Is the new Weight Watchers for diabetes program right for you? Read our review to find out.
Weight Watchers is a proven weight loss program that has been shown to be effective for people with diabetes and prediabetes. Research has shown that it’s twice as effective for weight loss and improves blood sugar control. The new WW program for people with diabetes is different from the old plan. Find out how it works, why it works, and whether it is right for you.
- WW Diabetes Plan for Weight Loss
- The WW Program For People With Diabetes
- How It Is Different From the Original Weight Watchers Program
- Does Weight Watchers Have a Low Carb or Keto Plan?
- WW Guidelines for Participants with Diabetes
- Using Smart Points For Carbohydrates
- Using Smart Points For Proteins
- Changing Your Diet For The New Plan
- Does The New Weight Watchers Plan Work for Diabetes?
WW Diabetes Plan for Weight Loss
Weightwatchers is an established weight loss plan and now has introduced specific aspects of their program targeted for those individuals who are diabetic.
According to Weight Watchers,
WW is 2 times as effective for weight loss than standard diabetes nutrition counseling and education, and produced greater improvements in glucose control in those with type 2 diabetes.WW Reimagined website, United States
The program is compatible for both Type 2 diabetics and those with prediabetes.
The WW diabetic-friendly smartpoints plan is intended to:
- Lower A1C
- Regulate blood sugar levels
- Decrease insulin resistance
- Lead to weight loss
- Encourage healthy habits like exercise and physical activity
- Promote a lower carbohydrate lifestyle
- Incorporate whole grains for fiber and blood sugar control
- Work in conjunction with (and not as a replacement for) monitoring from your doctor, registered dietician, or other healthcare provider
The WW Program For People With Diabetes
With the launch of the new WW Personal Points Program in 2021, WW introduced a specific diabetic-friendly program for Type 2 diabetics. The new Weight Watchers Program for 2022 & 2023 has the diabetic program, too.
Here’s how it works.
When you join WW, you will be asked is if you are diabetic. When you indicate “yes” that you are diabetic, the WW engine tailors the weight-loss program to fit your specific low carb and high protein needs.
Here’s how the WW diabetic program differs from other WW programs:
- Diabetic members do not have zero point fruits. (They can still eat fruit, but need to count points for each serving.)
- Members who have diabetes do not have zero point dairy or corn (including popcorn). (They can eat dairy or corn, but need to count points for each serving.)
- Members have a wide selection of zero point protein servings such as chicken and turkey breast, eggs, or non-fat Greek yogurt. Click here to see the complete diabetic zero point food list.
All of these choices encourage W W members who have diabetes or prediabetes (prediabetics, learn more from the CDC here about diabetes prevention) to make realistic lifestyle changes that include lower carbohydrates, lean proteins and foods with fiber and whole grains.
Members also have access to all the benefits that every WW members enjoys including:
- WW app
- Weekly workshops, either in person or virtual meetings
- WW coaching
- WW Connect (an Instagram-like platform only for Weight Watchers members)
- Database with hundreds of WW recipes with points
How It Is Different From the Original Weight Watchers Program
While the previous Weight Watchers programs were suitable for diabetics, they were general in approach. Now diabetic members will have a system that is specific to their needs and provides optimal blood sugar control and healthier eating habits.
Does Weight Watchers Have a Low Carb or Keto Plan?
While the WW diabetes plan is lower in carbs than a traditional WW plan, it is not ketogenic.
Here are helpful tips for doing WW in a low carb way:
- With the WW diabetic plan, fruit has points. This is different from other ww plans.
- Even if you aren’t diabetic, if you want to eat low carb or know you do better with a low carb lifestyle (such as reduced cravings or improved weight loss), I recommend that you click “yes” to being diabetic. Even if aren’t diabetic, it’s okay to answer the quiz this way – you won’t get in trouble! – because this will gear the program to be low carb for you.
- Click here to read my take on WW vs. Keto for weight loss.
- Some ways to make your Weight Watchers plan lower carb are switching to a low carb 2 ingredient dough or choosing high-protein foods like these egg muffins or taco avocado cups instead of high-carb meals like oatmeal or pasta dishes.
WW Guidelines for Participants with Diabetes
As someone who wants to keep blood sugar in check, the new WW diabetes program will encourage you to…
- Focus on vegetables. Vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber and nutrition, and help keep blood sugar levels stable. Try to include vegetables in every day and even better, every meal. Click here for a huge list of ways to add more vegetables to your meals.
- Include plenty of protein. Protein keeps you full, helps with maintaining lean muscle tissue and does not increase blood sugar.
- Include fruit in limited amounts. While fruit is a healthy food, some people with diabetes find that it increases blood sugar levels more than is optimal. Be sure to pair fruit with some protein or fat to keep levels more steady.
- Included whole grains in limited amounts. Good options include oatmeal, quinoa, bulgur, and barley. (Here is a huge list of healthy whole grain recipes for weight loss.)
- Splurge on a treat once in awhile. Life is for living, and just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to splurge. Choose wisely and you’ll be able to enjoy treats in moderation while losing weight. Use some of your daily points or remember you have your weekly allowance to spend.
- Drink water. Staying hydrated is important for overall health and weight loss.
- Get moving. Activity is important for everyone but especially for people with diabetes because exercise helps with blood sugar control. You earn additional weekly points for activity too.
Using Smart Points For Carbohydrates
While carbohydrates need to be moderated for people with diabetes, that doesn’t mean they can’t be part of a healthy diet.
Here are some examples of points for carbohydrates on the WW Plan for Diabetics:
- Whole wheat bread – 2 points for 1 slice
- Reduced-calorie whole wheat bread – 1 point for 1 slice
- Sourdough bread – 2 points for 1 medium slice
- Cooked whole wheat pasta – 4 points for 1 cup
- Cooked elbow (refined) pasta – 5 points for 1 cup
- Oatmeal, 4 points for 1 cup, cooked
- Plain baked potato – 4 points for 1 medium (Get more potato recipes for weight loss here.)
- Banana – 3 points for 1 medium
- Strawberries – 1 point for 1 cup raw
- Angelfood cake – 5 points for 1 piece
- Homemade cake with icing – 17 points for 1 piece
- Popchips – 3 points for 1 snack bag (Get more WW low-point crackers and cheese recommendations here)
Remember to choose whole grains, fruits, and beans when possible and limit refined grains and sugar-filled desserts to special occasions.
Using Smart Points For Proteins
WW members who are diabetic are encouraged to use lean protein for satiety.
Protein choices that may be zero points:
- Fish and shellfish
- Chicken and turkey breast (skinless)
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Tofu and tempeh
Zero points means you can eat these foods to fullness and do not have to track or measure them.
Changing Your Diet For The New Plan
If you were using a previous WW plan (such as the MyWW Purple plan, Blue plan, or Green plan or Personal Points), you might notice some changes.
One of the biggest changes is that now for all diabetic members, fruit has points. While this can be a tough transition (4 points for a large banana is not fun to track!), remember that this is for your long-term good.
Instead of an afternoon snack of a banana, consider eating half a banana along with some fat-free cottage cheese or non-fat Greek yogurt sweetened with a sprinkle of stevia.
Try a breakfast of scrambled eggs and vegetables instead of oatmeal.
Choose an evening snack of yogurt and berries rather than popcorn.
All of these swaps will lead to weight loss as well as better blood sugar regulation.
Does The New Weight Watchers Plan Work for Diabetes?
Yes! The new WW plan is effective for people with diabetes, both to lose weight and regulate blood sugar.
Research shows that WW can help those with prediabetes lose a significant amount of weight and improve blood sugar control.
According to Healthline,
Research has shown Weight Watchers helps people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes lose weight and improve their blood sugar management. Best results were seen when the program was combined with counseling by a CDE.Healthline, Weight Watchers for Diabetics
Are you a WW member with diabetes or are you considering joining Weight Watchers to help get your blood sugar under control? Do you have a question about the WW diabetic program? Share it in the comments below or email us [email protected].
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