WW (formely Weight Watchers) has been one of the most successful weight loss programs ever and with good reason! This sensible program uses easy to calculate points that are subtracted as you eat.
The company recently introduced a new program, which is based on their successful SmartPoints system, called WW Freestyle.
The WW Freestyle System assigns food a set number of points based on calories, saturated fat, sugar, and protein. Typically, members receive 23 daily SmartPoints as well as weekly points.
Please note: this is NOT an official WW (Weight Watchers) calculation tool. Please join Weight Watchers to obtain the official SmartPoints for foods and daily allowance.
Weight Watchers Freestyle is similar to SmartPoints in that it still uses a point-based system, but Freestyle is more about making healthier food choices. With the Freestyle program, points are based on the following 4 items:
Each of the above nutritional values has a different weight when applied to food. Sugar and saturated fats have a higher value than calories or protein. This means that foods high in sugar and saturated fats will cost you more of your points than foods that are higher in protein or calories.
Proteins, however, have the exact opposite effect. Foods that are high in proteins will rank far lower and cost fewer points than high sugar foods.
For example; 2 chocolate chip cookies will cost you 6 points for a snack, however, 3 ounces of flat steak will cost you only 5 SmartPoints.
This should encourage people to consume more protein and less sugar, resulting in a healthier diet.
While I love using all the available calculators to figure out the SmartPoints in food items, let’s face it, sometimes, you just can’t. Or you just don’t want to.
Sometimes, it’s just better to be able to do it in your head. Here is a quick way you can do that if you know the nutritional breakdown:
This is pretty darn accurate and at most, is off by only 1 SmartPoint.
For example, you can use it like this:
Chick-fil-A Chargrilled Chicken Sandwich
So, your total here would be 8 SmartPoints – Exact Result (Check it out on WW if you don’t believe me!)
McDonald's Medium French Fries
Total is 10 SmartPoints – Exact Result
Subway 6" B.L.T.
Total is 9 SmartPoints – WW gives it 10, but as you can see, you are always very, very close.
Try this out with a few other items and you will see- this is a quick and easy way to figure out SmartPoints without pulling your phone out to use a calculator.
This is perhaps one of the biggest changes that the Freestyle program. Previously, Weight Watchers only allowed fresh fruits and vegetables as costing zero points, but with the Freestyle program, there are more than 200 foods that can be considered zero points.
This means, for example, that you could have 3 ounces of grilled chicken breast, steamed veggies, and a half a cup of unsweetened applesauce and it would cost you zero points!
Your daily Freestyle SmartPoints allowance will still be tied to your sex, weight, age, height, gender, your activity level and if you are nursing.
Members who previously were allowed 30 points on the SmartPoint program will now only be allowed 23 Freestyle points. However, with hundreds of zero-point foods, this lower number shouldn’t be a problem.
If you should run out of points, remember that you still have your rollover and weekly points to use. What’s more, you still have many zero-point options that can make a full and satisfying meal. You might, for example, create a salad with 2 cups of lettuce, a handful of grape tomatoes, a sliced hard-boiled egg, and 3 ounces of chopped grilled skinless chicken breast, and a spritz of lemon juice, all for no points.
Depending on the same factors as we mentioned above, your weekly point allowance will be either 42 or 35 points.
Yes! Another great inclusion in the Freestyle program is that you can now roll over up to 4 unused daily points into your Weekly points. Use them or don’t, the choice is yours.
This means that, for example, if your daily allowance of SmartPoints is 23 and you eat only 19 points, you can roll those over into your weekly allowance. In the past, if you didn’t eat all your points, they were lost forever!
This means that you can save 4 points per day to save up for something big later in the week, like a slice of birthday cake. However, you cannot save points from one week to the next. Once you weigh in, the number of SmartPoints allowed is reset and you start over.
If you don’t want to eat those unused points, you don’t have to. The Freestyle plan is designed to get you to eat healthier, with more choices and options, so you don’t ever feel like you are “stuck” on a diet!
Here are more WW zero point recipes:
WW Freestyle tips
NOTE: Weight Watchers is a registered trademark of Weight Watchers International, Inc. WW, FREESTYLE, SMARTPOINTS, POINTS, POINTSPLUS and 123 Success are trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. Authentic information about the program is only available at your local Weight Watchers meeting. This site is not affiliated with Weight Watchers International in any way, and Weight Watchers has not reviewed this site for accuracy or suitability for WW members. Information on this site is based on recollections and assumptions of it's author and is not warranted for any purpose by it's author. All readers are encouraged to go to a Weight Watcher's meeting for actual WW info. This site is presented under the rights of the First Amendment; rights worth fighting for.
All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen.