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Before I get into any specifics I just have to say this…

It’s Flore people, It’s FLORE!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about click here to read one of my old Weight Watcher Rant posts. In short, "flore" was the underground name for a combination of (at that time) both Weight Watcher plans (CORE and FLEX). From the very beginning I followed Weight Watchers Flex Plan by counting points while eating as many Core Foods as possible and it always seemed like a no brainer to me. Sure I could have just counted points for what I was eating before Weight Watchers but considering 1 – 12 inch sub would pretty much be my daily allowance I decided to not only start counting points but change, fundamentally, what I was eating.

Weight Watcher’s new plan, Momentum, takes this same exact concept and finally admits it’s not all about Points. What you eat counts as well. FINALLY, Weight Watchers, Finally… thank you. :)

The Momentum plan is designed to teach you the fundamentals of weight loss and help you stick with your weight-loss efforts, all the way to your goal.

What are the fundamentals of weight loss, you ask? Well the tried and trusted "burn more calories then you take in". Yes people, Weight Watchers has repackaged the basic foundation that we ALL KNOW is true. We need to eat less and move more. It’s not rocket science yet somehow it’s more complicated then quantum physics.

The new plan still uses the tried and trusted Points system. Nothing has changed there. You still get a daily allowance. There are still 35 weekly points to fall back and use how you like. The big change is the focus on what Weight Watchers is calling "Filling Foods" that are pretty much, yup you guessed it, CORE foods.

Specifically these "Filling Foods" are..

  • Whole Grains
  • Fruits & Veggies
  • Lean Proteins (meat, fish, eggs, beans)
  • Fat Free Dairy

The Momentum plan also introduces the concept of "stretching" your points. Or what I always liked to call "bulking". Way back when, I talked about this concept is my Does Size Matter? post.

In the new materials Weight Watchers even puts side by side images up of this idea which eerily reminds me of the ones found in Volumetrics. Another plan that focuses on what you eat and how you can stretch your calories.

VolumetricsWeight Watchers stretching

Again, this isn’t new stuff. It’s the same tried and trusted theories we all know work, Weight Watchers is just wrapping it up all nice for us in new packaging and just in time for Christmas… how thoughtful of them. ;)

In addition to these changes the 8 healthy guidelines have changed slightly and now there are 9. FINALLY addressing something I think they should have a while ago, Activity. In summary the new healthy guidelines are…

  • 5 servings of fruits & veggies
  • 2 servings of milk products
  • 6 glasses of "liquids" – they used to say water.. they changed it. Why? I DON’T know. Bad move in my opinion
  • 2 tsp healthy oils
  • 1-2 servings of lean protein
  • 1 multivitamin a day
  • Choose Whole Grains when possible
  • Get in at least 30 minutes of activity in a day most days of the week
  • Limit sugar and alcohol

Other then those changes the plan is just like the old Flex plan. The points are exactly the same. The formulas have not changed so all your point calculators are still relevant. Again, the big difference is emphasizing what you eat not just how many points it is.

In my opinion these changes are in response to people generalizing the Flex plan as the "eat whatever you want as long as you count it" plan. Which we know is not true. If you ate whatever you wanted your points would be gone by breakfast and you’d never be able to stay on plan. Have you ever calculated Danny’s Grand Slam* breakfast? Ummm yeah.

Anyway, right now I’m thinking the hard core CORE followers are up in arms as they are being told they need to start tracking points (which we all know is not true — if old CORE is working for you then why change your plan.) However, if you are a CORE follower, I’ve been informed that the week 6 materials for the new plan will include a no counting strategy. Which is basically old CORE concepts as they don’t expect everyone to track what they eat forever. Not everyone is cut out for that.

So here’s my take on the new plan… It’s Flore. Eat as many whole, lean foods as possible. Start by counting points to learn about your food choices and to get an idea of portions. When you feel comfortable or when you reach your goal try to eat portions that feel right and learn to read your body’s fullness signals. If you start to need more accountability, start food journaling again.

They should have just called it the "Roni Plan" as it’s EXACTLY what I’ve been doing for the past 3 years. That sounds a bit egotistical but it’s true and I think most maintainers will agree that they’ve been following a similar plan as well.

Personally I applaud Weight Watchers for constantly changing their plan. The seem to adjust based on what is and what isn’t working for their members. When push comes to shove they are a company trying to make money but overall I do believe their plan takes a common sense approach and it did work for me. It’s about finding what works for you.

Now, if when can just get them to make healthier products! Considering most of their Weight Watcher brand food doesn’t even come close to meeting their own healthy guidelines! What is up with that?!?

Instead of a separate weekly question this week, I’d like to hear your opinions on the new Momentum plan. What are your thoughts?

*20, that’s right TWENTY. Almost 800 calories and 50g of fat!! YIKES!

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  • Lynn C

    Heh, yeah, I think I said almost exactly the same thing… it is the Flore plan, which I had been following over the last month or so to hurdle me past a plateau…

    I’m just as glad they changed the water thing, because honestly, I hate water, I hate drinking water, and it was the thing I most often “cheated” on…

  • Elaine

    I’m with you on this one — it seems like their new plan is simply a marketing tool. While I am excited that they are finally stressing the importance of Core foods, those of us that actually followed the plan already knew of this.

  • Melissa

    I’ve been doing this method for years and just never called it Flore on the Core board or I’d have been shot. I love journaling and didn’t want to stop. And I love eating healthy. I love the focus on cleaner eating. It’s what their customers demanded. But really, it’s just repackaging. Nothing really new for us current members. Just a reminder on which foods are more filling. (Duh :)

  • Melissa

    Oh and I’ve never tried a Fruitie and never would :)

  • AJ

    Excited to hear my leader talk about the new plan tomorrow – hope she makes it as exciting as you always do Roni! ;-)

    It sounds great as I am trying very hard to incorporate what i have been reading in the volumetrics book… and your blog posts, of course. :-)

  • Bethany

    I’ve been counting “points” unofficially for about a year and a half. I’ve never been to a WW meeting or joined online, but I know a lot of people that do/have and they taught me a lot. I’ve been trying to lose about 10 pounds during this time. I lost five pounds, but then I switched to counting calories for a few months and the weight back. I like points better because, for me, it’s easy to rationalize an extra 300 calories, but it’s not easy to rationalize 6 points (over a quarter of my daily allotment!).

    The only problem I have with WW is that it penalizes fat so much that I hardly ever get enough fat or protein. Fat is not bad as long as you keep calories in check, and it’s been proven to help satiate longer! On WW, I struggle to eat anything more than carbs, and I don’t think this is good for me.

    I started to count nuts and other healthy fats just for their calories (3 points for 150 calories of almonds) since they are good for me. If I have to count them as 4 points I won’t eat them. Maybe other people don’t have this problem???

  • roni

    Bethany – I TOTALLY agree. I do something similar with meats. I count anything lean (chicken, fish, lean cuts of beef, pork loin, even “dark meat chicken” as a point an ounce. Even though some is a little bit more. This way I’m not cutting it out of my diet completely but I’m still measuring it to stay honest.

    I love your idea on the nuts! I may start to do that too!

  • Michelly

    I’m not technically allowed to go to meetings, as I’m pregnant, but I snuck in for the tail end of my mom’s meeting and perused her new materials. I like the new momentum program and I applaud WW for listening to their members and adjusting the plan accordingly. As a business, they need to keep things fresh, but it also seems like they care about and listen to feedback.

    I like the changes to the tracker: boxes for all the GHG’s plus a rating for your hunger scale. I also like the emphasis on the “filling foods.” It seems like common sense now after being OP for over 1 year before pregnancy, but honestly, at the beginning of the journey, I didn’t know which foods would keep me fuller for longer. I had to use trial and error and learn the hard way. Maybe new members will reap the benefits of the wisdom of those who have been OP and known this for a while. I also like that they made activity one of the GHG’s and let you add AP’s to the week rather than having to spend them in one day.

  • Hayley

    Bethany that is exactly what I’d always thought! 1-2 servings of lean protein a day is VERY low to me considering that protein is generally what sustains you and keeps you going – along with healthy fat. That’s so interesting about the nuts! So do you just have it saved online as something you created yourself! Great idea.. :)

  • The Scale Whisperer

    I’m a self-confessed former WW’er that would eat all the junk she could within her daily allowance, and would rail and cry when I wouldn’t lose weight each week lol

    While I’m no longer a WW’er, I do contribute my weight loss (82.4 lbs to date with 42.6 more to go!) to something similar to what you’re doing and WW Momentum. I eat fresh fruits and veggies, and lean meats. I’ve cut out all processed junk, and cook every single meal in my own home. It’s so simple, I want to slap myself for taking so long to figure this out. :)

    Great blog Roni, as always!

  • Julie

    I agree with everything you said Roni….I just got back from a meeting and was pleasantly surprised that they melded the two concepts because I have found also that is what really works. For me I know I have to get back to tracking what I eat and keeping up with regular exercise…if I stop either two, I gain – bottomline. Mindless eating and lack of exercise is what made me unhealthy and unhappy…and I refuse to not recognize that and do something about it. I won’t let the bad habits take over again!!! I’m going to blast off this 8 lbs and get back to goal…and then keep living it right!

  • Courtney

    I love the new plan. You’re right, and I also wrote about it on my blog, it is exactly what people should be doing and how they should be eating. Thank goodness WW did this. I truly believe it will help people lose weight for life! Great review, Roni!

  • Shannon

    One of the reasons I had trouble maintaining my WW loss back in ’99 was because during WW I still ate ‘junk’ but made it fit in my points. After reaching lifetime I didn’t really do the “maintenance” plan and instead quit counting and just began eating a little more of the same things I had already been eating. That coupled with changing to a much less active job led to me gaining it all back plus a bunch more!!

    Now, many years later I am trying to lose it all again and have finally realized that I can’t eat the stuff in the “middle aisles” everyday and lose weight, I have to eat more fruits, veggies and foods with good (real) fiber!

  • Sarah

    I love this : “finally admits it’s not all about Points” — so true!

    PS — the woman who created volumetrics helped WW develop Core (I thought that was interesting) & thus the new FLORE (way better than Momentum)

    I will admit that not many of us (okay ME) didn’t realize that we were following plan — but wrong. Oh I can have this, I have enough points…why the heck am I starving? Oh, I spent 28 points on crap. This new plan (“new”) makes me excited to refocus. I KNOW what I have to do..this is my nudge to get there. I know, total “d’oh” right?

    The emphasis on healthy habits is darn neat too!

  • Alessandra

    well, i have my meeting tonight and i’ll find out all of the details then, but so far with what i’ve heard, i have to say that it seems like a refreshing change!! i think it’s good to change it up every once in a while to keep it interesting!
    i heard that when it says “liquids”, they changed it because items added to flavor water such as coffee, tea, crystal light, etc don’t change the fact that it’s still water and people were really bothered by the previous rule… but you know some people are going to stop drinking water altogether and make diet coke their liquid intake for the day! sad.
    i absolutely agree that if people stopped doing ww simply for weight loss, and accepted it as a way to change their life to a healthy way of living, they’d be a whole lot healthier! core foods should already be implemented into everyone’s daily diet! Swapping out regular cookies for diet ones, or regular chips for baked ones, isn’t going to cut it. Sure you may be in your points, but only eating junk isn’t the way to live a healthy life.
    Anyway, great post as always and thanks for the pom coupons!! i got them yesterday and can’t wait to try them!! :)

  • Melissa

    My meeting is tomorrow, and I’ve been looking forward to hearing about the “new plan” . . . thanks for the sneak preview, sounds like WW is still going in a great direction.

  • Lilbet

    I reviewed this on my blog too! I gave it a big “duh”, but maybe a lot of people didn’t figure this out after their first week of eating whatever they wanted (and having no points after breakfast as you mentioned!)

    I agree about their products, they’re crap.

    The thing to remember about WW is that they’re a company intent on making money. Your success isn’t necessarily important to them–so, I take most of what they present with a grain of salt. I’ve been a member for 15 months and can only stand the online tools. The meetings were too “infomercial” for me!

    Great post. Very well written!

  • dietgirl

    FLORE cracked me up but makes me nervous being a homonym for FLAW, hehe. But it does sound like a more positive direction. I’m totally with you on the Roni Plan being the key to maintenance. I also think of foods in terms of time as well as volume – how long will it take me to eat this? 20 seconds for a cookie versus 20 minutes for a big ass salad :)

  • Lisa

    I got online last night to find a meeting in my area, because I’m joining up for meetings again this coming Tuesday, and found out about the new plan. I never did anything with Core, always Flex, so this will be something a bit new to me. Your review of it was great, so thank you. I’m excited to be going back.

  • Shelley

    Thank you, Roni! I heard the new plan on Monday night & thought “duh” – that’s how eat when I’m on plan anyway. I also have always done Flex, & now I don’t feel like I’m missing anything by not having tried Core :) I’m curious to hear how they explain the filling foods with the points value followed by a different points value in parentheses. Also, I don’t know if it’s my leader that’s kinda dumb, or if she thinks we’re all dumb, or if everyone else in the group actually is dumb, or if everyone else in the group is just painfully shy…..b/c when she put up the visual of 2 pieces of toast vs. big omelet & side of fruit & asked, “Which do you think is more filling?” no one said anything! I blurted, “the omelette” thinking, “duh!” But she didn’t hear me b/c I was in the back & finally someone up front was like, “uhhh….the omelette???” like it was just a guess or something!

    I think “Momentum” is more of just a marketing tool for WW right now (like “stop dieting, start living” was last year), & just in time for the New Year & all those resolutions! I’m curious to see how many people show up in a couple weeks!

  • Shelley

    btw, I saw someone above said, “thanks for the pom coupons,” & I thought it said “thanks for the porn coupons!” lol! I was thinking, “Porn coupons?!! I didn’t see them!” ha!

  • Courtney

    Quick question, if you’ve got time.
    I’ve been following weight watchers for only about a month now and I’m a bit confused by this new plan. Does this mean that anything on the Core Foods list is essentially zero points, and then anything else should be counted as you would normally?

  • Courtney

    PS: I’m not actually going to meetings or using the online program; my parents are unofficially doing weight watchers right now as well [my mom used to go to meetings a few years ago and got all of the information then] and so I’m just using the info that they’ve given me. Unfortunately I don’t have their books or any hard copies of the plan, only websites and online point calculators. Which makes it hard for me to really find out this stuff!


  • roni

    Courtney – Actually the opposite is true. This means you count points for EVERYTHING no mater if it’s CORE or not.

    Hope that helps!

  • Stephanie

    My meeting today introduced the new program. Just in time to give me a boost! Thanks Roni your take on it was a perfect explanation!

  • Suzyn

    Wow… this is almost identical to the WW plan the first time I joined in 1987. The only difference is the LOW – VERY LOW – protein allotment. Back in ’87, you needed 5-6 servings of protein ( 1 serving being usually 1 oz of chicken, beef or pork, or 2 oz. of the leaner fish).

    I found that version of WW extremely easy and very effective. This may just prompt me to try this instead of calorie counting. Although even with the calorie counting, the amounts of each food groups are something I’ve always followed, whether doing it on my own, calorie counting, WW or whatever.

    Nice to see WW getting sensible again! :-)

  • Laura Jane

    I think this sounds like a great plan. And it’s basically what I’m trying to do (except w/ calories, not points.) I count calories, but I really try to eat mostly healthy filling foods and little or no sweets and breads. The key for me is to eat those foods that will cause me to feel full and that I won’t be tempted to eat in excess. For example, if I eat 150 calories (or 3 points) of bread, I’m still hungry and it’s all I can do to keep myself from grabbing another roll. If I eat the same amount of chicken, for instance, I’m more full and I don’t have the urge to eat another one!

  • The Baroness

    Well Roni, they jacked your plan, didn’t they? lol Don’t feel bad. Today I saw a set of stickers online that you can put on food packages for a quick “no, low, medium or high” calorie reference. It’s the same thing that I have been doing with colored electrical tape for a long time. Great dieting minds think alike, eh?

  • Linda

    We talked about the change from water to drinks tonight at our meeting. One of the members talked about an article that she read recently that studies have shown damage done but people who are dieting who drink alot to begin with like juice, diet sodas, milk, etc and on top of that guzzle water to get their 6 or 8 glasses. Something to do with electrolytes. So they agreed in the change from water to fluids.

  • s

    man … i didn’t get in to ww this week because of finals/classes, but i think i’m going to stick to doing the plan that existed before (flex) … you basically have to do those things anyway to succeed.

  • Susan

    I went to my meeting tonight. On top of the new plan being very common sense – what I was doing on flex – we had a substitute leader who was very monotoned about the whole deal. She basically read, in her monotone voice, straight from the book for the meeting. At the end, I wasn’t really pumped about the new program, as I thought I would be, I only felt as though I lost a half hour that I would never get back. Upon getting home and reading the new material, I am a little more excited – but really, it is the same old thing repackaged and combined.

  • Phil 56yom320lbs

    I just started week of tgiving and today new program. no biggie i lost 5 lbs on flex and will keep doing. My beef is that the new tracker book is so much smaller, I can’t write that small write that small. How in the world can I get some of the old books I hate the new booktracker any body else have this problem?Kettering, Ohio

  • Andira

    I haven’t been to a meeting yet but my mom has and came back upset. Is it true that you don’t get activity points anymore? She said that that is what her leader told her. I just don’t see how that’s right. I mean, I earn around 15 activity points a week… won’t I be eating too little if I don’t adjust for them?

    Just wondering what you think… :-)

  • roni

    Andira – I don’t think that’s true. They just aren’t introducing the AP part of the plan until week 5 I think. I’d still track then as usual.

  • Linda

    the points finder still has the activity points on the back

  • Sandra

    If you do the online program you get activity points but you can’t swap them until the weekly points are gone. This is the only thing I don’t like about the plan.

    BTW – I thought the same thing – this is Roni’s plan!!!

  • Christie

    I agree with pretty much everyone else. I think the key to sustained weight loss is learning to be full with food that is better for you. This would be the new “filling foods”.

  • Alexia

    Well, every year they have to come up with a new angle to get people to rejoin for new year’s resolutions, right? ;-) I’m glad they’ve been going in the right direction — it sounds good! It’s better than the old eat-7-hotdogs-but-god-forbid-a-potato-passes-your-lips plan (many moons ago).

  • Alessandra

    i really dont understand why people care that AP are used after WPA… a point is a point, who cares where it came from! just work out and make good food choices!

  • Christy

    I am in serious need of motivation (or change) so this might help. I am pulling up their site TODAY and checking it out.

  • Anne Marie

    just a note about the activity points….i’m a receptionist at a weight watchers meeting, and at our training, we were told that activity points can be “banked” for the week. in other words, if you earn 3 activity points today, you don’t have to use them in the same day. you can save them until the next day or until the end of the week. i hope that clears up any confusion!

  • Diane

    Very interesting. Our WW leader mentioned it to us, but wouldn’t go into details since our sessions was ending. She said she will introduce it to us after we come back in the new year. I’m glad to be able to hear what the hype is about.

  • petunia

    I have to go back and read all of the comments above, but I’m anxious to weigh in — this is EXACTLY what I’ve been doing as well. Flex but mostly core foods because I need bulk. I can’t eat like tiny 7 point frozen meal with a 2 point bar. It’s not filling to me. I love adding a ton of raw and steamed veggies to every meal (if I’m making it myself). Like you I applaud WW for not resting on its laurels.

    Plus my leader would always ask (a pretty full room) “How many people here are on core?” and funnily no one raised there hands, even though there are a ton of people who have done REALLY well on core who speak up from time to time.

  • petunia

    <—– hah hah I said “weigh in”
    Totally didn’t mean to make a pun.

  • Cory

    Great description of the new program. I’ve read the paperwork on it, but that’s all since I only got it yesterday morning. Looks like a great change to the program!

  • Helen

    I’m a former WW leader who left soon after the Points system (even before Core/Flex) was introduced. I had lost my weight on a WW plan that sort of followed the food pyramid and saw great success not only for myself but also for my members after I became a leader. When they switched to Points, I watched my members start to gain weight. I couldn’t seem to get them to understand that “Yes, you can spend all your points on Milky Ways but that’s not healthy!” The folks who didn’t like veggies were the first to gain. It was awful and I couldn’t take it anymore so I stopped leading. I hope this new momentum will bring WW back around to a program that physicians can recommend.

  • Josee

    you have gotten me intreagued and excited… cant wait to get to a meeting tomorrow at lunch!

  • Emily

    Roni- I have been following the “Roni Plan/Maintaining Plan/Emily’s Plan” for about 4 years now…it works if you follow it, LOL! I don’t have to count points or journal, for me, it’s about portion size. I know what’s good (raw veggies, low sugar fruits, whole grains, lean protein, water, etc) but actually eating it, and eating the right amount, is a whole different ball game.

    I’m really glad to see that WW is FINALLY doing something more geared towards maintenance. That is the 1 thing that really turned me off of their program.

    I found a WW book from back in the 1970s. I wish I’d bought it now because you’d love to see what they used to do- think Core but with much more limited choices. Plus they didn’t include fiber in their computation, only fat, cals, & carbs : )

  • superartsy

    Well i started WW only last Sat(i think they officially revealed thier plan on Mon) but within a day it was a no brainer to me to add more bulk to my food. I mean all those veggies are fruits are almost zero points. And I dont agree with those that say that fats are charged heavily. Thats not true!!. Lean fats are well accounted for. Too many almonds are not good for you anyways.

  • Joy

    Roni – you never cease to make me laugh.
    When the e-mails from WW started to come about the new plan, my first thought was – FLORE!
    My sister wants to demand royalities for all of us that knew this was the way to go all along.
    And here’s a thought – have you seen the new Quicktrak, the paper tracker that is passed out every week?
    Well, rememer when you let me have your html coding for your tracking table, I fiddled with it a bit – then you came up with a few new versions yourself? If you don’t have one of the new paper trackers – grab one and compare it to my version of your table and one of the previous versions you did. (I don’t remember which one reminds me of it the most, but you’ll see the similarities immediately.)
    I think we should BOTH get royality checks for that one.

    As always, you make me think! Take care, Joy

  • Nancy

    I was at a WW staff meeting with the CEO introducing Momentum (on a video) and said “yes, we know, It is like FLORE it is what you all have been telling us, and we listened, and here is how we think it will best work”.

  • Nana

    Agree with you 100%, Roni! And I believe sometime back, the “national” medical recommendation changed the fluid intake to include all liquids, thus WW followed suit.

    Great post and thanks for the overview!

  • Kim

    Just started WW 6 wks ago – I was doing Core and then they sprung this. After the meeting I was “hmmm nothing has changed except now you want me to count points”. I think I’ll be asking to get the wk 6 info next wk. And the meeting leader tried her best to make it all seem new and exciting. And I hate that the weight tracker is in the back of the lil pocket guide and they started me off at wk 1 again – I like being able to look back over prev wks (now have to carry 2 to do that). Ok rant over…I think :)

  • Renda

    Long-time lurker here coming out to tell you my Momentum story.
    My leader at 9:00 a.m. Sunday (supposedly the first meeting in the world every week but I don’t know for sure), who is not a rah-rah, follow-the- rules-to-the-nth degree WW leader said, and I quote, “This is FLORE. This is the only time you will hear that word from my lips; but it is FLORE, FLORE, FLORE; and of course I will deny I ever said that word.”
    The funny thing is there were three other leaders sitting in on the meeting just to assess/learn from/whatever her presentation. She was most amusing.
    We did not get into the activity points at all. But I do appreciate the NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION which is what I have had to seek on my own the last three years.
    Let me take the opportunity to tell you how much I enjoy your work/efforts. While I admit as a “professional proofreader” (I am a court reporter who reads/prepares transcripts daily), sometimes it is painful for me (must keep red pen from computer screen *:0), but I have come to cherish every word of yours I read.

    Renda (going back into lurkdom)

  • Arlene

    Way back on Monday, after I went to my meeting, I said in my blog: This seems like what Roni’s been doing all along. I’m so glad you agree! :D

  • Amy Haines

    Hi Roni. I love the portmanteau “Flore.” It describes exactly what I plan to do for weight loss and healthy living. I joined WW and within a week decided to quit, for reasons outlined on my Blog to Lose page.

    “Flore” is the way I generally try to eat anyway, with a few detours for pizza, Rye Triscuits, and chocolate chip cookies. It worked for me in the past and will work again in the future, with some discipline and plenty of exercise.

    Thank you for addressing this new plan by WW. When I read the materials I thought: “no brainer. Isn’t this how we are all supposed to eat anyway?” Eating healthy and losing weight is as much about changing lifestyle and our attitudes towards food. Counting points and tracking each bite can go a long way towards helping some people change that lifestyle and attitude. Ultimately we have to put good stuff in or we won’t have good stuff to show for it.

    Love your blog, read it everyday. Have a great weekend!

  • Carrie

    I like the new plan. I especially like that coffee and other beverages now count as a water. Water is best, but all liquids hydrate. And coffee is a wonderful antioxidant to have in your diet.

    I also like that AP points can be banked and used during the week you earned them. Now the theory is withdraw points from your 35 and then use your AP points. I think this change of mindset will get more people on the exercise band wagon in order to bank points for a time when they are needed.

  • AmyinMotown

    I joined the week before Thanksgiving (because I am a GENIUS) and was thrilled to see the Core Plan. Way back when when I was young and single, I lost 30 lbs on Weight Watchers with the old, pre-Points, exchange-based plan. It taught me a ton about food and nutrition and what works for my body. I actually became a receptionist during the switch to Points and hated the plan. If you tell me I can eat anything, I am going to. And I hated the emphasis on “fake food” in the Flex plan. I love healthier foods, i just love a lot of crap in addition to those foods. I found the cravings for sweets went away unbelievably fast, my energy level rebounded, and I lost eight pounds in the first three weeks (I lost 10 lbs in three months on Flex the last time I tried).

    So I almost cried when I saw the Momentum plan got rid of Core. My leader is that rare gem who in fact loves and understands Core, so she suggested I track for a week and then go back to it. And guess what? I GAINED! I didn’t like the direction I was heading even before the week was up, so I started doing core but counting points, and I have come in under my point total every day. (I am enormous and a nursing mother, so I have a lot of points). No wonder I lost on Core. And I never really felt deprived (I also exercise, so I had enough extra points to have a “fun” day and still lose.

    What I am doing now is — eating Core, but writing it all down (keeps me honest) and not limiting portions. I find the science behind Core foods works well that way — I am not going to go crazy and eat 3,000 calories worth of eggs, or fat free cheese, or cereal. They just aren’t trigger foods. Plus, even though I don’t measure my portions, I just find I can’t go overboard on these foods before I feel full. However, on flex I would have that cookie, or doughtnut, or whatever, “because I am counting it.” I’m much happier –and my body seems much happier too! — on sort of a modified Flore. Glad to hear this is “unofficially” blessed.

  • BuzyMom

    I was on WW back in the late 80′s / early 90′s when their program was still an exchange program. Due to life circumstances, I “fell off the wagon” big time and am waaaay over my starting weight from back then. I’ve thought about going back to WW many times, but every time I researched their program du jour, I discovered that they totally missed the boat on defining a program like the exchange plan they had when I was on it that would actually help TEACH you how to eat. The points programs that allowed you to eat whatever you wanted as long as you remained within your point count was the most nutritionally boneheaded idea I’ve ever seen! Consquently, I’ve been avoiding WW like the plague. A friend just told me about this new program they introduced, so I’ve been doing some research. It does seem like they’ve made strides, finally, toward introducing a program that addressed the shortcomings of the points freedom stupidity. It’s not clear to me how it matches up against the old exchanges program, though, in really helping you learn to eat a balanced diet. I realize even on that program you could eat stupidly, but at least it was balanced. How’s the new program for addressing the balanced diet issue as well as the intelligent choices issue?

  • Michelle Cox

    As a Lifetime member who attained goal weight in April 08 on the Core plan and have kept it off, I’ve been alarmed by the new plan, but your blog post gives me hope. I was thinking that I would feel “lonely” at meetings since no one would be doing the same thing as me, b/c I DO NOT plan to change what I’m doing. Thanks for helping me feel better about this new plan.


  • roni

    BuzyMom – I think this one does a much better job then just “points”. People where really abusing that system and never really learning the right way to eat.

    The guidelines I outlined in the post are now the plan with points being a way to just help with portions. A much better approach I think.

  • Sharon

    Can you get a good meeting that is not boring, boring and not informative

  • Michael Gulseth

    I am up in arms about core being eliminated. That was the best plan Weight Watchers ever put together. Flex is stupid as it caves in to stupid fat women who can’t control their refined sugar intake. Rumor hast it, the new week 6 book actually lets you do Core still.

    Weight watchers dropped the ball on this one.

  • roni


    Actually if you read the post I mention the week 6 book for CORE fans. I appreciate your comment and I value your opinion but please do share it in a more respectful manner if you decide to comment again.

    Thank you,

  • Tonya

    Very interesting! I followed the flex plan just before Core was introduced and did fairly well for about 4 months. As my progress slowed, and many weeks completely stalled (due to eating empty points), I got frustrated, quit following plan, and gained the weight back… plus! I was always afraid of the Core plan because it didn’t track points to train my proportions as I’m still learning sizing.

    I feel the healthier choices of core WITH limitations from flex just might be for me…. and from what I’m hearing it was popular even before official existence with most of the successful WWers! I’m excited to get started! Thanks for the blog… it was my boost for another try!

  • Linda

    I wanted to clear up something that many people have been misinformed about with Momentum.

    RE the verbage on Week 2 Book about Activity Points. It’s on page 12 for reference:

    “they can be added to your daily points targer OR to your weekly allowance”

    So you can use your APs before OR after your FPs….which really doesn’t matter. As long as it’s in the week you earn them.

    Many people think you use your AP only after your FP which is not the case. You have the freedom to which ever.

    Like this person:

    “On December 11th, 2008 at 12:56 am Sandra said:

    If you do the online program you get activity points but you can’t swap them until the weekly points are gone. This is the only thing I don’t like about the plan. “

  • Linda

    I think the online program should reflect the actual wording in the program materials if thats difference in her statement.

    Either way an extra point to eat if you choose is an extra point to eat no matter what you call it.

  • http://blog Pat

    Could someone please list the filling foods list?

  • roni

    Pat… it’s not *that* different then the core list…

    Think fresh produce, lean meats, beans

    Hope that helps!

  • Michael Gulseth

    “I appreciate your comment and I value your opinion but please do share it in a more respectful manner if you decide to comment again.”

    I stand by my comments. Momentum is a cave in to those who can’t control their refined carbohydrate intake. That is the truth, if you don’t like it, kick my off the site. They also happen to almost be uniformly over weight (just like I was before I figured this out). Sorry, but like Simon Cowell, I say it the way it is.

  • roni

    Again feel free to “stand by your comment.” I value it. I just don’t think you need to resort to this type of statement…

    “Flex is stupid as it caves in to stupid fat women who can’t control their refined sugar intake”

    Calling people stupid is not helping them see your point. As you stated, it took you some time to figure it out too.

  • nicole

    i wanted to start weight watchers.
    theres so many comments on this page and i get the basic concept about the Momentum plan that its the core and the flex together.
    but i was wondering really how does it work?

  • roni

    In a nutshell…. You get an allocated number of points a day to help with food portions decisions and you learn what foods (core) are better option. The goal is to get you to eat a well balanced portioned controlled diet consisting mostly of whole foods.

  • Mike from Jersey

    Let me chime in here with a another guy’s point of view.
    Some of you ladies might have a husband or a boyfriend who might be reluctant to go to the meetings or go on a diet. Let them know that
    I lost 40 pounds using the point system in six months and did neither.

    It’s about “getting in shape” not “dieting” – at least that’s how us guys or I mentally approach it.

    What motivated me? I’m 43, my two sons were getting older and I needed to keep up with them physically and every part of my body hurt when I tried to keep up because I was not in shape.

    I got too tired too easily in bed when I wasn’t supposed to be sleeping if you get my drift… and sleeping and snoring in bed too much as I’ve been told by my wife. Happy to report that things are much better in this department since I lost the pounds :)

    Anyway, I eat each day like playing a round of golf. With the goal to score the least amount of points per day (within the acceptable range). Yes I log my points in a home made journal so I can “keep score”. I try not to go nuts about every food item I eat. If my wife makes a pie I take a tablespoon of it instead of an entire slice. I’ll eat one slice of pizza with mushrooms instead of pepperoni. And I eat slowly and try to enjoy each bite. I used to defend my plate, but now I put down the fork and knife after each bite.

    After I eat my points I get out of the kitchen and go work in the garage or work on the lawn. There’s nothing in either these places that I would even consider eating – except my Jersey tomatoes in the summer (my wife sauces them up to get the Lycopene advantatge).

    My ankles were shot from a sports related accident and then from stepping in a drainage ditch. So I started swimming at the YMCA. I used to float like a rock. Now I’m doing 36 laps (about a mile).

    Worst part is I had to buy new clothes and I hate shopping. Oh well.

    All and all It’s doable, I’m doing it.
    Take it easy, ok.

    Mikey G

  • roni

    Thanks Mike! I feel EXACTLY the same way.

    “the goal to score the least amount of points per day (within the acceptable range).”

    That was my strategy as well.

    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s great to get a male point of view!


  • Mama Mia

    How do you factor in small “treats” into this Momentum plan?

  • roni

    I’m not sure what you mean? You count the points for the snack just like you would a meal.

  • Vicki – Michigan

    Amen sista, this is exactly what I’ve been saying since I started Weight Watchers. I was introduced to the Flex plan by a friend, but was losing weight at a much faster pace week after week. It was because of the food choices I was making and eating smaller portions more often during the day which I also think is a big help. Thanks for the reinforcement that I’m on the right track, I’m currently doing Weight Watchers again and love to read these kind of things to keep me motivated.

  • Sara

    I stick mostly to filling foods while counting all of my points. The thing that they have in the book about eating what you want of the filling foods until you are satisfied and not having to count daily points and using the 35 weekly points to add to the simply filling foods does not work for me. I need the structure of counting everything and having those daily points. I do love sweets and munchies but I don’t make them my entire day. I allow myself one serving of a munchy and one serving of a sweet a day. If I didn’t do that then it wouldn’t be very long before I was off the diet and eating loads of munchies and sweets to make up for what I had denied myself. That seems to be working for me.

  • Susan

    What does everyone think about the difference and effectiveness of counting POINTS to just counting CALORIES ?

  • Mike from Jersey


    For food intake, I prefer tracking POINTS rather than just counting CALORIES. Calories are just one part of the weight loss puzzle.
    POINTS take into account Fiber, Calories and Fat content – seems like a healthier way to go.

    Most activities however are measured more commonly in CALORIES burned (based on activity, body weight and time spent)
    I end up converting CALORIES burned to ACTIVITY POINTS earned
    and subtracting it from my food points.

    Worked for me, I lost 35 pounds in 147 days so far…

  • Susan

    Thanks a lot, Mike from Jersey !

  • roni

    Susan – For me counting point simplified things and as Mike said they take more things into consideration. I think you can be successful counting calories just as you can be successful counting points it comes down to what make the most sense for your and your situation. Points stuck for me and the overall WW plan guided me better then any other plan.

  • Barbara

    now that we got the plan down WW announce a new plan starting Dec 2010 Many are trying to guess but no one knows for sure what it will be.
    I will let you know

  • Susan Milillo

    I feel so frustrated and fed up of being ‘rigid’ and counting points !
    I guess if I cut out some junk, I wouldn’t be left with the decision of ‘do I put a butter substitute on this bread or do I have to just eat it plain’ ?? Don’t mean to be negative, honestly looking for perspective.

  • roni

    Susan – If the points are that frustrating to you then maybe Weight Watchers isn’t the plan for you. I found the points a challenge and I enjoyed the ability to use them the best way I could without being told WHAT to eat. They taught me balance. Did you ever read about the old CORE plan? Maybe try this approach? (scrolls down to CORE…

  • Susan Milillo

    Thanks, Roni – actually, I did try it for a little while, but I guess I got tired of not being able to eat certain foods, or only having 35 pts. per week to eat different foods that I wanted to eat. Now I’ve gone back to trying to do the real (new) WW plan – the Momentum, just with the huge change of cutting out sugary ‘foods’ – cake, ice cream, etc….. I know I will make an exception sometimes, but I need to not think about that right now, and just move ahead with cutting it out…. then I won’t keep having such intense cravings and I will have more freedom in my choices with ‘real’ food.

  • Wendy Terry

    I love WW plan. For those who are doing to as well or are just counting calories, not sure if you have ever heard of Dotti’s Weight Loss Zone. Google it. It is free for fast food points and calories. Good Luck!

  • Diana Fox

    Can someone explain the details of the new Momentum Plan. I am very familiar with both the Flex and Core, but I can’t find how the Momentum Plan is different.
    Thank you

  • roni

    Diane – I’m not sure if you read my post above but I give all the details. In summary it’s flex with core food recommendations. The new healthy guidelines are listed above.

  • joy perinoni

    Could you please advise me of cost to join and weekly costs. thank you. Joy

  • roni

    It’s about $12 a week but this is the old plan. Their new plan is coming out today.


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