The Weight Watchers (WW) Plan: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners
WW (formerly Weight Watchers) is an American weight loss program. In the “myWW” weight loss program, you get a certain number of points for what you eat and drink. Depending on the type of food and whether you are on the Green Plan, Blue Plan, or Purple Plan, these can be “zero points” or “smart points”.
Based on your age, gender, weight, and the plan you are following, WW will determine how many SmartPoints you can spend per day. The point system serves as a stimulus for healthier eating.
Dieting with WW is designed to make your eating patterns healthier. Dieting with myWW can be combined with eating fewer calories than before dieting. The advantage of a weight loss program that focuses on improving eating patterns is that it can also help you maintain weight loss.
What is MyWW or Weight Watchers?
MyWW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) is a program to help you lose weight. There are three different programs or plans: Green, Blue, and Purple. Based on a questionnaire, you can determine which plan is right for you. Central to all three plans is the principle of counting points. They are designed to give you the same degree of weight loss. Therefore, comparing one plan to another will not result in more or faster weight loss. You can join a weekly course where information and guidance will be provided, or you can use the app or website to lose weight independently.
How does the Weight Watchers diet work? (ZeroPoints and SmartPoints)
In WW (Weight Watchers), everything you eat and drink is given a SmartPoints value, i.e. a certain number of points. Foods with a SmartPoints value of zero are ZeroPoints. Whether you need to count SmartPoints or ZeroPoints for a food and how many SmartPoints you can use per day depends on the plan you follow (green, blue or purple). The green plan has a short list of ZeroPoint foods and a generous budget of SmartPoints. In this plan, ZeroPoint foods are vegetables and fruits. The purple plan has a long list of ZeroPoint foods and a small budget of SmartPoints. ZeroPoint foods in this plan are vegetables, fruits, protein-rich foods, potatoes and assorted (whole grain) cereals. The blue plan is exactly in between for ZeroPoint and SmartPoints distribution. It’s not like you can eat unlimited ZeroPoint foods.
SmartPoints are calculated based on calories, protein, sugars and saturated fat. Online and through the app, you can track how many points you’ve achieved. This way you can see how much more you can eat that day. The points system can also help you make healthier choices. Based on your age, gender, weight and the plan you follow, WW determines how many SmartPoints you can use each day.
In addition to the points system, there are “weekend ecxros”. You can use these points flexibly. For example, at a single party or evenly over the course of the week. In addition, you can take up to four SmartPoints per day, which you can save for additional weekend payments. When you exercise, you earn FitPoints. When you start mijnWW, you fill out a questionnaire to determine your weekly FitPoints goal. In mijnWW you can exchange FitPoints for SmartPoints, but if this does not lead to the desired result, WW will advise you to stop.
It is unclear exactly how the points system is structured and which criteria are the most important when allocating SmartPoints.
Is the Weight Watchers diet healthy?
Lose weight with MyWW
The MyWW diet aims to make eating habits healthier and improve lifestyle. Together, by eating fewer calories than before the diet, you can lose weight with myWW. A common problem with weight loss diets is that the weight lost over time is regained. The advantage of a weight loss program that focuses on a better diet is that it can help maintain weight loss.
Weight Watchers diet does it work?
No scientific research has yet been done on the effects of the new program, myWW. However, there have been studies on the Weight Watchers program, on which myWW is based. The studies show that the Weight Watchers diet, like other diets, can lead to weight loss. After 12 months, the pounds lost by participants are still there. After two years, some of the weight has returned in most cases. Studies often compare Weight Watchers with other well-known weight loss diets. At present, no clear conclusion can be drawn as to which diet works best in the short and long term.
Comparison with “The Five Discs”
Depending on how you fulfil the MyWW plan, i.e. what foods you choose, you will eat more or less according to the Five Plates.
Foods that contain more sugar and saturated fatty acids have a higher SmartPoint value in MyWW. On the other hand, foods rich in protein have a lower SmartPoint value. Although there are no forbidden foods in the diet, eating whole grains, low-fat protein products, vegetables and fruit is recommended. This is because these foods have lower SmartPoints or Zeropoints (for protein-rich foods, depending on the program you follow), so you can eat more of them. Foods with a lot of added sugar or saturated fat are also not included in the five-point menu. Wholegrain products, lean protein products, vegetables and fruit are all part of a healthy diet because of their proven health benefits. This is why these products are also on the “Eat Healthy” list.
Weight Watchers states that ZeroPoint products cannot be eaten without restriction, but that you can supplement based on what you used to eat. In its publication The Five Discs, the Dutch Nutrition Centre uses recommended maximum amounts for the foods that Weight Watchers includes in its ZeroPoints program. For example, for meat, it advises that you should not eat more than 500 grams of meat per week.
The points system also does not take into account the recommendations for a maximum daily salt intake of 6 grams. Salt is not included in the list of ingredients that are taken into account when awarding SmartPoints.
Comparison with physical activity guidelines
Weight Watchers shows that there is no healthy margin for FitPoints, and the idea is that every activity is a good activity. Everyone gets a personal FitPoints target. Strength training and high-intensity activities can earn you more FitPoints because they have additional health benefits that help you reach your exercise goal faster. Depending on your goal and how you exercise, you may or may not be able to meet the exercise guidelines.
Will myWW lead to a healthier lifestyle?
Smartpoints and ZeroPoints help you make healthier choices. But whether you make truly healthy choices depends on how you use this point system. If you only choose products with a high SmartPoints score, you may eat less of certain foods (depending on the program). Then you might get hungry. Therefore, control through workshops can be a good addition to a digital WW subscription. On a WW diet, you don’t need to buy specific (weight loss) products, and you can eat anything that makes the diet practical to implement. Finally, myWW does not stop when you reach your target weight, but you can adjust your goal to “stabilise”. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important to avoid regaining your old weight.