Weight Watchers Points, Into The Future.
PointsPlus is the new name for the Weight Watchers plan, and it’s a good name. Weight Watchers built a great business on teaching people to watch their food intake by associating point values to all foods and recipe components.
Points Plus is remake of the points formulation that is more nutrition friendly and hopefully will lead to more effective weight maintenance for the millions of Weight Watcher followers.
Weight Watchers released the new plan in the US on November 29, 2010. The US plan is called "PointsPlus", has shown up first in Europe as ProPoints. Weight Watchers International did a good job of keeping this plan under wraps, while they trained their meeting leaders and developed all the new collateral material like: meeting materials, calculators, recipes, cookbooks, and food items.
The year end introduction was perfectly timed to be in place for all of us that routinely think of starting a new diet after the year end holidays.
Weight Watchers Points Plus is fruit friendly...
New! The Weight Watchers New Plan Cookbook
What's new in the new Weight Watcher Points Plus Plan.
The new PointsPlus Plan is more than a new name. The essence of the new plan is a dramatic change to the points formulation which now rates all foods on the relationship of carbohydrate, protein, fiber and fat content.
Fruit lovers are delighted because fruit is rewarded in the new plan. Pasta and potato lovers are saddened by the negative value assigned those common comfort food items.
Generally speaking, protein and fiber are positively valued, and carbs and fat are more negative in the point calculation.
Calories are eliminated from the points calculation by inclusion of protein
This is not just a formulation change, it is a better nutrition approach to food valuation.
Food quality counts
The new Weight Watchers program places an even greater emphasis on food quality:
- High nutrient foods are encouraged, while low nutrient foods are discouraged.
- Point calculation makes us think in terms of protein (more), carbohydrates (less), fiber (more), and fat (less).
- A good example is that brown rice is less points than white rice.
- Daily fruit intake is encouraged because fruits are free.
Fruit is free! .... in moderation ...
Great news for fruit lovers - fruit is free. This includes previously pointy fruits like bananas and mangoes.
Great news for those who don't generally eat enough fruit - this new emphasis on fruit can help us try new things and build new habits...
Caution - if you are already eating a lot of fruit, adding a lot more might be counter productive. Eating a large quantity of calorie rich fruits like bananas could backfire. Use common sense here.
What about tomatoes? Are they fruit or vegetable? Doesn't matter, they are free!
Watch the pounds disappear ...
Points are up!
A person's allowed daily points are still calculated from a combination of weight, height, sex and age, but the daily allowance is up for all of us. Of course the point cost for foods is also typically up.
This can get confusing for veteran Weight Watchers as they try to change their mind sets and aids such as point charts.
Points on products
The old good news is that more resturants and food packagers are adding WW point values to their menus and product packaging. That is helpful, and I'm sure leads to added sales.
The new bad news is that all the current menus and grocery store food packages on shelves and in freezer sections are not in sync with the new plan. Certainly WW and the vendors are busily depleting inventory and recalculating the menu and the store published point values.
However WW plan followers will have to be on their guard when making purchases to verify PointsPlus values are displayed. More than one person will eat a 5 point product that really is carrying a higher value.
"Real Living" bonus points
In addition to your personal daily point target number, each plan follower gets an extra bonus allocation called Real Living points. These Real Living points are design to include some real life diet deviations, take away the guilt and feeling of failure for those of us that chafe at diet boundaries and find temptations everywhere.
The 49 "Real Living" bonus points to help people deal with party foods and snack situations that are part of real life.
WW Online vs. WW Meetings vs. WW on your own
Which is best?
WW became famous with their meeting program. Weekly weighing, motivational thoughts from meeting leaders, and a supportive group help thousands of people to stay on track with their weight loss program.
We have become an online generation. A recent study indicates that online weight loss programs have a higher success rate for losing and keeping weight off.
WW has developed a very popular online program to capture those of us that live in the Internet. Many people prefer the online program. Maybe it's shyness. For some, it's a time issue. Others might not relate to the people at the meetings.
The third alternative, to follow the WW plan on your own, leads the list of alternatives!
What kind of weight watcher are you?
New points = New WW Accessories
The change in points calculation means lots of changes in thinking and the accessories WW products:
- Point charts and references - all point charts, food point information, recipes need to be re calibrated to the new points values.
- Smart Phone Apps - take your phone shopping with you, but make sure you upgrade the app first.
- Points Calculators - send your old points calculator into retirement because you'll need a new Weight Watchers points plus calculator.
- Books - WW gets to sell a bunch of new books. The recipes may have little or no change, but the resulting point values for food portions is different.
- Web resources - every weight watcher with an Internet connection learns to surf for weight watchers points plus recipes, restaurants, WW articles to find point values, and WW friendly eating ideas. Now we need to check the dates and titles for new values. Look for PointsPlus to find new calculations.
Great cookbooks for the Weight Watcher in you...
Is the new program just a marketing gimmick?
Undoubtedly, Weight Watchers International is a for profit business, that needs to concern itself with marketing and profit considerations. We are used to companies repeatedly introducing new products that are barely differentiated in quality but drive new purchases.
Weight Watchers will get some great marketing buzz and sales boost from the new program.
All WW products, and many other vendors products feature the old points system. These inventories will need to be sold off and replaced by products with new packaging for the new points values.
Yet, the new program stands on its own with improved quality and value for those who follow the WW plans. This program fixes some problems with the old plan and adds new value:
The old plan, with its calorie/fiber/fat formulation allowed or encouraged some unhealthy food choices that worked in a diet, but not as well in the body. The old plan created a diet that was difficult to maintain for weight loss for many, and difficult to follow for a lifetime (maintenance).
What is in a name?
Early scuttlebutt on the Internet had the name of the plan as ProPoints. This the name used in some other countries, and is still valid there. In the US it is PointsPlus. Whatever the name, Weight Watchers is attempting to bring the international WW community together under one points formulation.
Early releases of the promo video used the ProPoints title. Some teaser material had the November 28 date.
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