeat with popcorn just as easily as I could with potato chips. I agree we can't just constantly eat for pleasure and that is why I feel I need to still count points. Honestly, I don't trust myself yet. I have lost 80 lbs and have about 28 to go. I have made many healthy lifestyle changes and continue to make more a little at a time. I think Simply Filling is a great option for some people but right now I'm not sure it is for me. If I hit a plateau or begin to lose motivation I may try it to get me going again but for now I'm going to stick with what has been successful for me. I have changed many bad habits. I think eating can be pleasurable and healthy. It can fulfill and sustain life at the same time. Lifestyle changes are extremely difficult to make. I try not to tackle too much at a time. So far, I have been successful. I hope that continues. I see this as a forever lifestyle not a temporary fix. Best of luck to everyone with whatever WW method you use.

Debbie, I am the same way (quantity AND quality of food is important to me) but they uploaded a change to the simply filling app that shows measurements now. I'm going to try it next week. It's easy to justify spending 26 points on junk vs 7 where I'll have to b choosy. I'll let you all know how it works for me since I'm at a plateau.

I am a WW member for almost 3 years. I had lost 110 lbs and became a long distance runner. I put on 10 lbs over the last couple months from eating more to refuel from training. I wentto tthe meeting with a negative attitude about the new 2 week plan. I snapped out of it and decided to give it a try. I tried some things I haven't had before and now have some new favorites. Oh and I lost 6.4 lbs after one week! Yup it works!

I've also been a LT WW Member for 6 years and have always done the points counting thing. The last week I decided to give Simply Filling a try and I certainly haven't lost any of the holiday weight I gained. I'm giving it a 2 week shot but can already tell that this concept really isn't for me. Truth be told, I am eating certain foods I'd basically given up entirely (whole egg vs egg whites) and I don't just mean junk food items. Pasta (whole grain/wheat) as another example. I don't see how I personally could continue this way. Being a smaller person in general (5' 110lbs) I don't even do well touching those weekly 49. If I don't stick to my daily 26 I immediately seem to gain. I know WW isn't about "calories" but for me if I eat more than 1200 calories a day it's too much. Simply Filling, no matter how perfect the food choices are, is Simply Too Many Calories for my body.

I confess, I am a mindless, eat-for-pleasure, let's-see-what's-in-the-fridge sort of person. I don't have to be hungry to eat. I "went back" to WW for the new year and tried the Simple Start program and lost 3.8 lbs this week. Mostly water? Dunno. Anyway, Simple Start made me be more aware of my level of hunger. Before I walked into the kitchen for a snack I asked myself if I was hungry. Most times not, just bored. So this plan will teach me to be more conscious of why I'm eating. BTW, I still tracked, and found I was eating less than my allotted 29 points. Bonus! I really didn't find this plan too difficult to follow. I like eating things in their natural state with a few spices, rather than all sauced up anyhow.

A little about me...I am a 26 year lifetime WW member who can't seem to keep it off. My starting weight so many years ago is now less than my goal weight now. I wish I was as "fat" as I was back then. lol

I haven't tried it yet...I'm just a bit skittish about trying something new, and frankly the whole concept of it confuses me a little after working to wrap my head around the points plus system. Plus I have some family members that expect the same food they've always eaten and I'm just now getting them to adapt a little. With this they'd have to adapt a lot. :) However, people in our group have tried it and are reporting some pretty substantial losses. They seem thrilled with it and it looks like a healthy plan. I just think it'd be difficult to stick to that limited list for very long.

I really like the simple start plan but I haven't tried it yet. My son is extremely overweight and refuses to eat fruits and vegetables and I thought it would be a great program for him. A lot of people like to follow the Simply Filling program when they are on vacation and I can see how that could work. I also think its a great program for people who are working out intensely. You can add more protein to your menu without spending your points on it and runners really need more protein.

My husband was a chef and let me tell you, ostrich is DELICIOUS!! If you can get it. Very lean redmeat like a beef fillet.

Also, the Core plan worked very well for more than 1 friend, (pre-weddings) back in the day, but they didn't find it sustainable long term. I always needed to keep track of what I ate so that nothing was "off limits" and to keep me honest.

P.S. FF cheese is not your friend.

I hit my WW goal (again) in Nov 2011 (lost 80+ lbs) and the first year kept it off with no problem. I spent the 2nd year dancing around within 2 lbs of my goal but still able to make goal at least one weigh-in per month. Then in Oct & Nov 2013 I wasn't able to make my monthly weigh-in so when they introduced Simple Start I gave it a shot since I needed to shake things up. I lost 6.5 lbs over the first 2 weeks and had a weigh-in at goal the day after Christmas. I've found it easy to follow although the scanner app is "incomplete" and not reliable in my opinion. I don't mind the fat free dairy. I think you have to do what works for you as an individual and to be open to the idea that sometimes what "works" needs to be re-evaluated. I plan on continuing with SS/SF for the near future. If I start to struggle with serving size I can always revert back to Points Plus. That's the beauty of WW - flexibility.

My understanding is that Simply Filling program is a 2 week program only. Kind of like the old Quick Start, where it's a good start to the program, or if you need a shake-up.

@Melissa2 - I also thought it was a two week program - but it isn't. You can go on it for any length of time that you deem helpful.

Thanks for your comment!

I had lost 76 pounds and have been at a plateau for several weeks and started Simply Filling two weeks ago, the first week I lost 3.8 and last week 1.2 pounds. My WW leader said I could stay on Simply Filling for longer than two weeks. You get to eat a lot of different proteins and potatoes, not just fruits and carrots and green beans.

Simply Filling is not just a 2 week program. You can do it for life. It looks like Weight Watchers is showing that you don't just have to count points. I've done the old CORE program which was fantastic and I really did well on it. I am starting the simply filling again today.

I've never done WW so I'm a bit ignorant but how can avocados be of limits? Healthy fat is not the enemy.

I have been on WW since Sept. I haven't lost that much weight--10 & gained back 2 over the holidays. My problem with Simple Start is the nonfat dairy. No nutritional value. Also, I can get addicted to WW snack bars & over eat those like any other candy bar. I am going to do Simple Start this week & just count the dairy points. Hopefully the plan can help create a rhythm of eating better with more veggies and help me skip the grab & eat foods.

I'm a lifetime WW member who has been able to maintain my weight beneath the goal weight I set back in my late 20s (I'm now 50), thanks mostly to what I learned through Simply Filling.

I like that WW has a variety of options to choose from.

The bottom line is to come up with a plan that you can live with and supports you and is sustainable for the long term. It took me decades to lose the "diet" mentality and yo-yoing between extreme restriction and over-indulgence.

If you If you know you eat too much and are not willing to try to change that behavior, then Simply Filling probably isn't the right choice.

I used Simply Filling as a launching pad to "hunger directed eating." I now basically eat whatever my body wants when I am hungry and stop when I'm no longer hungry. I still overeat occasionally, which is a great reminder to not do it again for a while!!

I agree with you on the nonfat cheese thing. I eat real cheese in small amounts and try to never eat anything that doesn't taste good to me.

Last summer I was in London and picked up a copy of the UK's Weight Watchers magazine, which I found so refreshing and more interesting than the US version. In it I read that one should think of counting points as training wheels while you learn to eat in a way that supports your body, but you shouldn't have to do it forever! Amen to that!!

Quick Update: Simple Start is Simply Filling (i.e. core foods), plus up to 7 "indulgence" points a day - you can use these for things like real cheese, or a glass of wine. But, you cannot "bank" your points and use more than 7 in one day.

Our leader suggested a 2 week start (or you could do the regular Points Plus plan), and then she said that she would explain how to continue with Simply Filling if you like (I think you get to bank your extra points.)

Yes, very much like the old core program - healthful foods that you normally wouldn't have too much of. But, like one of the commenters above, I've eaten more regular eggs & whole wheat sandwich thins that I normally would.

Also harder to stick too on a night out!

How is eating sugar free anything healthy for me? It's fu of chenicals. This is not healthy to any degree and though you might be eating less calories you are ingesting chenicals.

Seems like the better option is to eat healthy from the get go and avoid theses types of foods. Bring on the fruit.

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