Weight Watchers New Program: Freestyle

December 3, 2017   133 Comments

Here it is - Weight Watchers New Program! It is called Freestyle and it is launching today.

Weight Watchers New Program: Freestyle

Many of you have been anticipating a change in the Weight Watchers program for a while since you noticed that all the WW books and calculators went on sale for 50% off. In the UK, they started the new program last month and called it Weight Watchers Flex.

I guess in the USA we like to be FREE.

The really good news is that Weight Watchers new program (Flex or Freestyle) is still using Smart Points so your calculators, scales and many of your recipes will remain the same.

Roll Out of New Plan

If you are on the online version or the meeting, you will not start the program until you weigh in and start your new week. All the recipes on the website will have the new Smart Point numbers when you start using Freestyle. If you go to the meetings, this week will be the roll-out week when you get to start.

The recipes that have the new zero point foods (see below) will have to be recalculated. I will do that here on Snack Girl and let you know when all I have completed the work.

What Are the Big Changes?

  • There are now 200 ZeroPoints foods including eggs, fat-free yogurt, fish, skinless turkey and chicken breast.
  • You are allocated less daily points.
  • You can roll over your points when you don’t use them – up to 4 points per day will get added into your weekly allowance.
  • You can earn FitPoints that can be transferred to SmartPoints.

New Zero Point foods

Just like the old program, all fruits and vegetables are zero points (except for the ones that weren’t last time such as avocados, potatoes, and sweet potatoes). The change is that they added in some lean protein that will now be zero.

You will have to adjust the recipes in which you use these foods to get the new SmartPoints value. That will be a pain (especially for me because I use a ton of beans).

Here is an abbreviated list of the zero points additions:

  • Eggs
  • Fat-Free yogurt included Greek
  • Salmon, tilapia, oysters, crab, shrimp
  • Canned tuna in spring water
  • Skinless chicken and turkey breast, deli and cooked
  • Legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, and lentils
  • Tofu

This program is very vegetarian friendly. Before, you would get really dinged for eating beans and now they are FREE! This will make it easier for people who use beans as their main source of protein to follow the program and I think that it is a great change.

Emphasis on Sugar and Saturated Fat

When you calculate SmartPoints for a recipe or packaged food, you will still have to plug in number of calories, and grams of saturated fat, sugar, and protein. Whenever you have a high sugar or saturated fat number, the SmartPoints number will also be high. Cutting out the sugar is a healthy choice that many of us need to make so I can say that I am happy that Freestyle continues this focus.

Less Daily Points

My friend Mark has 10 less daily points and I have 7 less daily points. I went from 30 to 23 and I still have 35 weekly points. I think the change is probably because they are giving you so many more FREE foods. If they left the daily points value the same you would be eating more and the program might not work (as you would not be reducing your calorie intake).

Rollover Points

Let’s say my daily allowance is 23 and I only eat 19. Those 4 points don’t just disappear like in the old days! Now, those 4 points get added to my weekly allowance to be used when I need them. You can do this multiple days in a row to save up for a big event but you can't roll over more than 4 points per day (so no starving yourself).

You cannot roll over points from the previous week. Once you weigh in, you start again with the same number of weekly points. You can also choose not to rollover points if you don't want to use this option.

FitPoints into SmartPoints

This part was confusing to me so maybe others can illuminate the program. If you hit certain fitness goals, you earn Fit points, and then you can choose to turn those into SmartPoints. You can keep track of your FitPoints using a fitness tracking device or an Apple Watch but you can also do it manually.

Before you can earn a SmartPoint you must walk around 3,000 steps per day (or do the equivalent). The next 1,000 steps (or equivalent) will get you a SmartPoint which gets put into your weekly allowance.

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

Weight Watchers new program continues to help people who are prediabetic lose weight and improve their overall blood sugar numbers after 6 months on the program. The improvements have been shown to be sustained after 12 months.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recognized Weight Watchers new program (Freestyle and Flex) as a National Diabetes Prevention Program. Weight Watchers incorporates the curriculum from the CDC to help people turn their eating around and gain control of their weight.

This can be a great program if you have been told that you are prediabetic and need support in making the changes to a healthier diet and lifestyle.

My Conclusion

I still think Weight Watchers is hard to beat when it comes to a healthy long term weight loss program. I love the inclusion of protein in zero points because dietary science has shown that protein is important for satiety (feeling full). I think it may make the program easier to follow (especially for vegetarians).

The best part is the inclusion of beans as zero points. They are filling, inexpensive, versatile, and low in saturated fat. I always wondered why a recipe with beans ended up to be so high in SmartPoints. I love this change.

My friend, Mark, said that he is finding the program more restrictive because of the drop in his daily points allowance (which could be a big problem).

It is cool to see them integrate fitness tracking devices into the WW program. I think that will make it easier for people to track their activity without much work.

So far, I like that the changes aren't too drastic but I haven’t been on the program long enough to know if they are an improvement.

What do you think of the new plan? Are you game to try out the changes or ready to quit?

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 133 )

As one stalling on renewing my lapsed WW membership until Freestyle was released, thanks for presenting this update!

Since your list of 'newly-freed' foods is 'abbreviated', I'm wondering what other foods have been added to the 'free' list, such as canned sardines in water, flavored fat-free Greek yogurt (or is only plain 'free'?), other lean meats & fish (ham, roast beef, catfish, etc).

Would you please post the full list? It could determine whether I re-join WW when the post-holiday promos come out in the New Year.

Thanks, Lisa!!

Just wondering - I left WW a year ago because it felt like if I were within 50 feet of a carb/sugar, my daily points were shot. Any changes to carbs? Can you post a few items and their points?

Thanks for posting this. I am doing weight watchers online only and they didn't really give much info about it. I learned on Facebook groups.

I have been doing WW the Simply Filling Way and this Freestyle seems much the same, without trying it yet. Simply Filling has plenty of carbs as well. Looking forward to seeing how smmoothly the transition goes, and if I can still continue with Simply Filling.

June was my 14th year doing WW. 13 years have been spent at or very close to goal. I agree weight watchers is one of the best for losing and keeping the weight off. Regular meetings and weigh ins hold us accountable. Once someone makes it to goal they should continue to weigh in regularly to ensure their continued success of being at goal and maintaining lifetime membership! Thanks Lisa for all you do to help us with trying to live a healthier life.

Warm Regards.

Thanks for posting but my group kicks off NEXT SATURDAY so will get the majority of my info from my leader (which I suggest that some who are asking questions do the same....people, your questions will be answered if you attend a meeting). My gut reaction is the new program is almost identical to what Simply Filling was........I don't think ALL eggs are zero points, have a feeling that is hard-boiled only. I also don't believe that dark meat turkey is free (there are some contradictions written above).......tuna isn't on the zero point fish list or you just added fish that had previously been higher? Once again, like Simply Filling, firmly believe your FIRST PORTION would be zero points, but if you choose to double up you will have to calculate the points (I don't know for a fact but that is how it was for Simply Filling). I will get further clarification next week at my meeting (since I have Saturday meetings it doesn't kick off til next week).....and while I THANK YOU for this "preview".........I suggest that some who are asking questions (some of which are unbelieveable and quite amusing lol), I suggest they go to a meeting and find out.

Now that chickpeas are a free food, what about pasta made from chickpeas?

Chickpea pasta has points!!!

I don't get the new plan until Saturday! Can't wait! There will definitely be more beans, lentils, and tofu in my future! Oooh and eggs. I know I don't eat 7 sp of those foods, but maybe I'll start! Didn't eat much if them before because of the points.

An egg is an egg, whether it is hard boiled, soft boiled, cooked in the microwave, etc.

Super excited about the beans being zero Points! I never wanted to spend my points on them before, but I will definitely eat more now.

I am excited about this new program. I was using the program this way while I was on lifetime for two years. I fell off the wagon this summer. Now sounds like a good time to rejoin.

People are always going to be curious. It’s ok to ask questions! That’s how we learn. Sharing information is great. Not everyone is on WW. By answering their questions, they may be able to decide if they’d like to join. ❤️ My weigh in is on Saturday. I enjoy having a little sneak peak. Nothing wrong with that.

There's a lot of information on Connect. Some from official sources, some the experiences of WW memebers who were part of the six-week test. Here is the complete list of zero-point food.…

An egg is an egg is an egg -- it will be zero. Of course, if you fry it in bacon grease, you have to count the bacon grease!!!

Also, on Simply Filling, second portions of the old Power Foods, as they were called, were still zero points -- you were supposed to eat until you were satisfied. I've been on Simply Filling as my maintenance program for the last four years. This just makes it even better. I do love my beans, too. There will be the critics, but this is the way you need to eat to maintain for the rest of your life and to keep yourself healthy.

Is it all beans or just certain beans? I am wondering about northern beans ( beans for white chili). This could be a good thing.

Couch to 5k in the app? How do I get to it?

Thank you so much for posting information about the Free Style! I am excited!


Started the new Free program today.. since I consume a lot of protein.... did new program is a lifesaver for me... lost my weight on pp go bd so to be a challenge... I am looking forward to this new program....

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