Free Weight Watchers points calculator: If you’re on Weight Watchers, you know that the point system is central to the success of the diet. While the WW app has hundreds of point values for foods (including the 99 most tracked foods) we made a calculator so that you can estimate the points value of any food from the nutritional info.
Recently WW ended their “Points Plus®” system, and changed it to “SmartPoints®” in the new FreeStyle points system.
The (new) Weight Watchers formula for SmartPoints is based on four criteria: calories, protein, sugar, and saturated fat. If you have a product that lists these values, you can quickly calculate the points value! Just enter the numbers below to instantly convert them to a Smart Points number. Try our free calculator below, and if you are thinking of joining WW, use one of our exclusive coupons!
It’s easy to get this info for most products, as it’s listed on the box, bag, or wrapper like this:
Try out our WW points calculator to estimate the Smart Points in your food, and let us know your results!
Weight Watchers: How Many Calories Per Point? (SmartPoints + Points Plus)
As you know, the Weight Watchers program is based on a points system instead of counting calories. This is an important distinction, as they believe that not all calories are equal. In other words, 200 calories from a doughnut is very different than 200 calories from hummus and veggies.
For this reason, it’s very hard to estimate WW points from calories alone. However, here is a ballpark estimate of how to convert calories to Weight Watchers points:
FreeStyle(SmartPoints): 1 WW point is equal to about 30 calories
Points Plus: 1 WW point is equal to about 35 calories
If you are eating healthy, than there is a greater number of calories per point, and fruit and veggies are worth zero points. If you are eating less healthy food, there are fewer calories per point.
Free WW Calculator: Here are the Formulas
“Cause I’m as free as a bird now, And this bird you can not change!” – Freebird
Our free Weight Watchers points calculators use formulas based on weighing nutritional value from the smart folks at calorie lab to calculate an estimated points value for food.
WW Smart Points formula: ((calories) + (4 x sugar) + (9 x saturated fat) – (3.2 x Protein)) ÷ 33 = SmartPoints value
WW PointsPlus formula: ((3.2 x Protein) + (3.8 x (Carbs – Fiber)) + (9.0 x Fat) + (1.0 x Fiber)) ÷ 35 = PointsPlus value
The formulas differ in that SmartPoints rewards higher protein levels and specifically discourages eating saturated fat.
*Disclaimer: Although we believe this WW calculator to be fairly accurate, it is meant only to calculate estimates of Weight Watcher points in food. For this reason, we make no guarantee of accuracy. Also, never eat Tide Pods or take selfies in dangerous locations.
Points list of popular Weight Watcher foods: If you’re on WW (or thinking about joining?) you know that the SmartPoints system is central to the the success of the FreeStyle Program. (How does FreeStyle work?) It’s similar to the old WW point system, “PointsPlus,” but now includes about 200 healthy “free,” zero-point foods including fruits and vegetables.
With Weight Watchers, every food is assigned a point value based on four criteria: calories, protein, sugar and saturated fat. There’s no counting calories with WW, and as long as you stay within your daily points budget, you should be losing weight. (It’s just simple math + science!)
Ever wonder what foods are most commonly tracked on the WW app? We did some research and found what foods people on Weight Watchers track the most, and were pleasantly surprised to see that most of the foods are healthy!
Here’s a free list of the most tracked foods on the Weight Watchers point system in alphabetical order. (often listed like: “eggs, scrambled” or “wine, red”)
This WW points list is just the most popular foods tracked on Weight Watchers, but there are thousands more (including the point values of menu items from popular restaurants) on the app if you’re a member of Weight Watchers:
As you can see from our list of the most tracked foods on the Weight Watchers app, most all fruits and non-starchy vegetables cost you zero points. That’s WW’s way of telling you to eat a plethora of them, and they are a great alternative to bad carbs when you crave something sweet.
Also on the list of zero-point foods are healthy grilled proteins like fresh (wild-caught) salmon, Greek yogurt, plus spices and flavorings like garlic, soy sauce, lemon, and lime. just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy flavor!
Weight Watchers SmartPoints: Proteins
Weight Watchers encourages you to eat lots of proteins, but mostly “lean proteins.” That means healthy proteins like lean grilled chicken, pork, and beef will usually only cost you a few points.
Fresh seafood is great for your daily SmartPoints budget with 3 oz. of shrimp, tilapia, tuna steak, and lobster only costing you about 1 point each. Holy mackerel!
There are even zero-point proteins like grilled salmon and egg whites that you should include in your diet.
Now, when you talk about meat with more saturated fat like hot dogs (6 SmartPoints), burgers, bacon, fatty beef cuts, and sausage (8+ SmartPoints), you’re going to have to pony up some points. So, it’s a good idea to look for smart alternatives to these budget-busting proteins.
For example, since bacon costs you 5 points, consider substituting turkey bacon, which is worth 3 Smart Points.
Weight Watchers Smart Points: Fats & Oil
Did you know that a single tablespoon of butter will cost you 5 SmartPoints? That’s more points than an entire healthy meal or snack!
Fats have a high density of calories, and therefore cost you more points. Surprisingly, on the WW points list this includes nuts, nut butters, and even avocados. When you have the option, save WW points by choosing a low-fat version of fatty favorites like butter, mayo, cheese, milk, and yogurt. (Choose Greek yogurt)
One of the best substitutions you can make is to get vegetable oil out of your diet, and make a habit of using extra-virgin olive oil instead.
Weight Watchers Points List: Sweets & Desserts
There are no forbidden foods on Weight Watchers, but if you want the diet to work consider most sweets to be an occasional treat or reward.
Because a full-size chocolate bar is 12 WW SmartPoints, and a 1/2 cup of ice cream is 7+ points, it makes sense to choose a low-fat option or smaller portion when available.
Worst dessert points-bomb? Probably a piece of iced chocolate cake. At 22+ WW points per slice, it’s not a smart choice unless it’s your birthday.
Also, beware navigating the menu of restaurants like Starbucks, as there are plenty of WW points-pitfalls!
Weight Watchers Points in Alcohol?
Like Nutrisystem, It’s OK to have the occasional glass of wine or beer on Weight Watchers, but not all drinks are equal. If you want to be thrifty with points, order responsibly. When you order, consider light beers and dry wines, and avoid sweet or creamy drinks.
Example: Consider that a glass of red wine will cost you 4 SmartPoints, while a Long Island Iced Tea is 18 Smart Points and 700 calories. (Gulp!)
In case you don’t believe me, consider that a value meal with a burger, fries, and soda can ring-up 30+ points quickly. (Maybe that’s why it’s called, “fast food?”)Pizza is another WW points-bomb and can also ring up a dizzying number of Smart Points.
Full Weight Watchers Points List?
Are you looking for a full list of SmartPoints values for every food? There isn’t a dependable (free) online list of all of the thousands of foods and drinks that you can track on Weight Watchers because it’s too cumbersome to list and maintain online. The best way to see point values for foods is within the Weight Watchers app, which is a central part of the diet.
We also created a Weight Watchers points calculator to help you estimate both the Smart Points and Points Plus (old system) in any food based on the nutritional facts.
If you’ve already joined WW, then that list is right at your fingertips on your phone once you download the app. If you haven’t joined yet, we have a couple of great WW coupons to save up to 50% on membership!
Thanks for checking out our Smart Points list for the most popular Weight Watchers foods!
Which diet is better: Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig? Let’s compare: WW & jenny Craig are two heavyweight names in the diet industry, but which one is best? In the Weight Watchers versus Jenny Craig battle, let’s look at both customer reviews, expert ratings, and price.
Both of these diets are popular, so we can learn a lot from both WW reviews and Jenny Craig Reviews. Here’s how the two diets compare based on hundreds of customer ratings from reviews on ConsumerReports.com:
It looks like Weight Watchers scores better than Jenny Craig based on the ratings from customer reviews. Now, let’s see how the experts rate these two diets.
U.S. News asked a panell of health experts to rate Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig on a number of important factors. Let’s compare:
Wow, looks like Weight Watchers beats Nutrisystem in all of the major areas! However, no single diet is best for everyone, so let’s look at how these two weight loss plans compare to see if this is really a knockout victory for Weight Watchers.
About Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers is the undisputed heavyweight champion in commercial diets, and consistently ranked as the best weight loss diet. WW has helped millions of women and men lose weight for decades because their plan is simple, effective, and no foods are off-limits.
Weight Watchers doesn’t focus on counting calories, because all calories are not equal. For example, a candy bar might have the same number of calories as grilled salmon with vegetables. Instead, WW has a point system which assigns a point value to every food. Everyone who joins WW is given a daily points budget based on factors like height, weight, & gender.
Each day you’ll “spend” points on food, with healthy foods having fewer points. Even though no foods are forbidden, (including wine and pizza!) unhealthy foods will cost you more points. Really, the idea of the WW plan is to teach you to make healthy food choices that will become a lifelong habit. *Related: Does Weight Watchers Really Work?
The Weight Watchers app is central to their diet, and what you’ll use to track your points every day. It’s also how you can access resources like recipes and “Weight Watchers Connect,” a social network of thousands of other supportive women and men on WW.
You have the option of adding meetings to your Weight Watchers membership, which offer support, accountability, and personal attention. Although meetings don’t fit everyone’s schedule and budget, they have been proven to greatly increase the success rate of Weight Watchers.
Like WW, Jenny Craig has been around a long time, helping thousands of women and men lose weight since 1983. Unlike Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig is a meal-delivery diet. Instead of asking you to provide your own food and track points, jenny Craig ships you pre-portioned frozen food every month.
When you sign up for Jenny Craig, you’ll get a personalized meal and exercise plan designed for you based on factors including your height, weight, and activity level. You’ll also have weekly counseling sessions with a trained Jenny Craig consultant, either in-person at one of their many locations, or via phone or video chat. Like Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig values personal attention highly, but they offer it through a consultant rather than group meetings.
Jenny Craig’s menu consists of about 100 total entrees, plus desserts and snacks. You’ll eat 3 meals (and a snack) each day, which you’ll supplement with your own fresh fruits and vegetables and 2+ nonfat dairy products. Meal portions are smaller than most people are used to, and designed to restrict calories… more
Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig score highly for short term weight loss, but WW gets a higher rating from reviews and expert ratings. They both do well with initial weight loss results because if you follow their plans, the math says that you should immediately start losing weight. WW achieves this through their points system, and Jenny Craig through fewer calories per day with their convenient and nutritious pre-portioned meals.
Although WW gets the edge here, Jenny Craig is the highest-rated meal delivery diet for short-term weight loss.
Long-Term Weight Loss: WW or Jenny Craig?
Most diets out there can boast a successful first month of weight loss, but are they sustainable? Weight loss should really just be a happy side-effect of a healthier lifestyle, not the only goal. Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig try to teach you healthy habits that you’ll follow long after quitting their programs.
While some people stay on Weight Watchers for many months or even years, that’s not the case with Jenny Craig. This is probably because of their limited menu and high monthly cost. Jenny Craig states that you can stay on their diet “as long as it takes” until you can be weaned off of their prepared food and make your own healthy choices. It seems that customers are more likely to gain weight back after leaving Jenny Craig, as Weight Watchers scores significantly higher for long-term success.
Easy to Follow: Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig?
Both Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig offer members online resources like recipes, tips, and a supportive community. Also, the goal of both of these diets is to instill healthy eating habits so that members can continue to make healthy lifestyle choices long after ending their paid membership.
However, you’d think that a meal delivery diet like Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem should beat WW in this category, but surprisingly they don’t. The monthly meal-delivery and recipes does make Jenny Craig sound more convenient, but experts decided that menu restrictions, including at restaurants, gave Weight Watchers the “win” again in this round.
Which Is Healthier: Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig?
Both diets scored very well in this area. Weight Watchers point system ensures that you eat healthy food on your own, and Jenny Craig’s pre-made meals are nutritious and balanced. However, Weight Watchers was rated as being healthier than Jenny Craig.
Why? Their FreeStyle program really emphasizes eating fresh fruits and vegetables along with healthy proteins like chicken and seafood. It seems that experts agree that you can’t beat home cooking and fresh ingredients, as no meal delivery diet outranks Weight Watchers on health!
Up until this point Weight Watchers has been winning on the scorecard, but when it comes to price, WW delivers a knockout punch:
Weight Watchers OnlinePlus costs about $20 per month. If you add meetings, you’re total will be $50 per month. No food is included with WW, which costs about $20 per day
Jenny Craig is very expensive, costing $500-600+ per month plus the price of fresh fruits vegetables and nonfat dairy products.
While it’s not easy to compare the cost of a meal delivery diet like Jenny Craig to a DIY diet like Weight Watchers, it’s still hard to swallow Jenny Craig’s shocking price tag any way you look at it. In fact, the price of Jenny Craig is almost double the cost of Nutrisystem, another leading meal delivery diet.
While customers have the option of being thrifty on Weight Watchers, (cost depends on grocery store / restaurant food spending) there is no such option with jenny Craig. Even though Jenny Craig gets high marks in the meal-delivery diet category, it can be a budget-buster for many people. For that reason, we can only recommend Jenny Craig to people who want meal delivery and can afford the price tag.
And the Winner Is… Weight Watchers!
As we mentioned, comparing a DIY diet like Weight Watchers to a meal delivery diet like Jenny Craig isn’t easy. Although we declare Weight Watchers the better diet, we have to qualify that by saying, “it’s better for most people.”
Weight Watchers requires daily point-tracking and provides no food. So, for WW to work for you, you’re going to have to be comfortable with spending a lot of time planning your own meals and tracking every meal.
You might think of Jenny Craig as “the Cadillac of meal delivery,” in the sense that it’s the top-rated meal delivery diet, getting high marks for convenience, taste of food, and one-on-one attention. (But, expensive!)
We’ll sum this whole battle up by saying that Weight Watchers is the best “do it yourself” diet, offering a lot of flexibility. However, some people find that it offer too much freedom and responsibility, and as a result WW doesn’t work for them. If you want meal delivery and don’t mind the price tag, go with Jenny Craig or consider the less expensive Nutrisystem diet. (coupons)
Weight Watchers plans for men? In the 1960’s WW founder Jean Nidetch began inviting her female friends to her house to discuss how to best lose weight. These were the first Weight Watchers meetings, and apparently of little interest to men.
While Weight Watchers started out as a weight loss plan for women, it didn’t take WW long to realize that men lose weight in exactly the same way. Well, not exactly the same, as even though the plan, pricing, point system, and coupons are the same, it’s marketed differently to men.
Here’s all about Weight Watchers for men, including SmartPoints, the WW App, Resources & Support, and Meetings.
Men: SmartPoints & Tracking
As we mentioned, WW’s plans for men are the same as those for women, but you could say that the experience is slightly different. First, instead of counting calories on Weight Watchers, you’ll count points. This is the foundation of the WW program, and was quite a revolutionary idea from the beginning.
Why? Because 200 calories from a donut is completely different than 250 calories from grilled salmon. Sounds obvious, right? That’s why a glazed doughnut will cost 11 SmartPoints and the grilled salmon will cost you 2 SmartPoints!
Ok, more about how Weight Watchers works for men. Just like the fairer sex, men are assigned a number of daily and weekly SmartPoints based on height, weight, age, and gender.
So, as a man, you might get 36 SmartPoints each day. Think of it as your budget for “buying” your food. While unhealthy foods are not forbidden, they will cost you more. Healthy foods are worth fewer points, and most fruit and vegetables are free. If you are counting WW points, you’ll quickly realize that healthy choices cost fewer points and are a smarter choice.
Men are treated a bit differently when it comes to SmartPoint allocation because they are generally bigger and taller, and have more lean muscle mass. It’s the same program and point system, but men usually get a few extra points to spend each day. All of this point-tracking is done from the palm of your hand with the Weight Watchers app.
Men: Behold the Weight Watchers App:
Just like the ladies, men also use the Weight Watchers app to track SmartPoints every day. Tracking points helps you understand what you’re eating and keeps you within your budget. The idea is to train you to make better choices with food, which is a life-long benefit of Weight Watchers. The app is included in the price of all plans, and the most important tool to weight loss success.
So, how does the Weight Watchers app work? Here’s what the WW app looks like on an iPhone:
Hopefully the infographic above is pretty self-explanatory. Weight Watchers encourages you to track your points after every meal or snack, and not wait too long to track because accuracy is key for tracking.
WW Connect = Resources & Support for Men: (What is #WWbros?)
As phones and social media has evolved, so has Weight Watchers. Men used to have to login to the Weight Watchers website to find support, but no more. In fact, online support has evolved into “Connect,” which more of a social network of Weight Watchers members.
Did you know that 1/3 of men in the U.S. are obese? That’s a scary number, and men often don’t get the same social support that women enjoy. Connect gives men the chance to interact and find support from thousands of other men who are on Weight Watchers. Connect is an important component of Weight Watchers that you won’t get with other free dieting apps like MyFitnessPal.
Most diets fail, often because of a lack of motivation. Taking advantage of Connect’s supportive community provides the daily motivation that’s crucial for any diet’s success. Men are encouraged to post:
I’ve tried buying exercise equipment to work out by myself at home, but I always lacked the motivation I got from going to the gym and connecting with others. I guess other men would say that Connect helps fill this “motivation void” in the same way.
Meetings have been proven to double the long-term success rate of Weight Watchers. Why? Those two important factors again: motivation and accountability.
Weight Watchers has done a good job of providing both of those through Connect, but some people do better with more personal attention. Have you ever used a personal trainer or taken classes at the gym? It’s a lot easier to find direction when you do, and you’re less likely to quit.
With meetings you really get personal attention, and the weekly weigh-ins and support from others provides both motivation and accountability. Men are less likely to stray from their diet when they know they must be accountable.
Most men opt to do “online only” (aka FreeStyle) with Weight Watchers, as meetings don’t fit into the average man’s busy schedule, cost more, (about $50 per month) and most meeting groups are heavily skewed with females. (Hey, why is that bad!?) However, it’s worth seeing if there is a meeting location near you, as for some men it may be the difference between success and failure. If you want to know more about how WW meetings work, we wrote a post on it here: What to expect at your first Weight Watchers meeting?
Weight Watchers for Men Cost?
As mentioned, men literally join the same plans as women, and there is no price difference. For their popular OnlinePlus plan, men pay about $20 per month, while adding meetings will cost you about $50 per month total. That’s still a lot less than Nutrisystem! You can drop the cost of WW even more when you use a coupon.
DJ Kalid Explains Weight Watchers for Men; Any Questions?
“I want to carve some of my, like sculpture… greatness. We gonna lose weight, and continue winning!”
Weight Watchers for Men? It’s the Same Program, Just Different Marketing
So, in conclusion, know that WeightWatchers for Men is the same program that the ladies enjoy, but the marketing is different. It’s really the same plan at the same price, the only difference is that men might get a few more SmartPoints, and have more manly resources suggested to them through the app.
Another similarity is that both men and women can take advantage of the same weekly promotions from Weight Watchers for up to a 50% discount on your first 3 months:
I hope you learned a bit more about Weight Watchers for men! It’s consistently ranked as the best weight loss diet, (by U.S. News) and at about $20 per month it’s quite reasonable. (Or, less w/ a coupon)
Bonus: The Difference Between Men & Women
If you have a couple of minutes, you should really watch Chris Rock explain the difference between men and women: (PG-13)
*If you’re a man who has tried Weight Watchers, let us know with your review below:
How many WW SmartPoints is a glass of wine? Did you know that wine is the second most tracked beverage on the Weight Watchers app? (behind coffee)
While an occasional glass of red or white wine is OK, don’t drink more than one glass per day, as the points from drinking too much wine can throw a wrench into your weight loss plans. (Does drinking wine make you fat?)
First, let’s talk about how many ounces are in a glass of wine. A “glass” of wine is defined as either 4 or 5 ounces, although the occasional heavy-handed bartender will pour up to 6 ounces.
If you are pouring your own wine, know that a standard 750 ml. bottle of wine will yield six 4-ounce glasses or five 5-ounce glasses. If you’re getting fewer than five glasses out of a bottle, you’re over-pouring. (But, I like your enthusiasm!)
Here’s the Weight Watchers SmartPoints for a 5 oz. Glass of Wine: (*If you are tracking with the old WW point system, (PointsPlus) divide the SmartPoints number in half to get your WW PointsPlus total)
WW SmartPoints Per Glass of WHITE Wine (5 oz.)
*A glass of dry Champagne has 4 SmartPoints (Smaller, 4 oz. serving)
WW SmartPoints Per Glass of RED Wine: (5 oz.)
Wine = 5 SmartPoints Per Glass, or 1 SmartPoint Per Oz.
Actually, Alliecat, you should assume that a 5 oz. glass of wine is worth 5 SmartPoints, while a 4 oz. glass is worth 4 SmartPoints.
Although Red wine has slightly more calories and 1 extra WW point per glass, it’s interesting that there isn’t a wide range for each varietal (fancy word for “type”) of wine. Besides exceptionally heavy or sweet wines, they all work out to be one Weight Watchers point per ounce.
That means that a 750 ml. bottle of wine contains about 25 WW points and 600 calories, although don’t even think about it! You’ll get a nasty hangover and need a lot of hours on the treadmill (and, hopefully no hours in the E.R.!) to make up for that!
Weight Watchers SmartPoint Wine Hack (For People Who Have Stopped Caring)
Let’s talk about how to Weight Watchers recently rolled out their own brand of wine called, “Cense.” It’s a lot like regular wine, but a bit lower in Weight Watchers points. Actually, it’s one fewer WW SmartPoint per glass. It also has only about 85 calories per 5 oz. glass compared to an average of 120 calories per glass for most wine.
So, what’s their secret? At 9.6% ABV (alcohol by volume) he wine has a lower alcohol content than standard wine. However, this Weight Watchers-friendly wine is also about $14 per bottle. Not bad, but after reading reviews I have no reason to think that this wine tastes better than the $9 bottles of wine I usually buy.
So, for that reason (and the fact that I have low standards) I say why not go ahead and buy the cheaper wine at the liquor store and do one of the following hack:
Pour yourself a 4 ounce glass of wine instead of 5 ounce (You can measure it; 4 oz. is 1/2 cup)
Drop an ice cube into the glass and chill out!
What kind of rube drops an ice cube in wine, you ask? Well, one like myself who is married, over 40, and not trying to impress anyone. I like an ice cube in a glass of wine during the Summer, and after the 1 ounce ice cube melts it leaves the wine at a cool temperature with 20% lower ABV, and a couple more sips for me!
It achieves this magic, all while saving you about $5 per bottle compared to the “low calorie wine” which always costs more. (Why does it cost more when they give me fewer calories!)
Ok, 5 SmartPoints per glass of wine isn’t bad, right? Want to know the snaky way that drinking wine can blow up your Weight Watchers points? It’s the food you eat while drinking. In fact, studies show that drinking alcohol makes us hungry, and gives us the wine munchies.
That means that although a glass of wine only has 5 WW points, the dinner roll you picked up and ate has 4 points. And, those pretzels you snacked on have 4 SmartPoints per ounce!(9 pretzels) Ouch! Plus, if you have a glass of wine before or during dinner, you’ll probably eat more.
So, Here’s a Summary + Tips About Weight Watchers and Wine:
White wine has about 4 SmartPoints per glass
Red wine has about 5 SmartPoints per glass
Choose lighter, dry wines with an ABV (Alcohol) under 12%
For 1 fewer point per glass, pour a 4 oz. serving (not 5 oz.)
Best Starbucks drinks and menu items with low Weight Watchers Points: As a fellow Starbucks lover and former (successful) Weight Watchers member, I know how difficult it can be to avoid those morning coffee cravings.
The great news is, you don’t have to quit the good stuff altogether as your basic coffees and teas are actually very low in SmartPoints, calories, sugar, and can pack some killer nutrients. You just need to make some conscious lifestyle choices when ordering your daily (or weekly) beverage.
Need some advice for navigating the Starbucks Menu if you’re counting Weight Watchers points? Here are some quick tips before we get started:
Stick with simple.Coffee and tea alone have zero SmartPoints
if you want to add milk, skip the half & half and opt for soy milk or skim milk instead
Skip the fancy seasonal drinks (like the Pumpkin Spice Latte!) and most breakfast items, although we highlight the best ones below
Keep sugar to a minimum, or even use a packet of Splenda
The rule of thumb with Starbucks drinks is that Sweet and/or creamy drinks will cost you SmartPoints.
Ok, got the basics? Here are the 9 best healthy drinks & food menu items to order at Starbucks if you are on Weight Watchers, (review) or just about any other diet:
Espresso is also the perfect drink to have on weight watchers, the espresso itself contains zero SmartPoints. Some people opt for a ‘red eye’ when ordering their Starbucks drink. It’s not an official expression, but basically means an extra shot in your cup. Great way to get the extra caffeine without the added calories.
2.) Fresh Brewed Filter Coffee: (0 SmartPoints)
When it comes to fresh filter coffee, this is your next best bet. There’re usually two or three different varieties and they are zero SmartPoints, just add points for your milk or cream. For an even lighter option, using soy or almond milk will be more forgiving on your waistline than cream.
Blonde roasts are perfect for your morning cuppa as they will give you just the right amount of energy to kick start your day. Those who are looking for something a little weaker with a similar taste can get the Pike Place, it has 30mg less caffeine than the Blonde if you go for the grande option.
A Caffe Americano is great for someone who loves the espresso taste and doesn’t want a filter coffee. It is a strong coffee and great for first thing in the morning. It is basically a shot of espresso and hot water has zero smartpoints and 15 calories unless you add milk or cream.
If you want a less harsh taste, Starbucks now has their blonde espresso beans which are smoother and tastes ever so slightly sweet; perfect for those who crave a sweet touch but are trying to go sans sugar.
Iced coffee is a personal favorite and if you stick with a regular nitro or Nariño cold brew, your coffee will be guilt and SmartPoints free. That is unless you add some additional cream or sweetener. As a weekly treat you could have a grande iced latte, but it comes in at 5 smartpoints if you use 2% milk.
Tip: Remember, coffee doesn’t hydrate you like water, so make sure you’re drinking enough
5.) Teavana Teas: 1 SmartPoint (But, Not “Sweet!”)
Tea is a perfect menu option for non-coffee drinkers who still need a bit of a kick on a morning. Tea is great for the body and has a ton of antioxidants. If you’re an English Breakfast Tea drinker then skip the milk and opt for a slice of lemon instead, lemon is also the perfect pair for an Earl Grey.
Green Tea works wonders for digestion and is common drink amongst dieters. Chai tea is zero SmartPoints, but beware of sweet tea, lemonades, and peach teas. The extra sugar will cost you SmartPoints, especially in the Venti size. Don’t believe me? Here the difference between “smart” and “sweet”:
Observe the points difference when you add lemonade:
Shaken Iced Green Tea: (tall or grande)1 SmartPoint vs.
Shaken Iced Green Tea Lemonade (venti)8 SmartPoints
Shaken Iced Black Tea: (tall or grande)1 SmartPoint vs.
Shaken Iced Black Tea Lemonade: (Venti)8 SmartPoints
And, look how many points “sweet tea” will cost you:
Shaken Sweet Tea: (Venti)8 SmartPoints
Shaken Iced Peach Tea: (Venti)8 SmartPoints
Yikes! What a difference “sweet” makes with your tea choice. If you do have a sweet tooth, make sure you view that sweet tea as a treat, because you’re going to pay for it in Weight Watchers SmartPoints. If you do go with sweet, order it in a grande or tall.
6.) Caffè Misto: (2 SmartPoints)
Sometimes you need a creamy coffee drink, so instead of getting a regular latte(4-7 SmartPoints), try ordering a Caffe Misto instead. If you want to further reduce it’s 80 calorie total, try order this:
A Tall Caffè Misto made with steamed nonfat milk and coffee (instead of espresso) with Splenda or a little sugar
At only 2 SmartPoints and 60 calories, it’s a very point-friendly latte-alternative to a latte. In fact, you could say that Caffè Misto is a hit (get it?) with Weight Watchers!
7.) Best Breakfast Food: Oatmeal (4 SmartPoints)
Starbucks has some real WW SmartPoints bombs on their breakfast menu, but the steel-cut oatmeal is great, including Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal and Classic Whole-Grain Oatmeal which will only cost you 4 SmartPoints. Add fruit on top if available, because fruit is Zero SmartPoints!
8.) Spinach, Feta, Egg White Breakfast Wrap: (8 SmartPoints)
Although most Starbucks breakfast sandwiches will cost you a lot of SmartPoints, the Spinach, Feta, Cage-Free Egg White Breakfast Wrap(nutritional info) is not bad at 8 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. It also has only 290 calories and 19g protein, so if you need a breakfast sandwich, it’s your best bet. Personally, I like all of their breakfast sandwiches with a packet of free Starbucks Sriracha sauce!
9.) Best Bowl / Salad: Chicken & Quinoa Protein Bowl (12 SmartPoints)
There aren’t a lot of lunch bowls, bistro boxes, and salads under 12 SmartPoints, so consider the Chicken & Quiona Protein Bowl w/ Black Beans and Greens. (nutritional info) It costs a reasonable $8, comes with a chile mildly-spicy vinaigrette, and boasts 27g of protein and 9g fiber, so don’t judge it on WW points alone!
How does Weight Watchers compare to Mayo Clinic Diet? If you’ve landed on this page you’re probably interested in seeing how Weight Watchers compares to the May Clinic Diet. Well, congratulations on choosing two highly-rated contenders in the weight loss world! The good news is that neither of these diets are fads, and both encourage sustainable weight loss through healthy lifelong habits based on years of medical research.
So, which diet is better? Let’s put the champion, Weight Watchers, head to head with the scrappy underdog, Mayo Clinic Diet, and see how they stack up.
Ratings: Weight Watchers vs. Mayo Clinic Diet
As you can see, both of these diets are rated very highly, and both are in U.S. News’ list of the Top 10 diets year after year, and their list of the top 5 diabetes diets. No single diet will work best for everyone, so let’s look at how these diets compare and decide which diet might be best for you.
About Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers has been the undisputed heavyweight (lightweight?) champion in the diet space for decades based on the idea that weight loss is more than just counting calories. In fact, WW was just named “Best Weight Loss Diet” for the third year in a row!
So, what makes Weight Watchers so successful? The basic concept is that if you make healthy choices and lifestyle changes, you’ll feel better and lose weight.
Instead of counting calories, Weight Watchers uses a point system. The latest version of their program is called FreeStyle, which assigns a SmartPoints value to every food. Based on criteria like gender, height, and weight you’ll be given a budget to “spend” on food each day which you will track on the WW app.
To encourage healthy eating, most fruits and veggies are “free” in their point system, but unhealthy foods, like a doughnut, will cost you big points. If you follow your budget, you should lose about 2 pounds per week until you reach your goal weight. Simple, right?
All Weight Watchers memberships include a number of resources including tracking, recipes, and their Connect social network where you can find support from hundreds of other women and men on Weight Watchers. Adding Meetings is optional; it will cost you more, but the in-person support and accountability greatly increases customer success rate… learn more.
The Mayo Clinic Diet was developed by a team of doctors at the prestigious Mayo Clinic.(OK, “mayo”doesn’t sound healthy, but trust us, it is!) Like Weight Watchers, Mayo Clinic Diet encourages healthy eating choices that should become a lifelong habit.
Like WW, the Mayo Clinic Diet doesn’t simply count calories, but instead emphasize the quality of what you eat, rather than quantity. For instance, one chicken wing might have fewer calories than a plate of fresh veggies, but it’s a poor snack choice! (all calories are not equal)
Unlike WW, the Mayo Clinic doesn’t use points, but instead uses a food pyramid which highly values fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Like Weight Watchers, no foods are “off-limits,” which can create cravings. Instead, you’ll learn healthy habits to lose weight feel great. Mayo Clinic will also challenge you to be more active and avoid processed foods. The Mayo Clinic Diet has 2 phases, Lose It!, (first 2 weeks) and Live It! to achieve your weight loss goal… Learn more. (*Current new customer promo: $4 per week!)
Short Term Weight Loss: Which Diet Is Better?
Weight Watchers ranked #1 for short-term weight loss, but the Mayo Clinic Diet gets a respectable rating as well. Both diets aim to break you of unhealthy eating habits like simple carbs which prevent your body from burning fat.
According to experts, “dieters on WW can expect to lose a significant amount of weight the first year, and are likely to keep it off.” Sounds good!
The Mayo Clinic Diet didn’t fair as well short term, as results indicate that initial weight loss was slower than Weight Watchers. Advantage Weight Watchers!
Long Term Weight Loss: Which Is Better?
This is a category that separates the wheat from the chaff. (Do people still say that?) The road to long term weight loss is littered with the wreckage of fad diets that offer quick weight loss, and then implode spectacularly after a few weeks. In fact, most diets fail after only 7 days!
Both Weight Watchers and the Mayo Clinic Diet are designed for gradual and sustainable weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. If you simply need a diet to lose 20 pounds for a wedding next month, these diets might not fit your need! A lot of research has gone into both of these diets to ensure long-term sustainability, but neither diet is a quick-fix.
Having said that, Weight Watchers scores higher in this category than Mayo Clinic Diet, so you could say that Weight Watchers is better than Mayo Clinic Diet for ling-term weight loss.
WW or Mayo Clinic Diet: Which is Easier to Follow?
Both of these diets share an important similarity: no foods are off-limits. That makes it easier to follow, and customers are less likely to quit. However, both diets teach you to make heathy choices, so which one is easier to follow?
Experts ranked Weight Watchers higher in this category, although they both received good scores. Why? It seems that WW emphasis on emotional support, both online with the Connect community and offline with optional meetings, improved motivation and compliance.
The sheer number of women and men on Weight Watchers seems to be an advantage, as it creates a social network of supportive people to offer encouragement, tips, and support.
Both WW and the Mayo Clinic Diet scored very highly for both “heart health” and “nutrition.” This seems to be the Mayo Clinic’s strongest area, and experts noted that the Mayo Clinic Diet is a good option for reducing the risk of heart disease.
While Weight Watchers SmartPoints encourage healthy eating, one expert summed up the Mayo Clinic Diet food pyramid as, “how we all should eat.”
The Mayo Clinic Diet wins a slight advantage over Weight Watchers with healthiness.
Both of these diets are inexpensive, but unlike meal-delivery diets such as Nutrisystem, (cost | coupons) you must provide all of your own food. That means almost all of the actual cost of Weight Watchers and the Mayo Clinic Diet is in the food you buy from the grocery store.
Healthy food generally costs more, so you may notice that you spend more at the grocery store on fresh vegetables and fruit, but you may spend less at restaurants and on alcohol which generally are less healthy. Here’s what they cost:
Weight Watchers costs about $20 per month, if you add meetings, the total cost is about $50 per month (1-3 month minimum commitment) – more | coupons
The Mayo Clinic Diet costs about $17 per month (3 month minimum) – more
The Mayo Clinic Diet is slightly cheaper than Weight Watchers, although both are “DIY” diets that don’t include the cost of meals. Both of these diets require a
Weight Watchers Versus Mayo Clinic Diet: And, the Winner Is…
In this head to head battle, Weight Watchers wins the decision, but not by a knockout. Both of these diets encourage healthy lifestyle changes and food choices which should result in sustainable long-term weight loss as the result of a healthier lifestyle.
In our opinion the deciding factor in a Weight Watchers “win” is the additional support, offered by their app, online community, and optional meetings that helps a diet ultimately succeed.
So, while we conclude that Weight Watchers is slightly better, we feel good recommending either of these healthy diets!
Healthy un-fried fries recipes: French fries might be the ultimate side dish, but fried potatoes offer little nutritional value and are unhealthy. So, if you have a craving for munching on french fries, consider these guilt-free un-fried alternatives to french fries. Here’s how to make cinnamon-sugar sweet potato fries, parmasan-pepper green bean fries, and eggplant parmesan fries in under a minute.
French Fry Hacks: 3 Healthy Alternatves
Whoever recorded this video must have had a double-shot of espresso and a couple Pixie Stix, because it’s 51 seconds of madness!
Anyway, you’ll probably have to pause and rewind the video a few times to catch it all, so here’s each fries recipe step-by-step in case you miss something!
WW: Cinnamon-Sugar Sweet Potato Fries Recipe:
1 tsp cinnamon 2/ 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
Sprinkle on fries
Bake for additional 12-15 minutes
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Cut sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch thick slices
Bake for 20 min.
Coat sweet potatoes w/ (olive oil?) cooking spray and lightly salt
Mix 1 tsp cinnamon 2/ 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
Sprinkle on fries, then back for 12-15 min. more
Enjoy! (5 SmartPoints)
WW: Parmesan Pepper Green Bean Fries Recipe:
12oz string beans
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp pepper
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp water
Preheat over to 425°
Cut ends off 12oz string beans
Mix Parmesan cheese w/ pepper in (about 8×12″) casserole dish
Mix egg whites water in large bowl
Dip string beans in egg mixture, batter w/ parmesan cheese
You might have heard of cloud bread, as its ben featured on a number of popular health sites; touting it as a low-carb alternative to traditional bread. (Our cloud bread with cream of tartar) If you’re looking for recipes to use cloud bread, here’s some food for thought:
Have you tried making this WW cloud bread recipe? Let us know how it went.
So, how do weight watchers meetings work? The good news is that you’ve made a good choice as it’s the consistently ranked as the #1 commercial diet in America. But, if you landed here, you’re probably wondering if you should signup for meetings, (aka WW Studio) or just take more of a DIY approach with OnlinePlus by using their online tools and community.
So, should you signup for WW meetings? Well, there’s no right answer for everyone, but decades of data reports that people who attend meetings lose about twice as much weight as those who go it alone online. So, how exactly do these meetings work? Here’s what to expect at WW meetings:
Weight Watchers makes it easy to search for nearby weekly meeting locations. In fact, you can search by zip code and see all of the locations close to you with their find a meeting tool.
There are meeting available 7 days a week in the morning, afternoon and evening, and you can always pick a times that work best for you. You can attend whatever meeting works best for you that week at the time and location of your choice.
If you don’t have a Weight Watchers meeting location near your home, you can consider searching for a location on your way home from work if you commute.
Ok, here’s how the meetings work, and what to expect at your first one.
Meeting Locations & Group Sizes Vary
Weight Watchers meeting locations vary; it could be in a stand-alone building occupying a large space, or the basement of a church in town.
Q: How many people attend each Weight Watchers meeting?
A: If you go to a WW meeting in a city or during a peak time, you’ll can expect a larger group of about 20-25 people. In a less populated areas or during less popular times you can expect closer to 10 people.
When you first walk in to a WW center, you’ll sign in with a friendly Wellness coach and fill out a card with your name. They’ll also briefly mention a little bit about what they have planned for the meeting.
Everyone including the receptionist, team leader, and other team members are really supportive. In fact, every team leader and receptionist has been on Weight Watchers and has gone through what you’re doing. There are no drill sergeants or egos welcome at a Weight Watchers meeting. This isn’t a competition, it’s a safe place for people with common goals and struggles. Everyone who works for Weight Watchers knows that making you feel welcome and comfortable is a top priority.
If you frequent one or more meeting locations, you’ll quickly start to recognize friendly faces. While most people who attend meetings are women, men may frequent them as well. Everyone at your meeting is part of your team, and your biggest sources of support and motivation.
Look who crashed a WW meeting! (That usually doesn’t happen)
After your weigh-in, there’s usually a semi-circle or rows of chairs that all the team members sit in around the team leader. The team leader will usually start the meeting by celebrating some of the successes of members who have reached milestones in their weight loss journey. (Some people might even get charms for their WW bracelet as they meet certain goals.) If you’d rather not have anyone know about your success, you can always ask your team leader to keep your milestone achievements private.
Next the team leader will speak briefly on a topic that’s related to healthy living and weight loss from Weight Watchers Weekly magazine. Presentation topics may include “tips to cut back on sodium,” or “ways to lower stress.” You can elect to participate in the interactive presentation, or just listen to others.
The team leader will only involve people who raise their hand or actively seek to participate, so you won’t ever be caught off-guard or unprepared during a presentation or discussion.
Q: How long are weight watchers meetings?
A: The entire WW meeting lasts about 30-40 minutes with a “getting started” session afterwards after your first meeting which lasts an additional 30 minutes.
Weekly Weigh-In; Keeping Track
Next you’ll have a private weigh-in with the team leader. The idea of a weigh-in makes a lot of people nervous, but after your first one you should find that it’s nothing to worry about.
When you’re weighed, the digital scale is only visible to you and the team leader, and your weight remains confidential. While the very idea of a “weigh in” makes some people uncomfortable, WW believes that it’s the best way to track your progress and create a feeling of accountability, which leads to better weight loss results.
At your first meeting you’ll get a booklet called, “My Success Story,” in which you’ll keep track of your weight each week like a journal. It’s OK to have an off-week now and then (especially around the holidays!) but it’s also helpful to see your progress in black and white.
The goal of Weight Watchers program is to lose an average of a sustainable 1-2 pounds per week. If you’re struggling or off-track, WW leader always remains positive, and you’ll never feel ashamed for gaining weight or missing your weekly goal.
Q: Do i have to weigh in at weight watchers meetings?
A: Weight Watchers requires that you weigh in at least once a month (and at most once a week) to track your weight loss. Soon after you weigh in, your weight will appear in your Plan Manager.
WW Meetings Earn You “Wins”
Weight Watchers recently introduced “WellnessWins” as a way to inspire you on your wellness journey.
You’ll earn 50 wins for each WW meeting you attend, which can be used towards rewards like a WW cookbook, free 90-day Headspace app membership, water bottles, and more.
Optional “Getting Started” Session
After your first meeting you’re encouraged to hang around for a casual, “getting started, or getting to know you” session which teaches you more about how the program works. Your leader will probably give you a Weight Watchers introductory guide and packet that explains the point system.
This is a great time to ask questions or hear how others get the most out of Weight Watchers.
What if You Don’t Like a Meeting / Group?
Every meeting location is different, and often there are different meeting leaders at different times. Many meeting locations even allow you to bring your kids, as long as the children are not a distraction. (Child care not available)
You may find that you like certain meeting leaders or groups more than others, so it’s not a bad idea to try more than one meeting time and location and stick with a group or leader you like and change up which meetings you go to if necessary.
What’s the Point of Meetings?
Well, what’s true in the U.K. is also true here; meetings exist for both support and accountability. Meeting your weight loss goal is a challenge, and WW knows that you’re more likely to be successful with the support of a team. In fact, studies overwhelmingly confirm that having the support of a group improves weight loss results.
There’s another good short video about meetings on the WW site(click, then scroll down a bit)
Q: Do you have to attend meetings every week?
A: Weight Watchers recommends that you do, as the meetings are eductional, motivational, and keep you focused on your weight loss goal!
So, that’s the gist of what to expect from Weight Watchers meetings. You may decide that attending meetings isn’t for you, (which is fine!) but you should know that meetings aren’t scary or embarrassing, and most people who include meetings in addition to their online WW membership have a very positive experience, and ultimately are more successful in reaching their goals.
Either way, if you do signup for Online and/or meetings, be sure to use a coupon for up to 50% off the cost with their 3-month savings plan:
WW Freestyle Program Review: It’s no accident that WW (formerly, “Weight Watchers”) “Wellness that Works™” is the number one name in weight loss. In fact, it was recognized again this year as the “Best Weight Loss Diet” by U.S. News.
But exactly how does WW work, how much weight can you lose, and how does the new “Freestyle“ program work? Let’s see what we can we learn from all of the reviews and ratings online by examining the following:
What is WW, Wellness That Works™? (formerly Weight Watchers)
Got 2 minutes? The video above is a great overview of WW, “a lifestyle, not a diet,”learn more.
WW isn’t just a diet, and for decades their weight loss plan has evolved and taken millions of women and men on a journey of positive, lasting change.
In fact, they challenge you to, “move more, eat well, connect with others, celebrate victories, overcome challenges, and reach what you never thought was possible”
Wow, that’s really inspiring, did Oprah say that?
How Does WW Digital (formerly Weight Watchers OnlinePlus) Work?
OK, apparently everyone is losing weight, I get it. But, how does WW work?
WW is based on a science-backed SmartPoints system that assigns every food and beverage a points value based on nutrition. Foods that have more saturated fats, sugar, and empty calories get assigned higher point values while foods high in protein and “good” carbs have lower point values. No food is off-limits, but you’ll have to limit portion sizes make good food choices.
Each day you have a certain number of points called, “SmartPoints,” to spend on food, which helps to teach you good eating habits. For example, grilled salmon with asparagus will cost you zero SmartPoints, while a cheeseburger is going to cost you 12 points! See where we’re going with this?
WW’s new Freestyle program adds more flexibility and healthy foods that cost zero points. This encourages you to eat more fruits, veggies, and lean protein, while skipping foods high in sugar and bad carbs. Freestyle also lets you rollover unused points to other days (think travel and vacations) when you need them more.
Most diets end in failure because they are based on food restriction which tends to make your cravings for unhealthy foods even stronger. The philosophy of Weight Watchers is to teach you good eating habits so that you enjoy sustainable long-term weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.
*Changes made in the new Freestyle program are a bit controversial, which we discuss in the reasons for negative Weight Watchers reviews below.
3 WW Plan Choices: Online Plus, Meetings (Studio), or Personal Coaching
While all WW FreeStyle plans include Digital (formerly Weight Watchers Online Plus), you may want to consider adding the personal interaction and motivation that you get by adding Studio (formerly Meetings) or Personal Coaching. Here’s what each of the WW plans offer:
WW Digital(formerly, “Online Plus”): The cheapest option, but still full of features, and helpful tools. WW Digital includes the WW app to track your food and daily Smart Points anywhere at anytime. You also have access to their thousands of searchable online recipes plus encouragement from the WW online community with “WW Connect”
WW Studio (formerly “Meetings”): Choosing WW Studio will cost more, but significantly increases your potential success rate. Attending meetings adds the powerful component of personal support, motivation, and accountability. *More: How do WW meetings work?
WW Coaching: If you like the idea of meetings, but it doesn’t work with your schedule, consider adding personal coaching. You have all the features and tools of WW Digital and the phone and text support from a personal coach of your choice. Your Coach will create an action plan that works with your lifestyle and personality
Really, which plan you choose is a personal preference. Although studies suggest that adding meetings increases the success rate, you shouldn’t feel that meetings are required, especially if they don’t fit into your busy schedule!
How the WW App Works:
The WW app is central to their entire program, as it’s what you’ll use to track your points, and access their resources such as WW Connect. (formerly “Weight Watchers Connect”)
WW Connect is their social network consisting of thousands of other women and men who are using WW to reach their weight loss goals. It helps to provide you with support and motivation, two crucial factors in successful weight loss. You can access Connect right from your phone to share photos, recipes, weight loss updates, posts, and more.
Here’s how the WW app works:
The app looks a little different on Android / Samsung, but basically the same.
Does WW Work?
In order to determine whether WW really works, let’s look at ratings and reviews from users and experts to determine a success rate.
Because there are no published WW success rates. However, WeightWatchers.com emphasizes the fact that most participants lose at least one pound a week if they stick to program requirements. , but do they really?
For a better measure of success rate, lets look at Weight Watchers’ satisfaction ratings from hundreds of (honest) customer ratings on ConsumerReports.com:
Customer Satisfaction / Success Rate:
The best source of honest WW customer ratings is ConsumerAffairs.com, so let’s look at how 1050 users rated WW: (Updated 1/02/19)
Assuming that 4+ stars means that WW (no longer “Weight Watchers”) worked, we can assume an 80% success rate based on 1050 user ratings.
These customer ratings are consistent with a 2017 Lancet study of WW efficacy which concluded that long-term participants lost over twice as much weight than individuals who sought short-term intervention and self-help weight loss solutions. These participants committed to the program for at least a year and were also able to maintain their new weights more effectively.
It should also be noted that WW success stories focus on one thing: WW as a permanent solution for long-term change. Many dieters are able to keep their new weights because of conscious lifestyle modifications; most stay with the program for months and even years, going on to become WW mentors and personal coaches.
From this perspective, WW is highly successful; usually working for those who are receptive to its principles and commit to long-term healthy lifestyle choices.
How Much Weight Can You Lose on WW?
The goal of WW is to lose weight at a sustainable pace of about 2 pounds per week or 6-8 pounds per month. Depending on your starting weight you could lose more in your first month as your body reacts to your healthier food choices and fewer bad carbs.
You should also note that weekly weight loss can fluctuate, so the monthly weight loss total is most significant. Now, let’s look at how the experts rate WW.
WW: Expert Ratings
Let’s look at how WW rates compared to other diets. Here’s how a panel of weight loss experts rated WW in several key categories: (2018 U.S. News)
Rated #1 in: Best Commercial Diet Plan
Rated #1 in: Best Fast Weight Loss Diets
Rated #1 in: Best Long-Term Weight Loss Diets
Ranks #2 in: Easiest Diets to Follow
Ranks #3 in: Best Diabetes Diets
In the important, Easiest to Follow category, (rated #2) experts stated that,
“Weight Watchers outperformed most of the other ranked diets on this measure. Why? You’ll get enough to eat, you don’t have to eliminate any favorites and there’s a strong emphasis on emotional support, which tends to lead to a higher success rate”
For their rating in the all-important, Long-Term Weight Loss category, (rated #1) they also added,
“Thanks to WW (Weight Watchers) emphasis on a balanced diet with no restrictions, experts named WW No. 1 in this category. They also appreciated the program’s support system, which helps dieters keep the pounds off.”
More Expert Ratings:
To support the claim that WW does work, let’s look at more expert ratings from professionals and credible authorities.
“WW (Weight Watchers) is one of the most well-researched weight loss programs available. And, yes, it works.” – Brunilda Nazario, MD
That sounds pretty promising coming from a doctor! Here’s what the American Journal of Medicine found in their study, specifically noting the effectiveness of adding WW Studio:
“In summary, this study found that participants in a community-based, intensive behavioral counseling program demonstrated significantly greater weight loss at 6 months compared with participants in a self-help condition…
These findings suggest that the WW program is effective in promoting significant weight loss in community-based settings and is a viable referral choice for clinicians’ patients diagnosed with obesity.”
*Credible Study: A study by Indiana University concluded that in a study of 225 obese adults with pre-diabetes, those who used WW (formerly Weight Watchers) lost “significantly” more weight (and more improvements in their health) than a control group of people who attempted to lose weight on their own. Although no actual success rate was published, the results seem to affirm that WW works.
*WebMD says: When asked if WW works, WebMD reported that, “Overall, (Weight Watchers) is an excellent, easy to follow program because it does the work for you… great for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and even heart disease.”
In conclusion I would say that when followed properly, WW does work and results in significant weight loss, especially if you add meetings with WW Studio, and use the app.
Why WW (Usually) Works:
OK, an impressive majority of customers and experts agree that WW works, so let’s talk about why it works. There’s usually a very significant emotional component involved in eating. For this reason, a DIY approach to weight loss usually ends in failure, because in a sense you’re fighting yourself. (that’s a battle you can’t win!)
Alcoholics Anonymous was founded on the principle that “a great personal addiction or struggle requires an attention shift away from the “self” to a higher power with the support and fellowship of others.”
I believe that adopting a healthy lifestyle can be a similar struggle, and requires some degree of support from others. WW offers “WW Connect” as a supportive app-based social network to their members, as well as optional in-person weekly meetings for fellowship, connection, and accountability.
Those who embrace the social component to the WW program enjoy a much higher success rate, and I believe that is the “secret sauce” of why WW works.
WW (formerly Weight Watchers) Customer Reviews:
Honest customer reviews are probably even more important than how doctors and weight loss experts review WW.
Consumer Reports: It’s worth noting that WW is the top-rated commercial diet with Consumer Reports readers, earning an impressive 74/100 score, and an “excellent” score in 4 out of 6 categories.
Now, let’s take a look at customer reviews from ConsumerAffairs.com and examine common complaints and positive praise for the diet:
WW: Negative Reviews
There’s a lot to like about WW, and plenty of testimonials out there, but let’s look at why WW didn’t work for a lot of people. When people complain or want to write a negative review, they often do so at ConsumerAffairs.com. Let’s look at the nearly 1000 reviews and 500 ratings to see what customers complained about:
So, how is it that the #1 rated commercial diet gets so many online complaints? Here are the top 5 complaints we found in negative WW reviews:
Freestyle (New Points System) “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” – Bert Lance. The most common complaint in recent WW reviews is that customers don’t like the new Freestyle program. Specifically, a lot of long-time members say that Freestyle encourages them to eat too much, and they aren’t losing enough weight. Even though FreeStyle still uses “SmartPoints,” a lot of people feel the old points system was more structured, more effective, and that there are too many new ZeroPoint™ foods. For a lot of current members, adapting to the new Freestyle program was an unwelcome disruption to their routine.
Tech Support “For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.” – Alice Kahn. WW is most effective when you take advantage of the online features and tools and the WW app. A number of people had frustrating tech problems including with the WW app, synching WW to FitBit, and accessing the Coaching feature.
Misleading Fees / Billing – When you sign up as a new customer you get a lower, promotional rate for up to 6 months. After the promotional period ends, you are automatically billed at a higher price. For OnlinePlus this is $19.95/month, and for WW + Meetings it’s $54.95/month. You are also responsible for buying all of your own food, so most of the actual cost of WW is in your grocery bill. If you prefer prepared meal-delivery, you can consider plans like Nutrisystem or South Beach Diet, although with these diets you’ll pay for your food all at once each month. ($300+ monthly)
Early Cancellation Fee “If you have purchased a subscription and are currently on a 3-month plan your subscription is non-refundable except according to the special refund circumstances policy and subject to law…” – weightwatchers.com refund policy. Most people join WW by taking advantage of the 3-month Savings Plan for new customers. What they don’t often realize is that your initial signup is a contract and therefore non-refundable or has an early termination fee of $39.95. However, if you stay with WW past your initial commitment, you can cancel any time.
“Just Download a Free App Instead” – A number of negative reviews mention regret for having not just downloaded a free weight loss app instead of paying for WW. There are some great free or cheap weight loss apps out there including MyFitnessPal, SparkPeople, FitBit, and Lose It! Of course, you should consider the value of the WW community, recipes, support, and the highly-rated WW app for tracking and counting points. It can get a little lonely on some free apps!
WW: Positive Reviews
OK, there are lots of good reviews and testimonials out there too, so let’s try to be fair and balanced like Fox News (um, right!?) So, here’s what customers like best about WW:
WW FreeStyle Program – Yes, customers biggest complaint is also their favorite part of the program, so you could say the Freestyle plan is a bit controversial among members. For all the people who wrote negative reviews about it, there are a lot more people who really like it and think it’s an improvement. While change is often hard, a plethora of reviews champion the new flexibility… even Oprah! “The Freestyle program has made WW easier than ever. ZeroPoint™ foods are what keep me full, with pointed-foods there to supplement and make it fun. I don’t feel like I’m on a “diet” at all.” Bea of Miami, Fl
The Price – WW is probably the least expensive commercial diet, consisting of online resources, tools, recipes and community with optional meetings. This means that at $20 per month, WW OnlinePlus can fit into any budget. A lot of customers think it’s a terrific value, even with Meetings and Coaching costing more (about $50 / month).
The WW Community – “Now you see me going through it, you may think there’s nothing to it, but I simply cannot do it Alone! – Velma Kelly, Chicago the Musical Reaching your weight loss goal (estimate yours!) is more likely when you get support from others. Positive reviews often praise their supportive online community, Connect. A number of people even mentioned making long-lasting friendships online and in meetings.
“Easy to Return To” – Many reviews are from women and men who tried WW (when it was, “Weight Watchers”) years ago and are returning. “I am a returning member to WW. When I quit, thinking I can do it on my own, I gained most of my weight back. When I returned, not only was I welcomed but I was also not judged. This encouraged me to get back on the right path and the Freestyle program is perfect for me. I’m happy to be back.” Margaret of Washington, DC. Since the cost is minimal, ($20 / month) you can quit Weight Watchers after a number of months or years and come back again in the future.
The Meetings – “I love the leader of the meeting and feel the meetings really inspire, and push me towards my goal!” Karen of Rocky Hill, CT “I’ve done online only, but the only thing that really works for me is meetings combined with online/app. I have lost weight with other “diets” but truly feel that WW is a lifestyle and not a diet.” – Debbie of Tulso, OK Are you the type of person who benefits from personal interaction? WW Studio (meetings) offers both encouragement and accountability, and are proven to increase the success rate of WW up to 50%.
“WW Not Just a Diet” – “I feel like I have a whole new life. WW is great, because I’m learning how to use real food for a healthy lifestyle while staying active. I cook my own dinner, go out to eat, eat pizza, and I am still on program. It is something I can do for the rest of my life!” – Meredith of Chapel Hill, NC
Well said, Meredith, and a healthy lifestyle with better food choices is the core of the WW plan.
WW Testimonials (Video)
Personally, I think it’s inspiring to know that thousands of others are facing the same challenge that I am. That’s why real testimonials can be motivational to watch. Such is the case with the testimonials from actual members that are posted on weightwatchers.com. Here’s an inspiring video testimonial of a women who made a lifestyle change with WW:
WW “Wellness that Works,” isn’t a miracle pill or a weekend cleanse, it’s a lifestyle. It’s more than just losing 10 pounds for a wedding, and asks you to challenge yourself to live a healthier lifestyle. That’s why it’s rated the #1 commercial diet, and has helped millions of men and women reach their weight loss goals and live a healthier life without giving up the foods they love!
Does WW really work? The Weight Watchers diet currently ranks as the #1 diet for weight loss and #4 overall diet, according to U.S. News and World Report. In fact, Weight Watchers offers dieters one of the safest and most nutritionally sound dieting programs available.
Weight Watchers has maintained this reputation for quite some time. Yet this hasn’t kept prospective dieters from wondering if it truly works.
Does Weight Watchers really work, and who is likely to benefit most from this dieting program? Well, here’s the short answer: Weight Watchers works for most people, delivering an average weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. However, there are a number of variables to consider including your starting weight, commitment to the WW program, metabolism, and activity level that will ultimately determine how much weight you will lose.
Read on for insight into success rates and more for this renowned diet. (*If you’re interested, check out our exclusive coupon for up to 50% off!)
How does Weight Watchers work?
Weight Watchers is a dieting program designed to help dieters lose weight by adopting a new mindset of health consciousness. This mindset keeps nutrition at the fore, encouraging participants to “watch their weight” by becoming deeply aware of food’s nutritive makeup and its role in their lives.
Instead of tediously counting calories, a process nutritionists find increasingly detrimental to weight loss goals, Weight Watchers participants count points assigned to foods based on their nutritive value. Ingredients with higher fat and sugar content will have more points–i.e., “cost” more–than those low in saturated fats and high in crucial proteins.
Weight Watchers’ new FreeStyle program assigns a daily SmartPoints value to dieters according to their biometrics, gender, and age, which you then track daily on the WW app.
Dieters thus have the freedom to eat what they choose during the day, provided the total points hover at or below their daily SmartPoints value. In general, the Weight Watchers diet rewards dieters who consume foods high in protein but low in saturated fats, bad carbs, and processed sugars.
In addition to mindful eating, Weight Watchers programs incorporate fitness goals to help you meet your goal weight. The FreeStyle program costs about $20 per month, and helps hold dieters accountable to their goals by connecting them to personal coaches, meetings, and more. You can begin your Weight Watchers journey at any given time, and many participants stick with the program beyond its “completion.”
Weight Watchers claims that most dieters lose 1-2 pounds per week when following program guidelines. This is not a guarantee by any means, but many participants are able to lose up to eight pounds per month or more when following the Weight Watchers diet.
That doesn’t sound like a lot, but remember, WW aims to achieve sustainable long-term weight loss through healthy lifestyle changes that become lifelong habits. This is not a fad diet, or just a way to lose 25 pounds for a wedding next month. You could even think of the weight that you do lose as a welcome side-effect of living a healthier life.
Participants who tackle their fitness program in addition to their eating choices are more likely to lose more weight over time, although Weight Watchers emphasizes that regular exercise is not critical to achieve weight loss.
Who is likely to benefit from Weight Watchers?
Individuals who are looking for a lifestyle change with respect to their holistic health are likely to benefit the most from Weight Watchers, and find that it works with their lifestyle. Time and again, the most incredible Weight Watcher success stories discuss dieters’ desire for a new claim on life.
On their website, Weight Watchers states the potential health benefit to losing 10% of your body weight, including:
A healthier heart
Lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Self-confidence & motivation
The program can be particularly essential for people facing compromising to severe medical conditions and health issues on account of their current dieting and fitness habits. Overweight or obese individuals are at greater risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, making them ideal candidates for this program.
Weight Watchers can be the dieting solution for people who want the freedom to eat what they choose without needing to restrict calories. In fact, no food is off-limits in the Weight Watchers program; dieters simply have to ensure they stay below their daily SmartPoints value.
WW also doesn’t require participants to exercise every day or even exercise to lose weight. People who hate exercising or are resistant to fitness will welcome Weight Watchers’ approach to weight loss, which believes that healthy eating choices alone can promote fat loss.
Lastly, Weight Watchers is suited for people who are willing to commit to their health. The Weight Watchers program is easy to follow but it does require that participants constantly manage and maintain their weight loss efforts–and communicate about them!
Why does Weight Watchers Work for Some People (and not others)?
Real customer being asked whether Weight Watchers works by authority figure
Weight Watchers is less ideal for people looking for quick fat loss or short-term dieting solutions, or prefer the convenience of a meal-delivery diet like Nutrisystem. Because it emphasizes an evolving mindset about the nature of food and fitness, it is not likely to be successful for individuals seeking dramatic weight-loss in the span of a few weeks.
This diet does require a high level of commitment, although the program and community are incredibly nurturing, supportive, and intensive. Participants who don’t feel ready to match this commitment or don’t like monitoring their nutrition intake will likely experience lower success rates than others.
Some people also prefer to count calories, restrict certain foods, and lose weight quickly via alternative methods, like exercise programs or “fat-blasting” diets. Weight Watchers is truly suited for those who genuinely want to alter their approach to food and health for good. Learn more…
Weight Watchers success stories are plentiful. But what is the overall success rate of this dieting program?
As of this time, there is no definitive, universal success rate for Weight Watchers dieters. A 2015 study noted that WW dieters lost 2.6% more weight than individuals who implemented portion control. Weight Watchers itself emphasizes the fact that most participants can lose at least one pound a week if they stick to program requirements.
Yet the many WW success stories focus on one thing: Weight Watchers as a permanent solution for long-term change. Many dieters are able to keep their new weights because of conscious lifestyle modifications; most stay with the program for months and even years, going on to become WW mentors and personal coaches.
A 2017 Lancet study of Weight Watchers efficacy concluded that long-term participants lost over twice as much weight than individuals who sought short-term intervention and self-help weight loss solutions. These participants committed to the program for at least a year and were also able to maintain their new weights more effectively.
From this perspective, Weight Watchers is highly successful for those most receptive to its principles and keen for long-term aid.
Final Thoughts: Does Weight Watchers really work?
So, given the evidence, does Weight Watchers really work?
Although WW has also rated been the #1 Weight Loss Diet (by U.S. News) for several years in a row now, the answer to this question will hinge on every participant’s unique relationship with food, health, fitness, and lifestyle. Commitment to change, dieters’ biometric makeup, and fitness goals inevitably influence success rates of any dieting program, most especially Weight Watchers.
However, Weight Watchers is an effective dieting solution for individuals seeking a long-term solution to unhealthy or medically compromising lifestyles. It’s a wonderfully easy alternative to calorie-counting or restrictive diets, and it does not require a new exercise regime for success.
In fact, the diet’s new Freestyle program gives dieters a refreshing and fun perspective on healthy, transformative eating habits. Learn more about this program and its reviews here, or click below to see toay’s offer for new customers: