What are the Weight Watchers Freestyle program changes for 2019?
First, the good news. While Weight Watchers has made some significant program changes to their brand and focus, the Freestyle points system, including the 200 free foods has stayed the same.
When you follow the Weight Watchers program, changes are exciting and at times a bit scary.
- Will the changes be helpful?
- Will weight loss be better or stall?
- How easy will the new program be to learn and follow?
Read on to learn about the new Weight Watchers Freestyle Program for 2019 and what the changes mean for you.
Weight Watchers Freestyle Smart Point System
In 2017, Weight Watchers modified the Smart Points system with the new Weight Watchers Freestyle Program. This was a big deal at the time and continues to be important to WW members.
I’m happy to report that despite quite a few changes at the corporate level, the way of counting points is the same, including many new free foods like beans, corn, plain, non-fat Greek yogurt, chicken breast, and more.
The following foods are continue to be free (0 points) with WW in 2019:
- Skinless chicken breast
- Skinless turkey breast
- Vegetables (including corn and peas)
- Nonfat plain yogurt
Your daily Smart Points budget is determined by your age, sex, and gender. Generally, your daily points allowance goes down by 7 points with the new Freestyle system, in order to balance out the free foods.
With Smart points, my daily points budget was 30. With Freestyle, my daily points budget is 23 points. This sounds like a drastic change but keep in mind the list of foods that are now free.
The Weekly Smart Points budget of flexible points to use (or not) as needed will continue.
With the Freestyle program, up to 4 unused daily points can be rolled over to use the next day or later in the week. These unused points can be “banked” and used in addition to the Weekly points budget. Points start fresh each week. Weekly Smart Points plus up to 4 banked points per day allows for a large amount of points potentially to be used on special occasions.
Why Did Weight Watchers Make Program Changes?
If you have participated in the Weight Watchers program for any length of time, you know that changes are normal. Some years the changes are minor and others they are more drastic.
Weight Watchers continues to research and learn what works best for members to have optimal weight loss.
As long as you are a member of Weight Watchers, expect that they will roll out changes around December of each year. Some years the changes are big and some years the changes are smaller.
What are the Weight Watchers Freestyle Program Changes for 2019?
Here are the Weight Watchers/WW changes for 2019 and how they will impact you.
- Weight Watchers Name Change
The biggest and most obvious change is the one from Weight Watchers to simply “WW” as the official name of the company. This is big! While most of us shorten to “WW” anyway, it’s still a big change.
- What does WW stand for?
WW stands for Wellness Wins, according to Weight Watchers.
This rebrand is meant to reflect the company’s shift in focus to overall health and wellness, rather than simply weight loss.
- Wellness Wins Rewards
Another change for 2019 is that members can earn prizes, based on points earned for desired activities, including tracking breakfast, lunch, dinner, and earning activity points.
These points can then be traded in for prizes such as WW cookbooks, bags, water bottles, fitness classes, and or even a donation that gives a week’s worth of groceries to a family in need.
- Fit Points Improved
Fit Points have been updated to more accurately reflect age, weight, and sex. Fit Points can now be more easily used as part of your weekly flex points, too.
- Meetings are Now “Workshops”
For those who attend meetings, the name has been changed to “Workshops” and the focus has shifted away from only weight loss topics to incorporate an overall focus on healthy living and lifestyle.
Mindfulness will be a new addition to WW overall healthy focus. WW is partnering with Headspace to bring members more information and insights into ways to be mindful and reduce emotional eating.
What is a Day on the Weight Watchers Freestyle Program like?
Because the biggest WW program changes in 2019 are at the business level, you can expect your day to day WW program to look the same as it has in the last couple years.
Here is a sample day on the Freestyle program. For a sample day on the Smart Points program, click here.
2 eggs (0 FSP)
Vegetables (0 FSP)
Stir Fry with Edamame (0)
Soy sauce (0)
2 T peanut butter (6)
1/4 cup shredded cheese (4)
Whole Wheat dinner roll (4)
Halo Top ice cream – 1 cup (5)
20 Freestyle Points
Halo Top Ice Cream Pint, Chocolate, 16 Ounce (Pack of 8)Value 3 Pack: Joseph’s Flax Oat Bran and Whole Wheat Pita Bread Reduced Carb,18 PitasWeight Watchers Instant Pot Smart Points Cookbook: The Complete Weight Watchers Instant Pot Cookbook – with 60 Healthy & Delicious Instant Pot Cooker RecipesWeight Watchers Chocolate Pretzel Blast Mini Bar PointsPlusWeight Watchers Popped Barbeque Potato CrispsWeight Watchers French Vanilla Smoothie, (7 x 0.77oz) slim packs net wt. 5.4ozWeight Watchers MagazineWeight Watchers Scales by Conair Digital Glass Weight Scale; Chrome / Clear Glass
Weight Watchers Freestyle Program Tips and Tricks
If you are used to one of the older Weight Watchers programs like Points Plus, Winning Points, Core and Flex, or Simply Filling, try not to be overwhelmed by the changes.
Change is hard but it’s also exciting. When Weight Watchers first allowed free fruit, and if you were following the program then, you may have worried it would affect your weight loss, but overall it’s been a positive change.
The Freestyle program takes the concept one step further by focusing on satisfying, high-protein foods.
After all, few of us are walking into the doors of Weight Watchers because we binged on chicken breasts. Yet by focusing on these foods, you will be satisfied and able to save your points for extras.
Get creative with free foods. Here are some ideas that work especially well with the Weight Watchers Freestyle program:
- Salad with additional protein from chicken, turkey, or beans, may be free or only the points for the dressing.
- Make a free soup or chili with beans and/or 99% fat free ground turkey breast.
- Large vegetable omelets are free if made with only eggs and vegetables.
- Edamame is a wonderful snack that is now free.
- Try making a chicken or egg salad with fat free Greek yogurt in place of mayo. Free!
- Hard boiled eggs are free and make a great high-protein snack. Deviled eggs made with non-fat Greek yogurt are free.
- A Mexican Chipolte-style bowl with cauliflower rice, corn, black beans, grilled chicken breast, lettuce, and tomato is zero points.
Check out these helpful posts with more ideas for how to use zero point foods on Freestyle in 2019:
What do you think about the WW Program changes? Share in the comments below.