Weight Watchers 101: Do I Have to Buy Special Food?

Weight Watchers centers often sell small snack and meal items which have PointsPlus values pre-calculated.
Weight Watchers centers often sell small snack and meal items which have PointsPlus values pre-calculated. | Source

You Eat What YOU Want!

Weight Watchers is one of America's most popular diet plans, with millions of members across the United States. Even with it's popularity, many people still don't know much about Weight Watchers or exactly how the program works. I've followed Weight Watchers for a couple of years now, and one of the main question I am asked by people who haven't tried the program is whether or not you are required to purchase special foods in order to follow the plan.

The question is understandable, because other popular diet plans, like Jenny Craig and NutriSystem, do require you to purchase special, pre-packaged foods in order to follow the plan. For some programs, the cost of these foods can be $100 per week or higher. These food costs can certainly add up quickly. Thankfully, with Weight Watchers, there is no need to purchase special foods in order to follow the program.

Weighing and measuring foods to determine the correct portion size is central to the Weight Watchers program, which is why some members of the program prefer pre-packaged foods.
Weighing and measuring foods to determine the correct portion size is central to the Weight Watchers program, which is why some members of the program prefer pre-packaged foods. | Source

What Should You Eat on Weight Watchers?

The Weight Watchers program is built on the principle that you can eat a wide-variety of "real world" foods while still losing weight. Instead of only being able to consume pre-packaged foods, you will eat everyday foods from the grocery store and restaurants, tracking the PointsPlus values for every food that you eat. You use special tracking books and phone apps to look up PointsPlus values for the food you eat, and when you stay below your assigned PointsPlus target, you lose weight--it's that simple.

Have you purchased pre-packaged Weight Watchers foods to eat while on the PointsPlus Program?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not yet, but I intend to.
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Some People Find that Pre-Packaged Foods Help them Hit their Goal

Weight Watchers does offer a line of pre-packaged foods, including its popular Smart Ones frozen entrees. These food items are portion-controlled and have the PointsPlus value written right on the label, taking the guesswork out of tracking. Some members find that purchasing these special food items helps them stick to the Weight Watchers plan better, because they require very little planning and almost never require other ingredients. I can honestly say that I rarely purchase these special food items, as I have not found the need to do so. </p>Weight Watchers offers the best of both worlds--the freedom to eat whatever foods you want, or the convenience of pre-packaged food options like other commercial diet plans. You can taylor the program to whatever suits you best. Regardless of which diet plan you choose, the one that will work is the one you can follow, so be sure to pick a plan that you can stick with for the rest of your life.

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