Week 1 Report – New WW Program

Last Sunday based upon the information from the UK version of the new Weight Watchers 2018 program (called Weight Watchers Flex there), I started following the program as best as I could.  I  read the UK FAQs and followed some UK groups and felt I had enough information to do this.  I believe based upon trademark applications that the program will be called Weight Watchers Freestyle in the U.S.


This was an interesting week to start, of course, since it was Thanksgiving in the U.S.  Because of the holiday and my mom visiting I had most of my higher point days loaded toward the end of the week which isn’t typical for me.

I didn’t weigh in at Weight Watchers during this period since I’ve already weighed in for November.  However, I did weigh at home on a daily basis.  For the week, I am down .8 pounds this morning from where I was last Sunday.  Given the holiday and the fact I feel like I am retaining water (lots of high sodium foods the past few days), I was very happy with this. [Read more…]

Avoiding Leftovers

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  And, may the eating season begin!  Honestly, how we eat on Thanksgiving is really not the problem.  One day won’t have a long term effect over the course of the year.  Even add in Christmas and it has no long term effect.  One problem, though, is that this time of year eating more than usual is often not confined to the holiday itself.  It truly does become an eating season.  Sometimes that is due to multiple celebrations or holiday parties or people bringing in treats to work.  Sometimes it is due to the main subject of this article – leftovers.

For the first problem, what I try to do is to simply fit that into regular eating.  If I go to a party then I try to fit that into my eating plan for the day.  I may use some weekly points, or even fit points.  But, basically I don’t let it derail me.

For the holiday itself, I think there are two reasonable ways of eating.  Some people simply don’t track that day and eat whatever they want to.  For a couple of days a year, that is fine.  On the other hand, if you do that for every holiday, every minor celebration and every birthday you come near — well, that ending up derailing progress.  Having a day where you just do whatever is fine when it is rare.  If it is every week, it isn’t rare and one day can undo a lot of progress for the rest of the week. [Read more…]

More About New Weight Watchers Program

Since the changes to the Weight Watchers program for 2018 went live a week ago in the UK, I’ve been looking for feedback on the program both from the UK Weight Watchers site and from members who are posting on various forums and groups.  After one week, these are some of the high points:

From Members

As is often the case when Weight Watchers makes program changes, members are quite polarized about the changes.  I’ve seen this with every program change that has been made while I’ve been active in Weight Watchers.  Often members don’t like change, particularly if they have been doing well on a program.  And. some changes are ones that some people like a lot while others hate the same changes.  Sometimes people are indifferent.  I was indifferent about zero point fruit because I don’t eat much fruit as I am more a veggie type person. I am cautiously optimistic about the new changes.  I do like most of the new zero point foods (well, I think yogurt is awful) but currently I only average eating about 4 of them each day.

One thing that often happens with program changes is that adjustments have to be made to how you are eating.  I eat very differently on SmartPoints than I ate when on the exchange program in the early 1990s.  For some people, they love the new zero point foods and are happy with the change.  Others don’t like those foods and are not happy. [Read more…]

Weight Watchers New Program for 2018

Yes, it is that time of year right before any program changes roll out for the upcoming year.  Usually they come out the first week in December.  At the last meeting we got a booklet for a charm coming out which mentions that you should come for the meeting the week of December to get the charm “and to get some great news about your plan!”

So what do we know?  At this time of year, it often isn’t a lot.  We do know Weight Watchers trademarked WW Freestyle.  While I don’t know for sure, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that as the new program name.

But, the big news is that program changes rolled out in the United Kingdom this past Sunday.  There, the plan will be called Weight Watchers Flex.  While there is no guarantee that the United States program changes will be the same, in recent years, the changes have been the same or similar.  You can get some hints about the changes by going to the UK Weight Watchers website.  But, even better, Good Housekeeping in the UK has summarized the main changes.

The big changes talked about in the article deal with zero point foods.  In addition to the foods that were previously zero point there are some really big additions to the zero point list: “eggs, all fresh fish and seafood, skinless chicken and turkey breast, fat free plain yogurt, beans, peas, sweetcorn, lentils and tofu.”   [Read more…]

Exercise and Maintenance of Weight Loss

The hardest part about weight loss is not the actual losing of the weight.  It is keeping off the weight that is lost.  Sometimes, people think this is not something they have to think about until goal weight.  But, that isn’t true.  Weight regain can happen during the weight loss phase and can be devastating in terms of slowing down overall weight loss progress.  I ended up losing about a quarter of a pound a week from the time I went back to Weight Watchers in August 2010 until I got back to goal.  But, if you pull out all the time when I regained about 3/4 of what I had lost and had to lose it again, I would have been at an average loss of a half pound a week.  During that period of gain, if I had simply maintained my existing weight loss even if I didn’t lose anything more, I would have been so much better off.

So, yes, maintaining lost weight is hard.  I’m not saying weight loss itself isn’t hard.  But, I find it easier to lose than to maintain the weight loss.  During weight loss you get lots of positive feedback for that.  Going to meetings and getting a star for losing 5 pounds.  Seeing the number go down on the scale.  Buying a smaller size pair of jeans.  All of that is very reinforcing and fun.

Maintaining isn’t so exciting.  You aren’t changing much during maintenance.  You are just staying the same.  It can get to be a drag.  And, it can be hard to balance.  That is, it can be hard to get to a point where you neither gain nor lose.  And, people get used to you being your new weight so you don’t get that constant positive feedback.  You have to mostly rely on yourself to keep it all going.

A recent study addressed weight maintenance and what helps.  The answer is fairly simple:  increased physical activity.


The link above goes to the actual study itself.  A little more accessible and easier to read is this article in the New York Times that discusses the study.   [Read more…]