Welcome to the PointsPlus® Program: Now What?

So, the plan has changed. Don’t panic! Here are 5 things you can do right now to get you started on the right foot.
Welcome to the PointsPlus Program: Now What?

If you’re reading this, then you’ll already have gone through the process of updating your information on this site to follow the new PointsPlus program. To jog your memory, here are some of the things that you did:

  • You learned your new daily PointsPlus Target.

  • You may have re-entered some nutritional information for food items that you created in the PointsPlus Tracker, if you’d tracked them during this current week.

  • You may also have been asked to enter information for other food items that you have stored in your Favorites.

So, what’s next? These 5 to-dos will help you get started!

1. Understand your new PointsPlus Target
Because there is a new formula for calculating PointsPlus values for food, you also have a new daily PointsPlus Target and weekly PointsPlus Allowance. Don’t spend any time trying to wrap your brain around how your old daily POINTS® Target relates to your new daily PointsPlus Target. The way that PointsPlus values are calculated is completely different to the old POINTS values calculation, so don’t even try to guesstimate. (Learn more about PointsPlus values in the Plan Guide.)

Everyone will find that they have a higher number to work with every day. A lot of foods have also got a higher number of PointsPlus values attached to them — but not all! Stay tuned for some happy surprises.

2. Take stock in the kitchen
Go through your cupboards and fridge at home, and recalculate the PointsPlus values for foods that you eat often. You can either look on the product’s nutritional labels and use the PointsPlus calculator,or look in Find and Explore for the items by name. Don’t be afraid to deface food packaging with a big ol’ Sharpie — better to have graffiti in your pantry than anxiety in your meal planning.

If you’ve got any food items in the PointsPlus Tracker that you’d created previously, but didn’t need to convert straightaway (they'll have a red exclamation point next to them), now’s a great time to go back and either delete them if you don’t use them anymore, or re-enter the nutritional info so they’re ready to track next time you eat them. If you don’t have the package handy, and if the item isn’t in our Food Tracker, remember that many manufacturers put nutritional info right on their websites.

You’ll find that some of the items in your kitchen — like pasta, rice, beans, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and many packaged foods — have a higher PointsPlus value than POINTS value. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat these foods! Don’t forget that your new, higher daily PointsPlus Target is also higher.

That said, you’ll also find that some other items — yogurt, most meats and fish, and cheese — actually have the same number of PointsPlus values as POINTS values. A 3oz. serving of grilled chicken breast has 3 PointsPlus values — that’s how many POINTS values it was, but it’ll eat into your daily Target less! Foods that are higher in protein and fiber, and lower in carbohydrates and fat, will often turn out to be real bargains. Learn more about making smarter food choices in the Plan Guide.

3. Hit the stores
You will likely have learned by now that Weight Watchers Power Foods are nutritious and satisfying foods that work hard to help you lose weight. Foods that are marked with a green triangle are Weight Watchers Power Foods, and you can see the full list of them in Find and Explore.

But don’t just sit there and read it: Go shopping! Load up your cart with these foods — try some new ones, and find some Weight Watchers recipes to make use of them here. As well as the new food items you might try, you may also be pleasantly surprised by some of the items that make their way into your cart: Bread (reduced-calorie, whole-grain is best), fat-free luncheon meats, and light yogurt are all Weight Watchers Power Foods, even though they weren’t Filling Foods.

(On that note, though, do note that a few of the Filling Foods, such as avocados and certain soups, are not Weight Watchers Power Foods.)

However, a really important part of the Plan is remembering that it's still OK to enjoy treats. It's OK to put that premium ice-cream or rib-eye steak into your cart from time to time. Learn how to fit indulgences into your life with the Plan Guide.

4. Buy a new fruit bowl
You’ll need it! All fruit — apples, oranges, strawberries, even bananas and mangoes (yes! Even bananas and mangoes!) — have 0 PointsPlus values. They’re Weight Watchers Power Foods, and they help you meet your Good Health Guidelines. (And most vegetables still have 0 PointsPlus values.)

Yes, fruit contains calories and sugar, but trust us: provided you listen to your hunger signals (and forgo the banana-eating contests), you can eat it and still lose weight.

The key is to use fruit as a particularly delicious “tool.” Eat a filling banana to keep you away from the vending machine between breakfast and lunch. Add some grapes to your salad to bulk it up and add a juicy sweetness for 0 PointsPlus values. Roast some plums or peaches with your chicken for a tangy accompaniment. Have some mango with plain Greek yogurt and honey for a creamy and delicious low PointsPlus values dessert. Or stash an apple in your purse to munch while you rush from place to place. Zero PointsPlus value fruit is, quite simply, awesome.

5. Know where your tools are
Your Plan Manager contains all the tools to discover the PointsPlus values of the food you want to eat, plus a full database of activities that can earn you extra PointsPlus values. You can take, and retake, the tutorial as many times as you need to. Even if you were tracking in the Plan Manager faithfully before, it’s still worth taking the tutorial again so you can refresh your memory of how to look up foods that you may not have had to look up for some time.

Your Plan page contains information we’ve picked out for you according to how long you’ve been following the plan. If you’ve been a subscriber for some months, you can still go back to basics by looking at the info that people in their first few weeks on plan get. Just change your week to get a refresher on some Plan basics.

Finally, the Weight Watchers Community is full of people who are transitioning from the old plan to the new one, just like you. Who knows what nuggets of advice you’ll stumble across?

Want more? Get thousands more articles, tips and recipes when you subscribe to WeightWatchers.com.
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