Food | WW UK

Everything you need to know about...


ZeroPoint™ foods are foods that are specifically chosen because they are nutrient, vitamin, and mineral-packed. Because of that, they’re recommended by national and international guidelines (including the World Health Organisation) to be consumed often as part of a healthy pattern of eating. We want to encourage you to reach for them often, which is why you don’t have to weigh, measure, or track them.

ZeroPoint™ foods make eating simple and add flexibility to your Points® Budget. Use them as the base to build a healthy meal, as flavour boosts in salads, omelettes, sandwiches, and more, or as a simple snack that will help you stay full and satisfied. These foods, ranging from fruits and veggies, lean chicken and turkey breast, fish and shellfish, and whole wheat pasta and potatoes, encourage variety. They’re also regular, everyday foods that are easy to have on hand.

Nope! ZeroPoint™ foods don’t need to be weighed, measured or tracked. Since they form the foundation of a healthy pattern of eating, they’re meant to be “go-to” options that you can frequently and consistently choose. They don’t need to be tracked because your Points® Budget has already accounted for them - it factors in that you'll eat ZeroPoint™ foods as part of your daily life. You have an amount of Points balanced with your list of ZeroPoint™ foods to ensure that you reach your weight-loss goals. Focus your energy on tracking foods that have Points® values, because those are the ones that are most likely to impact your weight and journey.

It’s totally understandable to see the word “zero” and think “FREE!” But we want to help you shift that thinking a bit. “Free” naturally implies that you can have as much as you want - like a free-for-all. And that approach may not help you reach your weight loss goals.

Instead, we’ve designated these specific foods as ZeroPoint™ foods because they are nutritional powerhouses that you can reach for frequently and consistently, without weighing, measuring, or tracking them. They are nutrient, vitamin, and mineral-packed food groups recommended by national and international guidelines (including the World Health Organization) to be eaten often as part of a healthy pattern of eating. These foods range from fruits and veggies to lean chicken and turkey breast, fish and shellfish, and whole wheat pasta and potatoes.

ZeroPoint™ foods make eating simple and add flexibility to your Points® Budget. Use them as the base to build a healthy meal, as flavor boosts in salads, omelettes, sandwiches, and more, or as a simple snack that will help you stay full and satisfied.

If you’re concerned about overeating ZeroPoint™ foods because they’re, well, zero, here’s some guidance: Eat these foods in your usual portion sizes. If eggs are one of your ZeroPoint™ foods and you normally eat two at breakfast, stick to that! If you’re still hungry later, have another one—you’ll soon figure out the right portion for you.

Incorporating ZeroPoint™ foods into your meals helps make eating them a habit. Over time, reaching for ZeroPoint™ foods (over other, less Points-friendly foods) will become second nature!

Your ZeroPoint™ foods list can be found in your app.

Yes, they do! Every ZeroPoint™ list is balanced by the Points® Budget to promote a healthy rate of weight loss. (For most members, that means 1-2 pounds per week.) A longer list of ZeroPoint™ foods might mean that you have a lower Points® Budget; a shorter ZeroPoint™ list might mean a higher Budget. We’ve conducted years of research and dozens of studies to ensure you get a plan that you feel good about, that fits your lifestyle, and that leads to success.

You’ll need to fill out all of the nutritional fields in the app calculator. This includes calories, total fat (g), saturated fat (g), sodium (mg), carbohydrates (g), dietary fibre (g), total sugar (g), added sugar (g), and protein (g). You will also have to enter the servings and name the food in order to create and save the item.

Your Budget is yours to use in any way you want! We understand that every day is different - some days you might go a little under your Budget, some days a little over. Either way is perfectly fine and leads to healthy eating and weight loss. As a reminder, on the days when you don’t use all your Points, up to four will automatically roll over into your weekly Budget for you to use later.

As we update our Points® system with new and more nuanced nutrients, we recognise that certain information (like added sugar and fibre) may not be available on all food labels worldwide. Our sophisticated data science capabilities allow us to estimate added sugar and fibre in markets (or on products) where it’s unavailable, ensuring that all members get accurate Points® values, no matter where they live.

You can absolutely eat it! At WW, no foods are off limits - we want you to enjoy every single delicious moment of your life! At WW, our goal is to help you develop a healthy pattern of eating. A pattern of eating includes a wide variety of foods (and Points® values) and takes into account the bigger picture of your choices over time. Just because a food has a higher Points value doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat it. Instead it’s a signal to consider the portion size of that food, or how often you eat it. Going over your Budget one day, or even several days, does not make or break your journey, just like going under doesn’t. Your favourite food might have a higher value due to our updated algorithm - now added sugar (the kind found in biscuits, for example) replaces total sugar (the kind found in dairy) and drives Points up. But, cutting out foods because they carry a higher Points value, or for any other reason isn’t realistic or sustainable.

While it might be frustrating that your food went up, remember: your daily Points® Budget is just the starting point. Getting active adds Points to your weekly Budget, which you can use throughout the week, anytime you want! And you still have your bank of extra weekly Points® to pull from. (Don’t forget about rollovers, too! Up to 4 unused daily Points® will be automatically rolled over into your weekly Budget!)

Sugar alcohols contribute a negligible number of calories to foods. That’s why sugar alcohol is not a required field when entering nutrients into the Points® Calculator in the WW app - so few foods contain it! Still, we do take sugar alcohol into account in our food database, so with WW verified foods, the Points® value will reflect the amount of sugar alcohol it contains. But if you add a food manually via the Calculator or ‘Scan nutrition facts’ feature, sugar alcohol will not be taken into account and the food may appear higher in Points than if you track a verified version of this food. (For the most accurate Points® value, use the value you find in the food database.)

Fibre has been added to the algorithm because fibre-rich foods are healthier and more filling choices, which is helpful for wellness and weight loss. Fibre-rich foods will tend to be lower in Points values because we want to make healthy choices like fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, beans, peas, and lentils the easier choice. Most people don’t eat enough fibre so we want to nudge you towards those choices, while still giving you the flexibility to eat any food you love.

  • Many foods that are rich in fibre are also nutrient dense, meaning they contain additional vitamins and minerals that are important for good health.
  • Eating more fibre is associated with lower cholesterol and a lowered risk for heart disease, decreased risk for type 2 diabetes, and improved digestive health.
  • Fibre consumption is also associated with increased feelings of satisfaction and satiety.

Very. In testing, our data-powered artificial intelligence consistently assigned the correct fibre value. For an extra layer of accuracy, our team of nutritionists and food data scientists double checks the Points™ values before any food is added to the database.

Saturated fat (the less-good-for-you kind) bumps Points™ values up because while fat is an essential part of a healthy diet, not all fats are created equal.

Simply put, healthier choices are lower in saturated fat. Saturated fats tend to be found in red meats, dairy products like cheese, and a few oils such as coconut and palm. (Hint: saturated fats are often solid at room temperature). They don’t offer much nutritional benefit and research shows that diets higher in saturated fat are linked with higher risk of heart disease, and stroke. The Points system works because it helps you consider how to fit foods that are high in saturated fat into your overall eating pattern, without making you kiss the foods you love goodbye.

Unsaturated fats are the better-for-you fats found in plants (like avocado), seafood, seeds, nuts, and oils (like olive and rapeseed). They are essential nutrients, help in the absorption of vitamins, and provide many health benefits including helping to form the building blocks of our brain and nerves, and supporting heart health. Nutritional guidelines recommend that the majority of fats should come from healthier sources, and that you consume a variety of different types of unsaturated fat. The Points system recognises and rewards foods that contain unsaturated fats, making the healthy choice the easier choice!

Calories are the amount of energy a food contains and are a crucial part of the Points® equation, along with protein, fibre, saturated and unsaturated fats, and added sugar. Unlike other programmes, we understand that calories only tell part of the story. One hundred calories from broccoli affects your body very differently to one hundred calories from a brownie. That’s why Points® go beyond calories to focus on the overall nutritional benefits of a food and help make the healthy choice the easier choice.

Calories are a crucial part of the Points® algorithm, but they’re far from the only part. (Calories only tell part of the story. One hundred calories from broccoli affects your body very differently to one hundred calories from a brownie.) Alongside calories, we take into consideration saturated fat and added sugar (which drive up the Points® value) fibre, protein, and unsaturated fat (which drive it down). This is why foods with similar calories may have very different Points® values.

Protein is part of the Points® algorithm because protein supports good health - building muscles, strengthening bones, and supporting your cells, muscles, and blood. Protein also helps with weight loss by helping you feel fuller longer. And as you lose weight, protein helps preserve lean body mass.

We want to make the healthier choice the easier choice so with the Points®system, foods that are higher in protein tend to be a better bet for your Points® Budget.

Focusing on added sugar instead of total sugar allows us to differentiate between foods that are less nutritious, like sweets or fizzy drinks, and more nutritious, like low-fat and fat-free dairy or fruit.

Science shows that foods that are high in added sugars are significantly less nutritious and eating too much of them has a negative impact on overall health. It’s probably not a surprise that research has shown that greater intake of added sugar also has a direct impact on weight and that a reduction in added sugar has been shown to reduce body weight. The Points® system recognises that not all sugars are alike. Many healthy, delicious foods (like low-fat and fat-free dairy or fruit) contain natural sugar and lower the Points value, so that you’re encouraged to eat them.

Our new Points® algorithm is designed to address the most impactful nutrients for weight and wellness. We recognise that salt is an important consideration which is one of the reasons that our programme encourages you to reach for ZeroPoint™ foods - they’re naturally very low in sodium. Another way is through our Points® system. Foods that are higher in sodium are also generally higher in Points values, so staying within your Budget can be a way to manage your weight as well as your sodium intake.

Extremely accurate.

Here’s how it works: First, our nutrition experts collected almost 100,000 foods with known added sugar values. Then, our Data Science team used that info to train our artificial intelligence model so that it could accurately predict how much added sugar is in a food by looking at all the other nutrients. The WW AI model understands these complex relationships between nutrients in a food and uses this information to assign a Points® value to a food even when we don’t know the exact amount of added sugar. The value is then double checked by our team of nutritionists and food data experts for an added layer of accuracy.

The barcode scanner will react dynamically to your list of ZeroPoint™ foods as long as the nutrition team has verified the food you scan. If a food is not yet verified, the Points® value you see may be higher than expected as ZeroPoint™ foods within it have not yet been backed out. If you suspect a food is higher than expected, please submit it to your Workshop Coach or Online Coach to be verified.

We totally understand - tracking what you eat can take some getting used to. We’re constantly testing new ways to make tracking even faster and easier (stay tuned!).

If manually tracking your food doesn’t work for your lifestyle, you might try these tips:

  • Take a pic and track later. Snap a photo of your meal and track it when you have time. (It’s also a great way to remember what you ate!)
  • Pre-track meals you eat often. Many members eat the same breakfast every day. If that’s the case with you, you can save a meal as a favourite and pre-track it for the week. One less thing on your to-do list!
  • Use the barcode scanner. Grab any food with a nutrition label, open the WW app, tap the barcode icon at the top of your homepage and your unique Points® value will appear! You can then track it automatically.
  • Lean on your ZeroPoint™ foods. You don’t have to weigh, measure, or track any of the foods on your personalised lists!