Let's Talk WW Freestyle

By Debbie Koenig

Change is scary. I’m coming up on 20 years as a Lifetime Member (more on that in a couple weeks!), and I can’t count how many different versions of the plan I’ve lived through. Let me stop right here to say: This is a good thing. It happens because the masterminds at Weight Watchers are constantly incorporating the latest science on weight loss and healthy living.

Anyway, when I started on what turned out to be my final attempt to lose 100 pounds, the program was called Fat & Fiber—essentially, as long as you ate fewer than XX grams of fat each day, and had at least XX grams of fiber, you could eat whatever you wanted. This plan worked for me, but it offered a lot of pitfalls once the fat-free food industry grew into a behemoth. Eating an entire package of fat-free cookies might technically be allowed, but you wouldn’t lose much weight eating that way. Once I figured out how my body responded to healthier options, though, this plan worked for me. I’d already lost about 75 pounds when Weight Watchers introduced 1-2-3 Success, their first points-based plan. That was a tectonic shift, and has now evolved into the new Freestyle plan. This latest change is more of an adjustment.

Because I write for Weight Watchers, I got a sneak peek at WW Freestyle™. I’ve been using it for the last month. This plan rocks. It incorporates a lot of what I loved about Fat & Fiber, while addressing the big problems:

  • Easier on-the-go: With so many zero Points® foods, none of which have to be measured or tracked, making a quick decision about what to eat becomes much simpler.
  • As generous as Fat & Fiber, but with smart limits: The flaw in F&F was that it gave us too much freedom. Until I got the hang of it, I’d have a pound of pasta with fat-free jarred sauce in a single sitting, and pat myself on the back. While Freestyle has lots of possibilities for no-calculations-required foods, I can’t think of a single one I’m likely to binge on.
  • Focus on lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables: The three things we get to eat in unlimited quantities are foods we should be eating. Using my SmartPoints Budget for carbs and fats helps me build a perfectly balanced day. (Plus: Corn! Peas!)

If you’ve been on the program for a while, odds are this change leaves you feeling a bit uneasy. Take it from an old hand at morphing plans: This one’s a winner.

Follow Debbie on Connect @debbieskoenig
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