The Freestyle Effect

How one editor made the switch to WW Freestyle.

“So is wine staying the same?!” When Weight Watchers made the switch from PointsPlus® to SmartPoints®, these were the first words out of my mouth. When I heard about the WW FreestyleTM program, however, my love for my Friday-night glass of Cabernet was beaten out by my disbelief that my two over-easy eggs that I enjoy for breakfast every morning were no longer valued at 4 SmartPoints — they are now zero Points® (plus or minus how much oil I use to cook them).

How could eggs, lentils, chicken, plain fat-free Greek yogurt, and salmon all be zero Points? As someone who has an appetite to clear an entire stream of salmon for lunch, I was worried I would go crazy with the newly anointed zero SmartPoints foods. When bananas first became valued at zero on PointsPlus, I overdid it. I threw banana caution to the wind and had some days where I would eat five bananas. It only took me a few days of banana overindulgence to realize that my body was not a fan and that eating bananas by the bunch was probably not the best choice for my health.

Luckily this time around I didn’t have to go overboard to realize that I shouldn’t, well, go overboard. After eating a healthy portion of chicken breast or salmon or eggs…I’m full. I don’t feel that uncontrollable urge to go back for another container of plain fat-free Greek yogurt like I do with chocolate chip cookies. This could be because the yogurt is a blend of protein and carbohydrates whereas the cookies are mostly carbohydrates and sugar — something our body burns through quickly.

Week one felt a little strange, but I got the hang of it after that. My brain tricked me into thinking that because the program was changing I had to drastically change my routine. I actually wasn’t eating enough Points. Because I was so focused on the zero Points foods, I wasn’t really eating much else, and that’s no fun. Because honestly, is a pizza-less life really a life at all? I quickly figured out that I could still eat everything I love.

What helped me the most with the transition was looking at the new zero Points foods as building blocks for my meals. I start each meal with a zero Point food and add on top of it. Two of my favorite foods, cheese and peanut butter, still have SmartPoints values. Having more “room” in my meals to add a little cheese on my salad or have some peanut butter with my apple makes my day that much more enjoyable.

Everyone is different when it comes to his or her tracking behavior and WW Freestyle. For those who feel overwhelmed by it, not tracking zero SmartPoints value foods at all is a nice option. So, for some people, having more foods that are valued at zero can free them from the tracker; for me, I like seeing all those zeroes. They’re like little bravos throughout the week!

All change takes some adjustment but honestly, I am loving WW Freestyle! Feeling more in control while feeling simultaneously less bogged down with tracking is pretty darn awesome. And just in case you were wondering, wine didn’t change.

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