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More on the New Weight Watchers PointsPlus Plan: A Response.

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I’ve been getting some flack for my criticism of the new Weight Watcher’s PointsPlus plan and feel the need to clarify and explain a few things.

First of all, I am not completely unhappy with the direction Weight Watchers is taking. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I love that they are continuously nudging members to make healthier choices. I skirt that line between eating clean and finding replacements for my indulgences. I love the diet coke cake mix recipe (although I prefer to use a can of pumpkin,) I like to eat out, and I still consume lite yogurt cups that are full of artificial sweeteners. But I also make it a habit to eat a fruit and/or vegetable with every meal. I’ve reduced my consumption of meat. I buy more fresh vegetables than I ever have and love trying new whole foods regularly with my family.

Weight Watchers was the plan that helped me learn balance and lose 70lbs. It was the first plan that seemed intuitive to me. Within a week or two I was estimating points like a champ. I strolled through the grocery store finding treats that I could work into my diet without feeling deprived. I also learned real fast that gravitating towards fruit and veggies was the only way I could follow the plan and stay satisfied.

Of course I went in with the right mentality and attitude. At that time (and after 15 years of yo-yo dieting,) I was done looking for the quick fix. I had NO intention to cheat the plan. I was there to learn a better way to balance my diet and lose the extra weight that years of yo-yo dieting piled on.

When I walked through the doors of Weight Watchers I was given everything I needed to start. The simplicity of the plan combined with the accountability of the weekly meetings was a recipe for success for me. I never once felt overwhelmed.

I also never felt duped. The walls of the Weight Watchers center have always been littered with products, books and calculators but they were all optional. I needed nothing but the basic plan materials to dive right in. Week after week I came to my meeting, weighed in and left motivated and inspired to start a new week.

Monday was different. Now granted I’m pregnant and NOT in the weight loss mode but I still walked into Weight Watchers with an excitement about the new plan. I’m a lifetime member and proud of that fact. I made it goal and one I was ecstatic to reach. For more than 5 years I’ve been a fan. Each year I looked forward to the changes in the program and each year they didn’t disappoint. They talked more and more about the importance of whole foods, whether they called them Core, Filling or Power. They always emphasized the importance of moving more and the healthy guidelines were (and are) simple to the point rules to live by.

BUT

The basic fundamentals of the plan never changed. A point was a point. It was easy to calculate, easy to estimate and gave me the flexibility and structure I needed to succeed without feeling overwhelmed.

Monday, I felt duped and overwhelmed. When I got the meeting I was given the materials and immediately started leafing through. There was tons of great information but no specifics on HOW to follow the plan. What’s my target? How do I figure it out? How do I calculate the points for food?

As the meeting progressed things started to become clear. SInce I couldn’t weigh in I wasn’t given a target. The only way to get your target with the new plan is to weight in, use e-tools or the electronic calculator. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad idea but historically your target was easily calculated so it caught me off guard.

Next I found out there was no slider or easy way to calculate points for food without either looking it up in the pocket guide, using e-tools or purchasing the electronic calculator. Again, I was caught off guard. The Weight Watchers of the past always provided the minimum basics you needed to follow the plan. Now I needed to purchase an additional gadget. One that I’m not the biggest fan of.

Now, I realize all my criticisms are on the logistics of the plan and not the plan itself. And yes I realize I’m coming off as a whiny old fart who’s resistant to change. But as a member who found so much success on the old plan, these logistical changes scare me. Weight Watchers doesn’t appear to have the same ease of use property that I felt was a huge ingredient to my success. That’s not the say the new plan isn’t as effective if not more effective but I think Weight Watchers gave up the simplicity with the PointsPlus plan that really set them apart from other weight loss and diet programs.

I hope I’m wrong but I have to be honest. I don’t have all the same warm and fuzzy feelings that others do with the new plan. Maybe it’s because I can’t dive in head first as I am pregnant. Once the baby comes and I can officially start the new program my opinion may chance. Only time will tell.



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Discussion

There are 153 comments so far.

    Skinny Sushi

    December 1, 2010

    I am so with you here. As a perpetually broke stay-at-home mom and graduate student, I’ve been doing Weight Watchers on my own. I’m in a super plateau period, so I was really looking forward to the changes, but now I have no way of following the new plan without spending money we don’t have. It’s frustrating. I know they’re a business, but this seems to be the first clearly business step they’ve made where I couldn’t see significant benefit for the members.

    Jocelyn

    December 1, 2010

    I am someone that lost over 100lbs with WW. I am also an employee. I wanted to note that you are very known in the WW community and coming out saying how unhappy with your program may defer other members from embracing the program. I think its amazing that WW is keeping up with the science and finally made the change. The new formula for figuring out points is too complicated to use a slider. The slider would probably piss members off more then having to purchase a $5.95 calculator.

    I am in no way saying you arent allowed to dislike the program. I just feel as someone that is looked up by so many WW members its doing them an unjustice. They may read your blog and say wow, if Roni isnt digging the new program then there must be somethign wrong with it.

    Jan

    December 1, 2010

    Other than having to calculate in a new way using their products/services (the formula is already on the internet and can be used in many different applications) I think the plan looks wonderful. What hasn’t changed for me is the option to eat whatever I want as long as I account for it. But now I am going to make smarter healthier choices to use my points. Give me a banana for 0 pts instead of a 100 cal pack for 2 points (or more) I really think the change is for the better.

    Laura

    December 1, 2010

    I think it’s going to take time to get use to the changes. My meeting isn’t until tomorrow but I also have online access. I’ve been manually tracking my food the old way and then tracking it the new way online. Since I get more points with the new plan..everything is kind of just working it’s way out. I’m within my point range both old and new. I am eating a bit more fruit but am still taking the occassion to enjoy something snacky!

    I use some of your recipes Roni and plan to continue too – they still fit into the plan!

    Paula @paulybeariver

    December 1, 2010

    You opinion is right on point. Many members feel that the change is something to get used to. I always struggle even when I go down a point.

    I love having different opinions of one program or thing. I am
    Able to make an informed decision. :)

    Meg

    December 1, 2010

    Delurking to say that I agree the new plan with the calculator will be more difficult, but I LOVE the idea. I have long thought that whole foods are better for you and you shouldn’t be penalized for picking whole foods. I think overall it encourages better habits, but still allows for flexibility. I guess the “ease” comes in picking fruits and veggies (zero points). The “work” comes in the processed stuff. Having said that, this is YOUR blog and you can say whatever you want!! Thanks for your opinion!

    Sabrina

    December 1, 2010

    Roni, I’m with you. Its a struggle for me to find the 13 dollars a week needed just to weigh in, now I have to buy something extra just so I can figure the points out for a box of cereal. If you have use that thing, then it should be given to you just like the slider was.

    Alison

    December 1, 2010

    It was your FB post that led me to learn they’ve made changes the other day! I stopped doing WW after a year+ on maintenance.

    I do think it is a shame that all of the things that people purchased in the past are basically debunked! Scales (though I always preferred a non-ww scale), cookbooks, old calculators – etc are now useless if you follow the new plan.

    I also think it is disappointing that the old “core” members are sort of “forced” into the new plan? No more simply filling I believe.

    But if you did core – you can keep doing it. WW doesn’t need to make any money on a core follower since it is so straight forward.

    I do like the concept of the new plan. I like that healthy foods are now even more likely to help you max out your points. I also think that the non-straight-forwardness of points calculations is in WW’s favor. For the time-being, there won’t be blogs/websites/etc. that can calculate and share their proprietary information.

    If I were more than within a 10lb window of goal I would consider re-joining and giving it a try. But I know how to eat healthy and I know what to do without paying someone for a program that would confuse me :)

    Colleen

    December 1, 2010

    Hi Roni,
    Thanks for your opinion on the new program. I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I’m still a little confused. In the past, when I shopped I would choose foods that are low in calories and high in fiber and I new that they would automagically be low in points. Now with the addition of carbs and protein and elimination of calories, I feel very confused. I am very unsure of my goal when it comes to packaged foods from the grocery store. Many of my staples have nearly doubled in points and my mind is having a hard time processing that, lol. I know that we now have at least 10 more daily points and around 14 extra weekly ‘flex’ points, but my mind hasn’t caught on yet.

    Karen

    December 1, 2010

    I think the new plan is great and I’m happy they’ve modernized and don’t hand out a clunky old slide rule for calculating points. We live in a technological age and using e-tools or an iphone app (or even the calculator) makes sense to me. It’s easy and quick. I don’t want to carry around extra paperwork and whatever it is.

    As far as not being able to easily estimate, well, that’s not really part of the plan. If you’re estimating, guessing, or not really using the Points or PointsPlus program and the science behind it, then you’re not really on plan. Hard to say you don’t like the new program if you’re only half doing it. This isn’t directed at you specifically, but just at people in general that are saying they don’t like the new changes, but weren’t really doing 100% of the old plan either.

    I think I’m just happy to see that they’re finally moving in the direction of whole foods and natural foods. For too long, one of my biggest complaints about WeightWatchers was how it seemed that they pushed members towards artificial foods and almost rewarded folks for eating that way. I’m tired of hearing about Splenda and spray butter in the meetings and on the forums!

    Jessica

    December 1, 2010

    I’m one of those that likes the concept of the new plan – but I’m sticking with the old one. I don’t go to meetings, I don’t have etools. I have a busted up slider, a food scale and a word page that I use as my food journal. Just from doing the old plan, I know I do better with a high protein/whole foods approach. If I eat chips (baked) and granola bars – I’m not satisfied and more likely to over points or even binge. So, I’m sticking with the old plan and making the commitment to myself to go for the whole foods rather than the processed crap.

    Karen @ Not Just Celery

    December 1, 2010

    At the end of the day WW is a business who needs to make money to stay in business, so it makes sense to me that what they are doing is better protecting their intellectual property. (ie points formula and daily target). Before it was too easy to follow the plan without paying WW anything. (I did it myself a few times).

    Would you expect to be able to walk out of a store without paying for the items you were taking with you just because the line was too long or you didn’t feel like paying for them? While that might be a little extreme, that’s what a lot of people (myself included at times) were doing.

    Faith Plvan

    December 1, 2010

    The new plan is clearly designed to help the Weight Watchers organization increase profits by (unfortunately) passing higher costs on to the participants. Not something we haven’t seen before, especially in this economy, but still disappointing.

    It kind of sounds like they revamped the plan because all of the information was readily available on the internet for free. You could calculate your target points, find points for a million foods and you could do it all without signing up for a service. Now, to get the information you need to follow the plan you HAVE to pay for the service. I guess business wise it makes sense, but it’s kind of a bummer to have a product you believe it so hard core sell out. If that makes sense.

    BigTickles

    December 1, 2010

    What the oompa loompa is going on here? I am confused by the uproar of Roni’s OPINION. The blog is called RONI’S Weigh. It is what SHE thinks and how SHE feels. When I read any blog, I rarely take the writer’s opinion as the concrete answer / solution for my situation. I just reflect, consider what they say and taylor it to fit me.

    There are some things that Roni does not like about the new plan and she is entitled to say it. Some things may become clearer over time with the new program. You never know, she may come back after having Evan and say that the new program is the best thing since a pint of mango sherbert!

    However, this is one of the reasons why I come to this blog because Roni always lets us know her opinion whether it is popular or not. I appreciate the honesty and candor. It helps me think about things in a different light.

    Okay, off my soap box now… time to catch up on my Netflix ;-)

    Sarah

    December 1, 2010

    Jocelyn, are you suggesting that Roni needs to stifle her real feelings about the new weight watchers program in order to make sure your organization recruits new members? Roni doesn’t work for weight watchers and is entitled to her opinion. Would anyone read this blog if she were less than honest?
    I am also bothered by the added expensive of the calculator. If they’re selling it for 5.95 how much did it cost to manufacture 2 bucks at the most – they can’t just give new members a cheap calculator after we’re spending 12 bucks a week to get weighed and sit through a meeting? I’m sure WW is looking at this new program as a huge money maker – are they really going to make more money if we all quit WW and do it the old fashioned way on our own?

    Jan

    December 1, 2010

    “For the time-being, there won’t be blogs/websites/etc. that can calculate and share their proprietary information.”

    The formula and sharing is already out there on many blogs.

    Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life

    December 1, 2010

    Hi Roni,

    I am also an employee of Weight Watchers, and I couldn’t agree with you more. My first thought about the calculator vs. the slider was that WW was becomming less ‘user’ friendly and more of a corporation. Grant it, they are in the business of making money, but, I don’t know…….it just took me by surprise. I just had a baby, so I am back on the losing side and have found success with this program so far. Like you mentioned, the free fruits and veggies has me making far better choices. I would rather spend 0 points on a banana vs. 4 points on a fiber one bar.

    I’m rambling….but anyway…..if you need any questions answered, I’d be MORE than happy to help you. Just shoot me an e-mail!

    Nicole S.

    December 1, 2010

    Thank you for giving an honest and well thought out review Roni instead of being a corporate minion like Jocelyn.

    Anna @ History Running Girl

    December 1, 2010

    I love the new plan! Honestly, I think part of my problem with the previous plan WAS it was too easy to estimate. I could get away with half following the plan. Honestly, my estimating I really wasn’t doing myself any favors. It was bad for my WL!

    I spent some time figuring out the new points for all of my favorites. I love that it is stepping away from calories.

    I’ve always tracked on my iPhone. I thought the slider was just irritating. I can see how it would be irritating to have to buy a calculator, but it isn’t like they are making people buy etools automatically.

    Yes, they are making money off of the calculators BUT there were a lot of changes they affected their products. And affected them in a very negative way (The Giant Fudge bars have a TON more points now). I think that will change their sales.

    I love your blog, and I respect your opinions. I’ll be interested to see what you think when you DO get a target and can actually follow the plan.

    The previous formula for points came out a LONG time ago. They have been working on this change for a while. I don’t think it is just to make money. I think WW wants people to succeed still.

    roni

    December 1, 2010

    Thanks for the support guys this is just MY opinion. It’s all I have to share. As for Jocelyn’s comment I have no responsibility to Weight Watchers. My job (if you can call it that) is to share my thoughts on my blog. People can take what they want from it ad form their own opinion which I would respect.

    Lyndia

    December 1, 2010

    Im one that has never gone into a meeting I got all my materials from a friend and she copied other things for me. So ive never paid a dime…to me it seems silly …to walk into a building and pay money to weigh myself…when I can weigh for free at home. Ive lost 25 pounds so far, and i agree that if I didnt have the materials…and had to pay to get a calculator? that would be silly to me again.. They are trying to elminate people like that at dont come in…and still it works.. I cant afford anything extra these days…and if places try to nickle and dime me for info , that turns me off even faster. Why not give the break down on how to calculate the point? There has to be a way to figure it out with out that calculator… And Roni I live by my slider!!! in the grocery store.. lol

    Kristina

    December 1, 2010

    I don’t know all of the details but from what i read from your post and know from you and your journey I can add my 2 cents. First of all you are not wrong or ‘old fart’ material because of the resistance to change. First of all it is like you said, you found the tools that you needed to become a success with the old plan and through your own journey you have expanded your knowledge..not only expanded but improved some of the concepts. A point may be a point, but a point can be maximized nutritionally and how in the world can that be a change that is wrong. Applying principles of clean eating and more of a whole foods approach, while keeping that food tracking and awareness learned through WW is an ideal approach in my opinion. I see the process of learning a healthy lifestyle in a similar manner as one’s spiritual growth..you never stop learning and you learn from experiences and others experiences. So its hard to do something that feels like taking steps backward (new gadget, etc) when you have progressed to not needing the gadget and you have truly learned a new lifestyle. For newbies and those who have to make a very drastic lifestyle change…the programs and changes to the program probably makes more sense and makes it easier to get their foot in the door and make changes…without giving up the things that they love. They are able to be in control and make choices within the choices they want…in time they may start wanting to make what i would consider better choices. higher fiber, more filling whole foods for example. When you are just joining you are excited about the fact that you are going to go out and eat half a basket of Chili’s chips and salsa!! EVery day! haha! ok, i clearly am rambling but i did intend to make some kind of point!

    I completely agree with everything you’ve said. I think it’s a great plan and it’s great that they are encouraging people to look at the food as a whole but I had the same reservations. This is a completely new system that I would have re-learn and at this point in my journey I don’t want that. However, I know that if in the future I need extra guidance then I know I can go back, and learn the new plan. I was very frustrated with the fact that all my cookbooks, calculator, ect. are essentially useless. While I can continue to use the recipes we like, I have to calculate them all over again and buy a new calculator. They’ve also been promising Andriod and blackberry apps but have yet to follow up on that promise as well. It’s just very frustrating!

    Anna @ History Running Girl

    December 1, 2010

    Jenn, they have a Droid app now. It is just a calculator. I think it was released today.

    Cynthia (It All Changes)

    December 1, 2010

    Roni I agree with you that it was more user friendly before in many ways. But the slider always broke on me so I stuck with using E-tools even after hitting goal. I think it is just a personal preference.

    I know for now WW is selling the calculator at cost to members since it is important to have if you do not have e-tools or the app for whatever smart phone.

    I think just like any change it will take getting used to but I appreciate seeing it from someone else’s point of view since those were not my experiences.

    I hope you give us an update when Evan is born so we can see how you like it then.

    And just a note…you can do core with the new plan. It is still called simply filling and is listed in the getting started book.

    roni

    December 1, 2010

    Cynthia – My plan is to go back to WW after the baby and embrace it so I can share the experience online. I’m very curious how I’ll fell about it then.

    Emily (@fitTwitEmily)

    December 1, 2010

    Fabulous post, Roni.

    I used to be on WW back in high school, and have nothing but admiration for the company. My only question/confusion/concern with the new program is on fruits.

    Are all fruits free? The glycemic index (sugar) in foods is really important to watch when trying to lose weight. This is why most people find success in cutting out white flour products, b/c the GI is much lower in whole-wheat.

    The same thinking goes for fruits. I LOVE fruit – but I know that Gi speaking, some of them are just as terrible for me as a greasy cheeseburger. But WW is promoting them as free? I just hope people don’t abuse that (I know i would. i would eat fruit all day if it didn’t take any of my points) and then wonder why they aren’t losing weight as effectively.

    Any thoughts on this, readers?

    tj

    December 1, 2010

    I really think this new program will help me finally reach my goal weight. I was struggling each day and dipping into my weeklies every day. I was at 21 pts a day. Yesterday they told me I am at 29. Can I tell ya I struggled to eat ALL of my daily points!!! I actually need to plan it out to be able to eat it all! WOW! Now if I can eat like this and lose weight…I will be one happy camper! lol :) We shall see!

    roni

    December 1, 2010

    Emily – I have no doubt people will abuse it but I’d rather see them abusing fruit than 100 cal packs any day. My approach was to always count the fruit a 1 point. This way they were at least counted and kept me check. That worked for me. Curious how people will fair with the new “free-ness” of them.

    roni

    December 1, 2010

    TJ – Just out of curiosity did your diet change significantly from old (when you didn’t have enough points) to new (having too many) because if it didn’t, that worries me. I know they aren’t talking about calories anymore but if you are taking in the same amount of calories then what will change? Not criticizing but genuinely curious.

    Anna @ History Running Girl

    December 1, 2010

    Emily, I think WW is taking a “use common sense” approach to free fruit. Online they are just saying not to abuse it.

    I wonder if they will put a cap on it eventually.

    My mom tells me when they first switched to Points in 97 fruit was free (I could be wrong though!).

    roni

    December 1, 2010

    I’m not sure if fruit was ever free but I bet it won’t be that different than fiber. People abused the fiber thing with the old point so they capped it. I think a fruit cap is all but inevitable.

    Emily (@fitTwitEmily)

    December 1, 2010

    Roni & Anna

    You both bring up good points! I totally agree that switching away from processed foods (and those tricky 100 cal packs) is such a huge improvement that free fruit is a decent incentive.

    Anna – I wonder the same thing, if eventually there will be a cap?

    I’m eager to see, in a few months, how everything is implemented. From an outsider’s perspective it seems to be causing quite a rift with the “old timers” and the “newbies”

    I’m know that if I was still in WW I would be annoyed by all the changes. But maybe it’ll turn out to be a good thing!

    Anna @ History Running Girl

    December 1, 2010

    Emily, I feel like having a no more than x amount of fruit per day isn’t an unreasonable cap.

    Confession: I’ve been doing WW for 1.5 years. I made it to goal (I have less to lose) and gained it back during the senior thesis writing process. I only counted points for bananas as far as fruit goes.

    I’m loving the concept of the new plan, but I do see your point and agree about the technology requirements making it less user-friendly. I never used the slider or a calculator. I knew the formula and could figure out the points value of something in two seconds. Now it’s far more complicated and I’m having trouble doing the math without a calculator or pen and paper.

    I was an avid eTooler until February when I decided to count calories instead and not adjust for fat/fiber. Then I cancelled my membership with Weight Watchers in August after maintaining my weight for a few months. I’ve since had too many Reese’s and cupcakes and have gained about 8 lbs, so I’m really wanting to try this new plan. But for 8 lbs, I don’t think spending $50 to get started is worth it. I found a free trial week offer for WW Online, so I’m doing that and trying to absorb as much of the new plan as possible, but I’m afraid it might not be as simple as Momentum. Mostly because of the point calculations.

    But here are my favorite parts of the new program: 1) Fiber doesn’t make points artificially disappear, 2) fat isn’t penalized nearly as much as it was before, 3) Protein is finally a consideration, 4) Total carbs are taken into account, which therefore should help me reign in my carb/sugar addiction, and 5) fruit is free! Which should also help me control my sweet tooth.

    Love the plan. Execution is going to take a little time…

    Kaxxina

    December 1, 2010

    While not in WW myself, I spoke with a friend who still is (her meeting is tomorrow, so maybe I can find out some more) and she is hoping that this will be a change that will help her shake up her routine to lose that last few pounds (I swear I think she should be lifetime now :) ). I hope everyone can eventually say that. Please keep updating with how you all are adapting to the new plan. :)

    roni

    December 1, 2010

    Michelle…

    “Love the plan. Execution is going to take a little time…”

    I think you hit the nail on the head!!

    Tamara

    December 1, 2010

    I’ve been reading the comments and I have a few thoughts. First of all, I agree that I would rather see people binging on fruit rather than treats that have less health benefits. Sure moderation is key with ANY weight loss plan, but at the very least, fruit will provide fiber, vitamins and nutrients that a 100-calorie pack of cookies or chocolate won’t.

    As for Jocelyn’s comment, yes we do all love to read Roni’s thoughts and ideas, but I think as with anything else, we’re perfectly capable of determining our own opinions. Roni isn’t paid to endorse Weight Watchers. She’s very cadid about her success and in this post, she simply explained why WW worked so well for her. That being said, if there are certain aspects she questions, she’s just supposed to keep her opinions to herself unless they favor WW?

    I certainly understand that finding new ways to encourage people to make the healthiest food choices possible is a positive thing. No one will argue with that. I think those of us who have been doing the plan for awhile just wish they could have done so within the parameters of the old program. I still think there are ways the company could have promoted making healthier choices that didn’t involve changing the whole system. Jocelyn commented the new system is “too complicated” to use the slider and therein lies the issue. It’s not that we’re resistant to change or can’t get onboard with a new system if it’s truly a step in the right direction. The issue is that many of us had so much success because Weight Watchers WASN’T complicated. They’ve consistently promoted making healthy choices without being a rigid, unyielding program, but still made it simple to follow.

    The facts are still the same between old and new program: lean meats, whole grains, filling foods, fiber, fruits and vegetables and activity = good. I guess I don’t see why a brand new system was absolutely necessary to continue to promote this. If people are going to choose a high-fat indulgent treat, they’ll do it no matter which plan they’re on. A new system won’t necessarily change that mindset.

    Rachel

    December 1, 2010

    I am an avid Weight Watchers regular still trying to take off that last 10 lbs just to get to goal. Its been almost two years, 40 lbs. down and kept off but those darn 10lbs won’t leave. I am hoping that this change does make a difference. Yes, its back to figuring points out, but you do get more to start off with. My problem I have noticed is that I am not eating enough points during the day. Now that fruits or O, I have incorporated more into my diet by adding them to salads, oatmeal and yogurts. My nighttime snack has become apple w/peanut butter instead of WW snacks cakes. I guess we have to just give it a try and see how this works out for each one of us. In the end, as long as we loss weight, maintain our goals and get healthier, that is all that matters.

    Rachel

    December 1, 2010

    P.S. Roni- keep up the good work with your sites. I just love reading, making and sharing your recipes and watching your videos.

    Lori

    December 1, 2010

    It must feel good to have such power of the WW community!!! lol

    Kaxxina

    December 1, 2010

    @Rachel…
    I love hearing of people moving away from WW snacks and to fresh fruit options!! (No offense WW, but unless you start growing apples and selling them, I’m not sure your products are the stuff people should be eating…. anyone looked at the labels to tell me different?)

    christina

    December 1, 2010

    While I 100% agree with your complaints on the change – I have to say, as someone still in the losing weight phase, I have LOVED the last two days on plan. I am making WAY better choices and Im much more satisfied food wise and feel awesome! While having to use the calculator sucks and change sucks… Im loving the new plan.
    My only complaint now isnt for me its for others – its not super easy to follow anymore… for newbies it would be very confusing.

    Jennifer Page

    December 1, 2010

    I’ve been doing ww for 7 weeks, lost 21 pound so far, and I am very frustrated with the new plan. What attracted me to ww was that I could fit anything into my diet, I just had to plan ahead and make better choices at my other meal times. I am a crazy , busy mom of 3, and I had just gotten into my groove with planning healthy snacks, knowing what the point values of my favorite foods are, etc… Now I feel like I am back to square one! I have more points , but I had already made soooo many changes in my diet, focusing on low cal, high fiber, non processed foods! I was doing GREAT, eating healthier, and losing weight!!! Now if I calculate what I ate on Sunday (the day before the change) it would go OVER my new higher points!!! WHAT???? I appreciate that they want more fruit and veggie consumption , but it definately makes that transition from “old eating” to “healthy eating” harder. I am soooo thankful that I had 7 weeks on the old plan, before I had to change to the new plan. I am trying the new plan for 2 weeks, and if I am still this frustrated then I am going to go back to the old points!

    Thanks for your opinion Roni! You are the best! :)

    sarah

    December 1, 2010

    Another thought from my post yesterday…I said I liked the simplicity of the old calculations of calories, fat and fiber. And while I try to make healthier/clean food choices, I also liked the flexibility of being able to eat those 100 calorie packs, a bag of 100 calorie 94% fat free popcorn or a giant fudge bar for low points values. For me, it is what made WW realistic and I was able to stick with it. I’d love to say I could give up chips or cookies for the rest of my life, but it wouldn’t work for me. I think it’s great that fruit is now free, but it’s not realistic that I’m never going to want to eat a giant fudge bar again.

    I find myself going back to something my WW leader once said that has stuck with me, even now as a lifer. She said “all points are not created equal.” Meaning, you SHOULD make the healthier choice between a banana or a 100 calorie pack, but that you have the flexibility and are wise enough to make the decision on your own. Not because the points of the 100 calorie pack have gone up so much that it’s not realistic to translate to real-life.

    Sorry, got on a rant. My meeting is tomorrow and I will listen to what they say and then make my decision on whether or not I will swich.

    Carolynn F

    December 1, 2010

    Roni, thank you for having the courage to express your honest opinions. People trust your judgement and use it to make informed decisions. Yes, you influence people but you also provide a clear explanation of why you have come to your conclusion. This allows people to make their own decisions. As someone who has been successful on ww I appreciate the insight. I too have loved this program because it was easy. People gravitate to that because losing weight is the hard part…figuring out your points shouldn’t be. Also, in this economy asking people to fork over money for a tool when they already pay a lot for the weekly fee is disapointing. It is equally disapointing that if you forget your “calculator” you are stuck. I will continue to be a huge support of ww but will stick to the old program for now.

    Lori @ For the Run of It

    December 1, 2010

    I enjoyed the conversation yesterday, unfortunately I don’t have time to read all today’s comments. Roni, I think your points make lots of sense. I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts after your baby is born.

    I definitely agree that the calculator should be included with membership. If you can’t calculate PP without it, it should not be an extra purchase. I am so thankful for my iPhone app.

    Talysa

    December 1, 2010

    I can’t help but wonder this….why can’t I just continue to do things the way I always have on WW? It obviously works. And it is second nature to me. Is there a reason I should jump on this train of change? I hate change…did I mention that?

    I’m a fan of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. I lost 23 pounds and have kept it off for almost a year. It obviously wasn’t broken.

    Emily

    December 1, 2010

    I actually like that there isn’t a cap or rule about the free fruit. At some point we’ve all got to learn to honor our hunger and satiety signals. We can’t live our lives based on external rules. If your body tells you it’s hungry, eat some fruit or a vegetable. Don’t cram bananas in all day just because “you can”. Not only will it make you sick but you will become more out of touch with your hunger signals and only add to your binging tendencies. I like that WW is trusting us enough to manage this area of our weight loss journey. They can’t do it all for you.

    roni

    December 1, 2010

    Emily – I agree but along those same lines of reason then WHY would the plan need to be changed at all. WW should have trusted us to eat more whole “power foods” without changing the point formula.

    Just a thought.

    jessey

    December 1, 2010

    I went to meeting today at a center with my same leader (I won’t be at work tomorrow) so I saw a lot more people and different people than I am used to. Honestly, it was the over 70 set (and there were a lot of them!) that were complaining about the calculator. It is only $5.95 and so far, so easy to use. But yes, it probably should have been included. They weren’t taking the old people into consideration enough – people our age either are on-line or with a phone (though I personally don’t track online) My leader did say how much she hated telling people that they had to buy something else and every time she’s had to tell them this week she’s wanted to run out the door.

    I’ve only quickly scanned the posts here but I am part of the WW facebook group. People both places keep complaining that they can’t eat their 100 cal bags or their Fiber One bars or a granola bar. Of course they can! We have 49 points instead of 35. No one, no where is saying they can’t eat these things. Maybe these are people who never used their 35 points? Not sure. I always used at least some, but I have also taken 9 months to lose 30 lbs (and have 40+ to go).

    People at the meeting were saying thank god there weren’t any newbies there because they would be so overwhelmed. That I didn’t get. It is overwhelming to people because it is a change. On it’s own, it isn’t overwhelming. And really, we’ve all gone through our favorite foods and figure out the points. Just do it again. And yes, you can’t eyeball a 200 calorie item and estimate it is 4 pts, but in time, maybe we will.

    I think this is a very positive change. I can’t wait to take it on. I just am not planning on doing it this second. I track manually (when i do track :) ) so I can still do the old plan for as long as I want.

    Emily

    December 1, 2010

    Roni-

    Totally see the logic in that. I guess we can’t be completely trusted to make all those decisions for ourselves just yet :) I’m sure they have clinical trials to back up all these decisions regarding the new plan. And I do appreciate the nudge that this new program is making me take toward more protein and whole foods, something I’m not as good at on my own. I actually have always thought that you have been a great example of someone who has been able to “govern herself” after the WW experience. I think I need the training wheels of WW right now to get me on the whole foods path but I want to eventually be where you are.

    Erica

    December 1, 2010

    Being honest, no matter how unpopular, totally makes you rock in my book!
    In my opinion, this is one of the reasons your blog is very fabulous:).

    Daisy

    December 1, 2010

    Roni, I completely agree with your post yesterday. The new plan is great nutritionally, but WW has definitely sacrificed simplicity. It’s now no easier than tracking calories and nutrients on any other website – if anything, it’s more complicated, because those calculations are then translated into “points” instead of just remaining separate nutrients on a non-ww tracking site.

    Overall, I approve of the changes, but these changes really do not support a “simplification technique” like points. By trying to ram a square peg into a round hole, WW has created something that is, unfortunately, cumbersome.

    Regardless, I will embrace the new direction of the plan because I still think WW is the best plan out there. However, I would not get too attached to PointsPlus – I don’t think this is going to win market share for WW in the long term.

    FLG

    December 1, 2010

    Wow. Just saw that second comment. “You can not like it if you want, just… keep it to yourself, please?”

    Heck, you’re not even saying the plan is bad, just that it’s lost some simplicity.

    Keep on expressing your opinions!

    sherijung

    December 1, 2010

    From a strictly business/product mix point of view, I like that WW has chosen to focus on increasing their revenue from meetings/etools versus packaged food in this way. This is long term better for members health and weight loss. I was kind of shocked to see them come right out and state in so many words that they want members to eat fruit/veg over packaged food (that they sell!). People, this is a Good Thing. I know that it is a painful change for those in the middle of working the plan, but thinking about all those new folks headed to meetings in January, there is nothing but win there. My one and only gripe would be that as long as you’re going to complicate the calculation, give some preference to healthy fats over saturated fats.

    And really, complaining that you can’t use the new plan for free? Seriously? WW is not a charity. And you can still use the old plan for free, no one is taking that away. It still works (it did for me, made Lifetime status in early 2008).

    Renda

    December 1, 2010

    I lose things. I lose things a lot. I generally find them, but after I have bought a replacement. I see many, many calculator purchases in my future. I wonder if I should buy five now before the prices go up.
    This is my main problem with the whole new system. I go each week. I pay each week. I don’t get the materials for free from friends. I buy the add ons. But I will still be made to buy a calculator each and every time I lose one. And whoever used just one slider? I have one in the car and one at home, one in my purse and one in my husband’s car. I am a monthly pass member, but I find e-tools clunky and annoying and for some reason it won’t remember me and I have to get CS to help me get into it repeatedly. Tracking on line led me to frustration eating ;).

    I just foresee the annoyance factor as being a real detriment. I have nothing against the plan itself, but logistically it will become problematic for many people. And yes, the older members at my meeting were quite perturbed. They couldn’t see the calculator that well, the buttons are hard for arthritic fingers, even opening the case proved difficult for some of them.

    And I don’t see how the $5.95 could possibly be selling at “cost.” You can buy much more sophisticated calculators at the Dollar Store.

    Laura

    December 1, 2010

    I keep hearing that a new slider was too complicated to make…but from the UK WW site, it seems the UK members have one!! So I don’t understand that at all. But I’ve always used the calculator anyway.

    Christine

    December 1, 2010

    If not already, within a week someone will have cracked the new formula and will have a calculator on line. I admit it is confusing, I had my meeting last night. I am open to the change and interested in trying it. I had to leave my meeting early though because of all the negativity. I can’t stand to be around all that complaining, I hope this blows over soon, the meeting is supposed to be an uplifting and inspiring experience. Sad :(

    Tracy

    December 1, 2010

    Roni – I see your points and totally respect your opinion. I had success on WW in the past, but the past few attempts have been totally unsuccesful. I went back today after the changes. I really love how the changes are now incorporating protein and carbs – they are following the science and I like that.

    While I understand why people want the slider calculator – its time to get with the times everyone. If you are going to meetings and trying to scrape up $13, why aren’t you on the $39.95 monthly pass that includes the etools? It is far cheaper than paying weekly and you get more for it! Why are you still tracking on paper folks? The etools are much much easier. if you want to be able to track anywhere, get the mobile app too! It’s free!

    mery

    December 1, 2010

    i’ve been on ww for almost 2 yrs and i’ve lost 90+ lbs and still have about 20-30 to go. I’ve been on the new plan for 3 days (since the e-tools updated and allowed me to track the points plus) and so far i’m loving it! …i haven’t changed what i eat and usually at the end of the day i have a chunk of points left because now fruit and veggies are 0. what i’ve always liked about ww is how their plan is ‘self correcting’…meaning, if progresses in a way to you either make the choice to eat whole foods or starve all day! this one is even more specific with the ‘self correcting’ you can keep eating how you eat but if you eat a lot of prepackaged snacks (which the 1 pt ones have triple points now) or things like that you will run out of points very fast. From tracking these days these are basically the changes that i saw: protein points stayed the same; vegg and fruit, 0; carbs tripled the points, like the bread thins now are 3, but there are some carbs that stayed the same, like i love puffins and the regular ones used to be 1pt now they are 3. the pb ones (my favorite) were 3 and they stayed 3. So far I like it. I’m not hungry, which used to happen to me a lot with just 22 points a day, now i have points to spare because my snacks and dessert are fruit a lot of times, not all the time, but a lot of times. So, that’s my take, I’m very happy with it and I trust WW. :)

    roni

    December 1, 2010

    Mery – The more I hear experiences like yours the more excited I get about it.

    Patty

    December 1, 2010

    I believe that there already is a “cap” on the fruit intake in place. The Good Health Guidelines area in the paper tracker has 5 boxes for you to track your 5 servings of fruit/veggies with 4 additional boxes for those who require more (men and nursing moms?). It’s my understanding that the guideline is to have 5 fruits/veggies a day (similar to the food pyramid). The difference being that you don’t count them as any points, except for certain veggies (peas, corn, avacado, potato?). So if one is tracking correctly they shouldn’t be over indulging on fruit but getting the reccomended daily amount, which many people probably didn’t do in the past in order to use those points on those dreaded 100 cal snack packs.
    (Call them as you see it Roni that’s why we love your blog!)

    Jenny

    December 1, 2010

    I found your blog while doing a goggle search for Weight Watcher new Program. I understand your criticism of the new program. Change is hard for people no matter what, especially when you you see no need for a change.
    I on the other hand am very excited for the change! I found my first several months on WW I lost steady not gaining until I was at an all time low of 164 pounds (down 56.0, in 13 months). I was slow but consistently averaging a pound a week (sometime more sometime less). This started my plateau, I tried everything to get off it. I spent the next 7 months at the same weight. This grew into frustration and I sought out the help of a nutritionist. She wanted me to track calorie, fat, fiber, carbs, protein and many many other things. I felt over whelmed and defeated. I quit WW and quit focusing on me. I gained all my weight back plus some.
    What this new program has done for me has giving me an oppertunity to get back to that honeymoon period with WW.
    Your experience is valuable and therefor valuable for many people, but I wonder if your experience voice is over shadowing people like me and our enthusiasm for the changes.

    roni

    December 1, 2010

    Well that’s not my intent (to overshadow) but I can see what you are saying. I responded to the change with my gut reaction which is all I have to go by.

    Once I’m able to dive in, that opinion may change.

    One question for you… what happens if you hit a plateau on this new plan? Finding and keeping your motivation can’t be depend on a new program. I’m excited that you found that nudge you needed to go back and focus on “you” but it still doesn’t change my opinion.

    Amy L.

    December 1, 2010

    Tracy, I have to comment about y0ur questioning why everyone doesn’t “get with the times” and buy the monthly pass. In my area, all WW meetings are franchised, and there IS no monthly pass. We have meetings in churches, the scales are so antiquated that I can’t believe that they are actually calibrated correctly, and EVERYTHING is done by hand- there is no computer. We have a card that the weigh-in team writes our weekly weight on, and then you put it back in the box for next week. They don’t even take debit or credit cards- cash or check only. Seriously, I wish I *could* get with the times, but my WW franchisee would have to get with the times first.

    Lori @ For the Run of It

    December 1, 2010

    Patty, I do not think you are supposed to have 5 fruits/veggies, I think you are supposed to have at least 5 and the boxes are there to help you make sure–there has never been a limit on those things.

    Patty

    December 1, 2010

    Lori perhaps its just my interpretation but when I read aim to have 5 f/v to me that means this is an appropirate number of servings to be healthy. Some days I may have more, but I for one will use that number as my guide to be sure I don’t increase my point intake too much with “free” fruits.

    Matt B

    December 1, 2010

    Ok so i LOVE!! the new plan. I have been wanting something like this for a while. The 100 cal snack pack versus the chicken is the prime example why we need this change. I wanted to be encouraged to eat healthier food. Instead of all the prepackaged poo.

    -on the issue of the calculator
    I use the ‘ Nutrition ‘ iphone app. I fill in the below settings
    Protein/10.94 + Carbs/9.17 + Fat/3.89 – Fiber/12.49

    And it works like a charm. No need to carry around that goofy calculator. Only issue is if you have something with a unrealistic amount of fiber. It will come up with a negative number. Just make it 0.
    -getting fat on bananas
    It may be possible to be overweight on eating a ton of fruit, but i bet you will in a much healthier place than if you ate snack packs.

    -regarding being able to do it in your head.
    Calories where easy, but i always needed my calculator on my phone when it came to fat.

    So now it takes the same amount of time as before.

    – Roni
    I think you are a ‘Weight loss’ Rock star. I know you have become comfortable with the original point system. I don’t blame you with wanting to stay with it. And if that works for you more than the new plan. I say more power to you. Change is a pain.

    A year from now when all the formulas are out in the open, and we can do this all on our phones. I think everyone will be pretty happy with this recent change.

    roni

    December 1, 2010

    Your enthusiasm is contagious! lol Once I get into the groove I’m sure I’ll feel the same way!

    Liz

    December 1, 2010

    I’m not doing ww right now so I can’t comment on my experience with the plan but I guess there is one thing that I struggle with. I get that 100 calories packs are not the best choice nutritionally but especially in the beginning, I wanted snacks that help fill the cravings of all the things I was eating before. In my mind, I think a 100 calorie pack of cookies is better than eating 10 cookies or a sleeve of pringles.

    I’ve always been a fruit and veggie person so I guess I don’t need encouragement to eat more. I always liked ww (the many times I did it) because I felt like I could balance everything. I could eat some more junky food(that satisfied my cravings in the beginning) and also eat healthier food and lose weight. I just wonder if this new plan will be hard on newbies who feel like is not as easy to fit into your life and is more diet-y feeling.

    myra

    December 1, 2010

    Roni,
    i joined ww after reading your blog so i do respect your opinion on things, what i love about you are you make it so clear and simple it sounds i am getting an opinion from a friend, you never make me feel you are trying to impose anything.

    i think the change in the plan is for better.
    i get a more points than before, so i feel i can eat more but that is not always true.

    the points of some foods like snack bars and even breads have gone up basically keeping the overall food quantity more or less the same, and sometimes forcing me to cut down not so healthy stuff.

    zero points on fruits/veggies are awesome but i have to be careful that i don’t over eat them.

    the most important they are considering protein, which is so essential.
    previous plan made fat sound always bad which is not and too much of positive points to fiber.
    i like that in the new points plus plan they are giving equal importance to all the things.

    i wish they just added protein to the old formula and instead of carbs they should have left calories, so they could have calculated carbs by default when we are entering the others.

    i use the iphone app now which i don’t like but with the new plan i have no other choice as i hated using the new calculator. the old slider or sliding calculators were much better.

    so, evan we are all waiting for you to come and help mommy figure out her experience with the new plan and let us know her opinion.

    Nubia

    December 1, 2010

    Oh, man. The uproar!! I was actually excited to see the changes, but then again, I’m a learner and get bored easily once I get something “down.” I like the new plan and I’ve felt SO full e/day. I’ve easily gone over my regular 5 veggies/fruit servings and with all your (awesome, may I add) recipes, it’s not hard to get the best of the old/new. I’ve got my veggies, fats, grains and now proteins (which I really needed).

    You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m glad you’re giving to us all. I think many people feel the same way. I’ll be waiting for the post after your baby’s here!

    Michele

    December 1, 2010

    I have no opinion of the plan itself as I haven’t been to a meeting yet. I am a lifetime member and will probably go to a meeting tomorrow. I can tell you already that I don’t like the fact of having to buy a calculator (it should be included) and carry that thing around. My purse is heavy enough as it is!

    Nicole

    December 1, 2010

    I agree with BigTickles’ remark above. Roni is entitled to her opinion as we all are.

    s

    December 1, 2010

    though after reading the initial blogosphere comments on the new ww plan i was reluctant to switch to that after counting old fashioned points for 5ish years also, i really think that it will ‘nudge’ me to opt for healthier, less processed foods, which i think is a good thing. while i don’t look forward to learning a whole new points system, eating what i have been eating for a bit will probably not be drastically different since i haven’t gained weight. i think in this case the change may be good, though somewhat tedious, but i have to try it out for myself before i can say that for sure. also, like the core and flex plans of before, it’s good to know that i have a workable fall-back option (the old points system, which also has worked for me) for weeks when there aren’t so many ‘power foods'(?) around and i find myself reaching for the granola bars and 100-cal packs.

    Kylee

    December 1, 2010

    Correct me if I am wrong…the iphone app is free but to use the tools you have to be an e-tools member right?

    Thanks Roni for always being honest in your reviews! You rock!

    Jen

    December 1, 2010

    I”m going to my meeting tomorrow and will post a better opinion then. For now, I have been using etools this week. I think it is a postive change to encourage people to eat better quality food. What bothers me is that is has become less user friendly. I don’t like the fact that as I lose 10lbs, I drop a point. I know being able to eat less is not necessarily something to look forward to, but to me that was a small attainable goal. I am at 31 points and 29 is the lowest and I have 50lbs to lose. That part bothers me a lot and I feel like I will not lose any weight. The droid app is out there, but it’s just a calculator not the full app like Iphone… i.e. it will not sync with your etools as far as I can tell.

    Thanks for your opinions Roni, they help!

    jennifer p

    December 2, 2010

    we love roni,dont give her a hard time for stating her opinion.we are all adults who can make up our own minds,this is ronis opinion. roni i’m glad for the heads up on the new plan.i am weighing in tommorrow so im glad to have an idea of what the new plan is like.i dont like having to buy another thing from ww either .i have a points calculator that i have had for years and years.i am going to look at the new plan and decide .i might just stay with the “old” plan.maybe not though.i need a kick in the butt ,i have gained weight the last two weeks and will gain tommorrow.so maybe this will give me the kick that i need.
    roni i think you are so great and an inspiration.i have said it before and i will say it again. roni you rock.

    Kaytee

    December 2, 2010

    The changes themselves don’t phase me (exchanges to points, anyone?). It’s not about what the formula actually is or about the slide rule vs. the calculator … I don’t need an online replacement for the calculator — I need a formula I can do in my head. Carrying the calculator isn’t the answer for me … I barely manage to keep track of my phone, and I’m not buying a smartphone for the sake of counting points.

    This is my biggest fear with the change, being tied to ANY tool rather than being able to pick something up off the shelf or glance at a posted nutritional chart and know what I need to count. Which goes right back to the “ease of use” point Roni was making.

    Tiger G

    December 2, 2010

    Does anyone else think it’s ironic that the WW website has a picture of Jennifer Hudson and she’s saying how this new program helped her stay focused and lose weight? She lost her weight before this program even came out.
    And thus the smoke and mirrors of WW has been exposed. Maybe it’s because I’m a pessimist, maybe it’s because of everything engrained in me in business school, but WW is a corporation. They don’t owe any of us anything. I can’t help but laugh at the commenters who admit to stealing the program materials (or “sharing” as they like to say) and now are mad that they won’t know how to follow the program. Intellectual material is copywrited and has a value. Sure WW wants us to succeed at losing weight, but they can only continue to do that if they are making a profit. They are gonna try to guard their formula and “secrets” for awhile, long enough to pay for the implementation of the new program. They’d be stupid not to.

    The real problem with all of this is we are so emotionally tied up in our weightloss and our success, that we are giving WW all the credit. Sure we paid our dues (well, most of us) and put in the hard work following the program, but we are the ones responsible for that weight loss. I have to admit that even I was worried when the new points came out. I’m pregnant and not able to start the program for about another month, but immediately I felt paranoid and insecure about my ability to follow a new program. This entire pregnancy I have been telling myself with every pound gained “don’t worry you’ll be back on points when it’s all over.” For a moment it felt like someone died. I was a point whiz. I feel like that talent is now extinct and useless. But then reality smacked me and I realized I don’t need to worry. I’ve lost 90+ lbs in the past on the WW plan, but that’s because I made it work for me, not the other way around. So I agree, the change is scary but I am anxious to see what it’s all about. I may find that it’s exactly what I need, I may realize that the plan I have followed since 2006 is enough for me.

    jen

    December 2, 2010

    honestly, if you dont like the new plan, dont want to throw out your “old” gadgets and buy the new tools….then dont….just stop complaining about it. sometimes we are just never happy. we get bored with the same and then we complain about the change.

    roni and her site is one person…..let her have her opinion. she is not the end all. she can say and do as she wants. who really cares what she thinks….she is not the god of weight loss….i dont mean that in a bad way….i am just tired of reading about the new plan….do it or dont….enough.

    Chris

    December 2, 2010

    Tuesday I was excited about hearing the changes, but when I went to my meeting, it was overwhelming. I ended up buying a calculator so I could figure points. And when I got home I tried using my e-tools, but everything had to be recalculated and some of my recipes were a mess. I got discouraged.

    So then I just sat down and thought about it. What if I was just starting out with this? And didn’t know anything about points or WW or the core/flex/momentum plans?

    So I did what the book said.

    I ripped out the fold out page 87… looked at the 8 or 9 choices offered for a breakfast, lunch & dinner. They all list the PointsPlus. I went grocery shopping and bought more fruits.

    Already had lots of zero point veges in my fridge. And now I’m going to slow down on those 1 point Arnold rounds that are 3 points+. And instead eat an apple for zero. Or an orange. Or a BANANA!! To me, going from 2 points to 0 points+ for a banana is the best move. A banana holds me for a good 3 hours in the afternoon when I get the 3 pm munchies!

    One really good thing, changing all/many of the points values is really making me TRACK again and be accountable for what I’m eating. That alone is worth the change.

    Plus, the fruit instead of prepackaged carbs. Another really great change.

    Roni – I am going to keep reading what you write. And I love love love that you’re testing the new points plus calculator on your resources page. That was one of my first thoughts, I wonder how long until I can calculate on line. Please keep writing/podcasting what you think… it is very motivational!

    I’m eager to see at weigh in time next Tuesday if the new plan moves the needle. I suspect so.

    Kim

    December 2, 2010

    Whoa…. Wow….. Ummmm…. Yeah……

    Some days I love the excitment of change.
    Some days I crave the comfort of the familiar.
    I am glad I get a new day each morning.
    :O)

    Michelle

    December 2, 2010

    Am I the only one who is confused about the process of figuring your new ‘target’ points?? It really doesn’t make sense to me! My sister is 8 lbs from goal, is same general age and height as me and I have 45 lbs to goal. And we get the same 29 points. And my friend is at goal and maintaining and she gets 35 points.

    Also, how can you keep losing if you stay at that same points range? Logically it doesn’t make sense and makes me very leery to try this new system!!

    My sister and I already tried to eat whole grain foods and lots of fruits and veggies. Now a typical meal for her that was 20 points is now 19 points and so she is supposed to eat an extra 9 points a day?? Plus extra fruit on top of that? Again logically this makes no sense.

    And for people in previous posts who said they thought it was a target but you didn’t have to eat all the points, the new book they give out states otherwise. It does say that you need to eat all points every day.

    *Sigh* What to do, what to do…

    mery

    December 2, 2010

    i totally get that such big a change is scary and that having to buy the calculator also sucks. i don’t have an iphone and i never bought a calculator or the books in the other plan, i just had the etools. This time i did buy the calculator (though i didn’t HAVE to ’cause i have the etools). BUT with the counting points there’s a learning curve, right? the more you tracked and counted points you got pretty good at guesstimating the points of a food from a nutrition facts label without any calculator or anything, right? yes, you will learn all this again. i can’t do this yet with all the foods in the new system but i’ve gotten pretty good at guesstimating the translation of points of the staples around my house, i still counter check w/etools or calc just to make sure i’m on the right track. another thing that i do to learn how to do this in my head is when i plug in the numbers in the calc or etools i really pay attention at the numbers i’m plugging in, then i’ll start playing with it, like i’ll change the number of fat grams or fiber or whatever and see how these changes affect the points value, so what i learn with this little game is the ‘ranges’ each factor allows me until it goes up a point. am i making any sense? all i’m saying is that i’m pretty confident that this points system will become second nature too as the other one did. just give it a chance for a couple of weeks, if you all really hate it you can do the other system all on your own since there’s a plethora of free tools to help you with that. :)

    Rachel

    December 2, 2010

    I lost 60 pounds doing WW in 2008 and have maintained now for almost 2 years…but had an easier and more enjoyable time maintaining after I switched off my “WW mentality” and started focusing on whole & healthy foods. My fiance also lost just over 60 pounds in 2008 and has since gained back 15 of them…and I swear its due to the massive amounts of processed junk he eats because they were lower in points. That said….I’m soooo excited about this new plan for him and people like him. He said he’s going to really follow the new plan for the next week and I’m really curious to see how it works for him.

    My complaint is those darn calculators. I had him pick up an extra one at his meeting last night for my brother-in-law who is doing WW on his own because he can’t afford the meetings. Would you believe that they charged him the full $11.95 for the second calculator??? I asked him if he could have gotten the second one at a reduced rate if he waited until next week and he said probably not because they marked in his weigh-in book that he’d purchased one already. WOW. I understand they’re likely doing this to curtail exactly what we’re doing…purchasing it for someone who doesn’t attend meetings. But that seems a bit over the top. Plus, what if I was following the plan and wanted 2 calculators? When I was losing I always kept a slider at home and one in my purse, so I was never caught out without one. It just seems a bit excessive.

    Shay

    December 2, 2010

    I love what you are saying. I made Lifetime on WW back in 2007 (total loss almost 50lbs) but suffered a setback this spring after surgery that had me laid up 6 weeks. (old habits die hard, I guess)

    Anyway I am back working the program trying to lose 14 lbs and I have to say the new program is not speaking to me at all. For starters it took forever to figure out my daily points (29) but then started wondering how the hell is this going to work since if I am reading correctly even when I get back to my goal I am still at 29 points.

    At our meeting we were given the calculators free but honestly it looks like the type of gadget that will die a early death and I will be replacing it often. Unlike my sliders which I have several. I was also startled to see my morning cereal usual 3 points now is 5 points.

    On the one hand I see this as just a matter of word play, at the end of the day we are eating the same more or less since I imagine now that bananas are 0 points I will eat more. Yet it’s the reliance on the gadgets that no doubt will help their bottom line that bothers me.

    Like others what I have loved over the years is the simplicity of the program, it fit my life. I kept my tracker next to my desk and could jot down and after years knew my points. Now I have to fiddle with this calculator to figure it out.

    I may give this a try or may just keep doing what I have always done since I was never one to rely on processed foods.

    Kaytee

    December 2, 2010

    @Tiger G

    “She lost her weight before this program even came out.”

    According to my leader, this is the plan Jennifer Hudson has been following. So the ads have been misleading, but not in the way it appears.

    Agnes

    December 2, 2010

    Hi Roni,

    I feel like I’m late to the party here. You are definitely not an old fart! I am…I lost 75 lbs with WW 15 years ago before points were ever in the picture. Since then I have gained it all back and then some after my daughter was born. I have re-joined WW several times at the meetings and online but have never had even close to the same success. Where 15 years ago WW was my savior now I see it more as a business (obviously it always was but now I feel it more). They have tweeked the plan almost yearly and so every time I re-joined I had to get new cookbooks and calculators and and food guides! At this point I just don’t have the $ in my budget to rejoin plus I’m not really sure I want to even if I had the money. I look forward to hearing from you though after the little bundle is here and you go back. Thanks for sharing!

    Chrissie

    December 2, 2010

    I’m currently on WW and have lost 40+ pounds since May. I do not attend meetings…I’m am purely an Online girl. It’s been informative and also driven some accountability for me even though I’m not sitting in a room w people. Since I use the Online tracker, I haven’t even been introduced to the gadgets or any products involved w the new or old plan. I blog on WW on a daily basis and have quite a few WW friends out there and it’s been interesting to follow how everyone is responding to the changes. I’m making the shift without any issues and am making some wiser choices as I get pushed towards the more low energy density foods over “snacks”. Lovin’ the zero points fruits! So I can only tell you from my perspective that this has been a net neutral change – I didn’t spend any more money as a result.

    Debra

    December 2, 2010

    I’ve lost 97 pounds without a real “diet” or program, but have been at a virtual standstill for the last month, so I decided to go with WW to lose the rest. I signed up for WW Online this week when they debuted the new program. I think I’ll like it, but there’s a lot to learn with the differences from the original Points program.

    The materials, gadgets and foods are available for Online members to purchase, but expensive. I’d like the food and dining out books and the calculator, but it’s $42 with shipping. Isn’t that crazy??? And, unfortunately, way more than I can spend. :( I don’t know anyone local who can purchase them for me at a meeting, either. So I’m stuck having to write the numbers down in the kitchen and going to my computer in the studio to find points values. Oh well.

    I need and want to learn how to eat a super healthy diet for the long term and I think the changes in PointsPlus will help with that. I’ll build my diet primarily with Power Foods. It’s an adventure, isn’t it?

    I have been on and off WW a long time. I’ve reached goal before with the old plan, but had trouble sticking with it long term. I tried to go back, but felt the points were too low for me. I was constantly hungry, even eating almost all filling foods.

    I totally agree with you in that it’s harder to do on your own now. I can’t just look at the nutritional info and guess at the points now. It’s frustrating.. especially since I’m so familiar with the old plan. But, I get the business reason for making it more difficult. I hate that as an online-only member I’m paying for et00ls and the plan forever.. but I can’t blame them for wanting to stay in business, I guess.

    What I like about the new formula, though, is it makes packaged items less appealing. It always bothered me that the points system seemed to advocate for fake foods like light bread and fat free cheese and artificially sweetened and artificial fiber foods.

    I also like that we get more points, and because of the new formula, my food choices seem to fit better into these points. I haven’t felt starved this week and I even have points left over. Which trust me, is something that has NEVER happened before.

    Whether or not I’ll lose weight on plan.. time will tell. But for now, I actually don’t hate it.

    Kim

    December 2, 2010

    Thanks Roni for your view of the new program. When I read your first blog the other day, I was totally outraged with the changes. I think what I am annoyed with is potentially needing to purchase new products to help me (scale, calculator….). In Western Canada, the new launch doesn’t happen until next week, so I will have to wait until Wednesday to find out more about the new changes.

    I must say, that I have always enjoyed your blogs/views and will continue to read them. I find them very interesting and helpful on making my own informed decision. I too look forward to finding out your views on Evan has arrived and you start on the new program. Until next week, I will try to keep an open mind on the new program ;P

    Kelly

    December 2, 2010

    You know what? Bottom line is WW is fianlly going to acknowledge that a choosing whole foods over prepared and pre-packaged foods is a healthier, better choice – both from a weight loss and a lifestyle perspective. I lost 40 pounds on WW over 3 years ago and have kept it off plus 15 more I lost just by eating clean. And, I have always felt that WW was a business- from day one my group leaders told us that they “weren’t supposed to ” tell us about non-WW foods that were good and low in points (they did anyway:).

    Kelly

    December 2, 2010

    Sorry about this but I’m an editor and my father taught English Lit, I can’t help it: Roni, you are catching “flack” not “slack”. And Jocelyn, you fear Roni’s stance may “deter” not “defer” others from trying the new plan.

    Lori @ For the Run of It

    December 2, 2010

    This is an interesting read from the WW site. http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=105421

    laine

    December 2, 2010

    It’s interesting the people keep saying: WW is a business they don’t care about us. But you know who else is a business? The “100 Calorie” pack companies, the “Sandwich thin” companies, the “Skinny Cow” companies that all prey on your desire for low point foods that were not healthy for you!

    Barbara

    December 2, 2010

    wow this subject got a lot of hits.
    I am loving the new plan. I needed a kick in the butt. Been struggling for a while.
    I was actually doing the Barbara plan not WW.
    Now I am completely into this new plan.
    Been on it for two days and I haven’t once went after junk food.
    hang in there everyone who has doubt. I think it will take time.
    Change is always hard.

    Robyn

    December 2, 2010

    WW is the only plan that ever worked for me and that was easy to follow. I am not sure if I will stay with the new plan because it is too complicated to figure on my own when I am at the store. I may just continue with the old way on my own. We will see!

    Michele

    December 2, 2010

    I’m back. I went to a meeting today and got my materials. Roni – from your post (and maybe I read it wrong), I was under the impression that you had to buy that calculator. That isn’t the case. Our leader clearly stated that you can do the program WITHOUT the calculator. I just went to weigh in and get the materials since I am lifetime but I guess I don’t see what the big deal is. If people don’t want to spend the 5.95 for the calculator then they shouldn’t buy one. I didn’t because I plan on just doing what I’ve been doing since I’ve been on maintenance. The points values for almost everything is in the new materials.

    Oh – and the people saying the sandwich thins are now 3+ points? My leader today said they are 2. Of course, I didn’t buy the calculator so I have no way to figure it out… :)

    roni

    December 2, 2010

    Michele – It really isn’t a that big of a deal. You are right. But you just pointed out in your comment the reason why you “have” to buy the calculator (OR use etools at a min) if you weren’t in maintenance but just starting out, how would you calculate the points for the thin? or anything that’s not in the pocket guide. That’s my point. They aren’t MAKING you buy it but you NEED it to follow the plan effectively.

    Michele

    December 2, 2010

    Roni – I agree and I was kind of making fun of myself because I was saying just don’t buy it but then I couldn’t even figure out the points for the thin because I didn’t buy it, hence the :)

    I don’t even plan on following it since, like I said, the way I’ve been doing maintence works for me and I don’t even count points anymore. I agree they should include the calculator with the new materials but I
    honestly didn’t hear anyone complaining today and the meeting was packed. I’m not even sure that many people bought the calculator and maybe WW point is that if you eat less processed foods you won’t even need it? I don’t know. I didn’t mean to come down on you so I apologize if it sounded that way.

    Michele

    December 2, 2010

    *maintenance!

    roni

    December 2, 2010

    Oh no need to apologize! I just didn’t pick up the joke and thought it was funny which it is as you were making a joke! Sometimes.. I’m slow like that. Especially with “pregnancy brain”

    Michael J. Matusinec

    December 3, 2010

    roni- I agree with you. There was a issue I bought up @ my recent WW meeting that was not taken to kind. In the old point system pineapple 1 cup was one point or est. 75 caloreis. Now fruits and vegs. are free. I said that if a person has two or three cups of pineapple a day or at a meal that would be 225 calories. There are calories in fruits and vets. and one can gain weight if you over eat on vets. or fruit,over a period of time. The reaction by the lead was not positive.
    I have been WW for almost three years and have lost 60lbs using the point system, counting calories and excerise 3 to 5 times a week, plus SparkAmerica. The old system works just fine for me.
    I did some additional research on the internet and found that some 40 years past the UK start a program called “Slimming World” which has some of the same taste a” PointsPlus plan”
    Just think all the books chane, the food products change, the calculator . I would not be surprise if the e-tools price does not increase. Listen and you will hear $$$$$$

    Tracy

    December 3, 2010

    I agree that Roni is entitled to her opinion. And I don’t think the suggestion should be made that she should water it down or keep it to herself just because she’s a weight watchers “icon”. WWs doesn’t pay her…she’s not an employee and that’s what makes her opinion, IMO, so valuable. Having a WW member who LIVED on the old plan, lost her weight, and is now anticipating LIVING on the new one is an extremely welcome and useful take for members. WWs is going to do everything they can to “plug” the new plan, but that doesn’t mean it won’t have its flaws. Who better than to assess what those flaws – in terms of PERSONAL OPINION – might be than someone who successfully followed the old plan, and maintained on it?

    I find it strange that “WW employees” have a problem with it. :/

    Jocelyn

    December 4, 2010

    I am far from a ‘corporate minion’. I am someone that works 1 meeting for and brings home $15 a week. As I said everyone has a right to their own opinion but you have to realize that some people are easily influenced. I was simply trying to say that being negative about the new plan without even trying it could deter (excuse my previous typo) people from trying it or giving it a fair chance.

    JulieP

    December 4, 2010

    I lost 45 pounds 6 years ago. Struggled when they changed the plan slightly at some point back then. I maintained the loss for 2 1/2 years and then slowly the weight came back on because I wasn’t working the plan. I’d get discouraged with myself and then stop completely with WW. I realized the last time I joined and didn’t follow the plan well (hence no real weight loss) that I was relying too much on the Plan and not on myself.

    I rejoined this week. For me, I love that the plan is completely new because it feels like when I first did WW. I found this week that I didn’t feel compelled to use all of my points in a day just because I had them all. I ate grapes for the first time this week in years…I wouldn’t want to “waste” my points on certain fruits so I could save the points for something else. Like a WW 2 point bar at the end of the day. Well, I ate more fruit yesterday (not overboard) and I didn’t feel the ‘need’ to treat myself at the end of the day with a 2 point bar. Sure, I had the points left, but I actually stopped and said to myself that I wasn’t really hungry so why eat it.

    I don’t eat much processed food to begin with. My biggest thing was I would eat a Kashi Crunchy bar on the run for breakfast. They have gone up from 3 points to 5 points. I could still have them and will when I am in a hurry, but now, I am rethinking my breakfasts–I may bring back more healthy options that I took off the table years ago because the points were higher than the convenient option. I only mention breakfast because besides light english muffins going up from 1 point to 3 points, not much else I eat has gone up in points. I need to re-focus on the portions….making sure my version of a half cup is actually a half cup;).

    It took me many years to finally believe that it was not the Plan (whichever one that is/was in effect) that lost the weight and maintained, it was me. I am in control. Not the plan. I am now trying to focus on the “why” of when I either overeat or eat when not hungry. That is way harder than managing calories.

    It took this major change in the WW plan for me to come back. I found that I knew the old points plan too well. It became too easy and I didn’t really change. I focused too much on the fiber instead of protein and such. I had been known to eat 3 skinny cow fudge bars at the end of the day to meet my points. Yes, that was only 3 points, but it was 300 calories of nothing nutritious.

    Oh I get it, though, the trepidation of trying a new way of doing WW when you have been successful with the plan you had lost the bulk of your weight on. For me, looking back, I used that change as an excuse, like I was not the one in control and it was The New Plan that was making me not as successful. I am just talking about myself here. Even as I was doing it, I was smart enough to know that I was wrong. I just couldn’t/wouldn’t stop myself from thinking that way.

    I was under the impression that with PointsPlus you could use up to the point number, but didn’t have to use them all. If not, I don’t understand how I have the same 29 points in a day to use as the woman sitting next to me at the meeting who is at goal. We happen to be the same height and age as well. The way I look at it is that if I go under a few points some days, it really is more points than it seems based on the old plan because I am not counting points for the fruit. Oh, for the record, I don’t mean to sound like one of those lucky people who struggle to use all their points every day. Trust me! Most days that does not happen.

    Good luck to everyone. I am feeling optimistic…cautiously optimistic. I don’t want to get discouraged if I don’t see whopping results at the first weigh in. I remember I lost 5 pounds at my very first weigh in more than 6 years ago. I am older now, bodies change,etc. I am hoping for at least a pound! Better living through lower expectations;)

    holly

    December 4, 2010

    I had to stop reading comments 3/4 a way down due to time restraints, so if im being redundant, forgive me.
    I couldnt agree more with everything you said Roni. And what i find extremely frustrating is that if this whole agenda is to get us off processed foods, why the first week was there a sale on vitamuffins run directly from the ww website? and why are their little 2 point and 3 point crap in a box still offered? i understand that ww is a business…..however, there are still ALOT of people that attend meetings that Dont have e-tools and Do not understand gadgets (my mother being one of them). our leader instructed them to look in the back of the pocket guide then. thats crap. we have always been told by the same leader that that is a guide, an estimate if you CANNOT find the true points.
    im going on and on, but purely, its a business, and for the first time i think ww is thinking more about the money.

    Renee

    December 5, 2010

    It is way too late for me to read through all these great comments(I will tomorrow though)…so forgive me if someone else has already brought this up…..but…..I personally feel that WW had to change the point formula because food manufacturers were modifying food that manipulated point values, ie. adding fiber where it normally wouldn’t occur. I think the fiber was orginally a major factor because foods with naturally occuring fiber were generally better choices, but now that fiber is sold in chew tabs, and added to splenda packets, fiber isn’t necessarily a clue that a food is healthy.
    I personally stopped doing WW because I felt that it was too easy for me to get into a bad mood and use my points for evil, ie, lowfat ice cream sandwiches. I just rejoined because I think the changes will work for me. Also….if you are only an online member like me, there was no deal on the calculator. I paid over $20 with shipping. Maybe that will take the sting out of the $5.95 for some people :)
    I actually enjoy change. I know that most people don’t, and I get that, but I following the plan and seeing where it will take me. If the free fruit someone adds pounds, I think the lack of processed junk will add years to my life, and I am ok with that :)

    Sara

    December 5, 2010

    Where on earth can you find the new calculator for $5.95?! At my meeting last week, once they were done introducing the new plan, we were told the calculators were $15.00…and oh, by the way, because of an employee error at the supplier, our meeting (a franchise) did not receive any! What a slap in the face to all the people that may want to at least try their new ‘plan’…seriously! I was expecting that if they were going to pull this kind of stuff, WW could at least offer the calculators or new eating out guides/total food guides at a discounted rate for current members to make up for the sudden new required investment…but nothing!

    Paige

    December 5, 2010

    I’ve never used WW before, but after these changes I’m going to sign up. In the past I’ve been a calorie counter, but always found myself eating low-calorie foods that were not especially nutritious, and not just occasionally. Recently I’ve been having some success with intuitive eating, not actually losing weight but at least dialing down some of the crazy that I’ve had with food. I feel like this is a good middle place. If, at the end of the day, I’ve eaten all of my points but am still hungry, I can always have fruit, but there are still some limits in place to help me lose weight.

    Lindsay

    December 5, 2010

    I am late in reading this but Emily (#28) how can you compare fruit to a greasy cheeseburger? I can’t think of a single piece of fruit that could be as “bad” for you as a greasy cheeseburger. Please share – I’m quite curious to hear the reasoning behind why fruit is bad. Even in excess…

    Mona

    December 6, 2010

    At least your calculator is only 5.95! The new program just unveiled in Canada today and the same calculator is available for the limited price offer of $14 here in Alberta! And our dollar is almost on par with yours! Ugh, talk about cash grab.

    I joined the program in August and bought both food companions. Just riles me to have to buy them so soon. Must concentrate on the good of the program and not the company!

    sarah

    December 6, 2010

    Okay, back again to share my final thoughts. I am a lifer and attended my meeting last week. I bought the calculator, thoroughly read through all the materials, and at first was excited to try the new program. However, my final decision is that I’m going to stick with what I know. My current eating habits have enabled me to lose and keep off 40 pounds for the past 1 1/2 years. My logic is as follows. Right now I eat about 24-26 points a day to maintain my weight loss (If that sounds like a lot it’s because I’m an advid exercise junkie). On the new program, my daily points would be 29. That’s only 3-5 points more than I currently eat, but the points values of the foods I eat have gone up way more than that so it does not make sense for me. For example, just for my Arnold thin bread alone for lunch would be 3 points instead of one, so I’m already +2 just for lunch! They keep saying it’s okay that the points values have gone up cause so has your daily allowance. Well, not really – not for someone like me who is maintaining close to the 29. So, my bottom line is that I think the new program is really great and I’m glad it encourages healthier choices, but I am going to keep maintaining the way I have the past year and a half. Final answer!

    teana

    December 6, 2010

    Being an online member only, I sometimes feel like I really don’t count in the WW community. While all the meeting members got all the new materials and got discounts to buy the new guides and calculator, I got to pay full price plus shipping online. Couldn’t find a pocket guide online. Then I found 8 pages of corrections online for the new guides. Then I read that the new calculator can’t calculate anything using sugar alcohol, you must use the guides or online info. Cookbook revisions only cover the latest 4 or 5 cookbooks. No word on whether they will publish revisions for older cookbooks. The recipe calculator is or is not correct for calculating recipes containing veggies or fruit–I can’t get a definitive answer. I wonder if WW rushed introducing this plan in order to have a better bottom line for this fiscal year! It seems poorly planned.

    The plan itself? I’ve been on it a week, lost 4 lbs, but it is also my first week on any diet since January. I’m eating three fruits and 6 servings of veggies a day (one more fruit than I would have normally eaten OP) but my whole grain as decreased from 3 to 4 serving to 2 servings because of the point increase. My dairy has gone from 2 servings to three servings. I’m still eating about the same amount of meat as on the old program.

    I was never one to do the 100-calorie packs of anything. But I have always made room for a 2 to 4 point “sweet” to curb the sweet cravings if needed.

    Last week I used up all but 5 WPs (but I went to Culvers and had a hamburger, fried, and a malt on my first day). I’m 4 days into my 2nd week and have used 8 WPs (and that included dinner at Taco Bell last night.) I normally earn anywhere from 4 to 8 APs a day but normally don’t swap them out for food.

    I’m curious to see how much I’m losing a week in about a month. On the old plan, I was lucky to lose a half pound and it could be very frustrating and hard to stay motivated.

    That being said, I still dislike how complicated it has become. The major plus of the old plan was ease of use.

    Jean

    December 7, 2010

    I’m still trying to work out the new plan – so far I’ve GAINED 3 pounds, and my Weight Watcher buddy has gained 5!! And we’re only 5 days into it. I’m eating 1-2 fruits a day, and have been re-measuring and weighing all my old staple foods (that helped me lose over 40 pounds on the old plan), so I know that’s not the problem. It’s just WAY more food to try to consume in one day, and the results are definitely showing up on the scale. Anybody else out there having the same problem?

    carrie

    December 8, 2010

    so far i am losing on the new plan. i love it!

    Erica

    December 8, 2010

    Jocelyn – please don’t lie.

    “The new formula for figuring out points is too complicated to use a slider.”

    Wrong.

    There is a WW slider from Europe consisting of the SAME four components (fiber, fat, carbohydrates and protein) that our formula uses. I believe that they call their program ProPoints, and that the formula is different… but a slider is possible.

    http://eleganterica.wordpress.com/2010/12/05/so-finally-went-to-a-meeting/

    And a blog is for someone to express their opinions in a public forum… mine is that you are wrong.

    Carolyn

    December 11, 2010

    I agree , I do not care for the new plan at all. I have lost 70 lbs since March , 2010 , the old plan was very simple to follow, and working great for me… allowing me to eat healthy 95+ % of time, while living ” realistically” enjoying other foods, beer , and alcohol on occasion without ever going over my daily points. Now, If I want to go out, and have a couple of cocktails on the weekend, I better choose between the drinks or a meal, and I know everyone says, well you get “extra” points to compensate for that, but it seems to me going up on your daily points, weekly points, and the points you get for exercising is a strange way to compensate ….what was the point to double point values, but give you a lot more points to manage that? The other thing is, you get “Free” fruit, so, 0 points + 0 points + o points = 0 points, but it does equate to 300 + calories, so don’t eat too much fruit ?? How can they say it’s free then recant that by saying watch how much you eat ??? I’m an on-line tooler, and like being able to manage points that way, but am considering dropping the on-line , and just using the old program on paper on my own.

    S

    December 14, 2010

    I’m also a long-time WW member–I first joined in 1998. I’ve always known the points system had weaknesses, as discussed above, by treating all calories equally, but what I liked about it was that I felt in control. With this new plan, I don’t feel in control.

    I don’t get to even calculate my own friggin’ daily points target? The frequently math-challenged receptionist does it for me? And it is somewhat ludicrously the same for, as some people have said, people who are 20lb apart in weight? And my points target was set at 29, even tho I’m maintaining at goal?

    And I agree with all the complaints about the calculator and the resulting difficulty in trying to estimate points on the fly. It is empowering to be able to guess the points value of foods in the grocery store, simply by looking at the label. Now I have to either bring a calculator to the store and whip it out in the aisle, or wait and be surprised at home?

    And as a lifetime member I am frankly insulted I either have to purchase a tool or drop out of participating in the program. I also don’t need another gadget to carry. I’d feel a lot different about this program if it was introduced with a slider.

    Yes, I’m very grumpy! I’m considering dropping WW altogether. Yes, it’s a company that needs to make money, but never before have I felt that so sharply.

    Lizzie

    December 14, 2010

    Hey Roni! Just to say, I am in the UK and a ww member. I LOVE ProPoints (what we call PointsPlus here) and we DID get a slider tool in our first week. A point is calculated on fibre, carbs, protein + total fats. I am sure they must be available from US ww. Also, Simply Filling is the new version of ‘Core’ and is (dare i say it) EVEN BETETR than the old versioN!! I would urge your fellow ww members to give it a whirl!!

    amazing blog – lotsa love xxx

    Gail @ Shrinking Sisters

    December 19, 2010

    Here’s a little secret about eating too much fruit, which some people will discover: Your body will let you know with (oh, how to put it?) “stomach issues.” The naturally occurring sugar alcohols in fruit, if eaten in excess, will work as a laxative.

    Judy Harney

    December 23, 2010

    My only problem with the new plan is at the meetings over the past 6 months I was encouraged at every meeting to buy all the stuff – scale, books, etc. and I spent at least $150 and now I can’t use them. WW knew they they were changing for a long time and shame on them for pushing us to buy the “old” stuff – it made money for them, but I feel ripped off. Now they want me to buy all the same stuff for the “new” program. I think they should give a trade-in with a big discount. They should have given us a heads-up on the new plan and let us decide if we wanted to still purchase stuff knowing it would be obsolete in a few months. but I guess the bottom line is making MONEY : (

    Shannon

    December 28, 2010

    I feel the same way about the program that you do. I have been a lifetime member for 4 years now, after losing 80 pounds. I have been on weight watchers for almost 10 years.
    When I realized there wasn’t a slider this time around, I was very upset, I bought the calculator, it’s $10 here (Las Vegas), not sure why they sell it for $5.95 everywhere else. I don’t like the fact that I have to use the calculator to figure out points, and I feel as if they haven’t given us enough information at the meetings yet or enough materials to learn on our own. I am always looking forward to change in the program, as I tend to get lazy.

    Shannon

    December 28, 2010

    oh and I should say, That I have NEVER counted points for fruit, veggies (except potatoes, corn) or my EVOO. And I lost just fine. I figured I didn’t get fat from eating those things. I also never count points for avocados, never will either.

    Rosemary

    January 1, 2011

    I am on my 3rd calculator in les than a month. The first one was broken right out of the box. I am hoping that #3 will last a while longer but it is made in China. I am loving the program and I am a life time member since 1977 so I have seen it all. This program doesn’t feel like a diet, it is a life style change that I can live with till death do us part WW.

    Rachael

    January 3, 2011

    Hi Roni..Thanks! I feel validated to read your comments about the PointsPlus plan. I, too, have had much success on the old points plan, and I selected it for ONE reason: SIMPLICITY. It’s a busy world, and I prefer to lug minimum baggage. As it is, I use both my trusty slider and cell phone to calculate and track points. I love the ease of dealing with only three variables. I also have a personal bias that calories should be included in the formula. What surprises me is that so many individuals touting the new plan seem to think that PointsPlus is the ONLY route to healthful eating. I eat a largely plant-based diet and very little “junk” on the OLD plan. Healthy choices are NOT rocket science!

    I’m also disappointed with WW’s stealth notification to “old-timers” that they need for fork over more cash asap, carry extra paraphernalia around and worry about everything except calories. If I wanted to do that, I could go on South Beach or another more time-consuming mode of food monitoring.

    All said, I’m sure that both plans work…and some individuals might require the incentive of “free” food to eat healthfully. I’m not one of them, and even though I usually select the apple over the cupcake, there are times I allow a small indulgence without “penalty” or guilt!

    Michael J. Matusinec

    January 6, 2011

    Roni, I was wondering how accurate Weight Watchers scale are? How often do you think WW calibrate there computer scale program?
    I go to my WW meeting every Thursday. When I get up and do a home scale weigh in just to get a feel where I am at ( I only weight myself once a week never daily). I cometed an hour workout, then weight myelf after, just as a feel for where I might be @ when I went to WW, today I was 2.5 lbs higher. I did not have anything to eat or drink after mywork out., I went right to WW meeting. I was irritate with the weight gain. The weigh in person said the Y never calibrates there scales. (they have digital and free standing ones) How does she know this?. Roni, what do you think.

    roni

    January 7, 2011

    Michael – No scales will ever be the same. In a way I don’t think it matters. You need to stick one official scale just to show your change from week to week.

    That being said… I’m pretty sure WW has some pretty stringent rules when it comes to calibration. The Y, not so much. They probably do not calibrate.

    Regardless… stick to one scale and save your sanity. My Wii routinely weighs me 8 lbs lighter then my bathroom scale.. it’s ridiculous!

    carole

    January 7, 2011

    It is so obvious that the new “plan” was created basically so WW could boost their profits. I lost 31 lbs on the old plan in 8 months. I am NOT going to change now. I bought the scale for over $50 now they tell me I need a new one; the books have all changed due to the point differentials. I think many of the die hard old Weight Watcher people will bolt. As the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”

    Michael J. Matusinec

    January 7, 2011

    Three cheers for you Carole, the annual etimated WW sales exceed $1 billion. I have been thinking about that for a long time. I bought my 3 month Journal back in mid Oct (number #9 book) you know they would not give you any credit agains a new one, that is not there style. My last WW I was very irritable over several issues including over crowing which is a fire hazard. So far I have lost over 58 lbs on the “old program” with about 34 more to goal.

    robin

    January 9, 2011

    the new plan sucks. hands down. why change something that works? i have my old slider & will continue to use the old system. i think it was just a way for weight watchers to make more money. i can always form my own support group & weigh in every week with them. i am very dissatisfied.

    Mary Thomson

    January 13, 2011

    New plan calculator =***EPIC FAIL***!!! Good thing they only charged me $5.95 for it with the ‘package,’ if I had to pay more, I’d have wanted all my money back. I’m still going to return it anyway for even just $6.00. I’ve had to reset the d*** thing three times, and I’ve only been on it THREE DAYS!, because you’re not allowed to change your daily point usage if you made a mistake and hit ‘enter’ accidentally when you’re doing calculations. I HATE IT. The slide rule was so much easier. Until they redesign the calculator so you have one-button remaining-points check (which it doesn’t now, which is a mystery to me!) and can do a simple subtraction/addition to your used points, to correct mistakes, I have NO intention of using it. Thank heavens the ‘proprietary’ (hah!) math formula is all over the Internet, I have it written down in my program materials. So much for user-friendly! I love the new program in and of itself, but the calculator is the PITS.

    Mary Thomson

    January 13, 2011

    As for people complaining that the older WW cookbooks, etc. are no good anymore– well, sheesh, all you have to do is go through them and recalculate on each recipe, all the info you need is provided! Yes, it’s a PITA, but we only regularly use about 2-3 recipes out of each book anyway, so I’ll just do it as I go.

    Jenn

    February 11, 2011

    thanks for the input, I usually can’t afford WW, but have to do something so I’m joining for a month so I can learn the plan and get the info I need and hopefully do the rest at home, I love to hear more from you as your doing the plan, after reading this I’m alittle worried but if i don’t like the new plan I still have the old one and also sparkle. thanks for all the input, I loved reading it:)

    Kathy

    February 20, 2011

    I agree with much of what Roni has written. aving been a member on and off for years on WW I found the Core to be the most successful for me. I re-joined in Jn 2011 and have not found the PP+ to be successful for me . Also, like starting something new there are a lot of bugs, queries, typos, and general confusion. Even leaders seem to be conflicted in their answers. One of my biggest complaints, realizing they are a business and therefore into making money, is that many of those who really need and want help to lose weight simply cannot afford to attend and there are no exceptions or adjustments to fees. Also, they profess to talk about healthy choices and yet their own products are enormously high in sodium !!! Anyway, I would like to go back to the Core and if you could provide me some info -my got thrown away in a move !! :(
    Thanks for your opinions and openness!

    roni

    February 21, 2011

    Kathy – This may help… http://www.starling-fitness.com/archives/2004/09/04/weight-watchers-core-food-list/

    Adrian

    February 24, 2011

    Ok, so I started WW again in December after a year (where I had lost 22 pounds) and had regained 7. I embraced the new system and in fact loved the flexibility! I love being able to eat fruit, I love the direction of leaving bad foods for good ones. I absolutely love the diet…….the only problem is I HAVEN’T LOST ANY WEIGHT! I am up one week then down the next. I monitor my points, I don’t even use my “extra” ones.

    So, I know that WW did a “test market” in Europe, and it was successful, but European lifestyles and American ones are different. How can so many different age groups, weights and levels of activity all just happen to be at 29 points. I mean everyone in my class is at 29 points. Doesn’t make sense to me.

    I have tried and tried. I’ve been told “you resist change”, “you need to increase your point consumption, your body is in starvation mode”, “you need to reduce the number of points.” I am not saying it isn’t effective, but it certainly isn’t effective for me. I had great success with the old program, and have been for 3 months trying to lose a simple 8 pounds without success.

    Anyone else having this trouble?

    Kylee

    February 24, 2011

    @ Adrian I feel the same way! I loved the free fruit and I felt more satisfied. But I wasn’t losing. So I went back to the old way and am losing. I figure once I get to where i want to be I could go back to the new plan and stay where I am. I just want to lose right now!

    Michael J. Matusinec

    February 24, 2011

    Adrian:
    Yes, I feel the same way as you do, I tired the new Point Plus system for 12 weeks and my weight had gone up. HISTORY: I have been with WW for almost three years, and lost over 57 lbs. however with the new system my weight has gone up.. SoI told my leader,I was going back to the old system. she said I should give it more of a chance because of the holidays. I started back several weeks past and guess what? I am losing weight again. I will NEVER go back to the new system.
    PS: I have kept all my tacker books (now over 10) and I am going back to review some of my bigger weight loss weeks.

    Angel

    April 5, 2011

    So I am going to say something positive.. I have done the “old” points system with success and after a few years off it and my weight creeping back up I rejoined. I will have my 9th weigh in tonight. I have lost every week. I am down 19lbs so far. I track and measure every little thing. And let me say I do indulge. I have something sweet every day and have a “cheat meal” once a week. But that’s what works for me. I am not a big veggie fan, I do try to get some in at least once a day. But I eat protein, whole grain and fruit. And I try my best. I also work out 4-5 times a week and I have to say I never given myself more points for it I feel I eat enough through out the day (i did the same thing before as well)..Bottom line do what works for you but I love the program and I’m making better choices then I did in the old point system. I feel satisfied longer and I’m enjoying what I eat.

    I also have to give credit to Roni and Danica though.. They help me almost every week when I’m planning my dinners for the week to make good choices and yummy meals! Thanks!

    Monica

    April 5, 2011

    Af ter being on the program for 3 weeks and only losing 1 lb, I approached my leader to show her my tracker. She said I wasn’t using all of my points. I am at the gym between 5 to 7 days a week for 45 mintues. For the past 2 weeks, I used my 29 points, never used my 49 optional points, increased my gym time to 1 hour and have lost 1 lb. It seems that this plan is just not working for me. I had to search the internet to see if anyone else is having a problem with the new program and see that I may not be alone. I weigh-in on Saturday. If I didn’t lose weight, I may just have to revert back to the old plan.

    Rosie

    April 10, 2011

    I came across this site by accident and of course the first whining I read was about the price of the calculator Each one of you have a computer. How much does that cost? Do you have a cellphone? How much is your plan? How much is your cable TV? Your lattes? Funny how we all find the money for these things but to spend $5.95 on something which will help you lose the weight once and for all will put you in debtor’s prison? Oh one other thing….how many times have you stopped and started your journey. Add all that up too. Months and months of weekly meeting fees and Monthly Pass renewals all because YOU made a choice and didn’t come back to the meetings. Sorry to be so hard on you but it is ALL a matter of priorities (this week’s topic). Aren’t you worth $5.95??? As far as the program working, it won’t work unless you work it. PERIOD. And yes, I am a 113 pound loser, and also a WW leader. I tell my members to Commit, Understand, Trust and Enjoy the process…..I pass that all with all the good luck in my heart.

    Rosie

    April 10, 2011

    Too early for correct grammar …. it should be “has a computer.”

    roni

    April 10, 2011

    Rosie – SInce this is your first time here you don’t know about me or my story. I’m a join once, lost 70lbs weight watchers FAN! Love the program. As for the calculator, it’s not as much about shelling out the 6 bucks as it is that the calculator is a piece of crap. let’s be honest here.

    This post was the second in a series of 2 I wrote. Go here for my initial response and gripes..

    http://ronisweigh.com/2010/11/my-take-on-the-new-weight-watchers-pointplus-program-share-you-thoughts.html

    It has nothing to do with the reasons you listed in your comment. As someone who did lose on the old plan I’m having a hard time embracing the new one. I’m trying though as I stated in this recent post…

    http://ronisweigh.com/2011/03/my-return-to-weight-watchers.html

    shelly

    June 7, 2011

    i am not happy with the new program at all in fact i keep going up in weight and so far since the program took affect i’ve gone up 9 freakin pounds. i’m depressed all the time and i haven’t changed my eating habits at all, i loved the old point system because if you lost weight you got to change the weekly point goal for yourself now i feel like a big FAT LOSER WITH NO SELF ESTEEM. i’m sure i’m not the only person that feels my pain but i am also in a wheelchair so exercise doesn’t come as easily to me like others.

    roni

    June 7, 2011

    I say go back! Go back to the old plan.. there’s nothing stopping you. Take charge and do what you know works for you!

    Monica

    June 7, 2011

    I had to go back to the old plan because for the past 8 weeks I have not lost anything. If I didn’t workout everyday for 45 to an hour, I would be gaining weight. It’s too much food for me. Now that I have gone back to the old plan, I have started losing weight. I complained to WW, but I’m sure nothing will be done since they must have spent a fortune on revamping everything.

    shelly

    June 7, 2011

    does anyone know how to calculate how many points i would need if i’m 5 ft 1 and 129 lbs. to get back to the weight i was which was 118

    Michelle

    June 30, 2012

    Roni – I agree with everything you have said in the article above – I joined in 1985 and reached LTM status. Been back throughout the years and followed WW’s different plans with success and would have to say this is the worst. Too many variants! Do you have “free” fruit – do you use your exersize points or not – do you use the “flex” points or not? Do you have 26 or 29 pro-points??? I don’t have 6 months to waste trying to find out!!!! Back to old Points for me!