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Weight Watchers Points Plus 2012

Updated on August 30, 2017

Weight Watchers Points Plus for 2012: Plan Changes and Modifications

With the arrival of 2012, so came modifications to Weight Watchers PointsPlus weight loss plan. The changes this time were modest compared to the whole scale revamp of the Points program into PointsPlus which was launched in November of 2010. All of these changes were tweaks around the edges, and are summarized here on this page for your review.

If you were having difficulty finding success with Weight Watchers Points Plus, do you feel these changes will help you meet your weight loss goals? Are you still struggling with PointsPlus and wishing Weight Watchers would go back to the old Points system? You can give your opinions below and have the chance to hear what others are saying about the Weight Watchers program as well.

This page was created on December 15, 2011 and is the work of the author, sockii. Do not reproduce elsewhere.

New! The Weight Watchers 360 Plan! - More Changes for 2013

Weight Watchers has just rolled out their newest plan for 2013: The 360 Plan. Bid now on these kits available on eBay to try it for yourself! You can also learn more about the program in my newest Weight Watchers review article:

New! The Weight Watchers 360 Plan!

More Changes for 2013

Weight Watchers has just rolled out their newest plan for 2013: The 360 Plan. Bid now on these kits available on eBay to try it for yourself! You can also learn more about the program in my newest Weight Watchers review article:

Weight Watchers 360 Plan for 2013
It's another end-of-the-year, which means changes to the Weight Watchers weight loss plan - as usual. 2013 marks Weight Watchers 50th anniversary, and to cel...

Weight Watchers Points Plus and The Problem of 29

My previous article on Weight Watchers PointsPlus

For more information on the Weight Watchers Points Plus program, including analysis of the formulas and original Points Plus targets based on weight, gender and age, please read the following article first:

Weight Watchers Points Plus: The Problem of 29
Is Weight Watchers' PointsPlus not working for you? The problem of so many people at 29 points On February 9, 2011 Weight Watchers CEO David Kirchhoff took ...

Weight Watchers Points Plus Changes for 2012


(1) Option to Choose the Simply Filling Technique Daily

It's no longer Points Plus vs. SFT as full time "either/or" choice

WeightWatchers actually has two plans. One requires tracking what you eat and counting the PointsPlus values of the food you eat (PointsPlus) and the other program involves learning about satisfaction and eating to satisfaction almost exclusively from the list of PowerFoods (called the Simply Filling Technique or SFT). SFT vs. PointsPlus used to be pick one or the other to follow every day. Now you can switch between the programs on a daily basis.Personally, when WeightWatchers first introduced SFT (back then it was called Core) in 2004, I quit. I found the thrust of the program unhelpful for my (over-)eating issues.

That said, conceptually, the concepts behind SFT are sound and rest in the research of Barbara Rolls (author of Volumetrics) and others. Opening SFT up as a daily option, if the meeting leaders can successfully coach people on how to use it, could be an interesting technique for certain situations such as surviving a party at work. E.g.: "Go ahead eat 'unlimited' boneless/skinless chicken at the party because you are doing an SFT day" or some such. I'm not entirely sure of the exact use case, but it seems like it should be along those lines.

(2) Lower Daily PointsPlus Target for Some Weight Watchers Users

29 is no longer the lowest daily PointsPlus target

There is a new Daily Points Target (DPT) for some people under the revised 2012 Points Plus program.

Basically the formula (see their patent) is unchanged, but instead of 29 being the lowest DPT given to a participant, now it is 26. (71 is still the new high under Points Plus). Additionally, Weight Watchers is now encouraging anyone to move their targets up or down by three (3) Points to either increase or slow their weight loss. This change introduces some flexibility into the program and is an acknowledgment that not everyone experiences weight loss the same based simply on their current weight, age and gender.


(3) Setting An Activity Points Target (APT)

Weight Watchers moves beyond simply encouraging physical activity

Previously, although exercise was mentioned as part of the Weight Watchers program, it was not heavily emphasized or considered a required part of following the plan. Now every Weight Watchers Points Plus participant is getting an Activity Points Plus Target (APT). For most users, this APT appears to be 14/week or 2/day. The goal is to get all participants to have a baseline level of activity as part of their weight loss or weight management program.


(4) Weight Watchers New PowerStart Program

New Program for Weight Watchers Meeting Members

Weight Watchers has a new kick off program called "PowerStart" spread over three weeks (meeting members only) to help teach some cognitive behavioral skills to get better results. The format for the PowerStart sessions is that after the meeting, the meeting leader does the new program orientation for any new members and then does one of the three PowerStart topics (these cycle through every three weeks). The weigh in cards have locations for stamping attendance at the PowerStart sessions; presumably this is to encourage new members to sit through the introduction to the materials three times, too.

Each week the PowerStart topic is accompanied by a booklet on the topic: smart-choices spaces, planning, and powerfoods. The booklet has a fixed menu (26 DPT) spelled out for participants that do not want to have to make choices their first few weeks as well as an introduction to the topic of the week. For example the places PowerStart session encourages participants to think about what they will remove, replace with, and other changes they will make in their kitchen, car, workplace, elsewhere to have more success.


Other Changes in Weight Watchers Points Plus for 2012

Points Plus value changes, and concluding thoughts

Lastly for 2012, some PointsPlus values for foods have changed.This is not a change in the formula for computing PointsPlus values, but rather reflects an update to the Weight Watchers databases based on underlying changes in the USDA nutrition database they are using. For example, if 1 oz of almonds used to, according to the USDA, have 13 g of fat, but now the USDA reports the same 1 oz of almonds as having 14 g of fat, that might cause the PointsPlus value of 1 oz of almonds to go up.It appears that about 15-20 foods have changed PointsPlus values as a result of this update. For this author, one notable change is wine (now with a lowered PointsPlus value).

That said, the timing for this change seems poorly thought out. It seems like this could have been saved until, say, March 2012 or rolled out back in October to avoid overlapping this change with people learning the new plan.

Weight Watchers Plan Merchandise on eBay

Starter kits and more for PointsPlus and previous Weight Watchers plans

Weight Watchers Points Plus Items on eBay - Bid Now on Weight Watchers Tools, Books and Starter Kits

Looking to give PointsPlus a try? Check eBay for start kits if you don't want to join online or pay to go to a meeting.

Weight Watchers Momentum Program Items on eBay - Cookbooks, calculators and more

If you preferred the Weight Watchers Momentum program, which began in 2008, you can still find products related to it on eBay.

Weight Watchers TurnAround Program - Materials available on eBay

The TurnAround program in 2004 combined elements of Flex and Core with more emphasis on healthy eating and living.

How Do You Feel About These Changes to Weight Watchers Points Plus for 2012? - Will these changes improve Points Plus' success rate?

In November 2011, I added a survey to my previous lens on Weight Watchers Points Plus, asking readers for their opinions on the plan now that it's been in place for nearly a year. Over 5,000 individuals have responded as of October 2012, with currently only about 40% expressing satisfaction with Points Plus. 25% say they preferred and switched back to a previous Weight Watchers plan; 12% switched to a different weight loss program (such as SparkPeople), and another 9% stopped trying to lose weight completely. Do you think these modest plan changes for Points Plus for 2012 will improve users satisfaction and success with the program?

Do you think these changes to Points Plus for 2012 are a good idea or a bad idea?

© 2011 Nicole Pellegrini

Any Final Thoughts on Weight Watchers and Points Plus? - Feel free to leave additional feedback here.

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    • KathyZ1 profile image

      KathyZ1 4 years ago

      Great lens, thanks for your sharing!

    • profile image

      donnyjet 4 years ago

      You really cleared up the changes for me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for share..Great ;)

    • giovi64 lm profile image

      giovi64 lm 5 years ago

      Nice and interesting lens.

    • profile image

      dewa9796 5 years ago

      nice share

    • profile image

      sheezie77 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens, thumbs up!

    • profile image

      jessicapeter 5 years ago

      Great lens.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      I think Weight Watchers will always be one of the most reputable diet programs on the market. They use very sound and proven principles in their weight loss program.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Points Plus is not for everyone. Ive lost 30 lbs on Point Plus. It took 1 year and I am grateful. But I do a lot of activity. I did Zumba for 1 hour 6 days a week. I did 10,000 steps (5miles) per day which requires at least 30 minutes on the treadmill on high temperature days. On Saturdays, I walk 6 miles in the morning. After a year I found myself stuck at 138 lbs. for over one month. Im 5 feet tall so I need to be at 128 lbs. I reached a plateau on Zumba and 26 points. I switched to Turbo Jam with weights for 1.25 hrs and lost 3 more lbs. and plateau again. I can't add anymore activity to my day, its insane. My only other choice is to drop the food points. Im down to 23 points maximumno extra bonus points. last week, I lost about 0.5 lbs. At this rate I might reach my goal in 4 months. I guess I will need to adjust my points and my activity until I find the balance to either loose or maintain. I just can't continue to loose with the Points Plus philosophy. WW needs to flex their program to fit the needs of everyone including people who are 5.0 feet tall.

    • profile image

      oiloflife 5 years ago

      Thank you SOOO much for this article....

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have a question, with the new plan, can you eat all your points for the day and then throw in a Power Food and not have it count? Or do you either have to do the SFT plan that day or the PointsPlus plan that day?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great info really well presented. I was wondering if there was a list of the twenty or so foods/drinks that have a different Points Plus 2012 than they did under the old POints Plus? I have a a pocket guide from the old version that I would like to keep at work and leave my new one at home. Thanks!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Hi EveryoneTo date 7 weeks i have lost 22.2 pounds.On the points plus as far as the fruits and vegs go that is 5 serving a day. Hope you have great success with the plan .ps don't eat the same thing all the time switch it up .

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      I haven't tried Weight Watchers, so all of this was new information. I appreciated the education. I know the old WW system worked incredibly well for my sister. I wonder what she would think of the changes.

    • top101 profile image

      top101 6 years ago

      Great lens ;)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have a general question about the PP... is my target number one I need to meet, or just not exceed? As in, should I strive to get "29" every time, or should I fall within the zero-to-29 range by the end of my day? Thanks so much!

    • kathysart profile image

      kathysart 6 years ago

      I have been thinking of joining the one online lately.. I think it is a must at this .. well no, not lol.. it is a sigh. Angel blessed lens.

    • KaneshiaKelly profile image

      KaneshiaKelly 6 years ago

      I myself have just recently started points plus and it seems like it may work for me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I used to be one of those people you hate--I could eat whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and however much I wanted, without gaining weight. I turned 30, and that all changed. I mysteriously lost height and started to balloon. When I got married 12 years ago, I was 5'11 and 130 pounds. When I joined WW in August 2010, I was 5'8 and 191 pounds. I had everything working against me, and still do: Lifelong poor eating habits, a husband who can still eat like I used to, Multiple Sclerosis (which constantly renders me sluggish and slow), a strong aversion to exercise, an appetite elevated by the many medications I take, genetics on my father's side, and last but not least, a strong addiction to food. None of my family or friends thought I would have any success. But Points Plus was the easiest thing I have ever tried, and by the time a year had passed, I had lost 42.2 pounds and won my employer's Biggest Loser contest. I believe Points Plus worked for me because I tracked religiously and measured everything I ate to a tee. I mean, I literally bought tons of measuring cups and spoons and measured out everything, then put it in the online tracker. I love this tool because I am lousy at math, and it calculates everything for me. I found the extra effort that tracking requires was worth it to get to eat the foods I wanted. If I was in a situation in which I couldn't measure what I ate, I put down an amount that I was certain was "over" what I had eaten, to make sure I didn't underestimate my food intake. If I didn't have access to a computer, I wrote down what I had eaten and how much, or saved the wrappers with the nutritional information, and then input the data in the tracker later. At one of my WW meetings, we played a game in which we were presented with foods and asked to guess the measurements and point values. Everyone else was underestimating, but they all pointed out that I was overestimating. My leader told them, "THAT is why she is losing so much weight." Truly, those who were struggling often learned that they weren't figuring enough points for the foods they ate. I fell off the wagon in October of 2011 due to the holidays and a sudden, stressful relocation, so I have regained ten pounds. I just now rejoined Weight Watchers. Certainly, I agree with the adage, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Since 29 PP worked for me, I readjusted my daily target to that. If it helped me drop 42 pounds once, it can surely help me drop 10 now. I love WW PP. It is the best thing that has ever happened to this sluggish, inactive gal, yours truly. I recommend it to anyone.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have not had any success with W.W. since they have changed to Points Plus. I am lifetime and was always able to loose on the old plan. I hope the Points Plus 2012 works!! It is discouraging! At least I know now that I am not alone.

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      MedicalArticles 6 years ago

      Good Lens. Thanks