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Weight Watchers has been around since the 60s, making it a diet program that has truly stood the test of time. While I don’t like the idea of dieting, WW’s new Freestyle program is far more of a lifestyle-changer than it is a strict diet plan. You won’t be meticulously counting calories and cutting out entire food groups, which is why is gets my nod of approval.
In fact, WW Freestyle doesn’t consider any foods off-limits, including alcohol, candy bars and birthday cake. And yet, it has proven to help people lose weight safely (and keep it off). So how does it work?
(Just want to sign up? Head over here to get your first month free!)
The Point System
WW attributes a certain number of points to each food you each, and you have a point balance to use throughout your day and/or week. Healthier foods naturally have fewer points than unhealthy ones.
Honestly, no one likes the points. but I love the discipline they give me and I don’t feel like I am counting anything. Counting calories is hard because not all calories are created equal. Think 100 calories for a small bag of potato chips and two cups of fresh strawberries. Points, well they just are.
The nicest part of the Freestyle upgrade (compared to previous versions of WW) is that the app gives you a list of about 200 foods that are 0 points. That means they don’t count toward your daily goal at all. It includes all fruits and veggies but also chicken, fish, yogurt, eggs.
If any of those zero point foods are staples in your diet already, it can make your transition to WW easier. You aren’t trying to starve yourself, you’re filling yourself up with good foods!
After downloading the app you’ll fill out a questionnaire about your age, weight and goals, and you get daily points to use everyday based on your answers.
Additionally, you get “weekly points” that you can use anytime you want within the week. Maybe you have a party or a meeting and you know you will need more “points” that day. WW makes it easy to include those events in your “diet” without feeling like you’re cheating and getting down on yourself.
How WW Freestyle Works
Each day you’ll track the foods you’ve eaten and see how many points you’ve used. If you budget your points well and stay within the limits, you should begin to see a drop in your weight week after week.
The app calendar highlights how many days you have been in the “healthy eating zone” which is not necessarily your budget number but it is close.
You’ll only lose a pound or two at a time, but that’s what is considered safe (and you’re more likely to keep it off than a sudden drop from a crash diet). You will get additional points to use if you record exercise, but that will slow your overall weight loss.
WW Freestyle Support Options
When you hear “Weight Watchers” you probably imagine getting on a scale in front of a bunch of peers. While that’s still an option with the new Freestyle app, it’s not required anymore.
Instead you can join a group board that you can chat with others about their journey and encourage one another, or get a coach to talk with digitally or over the phone.
So, How Much Does WW Freestyle Cost?
Right now, there are three plan types:
- Digital which includes the app and website and an expert to chat with online 24 hours per day. ($3.30 per week)
- Studio which is Digital plus wellness coaching and in-person group coaching (the face to face groups they started with). The studio price is dependent upon where you live because of the in person meetings. Near me in Plymouth, MA it is $7.34 per week.
- Coaching is the third level and it includes the digital plan, a coach to work with on phone or by message, and a coach-created action plan. It costs $12.92 per week.
You can sign up for free here.
Why I Like WW Freestyle
Overall, what I appreciate most about Freestyle is that the program encourages all food groups, and doesn’t support crash dieting.
Some other perks include the new “Wellness Wins.” You earn wins by tracking your meals, weight and activity, and when you earn enough “wins” you can trade those points for rewards. You can get things like ww cookbooks, credit towards ww food, journals, cups, mugs, or you can donate the wins. It is another way to reinforce healthy habits, and it makes it fun.
And since I love healthy eating that’s easy, the fact that Blue Apron has a WW-approved menu plan makes me sing! You can just buy the Blue Apron food and know you’re staying within your limits for those meals.
As a general rule, I find it easier to count points than calories, and it makes it easier to choose healthy foods. Finally, it’s not overly expensive and I like the accountability it gives me.
What I Don’t Like About WW Freestyle
Honestly my only complaint is that I have to track points at all. Obviously it requires time and effort to keep track of what you’re eating and a bit of math to make sure you’re staying under-budget.
That said, points are probably the easiest way to keep track of your healthy food choices, and if you need that accountability and direction, Weight Watchers Freestyle has it.
So what are you waiting for? Right now you can join for free + save 37% on 3 months of WW Digital! This deal is only available until May 16, 2019, so hop on it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.