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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Weight Watchers Points Plus

It's a crazy week for most of us following the Weight Watchers plan with the launch of their new program, Points Plus which has changed the way points are calculated based on calculating protein, fat, fiber and carbohydrates rather than calories, fat and fiber. If you aren't aware of the changes you can read more about it on the Weight Watchers website, Taking Weight Watchers To The Next Level.

You all know I'm a huge advocate of Weight Watchers, and I don't think they would completely change their system unless they really believed in it, so I'm excited to see how this all pans out. Some people are welcoming the new program with open arms and are excited about all the new changes with hopes that trying something new will motivate them, while others are anxious about having to relearn the program and recalculate all their recipes.

In my case, recalculating all my recipes is a huge task, which I'm slowly working my way through. It's a little disappointing to see a lot of my recipes increase by one or two points. Others seem to be remaining the same. I'm noticing that increased fiber isn't playing as much of a role in the final numbers, while fat and carbs are making the numbers go up. Are you finding the same thing?

I'm still trying to adjust to all the changes. While I'm enjoying my free bananas and 0 point fruit, I am noticing a lot of my favorite meals have increased in points. At the same time, I have an additional 10 points per day, so I guess it all balances out in the end. I think the hardest part for me is relearning all the points I had memorized on basic ingredients like eggs, butter, milk, etc.

What are your thoughts on Points Plus? Are you losing? Are you hungry or eating more than you normally do? Are you excited about all the free fruit you can now enjoy?

89 comments:

Bosco's Mom said...

I am definitely having to adjust, that's for sure. I am having a problem because it feels like I am eating MORE? Results for the PointsPlus are yet to be seen!

Talysa said...

Thanks so much for writing about this. I am such a creature of habit and really hate that they changed this. I've lost 23 pounds and kept it off for a year so of course in my mind nothing was broken therefore nothing should change. :-)

I hate change. Did I mention that? ;-)

Thanks for taking the time to revamp your recipe calculations. You have one of the best sites for ww recipes. Seriously.

Julie said...

I'm with Talysa-I hate change!! I have been doing this for 2 1/2 years and have lost 209 pounds!! So I am really taking this hard, but trying to give it my all. I am sure after a few weeks, I will be happier. Right now it seems things are a lot of points.

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

Thanks Talysa!! I'm not fond of change either, so I can relate! And you're welcome.

Julie-Wow, that is great! (And confirms why I love Weight Watchers) And I know, I look at point values and I think wow, that's high, forgetting I'm allowed to eat more points, so after a few weeks, I guess it will all seem normal.

Boscos Mom- We should all check in next week to see what the numbers are!

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

I am seeing one small problem, is anyone else seeing this?? If I put in the nutritional info of a banana on my new points plus calculator, it gives me a value of 2. Am I the only one seeing this?

Alex said...

I actually just re-joined WW on Sunday, just in time for the switch, so I am totally on board with the change. I think it will be a good thing overall. I made your chicken and white bean enchiladas last night, and while the point values did go up to 6 per enchilada, I ate two and still came in under my daily points.

Thanks for all the great recipes and taking the time to change the point values.

ddbug said...

I just rejoined WW so the change is not too hard for me. I am loving the free fruits aspect, and ate a big bowl of strawberries today.

I have to wonder, though, does anyone think it's a bit of a ploy to get people to join the program...by revamping it and putting a fresh new bow on it?

aimers1525 said...

Thanks, Gina for updating your recipes! @ddbug--While I'm excited for the change, I do partly think it's a ploy to get people to join AND for existing members to have to spend money to purchase new materials. If you don't use eTools (which I do to look up foods, recipe builder, etc. but not to track because I have to conciously write it down), you would have to purchase a new points calculator, dining out, complete food, etc.

Mad Red Hare said...

At first,I was kind of upset. But, like you, I do believe weight watchers wouldn't do anything they haven't tested and tested. They have such a good reputation, they wouldn't do anything to hurt it. So, onward, I say! I am 2 pounds away from goal, so hopefully this will shake things up for me!

Deni said...

I am going back and forth with it really. I mean it just started monday and my weigh in (I do it) isn't until next monday so I have no idea where I am. I am fuller more..so that's good. I love fruits and cooked veggies (not really raw) so I am actually finding it hard to enjoy fruits and veggies because I sorta feel like that's all I can really eat if I don't want to add points to my daily total. I do believe WW wouldn't do anything that's healthy for us, but I also don't want to stress myself out over it. I am gonna give it some time and we will see....

Susan said...

Today is day one for me on the new plan. I am pretty happy about it. And I hope the scale will agree.

What I am really really happy about is that you are providing the old points and the points plus. Thank you so much for doing this. I for one appreciate it. I LOVE your blog!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gina for helping us with your recipes and taking the time to recalc the pts..

This new program has been years in the making, the existing program has been around for 13 years? Time for a change. This new plan encourages healthy, UNPROCESSED eating, to stay away from eating crap with low pts and focus on whole foods.

This is one of the reasons why I love Gina's site, healthy, whole food cooking. Not only will you lose weight on the program but you will be healthier by eating better foods. They are just being current and with the times.

And no, I am not a WW employee :) I just think we live in a world of fast-food, processed, microwave instant gratification and this way of living is MUCH better for you.

Good luck all

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to my weekly meeting yet (will tomorrow night) but since I track everything on-line I was kind of forced to start the new program already. I have lost 40 pounds since May 27 so I was completely happy with the way the "old" program was. So far, everything I use to love to eat and were not high in points are 2-3 points higher, so I don't feel I can eat them now. Not sure if I am happy about it or not. I guess what matters is the scale.

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

I'm finding a lot of discrepancies when calculating recipes based on the new plan using my new calculator, or using recipe builder vs the online tracker.

Before, you can add a 2 pt banana, with a 2 pt yogurt and 1 pt honey for a 5 pt yogurt parfait. Now, if you put this in the recipe builder, it's 8 points. But if I use my food tracker, and enter the banana, yogurt and honey separately, it's only 5 points.

I found it easier with the old plan. Now, with the new plan, 0+3+2 does not really equal 5. Does anyone find this confusing?

Anonymous said...

I LOVE IT!!! And I am a part time receptionist, but doesn't mean I am forced to love it!! Like previous posters said, they have been testing it for a couple of years. They have studied the science behind food/nutrition and I think it's great. Technology changes all the time, so why shouldn't Weight Watchers change once every 13 years? (be thankful too, at one point, you had to eat liver once a week or some crazy thing like that!) Every year about this time, they publish updated companion guides, etc, so there wasn't anything sinister in the timing of the launch. Also, really, the only thing you need to buy would be the calculator at $5.95 (for the first one only. They are selling the first one at cost, after that it will be $11.95). So at $5.95 it isn't a ploy to get you to spend your money. Of the 12 or so weeks, I've been doing it, I think I only gained twice. And I gained because I decided to eat all the Halloween candy (and take a week off) and because I decided to take a week off for Thanksgiving (I had three of them, plus plenty of wine). This was exactly the motivation I needed because I had kind of given up. I have lost almost 10 pounds since I started. And I am eating healthier. It is so nice to know that I can have grapes at 10 pm if I am hungry without any points left!!
Also, to the previous poster who asked about fruit having points, yes, if you were to calculate some fruits they would have points, but WW being the thorough company they are, have calculated that when developing the program and the current points plus system. So don't worry! You can eat that banana! One of my leaders said she ate 8 bananas an one sitting (but doesn't recommend doing that!!) and another leader ate the whole cantaloupe!

Some foods did not go up in points. Weight WAtcher string cheese is still one point (and regular string cheese is still 3 points). WW yogurt did go up to 2 points.

the hardest part I am having is with breakfast. I used to have fiber one cereal and then a little later a fiber one bar (but I have pretty much given up on the fiber one bars now).

Also, don't try to convert all your recipes at once.

Anonymous said...

Classic Beef Chili (3 points plus a serving)
Brown and drain 1 pound of lean ground beef (10% fat or less)
Add 2 garlic cloves, 2 T chili powder, 1 t cumin

Mix in Crockpot:
1 28 can crushed tomatoes
1 15 ounce can red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
1 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup canned diced chiles
2 T tomato paste

Stir in beef, cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Garnish with oregano.

When I calculated this, I put the individual ingredients in my points calculator and then added them up and divided by 8 servings. I'm not perfect, but hopefully the calculations are correct!

Hope you enjoy!!

Renee @ MyKitchenAdventures said...

this whole thing with the discrepancies is driving me bananas! ( no pun intended! lol ) the recipe above actually comes out to 4 points+ per serving if you use 90/10 ground beef and it serves 8 when put into the ww recipe builder tool. If you add up the individual point+ values and divide by 8...you still get 4 points+. So in this case, the manual way produced the same results as the recipe builder...but this is NOT always true...so we are back to scratching our heads! lol

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

My point exactly Renee!!

Anonymous put the individual ingredients in my points calculator and got 3 points.

In recipe builder you get 4 points. This never happened with the old plan, I don't understand why or how it's different.

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

Any WW leaders out there, would love to hear from you!

Leigh said...

Gina - I really appreciate all the work you do - thank you for working to convert your recipes. I only use the online tools, and I haven't converted/entered much into the new system yet - so I haven't seen many discrepancies... I wish there was some way to contact someone at WW to answer your questions about that. Maybe there;s something in the FAQs about the new plan that would explain things?

This is my 2nd time doing WW, so I've had years of the old points plan, and having to retrain myself about the points is weird. But with the increase of points values of food comes the increase in daily points, so I'm happy!

Katherine E. said...

Thanks for posting about this! So far, I'm not a big fan, but we'll have to wait and see what the scales say. I've been doing weight watchers for about 6 months now and I've lost 40 pounds, so I didn't see anything wrong with it. My biggest gripe was the way they introduced it... I do online only, so one day the old way is just turned off. Some have said if you want to do it the old way than just continue - the problem is, I relied on the website to enter my points every morning and plan out my day. I wish they had kept a site with the old version AND simultaneously launched the new one. People joined weight watchers at all different times in their life when they had the time to devote to learning the system... I just don't have the time right now to re-learn a new system. I've found that if I eat the same exact things I was eating on the old plan, it comes out to anywhere from 4-12 more points (even with the extra points). That's very frustrating. It's just not balancing itself out. I got into a routine... and I lost on it... so now having to start from square one is disappointing. I'm sure the plan works and have complete confidence in ww... but I am really unhappy about how they launched this. Also - you'd think all those affiliated companies would be slightly peeved as well..... :(

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me whats so different??

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

Leigh, yes I think it balances itself out in the end, depending on what you eat. It seems protein remains the same, but carbs went up. I'm still learning all this.

Katherine, I do it online too, so I see your points, I guess they don't want people using the old system since they are changing the points on all their products. You said you are eating 4-12 points a day more eating the same thing, but you also have more points than you did before. Does it balance itself out?

Jennifer said...

Question - Is the points calculator worth the $12? I have done WW for years and have tons of pointsfinders around the house, car, office, etc.. I now do WW only online and will have to look everything up. Since I don't always have access to e-tools I'm trying to decide if I need the calculator.

Katherine E. said...

I really don't feel like it is balancing itself out... I am not able to eat the same things that I was eating before. I meant to say, if I did, I'd be over 4-12 points... I guess I was consuming too many carbs - but it was nothing crazy. A bagel thin, for example, went from 1 to 3 - so if you have a higher point item on the bagel thin, like pizza - it's no longer a low point lunch. Anything with carbs in it, is more points, so in conjunction with everything else - it's more... I don't know. I'm just frustrated and trying to figure it out with not a lot of time to invest in it... sorry to take it out on your blog. ;-/

avalon said...

I used to have 19 pts a day, now it is 29. The fruit and veggies are now zero, but many of my standard foods didn't change that much (egg beaters, string cheese, etc.), so I feel like I have more points than ever. I think the trick will be to embrace the extra points and not be afraid of an 8 point meal like I used to be. Hmmm...

Gina - I did read that fruits and vegetables would be "counted" when added to recipes, but not if added as part of a meal. If you add a large banana to a recipe it is 3 points,but if you just have it as a snack, it is 0. The same source also said you could just add multiple items as a meal instead of as a recipe if you just had fruits or vegetables.

Bosco's Mom said...

My weigh in is on Fridays, so today i did. I'm extremely frustrated because this is the first week that i have no lost. It even says i gained .2 pounds. Now, i have a tendancy to hold water weight, BUT you can't tell me this is a coincidence with the plan changing and me not losing an ounce. I, like Avalon, feel like i have extra points. It's like I'm having to work to get all of my points in (since you are told not to go under your number)and it just doesn't seem right? I'm eating more, but I'm still supposed to believe I am going to lose this way? I'm very frustrated and slightly discouraged at this point. I'm not sure what to do?

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

I've heard a lot of people from Europe who have been on the new plan longer say they gained the first week or two, then lost after. I think your body has to readjust to eating different. I'm sure it's frustrating, but I would give it at least 2 weeks before you get upset.

Bosco's Mom said...

Thanks for the advice and info about Europe, Gina. I'm going to continue to do what i'm doing but if i am the same next week...i may lose it!!! :)

Mary said...

I've read lots of articles about the ProPoints which is the UK version of Points+. It has gotten rave reviews. I have been a lifetime member of WW since 1987 and it has changed dramatically during that time. I think the old way was deceiving because people added fiber to things that didn't contain fiber naturally (yogurt for one example) and manipulated points that way. The new program emphasizes protien rather than carbs and I think people will have to adjust their way of eating. I know that I am one who stuggled to eat healthily with only 18 pts per day and having to count fruit. Now that fruit is free and I have more points I am not concerned about using a pt. for oil (which I never did under the old program) and will eat more protiens. There are still people using the old exchange system that was in effect when I joined in 1986. Use whatever works for you. You don't have to be a member of WW to use the program so if you don't like the new one you can quit and go it on your own with the old program. Give it some time, however, and I think you will see success. As the most respected weight loss system in the world I sincerely doubt WW would risk losing that reputation to sell some $5 calculators and some $8 companion books. PS LOVE your site and use your recipes all the time!

Kelly said...

I've done WW in the past an recently joined up with the program again so I purposefully waited till points+ kicked in to make things easier. Only been a couple of days so far, so we'l see how it goes.

The 0 point fruit thing doesn't effect me as much because I don't tend to eat a lot of fruit (though I love veggies). Mentally I love having more points per day but it seems weird now that all of my meals are higher in points too. We'll see how it goes.

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

Thanks Mary! And yes, I've heard rave reviews as well from people doing it for a while. Back before I knew WW was changing, I had many emails from people in Switzerland and Australia. I've read the first few weeks some people even gain, but after that they lose lose lose. I also agree about the fiber thing, I read some articles about how unhealthy some of that fiber is that is not naturally found in food.

Kelly- Maybe you'll eat more fruit now.

Alex said...

I am in maintenance, which has been much harder than losing. Having to strike jut the right balance to remain within TWO measly pounds is tough. I had hoped WW would change that part of the program as well, but the rules for achieving Lifetime have remained the same, unfortunately.

My friends are saying, "It's a rip-off to get you to spend more money." That's silly. I think it's ridiculous to say WW would risk their long-time reputation for a few extra dollars. I think they would have been criticized for NOT changing since there truly is new science out there and they cannot claim to be science-based and continue to use outdated formulas. My husband runs a high-tech company and they change all the time, and with it comes spending a lot of money but it's a necessary evil of advancement. With any change there will be criticism, but we need to trust a program that has worked for so many and hang in there.

And thank you Gina, you are my go-to web site and everything I have made from your recipes has been a huge success (especially the banana nut bread, which I am making again today;)

jediannie said...

I went to my first meeting in a long time on Wednesday and everyone in that meeting seemed pretty open to the change.

My friend & her husband are doing WW as well and my friend's husband is not happy with the change because he does not eat fruits & veggies! The people who seem the least happy with the change are the ones who eat a lot of convenience food and 100 calorie pre-packaged snacks and few veggies & fruit.

I absolutely love the new system so far. The only problem I'm having is rewiring my brain to calculate the new points. I used to be a human points calculator (I could figure them out in my head without using the online tools or the paper one) and now I can't do that. :)

Love your website!

MC said...

I just rejoined WW after several years away, just in time for the new program. I had lost 40ish pounds this year through calorie counting and increased exercise, but I have been on the world's longest plateau for about four months, so I decided to mix it up my joining WW. I am really excited about the new program!

Regarding the points of fruit...if you enter it in your calculator, some fruits are going to come up as having points. However, WW is finally realizing that a 100-calorie piece of fruit and a 100-calorie pack of crackers are NOT the same thing! Your body will use the fruit efficiently, as it is a clean, whole food, and the "junk" of the 100-calorie pack should not be compared to the fruit. That is why fruit is free. I am excited about this because I never used to "waste" points on fruit, but now I can eat fruit as much as I want to (which is a ton in the spring and summer months when local fruits abound!)!

I have really tried to clean up my eating this year, and this plan works right in there with that. And I also tend not to eat a good amount of protein every day, but this plan will encourage me to. I get 36 points per day (I have about 60 more pounds to lose), and I am finding that those 36 points, along with my 49 weekly points and my exercise points are more than enough for me, even with the new higher points values.

I love your recipe site! Today was my first visit there (heard about it on a message board I am on), but I can see it will be a valuable resource for me! Thanks for all the work you put into it!

chocolatedog1 said...

I like the new change and agree that it is much healthier. I was already eating really clean and low carb so the extra points I now have are sometimes hard to get in. I think the change is hardest for people who were relying on processed foods before (how healthy can your diet really be if everything is chocolate or oreo cookie flavored?). I am now adding in more whole grains (like brown rice or quinoa) to get all my points in whereas before I would have just had protein and veggies in most of my meals. I lost 1.5 pounds the first week of points plus which is the same amount I was losing on the old plan. I have posted the link to your site on a few of the ww boards because I hope some of the discouraged people will take advantage of your wonderful recipes. Thank you so much Gina!!

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

Thank you chocolate dog! I agree, I never eat chips, cookies, or any packaged snacks, mostly because I don't care for them. I feeder fruits and nuts as a snack, brain food! I'm happy to hear your still losing on points plus!!

teamp4l said...

I eat a lot of fruits and veggies so I am on board. I used to be able to count my points in my head, but now I have to do it on ww.com until I get used to the new program. Yesterday was my first hard core day back on the plan and after I entered all my meals (3 meals, plus snacks) I still has 10 points left! It seems weird that I could eat another complete meal each day and still lose weight...I know I should trust the plan, but that makes me nervous. Eat more and lose weight?!?

Bosco's Mom said...

I just wanted to update you guys. I was VERY discouraged about the new system because I did in fact gain. BUT i'm happy to report that after gaining for what seemed like forever but in reality was a week, i have lost my gain PLUS more. I'm super happy about it and just want you all to stick with the new program because IT WILL WORK.

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

Great news bosco's mom!!!

It is what it is said...

I generally embrace change and especially when it makes sense as the WW plan changes do. I sort of think of the plan as South Beach meets the Glycemic Index.

And, as you have probably figured out by now, the calculator doesn't differentiate food type so if you enter the NI of a piece of fruit it will yeild a Points+ value.

I ate a banana and apple a day the first week of the new plan and lost 1.8#.

Anonymous said...

I lost 1.5 lbs the first week on plan. Pretty much the same rate I was losing before. I love the free fruits and veggies but I hate that I now have to recalculate everything. I guess it will keep me on my toes.

Krazy Katy! said...

Wow, I am so relieved to hear that other people are feeling the same way as me about the new plan! I tried to post my feelings about it on the WW online community and had some rather rude responses for expressing my concerns. I do think the new plan will work and Im sure it is healthier in the long run but I agree with people that are saying it should have been made an option, for the online people especially. I was doing great and loving all the recipes and point allowments I had given myself for each meal and then all of that changed. All my favorite combinations or recipes are putting me over my limit. And I feel like I starve myself all day (besides fruit) so I can have a yummy "skinny taste" meal at night. Its working out ok i guess, but honestly I liked the old plan better and it was working great for me. I just don't enjoy this plan as much... for me, now it DOES feel like a diet. Anyway, this is just my opinion and hopefully in the end we will all love the new plan cause I think its here to stay! Thank you Gina again for all your wonderfulness! :)

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

You're welcome Katy. That's an interesting comment you made, that now you feel like you are on a diet. That makes me sad, I guess I know what you mean, pastas and rice went up a lot, and I always liked the fact that you can eat them on WW. You still can but not as much as before. I am still keeping my old points for people who don't want to switch, or want to go back to momentum.

Krazy Katy! said...

Thanks Gina! you truly are an inspiration to me. If it werent for your recipes I probably would lose faith in the program but honestly you have shown us how awesome food can taste and still be healthy...you truly have a talent. BTW, we had Thai fried rice and asian glazed chicken for dinner and it was a knock-out! Have a wonderful weekend to you and all my fellow WW friends!!

Matthew said...

Day one of the new program for me, not sure how I feel about it. Are we still able to eat treats? I always had extra points left over for my sweet tooth and hoping I can still indulge

Anonymous said...

I think I love the new program so far, but I am having trouble calculating beverages. Since the calories are not accounted for, a beverage that has nothing but 15 carbs, ends up being only 1 point. I entered wine into my calculator, and it was free. Of coarse I was overjoyed, until I realized that couldn't be right. I thought maybe it has to do with the low glycemic impact.... Does anyone know something I don't about accounting for the cals?

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

Great Krazy Kat!

Matthew, if you can fit it into your daily points, sure! But since fruit is free, you can also snack on that if you get hungry.

I just checked my tracker, 4 oz of wine is coming up as 4 points.

Anonymous said...

I've been doing WW since August and I was comfortable with the old system and learning how to shop without fear of getting home to find out that a food was 'too expensive'. With the new system that just came out of nowhere I'm feeling a bit upset. The old system worked for me and with the new PointsPlus everything is 'expensive' except fruits and vegetables, which makes sense, but I feel like I can't eat anything else.

I hope I can stick it out with PointsPlus but I think soon I'm going to end up going back to the old system...I'm hungry lol.

Krazy Katy! said...

Anon...

I felt/feel just like you!! I think this plan is healthier but the other plan was easier to follow and enjoy. And they both work so you should go with what makes you happy and most likely to stick with it! Unfortunately I only use the online tools because they are so convenient and easy so if I want to go back to the old plan I will have to figure it all out again. But best of luck to you and hopefully WW will realize whats going on and support both plans :) Hang in there!

Oh and the wine thing just makes me want to cry...seriously! lol

Jenn said...

I'm also not a fan of change and lost 202 lbs on the old "flex" program. I even stuck with it when they switched to Momentum. However, I've been on Points Plus since Friday and for some reason, decided to jump on a scale while at a store this afternoon. According to the scale, I gained. After some research on WW.Com and WW on Facebook, I actually found some people that gained while following this. So this worries me....People say you CANNOT follow regular flex anymore, which I don't see how you can't. Any ideas or suggestions??? Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

I just found your website and wanted to thank you! I have been off my weight watchers and gaining over the past year. Previously I lost 25 lbs. and felt fantastic. Now I have gained it all back plus some. Back to the point, I was looking through some food blogs and found that yours was full of weight watcher friendly recipes and that excited me. Then I went back onto the site and was amazed by the change. I too am surprised at the things that have changed, but am excited to get back on board. I love to cook and am looking forward to cooking healthier in 2011.

jbuffan said...

Before I say anything I need to mention that I am a lifetime WW that hasnt been at goal in 4 years . I have seen new programs come and go since I first joined in 1994. Ironic thing is that I weighed less when I joined than my goal weight is now! I remember they would roll out a new program every January for years. All new books, new cookbooks, a calculator, a slider etc.It was a racket and I bought into every single one. I NEVER missed a meeting, even on vacation in South Carolina I found a meeeting so I was serious and commited to WW. Fast forward to 2010, I turned 50 and once again decided to get serious, but budget is tight so I tried it on my own. I have spent 6 months this years counting calories ,exercising and TRYING to loose 25 lbs. It took me 6 months to lose 11lbs. Yes, I loose extremly slow. In the last 3 months I have gained 6 lbs back. Sooooo I have been debating about getting back to my roots. WW. Now I hear of yet another new program, actually an entire overhaul and I am leary. Just like when they rolled out "Fat & Fiber" plan way back when. I knew it would never work. That one lasted minutes before they didnt even talk about it at meetings any more.
My main question is this: How can they tell me that fruit is free? Fruit has calories. A medium banana has about 90 calories. I can eat all the fruit I want and not count it? What if I eat 6 bananas today? How can that not be counted? And from what I hear most of us get MORE points?
I remember when I was still attending meetings and they told us we had to start counting carrots and onion. Now we can eat high sugar fruits and its"free"?
Very confused and trying to keep an open mind.
Anyone agree? disagree?

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

I find the "free" fruit confusing myself, especially since a banana is 3 points if I plug in the nutritional info in my calculator. So technically when I cook with fruit they are no longer free but in fact more points than before. The reason for free fruit is to encourage a healthier diet, more fruits and less chips or processed foods. For people like me, who always snacked on fruit instead of chips, not much has changed except in this aspect. But for others it encourages a healthier diet.

You do get more points, but all rice, pasta, bread dishes increased by about 2 points so it seems they are pushing more protein and vegetables, closer to a
South Beach diet with points.

I can understand your frustration of the plans changing all the time, and having to buy new books and merchandise, especially in this economy. Hopefully this is it. No more changes. Recalculating all my recipes has been a huge task and I'm not even half way done.

Krazy Katy! said...

On behalf of everyone who follows your site Gina, I just want to say THANK YOU for all your hard work in updating your recipes...I know it wasn't fun! Thanks for sticking with us and letting us know we aren't crazy for having a few doubts too! Keep up the good work cuz you are much appreciated!!

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

Thanks for the appreciation! I'm not done yet, but getting closer! Their timing with the holidays was not the best for me, oh well!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to say it, but it's all about money for WW. If they roll out a new program, they can sell new books, points calculators, etc. to current WW members. They also can advertise their new revamped program, highlighting the 0 pt fruit aspect to capture new customers. If it were not about money, they would have allowed current users to choose between the two programs -- points or pointsplus. Instead, we are forced to accept their new program. I think it will backfire for them. This new program is very difficult. You always have to look everything up, whereas on points, it was easy to understand the general rule that every point is 50 calories. I think more people may sign up for WW because of the new program, but ultimately I think WW will have trouble keeping people engaged. People like easy. This is anything but.

The reason why people were able to stick with the old WW points program was because you never felt deprived or guilty. I could choose between a 1pt cookie or a 1pt apple for a snack, and still only added 1 pt to my total because the calories were the same and weight loss is all about CALORIES. Nothing more. (The fact that the junk food diet actually works is evidence of that. http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/08/twinkie.diet.professor/index.html)
Now, though, that 1pt cookie is 2 pts and the apple is 0. So, of course, I feel like I should eat the apple and save the points, but then I feel like I was deprived of the cookie. On the other hand, if I had gone for the cookie, I would have felt guilty for using so many points. I know that they are trying to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables, but sometimes you need a day where you eat the freaking cookie, or two or three, and you shouldn't feel bad about it, or gorge yourself on fruit after because it is supposedly 0 points. Btw, there is no way that fruit is 0 points. I would gain weight if I did not count the apple, banana, orange, and pear I ate today. It just doesn't make sense.

So, I have decided to continue with the old program. I lost a lot of weight on it and have kept it off for over 3 years doing the maintenance program. On the old program, I actually lost a pound this week. But my sister who has been on WW for a while just started doing the Pointsplus program and she actually gained. She said she also felt full more than she did before because she was eating more fruit. She is considering going back to regular points.

Anonymous said...

I have to say first THANK YOU to Gina for such a great site. I'm a working mom who is sick of the food I've been cooking, and too dang lazy to figure out points for other food. So your website is genius.

I will say that I really like the new program. My weight loss is very slow, about .5 a week, but it seems to have accelerated a bit on the pp program. My mom had the same response as many, saying that it's just a gimmick to get WW more money. I agree they are going to make more money, but I also think it's a healthier plan. Here's my best example, I can eat a sandwich thin for 3 pp or I can eat 2 slices of Dave's Bread (a great, whole grain natural bread here in the NW) for 3 points. I know for a fact that the Dave's bread is going to keep me full longer. Now add in 1 laughing cow cheese and some sliced apple and I have a great 4 point breakfast.

I've been eating this for a few weeks now, and some days find that I'm not hungry until lunch - where on the old plan I was starving by 10, simply b/c I'd eat the thin rather than the whole grain bread.

I lost 2.6 pounds the first week, and have not weighed again simply b/c I had the stomach flu and am recovering. For me free fruit is a great option, in the middle of the day when I'm heading home and I'm hungry I can have an apple and a lf string cheese for 1 point and not be hungry until I eat dinner. I am much more satisfied. Have I mentioned that I HATE change, but have embraced this one.

I think the beauty of this, is those of us who were doing the "old" program and have all the materials can keep doing it - you've got the info no need to change. For those who want a change we've got that option as well.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous2~~I am really trying to give the new program a chance. I have gain 2.2 pounds since it started. I only got 2 pts more and all kinds of people said that I am taking in to many carbs or how many apples and bananas do or can I eat in a day. I might as well do another program and take in only protein, fruits and veggies. I see it also as a big $$$ making bus for WWs. $ for this $ for that, and can I say something about the little cheepie book (mine is already falling apart) we got, and the calculator that you have to buy a WW product to carry it around in. And while I am on a thinking rant, does anyone see this aimed at young people, if you are a man, 100+ over, or over the age of 45, you are just not what WWs are looking for. AVATAR, how many older people go on line with eTools and want to be an AVATAR. LOL give me a break. The old program worked why should I fix it. So I will keep trying till my monthly plan finishes. We all ain’t Jennifer Hudson!

Heather said...

First I want to say I love your site and can't wait to try your great recipes!
Second, I just started WW last week. I never tried the old points system but my sister lost 35lbs the first 5mths on it. I do like the new system (love the 0 points for fruit) but do have a hard time with figuring out the points sometimes. I have found a couple of times this past week that points for one serving will sometimes more than double for two servings, I guess from rounding up or something? I can't remember what is was exactly but one item was 1pt for 1 serving but 3pts for 2 servings. Has anyone else noticed this? I have also seen the difference for points of individual items listed and for points of same items listed as a recipe. This happened with my homemade pasta sauce, individually it was 0 points per serving but together as a recipe it was 1 point per serving.
I'm still planning to stay with it and just do my best with figuring out the points. After just one week, not really seeming to be hungry as much as I thought I would and have lost 2.8lbs.

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

I'm wondering... how many of you are sticking with the old plan? I've kept old points for those of you who are, I think what I am hearing is some of you prefer to have your carbs, your cookies, chips, etc as you were eating before, as long as you are still losing.

Heather, thank you! Yes, WW doesn't use half points, sometimes 1 is really 1-1/2 so it's always important to check.

Good Luck and thanks for all your comments!

Canuck said...

I found this great website while searching for info on the new WW Points Plus program. I've been a lifetime member for 2.5 years (lost 32 lb) but stopped going to meetings when I just couldn't stay within the 2 lb. allowable margin and was too cheap to pay, lol. Now I've plateaued at about 7 lb. above goal (25 lb. net loss; not bad, but not great).
I need to get kick-started into losing those 7 lb. again and perhaps a few more, so was interested to hear about the new PP program, and may start going to meetings again.
I share the sentiments of some of the posts; I'm glad fruit is 'free' (hey, now I can put a whole banana on my cereal!) but agree, fruit has calories, so there must be a limit, right?
On the other hand, I'm sorry that 1 point skinny-sliced stone ground bread from Safeway has more than doubled, sigh, and ditto for the low-fat popcorn snack. I'm hoping the 8-9 extra points per day will compensate, but it sounds like it may not?
Thanks for the web site and I'll be interested to hear about other people's journeys with the new PP.

aishaedgar said...

Just found your site and am so happy to discover new recipies! I like the WW recipies, but am always spicing way up, as they are somewhat bland, no? lol.
Anyway, I've been a member off and on for 7 years, had great success on the old plan, then dropped off and of course gained, but since rejoining on the new plan have steadily lost at pretty much the same rate as before. I actually find I'm not eating that much differently. I do some days have points left over, but then some days don't. What I like about this plan is I don't plan to track for the rest of my life (ha! we'll see) and the emphasis on getting out of the habit of processed/convienent food I think is excellent. So far I'm a fan.
And yes, WW is a profit-making company so of course they have an objective to continue to make money, but as I was always an online-only member I saw zero increase in price so that didn't bug me.

Anonymous said...

I started the WW Points Plus plan the week it started and litterally have not lost any weight. I've actually gained about 3-4lbs that just won't come off. I've even been exercising and walking every day. I'm not sure what the problem is. I"m very frustrated and wonder if anyone else is having the same problems. I have been tracking every week and some weeks not even using my bonus points. I probably eat about 3 servings of fruit a day so I don't think that's the reason I'm gaining. Any advice out there?

Anonymous said...

Let me start by saying I love this site! Gina, thanks for awesome recipes and thanks to everyone for helpful, insightful posts!

I joined WW just over a year ago and lost almost 100 pounds. I was about 5 pounds away from my goal weight when PP was introduced. Deciding that I was gonna throw all caution to the wind for the holidays anyway (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years AND my Birthday, January 5th... Dumb I know), I bowed out of the program before I had to deal with all of the changes.

So, after a new year and after a new 25 disgusting pounds gained, I decided to jump back into WW and had to learn all about the new PP system

Unfortunately... I'm not diggin it.

Like many other people have said, I'm a creature of habit and I was not only comfortable with, but steadily losing and maintaing my weight by eating the same ol' foods, processed or not, that I was eating...

I'm a 23 year old male nurse with 2 jobs so I'm ALWAYS on the go... So quick, inexpensive, convenient meal and snack options aren't just handy, it's a necessity! and as a certified carb junkie, these options include things that don't go over so well with the new PP program, ie: Vita Tops, Fiber 1 Bars, Lean Cuisines/Healthy Choice/Smart Ones (many of the ones I purchased oftentimes DOUBLED in point values), 100 calorie snack packs, etc...

After experiencing this new plan for the last few weeks, I've found that so many of the foods that I loved and found so convenient to eat have jumped SO HIGH in point values... I'm constantly going over my point limit, I always seem to be hungry and I'm becoming so frustrated and disappointed that so many of the foods that are condusive to my fast paced lifestyle are so high in points that I oftentimes just think "You know what, screw it" and eat WHATEVER I want. And maybe it's just me, but something about changing the point configuring formula from "Fat, Calories & Fiber" to "Fat, Fiber, Protein AND Carbs" is making it so much LESS convenient and frustrating when trying to find a certain food's PP value... especially if you're trying to do it quickly!.

.... I don't even wanna get started on my restaraunt endeavors.... yikes.

I dunno... Maybe I just need to refocus my mind set on healthy eating and revaluate why I feel excessively hungry when I do, but I just can't seem to mesh with this new plan, and I've given it a few weeks... I think I'm gonna go back to Momentum to shed the weight I've gained and then give PP another try when I'm closer to my actual goal weight...

Advice??

Anonymous said...

I don't dare go off on my own....I have gone back to the regular points program. I love my carbs and have lost 70lbs on WW points. Started Points Plus from the beginning and have gained three pounds very slowly. Still barely at goal. I think my body likes the sugar in the fruit and keeps wanting to eat more. Went back to regular point program today and feel much better.

Anonymous said...

I too have gained weight with the new program, and I am exercising every day (running hills for 30-40 minutes) and not using up all my extra points or my activity points. On the old plan, I was able to lose 1 pound per week without any activity except walking the dog, and 2 pounds if I added running. I have to wonder if the extra fruit isn't what is hurting my progress? On the old plan, only berries and oranges and that was it. I feel for everyone, I started crying when I got on the scale after 3 weeks on the program, religiously counting points and exercising and saw a gain......ugghh

Anonymous said...

Great posts! I think it really depends on your personal preferences... Me, I'm not a big time fruit eater. I enjoy it, but for my lifestyle, I would much rather forego free fruit and be able to eat more bread and pasta!

I've heard that every diet technically works... It's just a matter of what you can stick with. If you feel that points works best for you, then keep it up! If pp is working, then stick to it!

Im a nurse, and years ago in a nutrition class, my professor taught us that when it comes to calories, our body doesn't discriminate. 150 cals of grapes will
be processed the same way as 150 cals of cheetos. Although grapes are more nutrient dense than cheetos, and obviously better for us, our body sees 150 calories as 150 calories. I see that pp is gently trying to nudge people into overall more healthy decisions, and that's great. But I still feel that points is a very healthy and smart way if eating.

Stick to what YOU like. Go with what works for YOU!

I t

Lynn123 said...

This has been an interesting blog. I have also been frusterated with the new program. Like one of the posters above, I too feel like I am on a "diet" all the time. Although W.W. says fruits are free, your body does have to process those calories. After reading all this, I think I will try the old program for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference.

Lynn123 said...

Also, does anyone else find it ironic that W.W. changed their program to focus on protein, carbs, fat, and fiber at the same time that restaurants are now required to post a calorie counts on their foods?

Gina @ Skinnytaste said...

It's interesting reading all the positive and negative comments here. Most people on points plus are reporting great success with it and feel full all the time, so it's really a matter of what you were eating before. If you're a chip and cake eater, you're probably not too happy with the switch.

Has calories, etc been implemented everywhere? I know in NYC it's been on menus for about 2 years which I personally love.

Anonymous said...

It's been incredibly helpful reading all these comments. I started WW about 2 weeks ago and only know the new PP plan. So far 2.5 lbs lost. I wouldn't even know where to look up the info. for the old Points system. I want to thank Gina for the great recipes, ideas, and food inspiration.
- Stacy B.

Julie said...

Does anybody have any suggestions for a quick grab and go breakfast that is low in points? I just started WW 4weeks ago and so far I have lost 7 lbs. I have found it pretty easy because I love fruit and veggies!!

Thanks!

Jasmyn said...

I was having same problem Julie. So, I made up some muffins (cake mix and pumpkin-although I used carrot cake mix and pumpkin and added shredded carrots in too) and works out to 1/muffin and have fruit with it.

Anonymous said...

How many points is a string cheese mozzarella stick on points plus? I'm a lifetime member, but I HATE the new program. I was wondering why I felt so crabby. I feel like I'm on a diet with this one because I'm THINKING all the time. I liked being able to choose a glass of wine for 2 points, and felt so free because I was allowed to each foods that other people were eating. Plus I felt more in control, because I KNEW how things would add up. Now, I eat lots of fruit and worry all the time.....haven't lost weight to speak of in three weeks, and I feel in a bind, because I need meetings for the support, but there is ONLY support for the new program. I don't want to feeling like I'm sneaking around....and too guilty. I want to feel supported in making a choice. By the way, the flex plan worked great for me: I lost between 25 and30 pounds, and was thrilled to eat foods that weren't "Diet foods". I am really unhappy.

Therese said...

What if you just enter the fruit as a recipe instead of a free food?

tracey said...

Im not sure how the new points things work so i am doing it the old way and in a week i have lost 10 lbs so i think i will just keep doing it that way cause it seems like everyone is not all that happy with the new way anyways....

Tracy in CA said...

I started WW six months ago and I've lost a third of my goal already (25 lbs), and feel controlled on this eating plan. No guilt in my choices as I have many choices, and can eat whatever I want to - so liberating! I'm less strict on my choices now, but still have to decide if I want to use 3pts on a cookie, or 2 points on an apple with 3 wedges of laughing cow cheese, or eat them both, just conscious of my tracking and staying within my points, and still lose at least a pound a week THAT ACTUALLY STAYS OFF! Yay! I think I've found a new favorite website here for new smart WW recipes choices!

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