The Internet has been abuzz for the last month about the latest Weight Watchers FreeStyle Plan and Flex Plan Updates. With the rollout in November to the UK, and Germany among other nations, we in the US have been playing the guessing game on how it would work in our country. With the official release today, December 3rd, 2017, I am excited to share what I think of the plan. Below you will find the basics as well as my notes and tips on how to make this update successful for you.
Weight Watchers FreeStyle Plan and Flex Plan Updates
In late 2015, Weight Watchers updated from the beloved Points Plus way of measuring calories, fat, and fiber in foods to a new version of their plan called the Beyond the Scale plan. This has been the program I have followed for the last year and loved.
In November 2017, changes began to roll out and a new name was given to the plan. Instead of Beyond the Scale, it is now the Flex Plan in the UK and the Freestyle Plan in the US. Food points are still calculated using the same measurements of calories, fats, carbohydrates, and sugars. The biggest differences in the plan are listed below.
Note: As the plan changes over the coming days, you will find that your app or dashboard may go back and forth a bit. It has been stated that you will not see the full update until your designated weigh in day this week. Please be patient with the changes.
More Zero Point Foods on Weight Watchers FreeStyle Plan:
For the last few years, fruits and vegetables were all considered zero point foods unless they are juiced or blended in a drink. This was intended to encourage users to eat more of these healthier foods instead of using up points on less healthy options.
This year, the zero points food list has increased drastically by including things like lean proteins (chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, and beans). It has also added in things like sweet corn on the zero points list alongside tofu. Many plan followers are loving the ability to have more of their favorite lean proteins for lower or no points.
Some of our favorite additions to the Zero Points Food List:
- Black beans, Great Northern Beans, Kidney Beans, and Pinto Beans
- Tofu, Smoked Tofu, and some other meat substitutes
- Chicken breast, turkey breast, and some brands of sugar-free chicken or turkey luncheon meats
- Eggs (both whole and egg whites)
- Nonfat Unsweetened Yogurt
- Corn and peas of many kinds
- Fish and Shellfish (including canned tuna in water)
To learn more about the changes, I really recommend checking out the tips on the Weight Watchers Website, as well as the Weight Watchers FAQ page. For the complete Zero Point Food List, you'll want to check their site.
Ability to roll over daily points to your weeklies
Going back to an older plan favorite, you can now roll over up to 4 SmartPoints per day into your weekly points allowance. This makes it easier to splurge on a special treat and makes you feel less guilty about not eating all of your points each day.
The point is not to eat every single point, but to eat healthy foods until you are satiated. This promotes a healthier mindset and will help you to maintain good habits after you reach your goal.
Decrease in daily points
Everyone will see a decrease in their daily points. It is said that 23 SmartPoints per day will be the lowest amount given rather than the old average of 30 points daily. This is scary for some. The reality is that by doing this, Weight Watchers is further encouraging you to eat the healthiest possible foods. Since processed foods, red meats, and fats are higher in points values, you'll find yourself focusing on more vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins to fuel your body.
As always, your daily and weekly point values are calculated by a formula based on your age, height, weight, sex, and activity level. We cannot give you the number of points you should have each day. This is something you can only find out by using the Weight Watchers program itself.
No longer told to “eat all of your points”
While Weight Watchers is still encouraging you to eat enough food each day, you are no longer told to eat all of your points each day. In fact, your healthy point range is now 10 points under or 5 points over your daily allotment points amount. So, for those still wanting the blue dot in their app, you simply need to eat within 10 points under or 5 points over your daily points allowance.
My thoughts about the FreeStyle Plan or FlexPlan
While change is never easy, I am loving this as a vegan. My favorite proteins (beans and lentils) are now zero points. So, I feel like I can eat a good hearty meal without going over points values. I also love the fact that Weight Watchers is really paying attention to the science behind healthier foods being better for our bodies.
Yes, a calorie is a calorie, and zero point foods do still contain calories, but they are much lower than their pointed counterparts.
By encouraging everyone to eat more nutrient-dense foods to fuel their bodies, they are following their same core values of teaching us to eat healthier. If you are worried about sneaking in occasional treats, your 4 SmartPoint daily rollover ability will ensure you have more than enough weekly points for the occasional treat.
Our site updates for Weight Watchers FreeStyle Plan and FlexPlan
I really am a huge fan of Weight Watchers and their continual changes to better our health. The focus is still beyond the scale in the sense that they are working hard to make sure we always value ourselves and our health, and not just a number reflected on the scale. As I continue to adapt recipes here to fit the new program, I will list them with PointsPlus, SmartPoints for Beyond the Scale, and SmartPoints for FreeStyle Plan or FlexPlan. As you navigate our recipes, you'll notice these changes and will know if they have been adapted.
Weight Watchers FreeStyle Plan Recipes and FlexPlan Recipes:
Vegan Zero Point Crockpot Bean Soup - ZERO Points on FreeStyle Plan
Baked Chicken Fajita Recipe - ZERO Points on FreeStyle Plan
Zero Point Muffin Tin Eggs - ZERO Points on FreeStyle Plan
Vegan Vegetable Soup - 2 SmartPoints on FreeStyle Plan
Black Bean and Corn Salad - 2 SmartPoints on FreeStyle Plan
Weight Watchers Breakfast Baked Omelet - 2 SmartPoints on FreeStyle Plan
Weight Watchers Slow Cooker Butter Chicken - 2 SmartPoints on FreeStyle Plan
BBQ Apricot Chicken - 2 SmartPoints on FreeStyle Plan
Buffalo Chicken Pasta - 6 SmartPoints on FreeStyle Plan
Thank you so much for all this wonderful and helpful information!!!
My sister has lost 50 pounds on weight watchers over the last year. This change reminds me of core foods they used on ww maybe 10 or 15 years ago.
I started WW onFebruary 16 2017 and I have lost 80.4 lbs and my hole is to lose 100 lbs by feb 16 2018 with this new plain I just might reach my goal on time. If not I’ll take it each day as it comes.
That is amazing! Congrats!
I haven't been to Weight Watchers since August of this year and have put weight on. I am volunteering on both days that they have meetings. I am a regular walker getting 5 miles in per day but I have seen my gut area getting bigger. Got to find a way to get back. I am a lifetime member. Thank you for this new plan.
I haven't done ww in years. how does this new plan work?
Hi Erica! As with any other Weight Watchers plan, the points are used to determine a healthy calorie range for your body to effectively lose weight. This plan is very similar to the Beyond the Scale plan that was the most recent plan available, except that there are more zero point foods including added proteins.
Thanks for all your info , haven’t been to WW , in a couple of years , I wasn’t having luck with that program, so I quit, but I went the first time when it started, like 50 some years ago ,
I’m thinking of doing it again ,
Will see ,
I can’t wait to get started on this program! I am an older lifetime member who needs to face reality and get my weight off! Thank you for this information. I love WW’s and this new program appeals to me!
Thanks for the helpful info. I use e-tools so my points limit is in my app. My husband wants to do it too - do you know how to calculate points limits on the new freestyle program?
There isn't a way to calculate accurately without the program itself. However, some like using the Ultimate Food Diary app and their Carry Over plan.
Can we have coconut on the freestyle program and what are the points needed to take for it.thank you
You can eat anything you want on the FreeStyle plan, but you will have to count points if it is not on the zero point food list. Coconut does contain points, but you will need to search the app/website to determine how many for what you are eating.
HI, since there is no more Weight Watchers in my country, I wonder how to calculate the daily and weekly points budget. Is there an app? They give you the numbers when you go to the meetings only? Or they give you the way to calculate them? Because I purchased on eBay the program but no way to me to know how much do I have to eat... I tried to purchased the program on the official site but I couldn't. I found all the food points and it's not that the problem. I remember years ago with the booklets you had everything! Thank you in advance.. I'm trying to commit but I don't know how
Hi Mirella! You might benefit from seeing if you can use the app Ultimate Food Diary in your country. It has an option that closely resembles FreeStyle/Flex and can give you the daily points.
If my daily points are 23, what are my weekly points?
Gail, you will be given that information when you join Weight Watchers along with your daily point allowance. We cannot calculate that information for you.
I have interest in weight watchers
I notice a template for planning meals do you have a link to get one
It is linked in the post.
Hi my name is Teresa and I’m serious about losing weight. I can seem to lose inches but for some reason the numbers on the scale are a struggle. I’m looking for help to start with this free ww plan
The current Weight Watchers FreeStyle or Flex Plan are not free to you. You can find the different options at https://www.weightwatchers.com to fit in your budget. It can be as little as $19.99 a month online only, or up to $45 a month for in person meetings. You can also pay weekly, but won't have access to all of the online tools. Definitely, check the site or check in with a local Weight Watchers meeting location for more information!
Older plans have been duplicated by outside sources for free, you can search for those online if that is more what you are looking for.
Thankyou for supporting Vegan Weight Watchers. Also for organizing a plan to follow for success.