I have followed the WW/Weight Watchers program for years, from "exchanges" up to the most recent Wellness Wins program.
Weight Watchers Freestyle
Weight Watchers (WW) Freestyle is very similar to their other programs, particularly the Beyond the Scale program. There are basically three new themes:
- Change in the SmartPoints values of some foods. The values still push you in the direction of healthier choices, however (e.g., chicken breasts rather than cake, etc.)
- Inclusion of dozens of “zero” point foods that weren’t there before
- Addition of “rollover” points from day to day, so you can play ahead for a party or special event
It’s a fairly easy program to follow. Still, if you are looking for some tips (i.e., hacks) that will make the program even easier, I’ve come up with a few from my own personal experience. No, I’m not a WW leader. Just a lifelong fan.
Staying well-hydrated is important, whether you are trying to reduce your weight or not. It’s just a good, healthy habit. Here is how to make it super easy:
- At the beginning of the day, grab four 500 mL bottles of water. I prefer natural spring water, but it could be purified. I find that the 500 mL bottle (16.9 fluid ounces) is a comfortable size.
- Remove the labels on all four bottles. If you prefer cold water, put them in the fridge. If not, leave them out.
- Make sure at least one bottle of water is with you at all times. This size bottle actually fits in my purse, so it’s not an issue for me. I have a bottle sitting on my desk at this moment. I also have the “next” bottle on my desk as well, for when I finish this one.
- Sip throughout the day. My objective is to drink all four bottles during the course of the day. If I don’t finish before bed time, I put a bottle on my nightstand to sip on while I read before slipping off to sleep.
Don’t worry if you don’t make it the first day. The more you drink, the easier you will find it to get all four bottles down. This will supply you with at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water for your day. I personally find this to be my “sweet spot” for staying hydrated. You may wish to adjust up or down, depending on your needs.
If you hate water, try putting one of those little envelopes of flavor into your bottled water. I like the stevia sweetened lemonade. Tasty, and not bad for you like other artificial sweeteners. Now you have no excuse.
Ready-to-Eat Fresh Fruit and Veggies
Fresh fruit and vegetables are mostly “zero” point foods on WW Freestyle. Make it easy on yourself, and get them pre-washed and cut up. If the cost is a concern, them buy them and cut them up the minute you get them home from the grocery store. The point is to make it just as easy to reach for a baby carrot as it is to reach for a potato chip.
My favorites to snack on are:
- Baby carrots
- Cut up celery sticks. Sometimes I dip them in fresh salsa.
- Cut up jicama
- Baby kosher dill pickles
- Apples, although I usually don’t cut them up until I’m ready to eat them.
- Seedless grapes
Okay, I’m going to argue both points of view here and let you decide:
1. Eat different things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Switch it up. Variety is the spice of life, right?
- Or -
2. Eat from a pre-selected short list of favorites, and have them on hand. Things like boiled eggs, baby carrots, pre-cooked chicken breasts, and so on.
Here is my point: I got to goal many years ago by eating the same lunch day in and day out. I knew what to look forward to, and I knew it would fill me up and satisfy me. It was also very tasty, and convenient for taking to work. There is nothing wrong with that.
Now that I’m semi-retired, I like a little more variety. I have more time to plan, and more time to enjoy my meals. So it’s your choice. What best fits your style?
Front Load Your Effort
No, I’m not talking about a big breakfast. I’m talking about putting in most of the “work” up front, while you are still motivated. You can pre-track your daily SmartPoints, or even pre-plan your entire week. If you already have everything lined up, it’s much easier to stay on the program.
No Unnecessary Work
Don’t make unnecessary work for yourself. Sure, you can harvest fresh vegetables from your garden and use them to prepare new and fabulous recipes. If that sounds like fun, then go for it. If that sounds like work, then cut it out. You don’t have to go there in order to be successful. That’s actually one of the benefits of WW Freestyle. It’s flexible, and can accommodate virtually any lifestyle.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2018 Carolyn Fields
Jeff Zod from Nairobi on September 24, 2019:
This is amazing article.Thank you so much.
shahzad505 on August 25, 2018: