Weight Watchers Online Review: Freestyle Plan Prices + Program Costs
My husband and I joined Weight Watchers Online on January 4th. My in-laws had joined the month before and were already showing results, so we jumped in (despite the cost not being covered by my Flexible Spending Account, lol). 🙂
Weight Watchers Offers Balance
I immediately liked the idea more than I normally like diets because I knew Weight Watchers is about balance. I wouldn’t appreciate having to give up my favorite foods completely and now I don’t have to, yay! My yeast roll and other bread cravings may cost me a fourth of my points every week, but at least I can eat as many fruits and veggies as my heart desires without having to worry too much about the calorie count. 🙂
Weight Watchers Didn’t Cost Too Much
The price for Weight Watchers wasn’t too bad either. It is $17.95 a month paid 3 months in advance and then it goes to month-to-month thereafter. Granted, $107.70 (three months for two of us) is a good sum of cash up front AND it will end up costing us $430.80 if we use it for a full year. BUT, if it helps me to actually lose the 26 pounds I made a resolution to lose by the end of the year, then I think it is well worth it.
Weight Watchers Benefits
I have very little willpower when it comes to food, so accountability is worth a bunch to me. Weight Watchers Online has a point tracking system that assigns each person a certain number of daily/weekly points. It requires me to enter everything I eat every day and tracks the points I have already used and the ones I have left. It is literally a budget for food points. With some prioritization, I can still eat all of my favorite foods without continuing to gain weight. For some reason, that appeals to me. 🙂
Having my husband on board helps too. All of my weight loss attempts in the past fell through for me after a few months since I’d still eat huge portions at home. Now that my husband has to budget his food points just like me, we’re eating healthier choices and not stuffing ourselves silly every night.
Weight Watchers Results So Far
I started January 4th at 176 pounds. I am now down to 172. Not bad for a little more than a week!
I am shooting for 163 pounds by July 4th and 150 pounds by December 31st. You can keep up with my progress through the updates I post every Saturday. Feel free to join the Crystal Light Challenge if you need a little support to exercise more too.
Have you ever participated in Weight Watchers? Any other plans?
A Quick History of Weight Watchers
There’s a lot of different companies that offer to help you lose weight. That’s why I thought it’d be a good idea to go over a bit of Weight Watchers history to show that they aren’t some fly-by-night or scam company.
Weight Watchers was founded more than 50 years ago. It was started by Jean Nidetch in Queens, New York City. She got the idea for the program after attending a 10-week program sponsored by the New York City Board of Health. After losing weight on that plan, she figured out what elements of it worked best and what parts she didn’t need – for example, the requirement to eat liver once a week.
She combined these elements with a support group that she started with her friends. The group became so popular that within 2 months it had grown from 6 women each week to 40 women each week. Through a combination of the diet and the support group, she reached her target weight. She went on to found the group on the principles of smart dieting and mutual support.
In 2018 the parent company of the organization changed names from Weight Watcher’s International to WW International, although it still retains the rights to the Weight Watchers brand.
Getting Started with Weight Watchers
One of the top reasons that I decide to try Weight Watchers was that it’s so easy to get started! You can get all of the benefits of the program free for one week while you try it. After that, you can cancel your membership and pay nothing, or you can let the automatic subscription to the program kick in.
This week-long free trial really does do a great job at showing you all of the perks Weight Watchers has to offer. I’m a bit of a nerd, so I was particularly interested in comparing my information to some of the information in their studies to see how well the system might work for me.
How Weight Watchers Works
Weight Watchers is based on a points system. Different types of food are assigned a different amount of points based on their nutritional content. Everyone is given a certain number of points for the day. The goal is to match the points in your food and drink to your allotted point value.
I know this might sound tricky, and a frankly I can’t really imagine doing it before smartphones, but it really works. The point system has gotten lots of attention and updates and we find out more about the food we eat. That means the point system updates to reflect the latest in nutritional science. The most recent update to the program is the SmartPoints system.
Weight Watchers SmartPoints
The smart points system works in a similar way to the previous point systems in that it gives every food a point value based on how many calories, how much fat, protein, and sugar the food contains.
One of the main things that separates Weight Watchers from other weight loss programs is that there’s no foods that are off limits. Instead, program members need to stay at or below their daily points to get to their desired weight.
A great example of how the point system works can be seen in the difference between a donut and yogurt. A glazed yeast donut that’s 230 calories comes out to 10 SmartPoints. On the other hand, 230 calories of yogurt with blueberries is only 2 SmartPoints.
This example lets you see how the SmartPoints system takes lots of things into account besides the calorie value of the food. The donut is loaded with sugar, which brings up its SmartPoint value. However, the yogurt doesn’t have the same sugar levels. That means even though it’s the same number of calories, it’s a different number of SmartPoints.
Another feature that’s innovated the way WW works is the FitPoints system. These fit points are assigned based on what kind of physical activity you do in a day. The goal isn’t just to help people lose weight, but to help people be proud of their bodies and their accomplishments.
One of the best things about the FitPoints system is that you can automatically sync it with most fitness trackers, like a FitBit. This makes it really easy to put your information into the program and see how well you’re doing.
The nice thing about FitPoints is that the move you earn, the more you’re able to eat without reaching your daily points quota. As a result, the combination of FitPoints and SmartPoints lets members keep a close eye on their weight loss program to ensure that they’re getting the results they’re looking for.
The FitPoints program is also a great tool for people that are having problems losing weight on the program. That’s because it can help you realize that eating isn’t the only thing that contributes to your weight. It’s important to get exercise and to stay active if you want to shed some pounds.
Another benefit of the FitPoints program is that it lets you get a more complete view of your fitness and nutrition. You can see how many calories a day you’re eating vs how many you’re burning. You can also see things like when you’re more and less active, and you can have a better understanding of how exercise and activity influence your diet and well-being.
The Weight Watchers App
Weight Watchers also offers an app. You can get it on Android and Apple phones. The app helps you track your FitPoints and your SmartPoints. It also makes it easier to do so, because you can use the app to see how many points a specific food item is worth. You can even use a barcode scanner to see the points for common items at the store.
The app can also sync with lots of different fitness trackers, like the FitBit. That means you can seamlessly enter your steps and other activity information and get a clear picture of your points situation.
The Benefits of the Weight Watchers Point System
Anyone who’s tried to lose weight can tell you how frustrating and confusing it can be to follow different diets. There’s lots of tracking, weighing, measuring, complicated schedules of what you can eat when and what you can’t eat when, and so on.
The points system simplifies all of that. Instead of worrying about things like carb cheat days and protein-to-fat ratios, you can just do some simple addition. Best of all, it resets every day, so you’re never even doing that much math. Reducing the amount of work you need to do to stay on the program makes it easier to stay on the program. As a result, that naturally means it makes it easier and more likely you’ll lose weight.
The Freestyle program, which I’ll talk about in a second, makes this even easier by having more than 200 foots that count as zero points.
Weight Watchers Freestyle
A new element of the Weight Watchers System introduced in 2017 is called WW Freestyle. This program is based on the same SmartPoints system. The difference is that it has more than 200 foods which are rated at zero points.
I found this to be super helpful because it creates a list of things that you can have without tracking or measuring them. That makes it much easier to stick to the program, as you can have ready-to-go snacks or can get snacks and foods that you know have 0 points.
Weight Watchers Food
While the WW program does let you buy and eat your own food, you can also get food from Weight Watchers or buy Weight Watchers brand food from your local grocery store. This food still has all of the detailed health information that the government requires on it, but it also clearly lists how many SmartPoints a meal is worth. That makes it really easy to plan your meals and your points.
The way that I like to use Weight Watchers food is for situations where you’re too tired to cook and don’t have something ready. That’s because this is the situation where you’re most likely to make food choices that run against your points total. After all, a drive thru is never more tempting than when you’re both hungry and low on time.
However, if you wanted to, you could also use WW food as the basis for most of your meals. They offer a huge range of choices, from frozen dinners of all kinds to breakfast shakes and snacks. This makes it really easy for people to track what their actual point total is. It also helps prevent you from cheating by “accidentally” forgetting about an ingredient or two when you’re preparing your own meals.
Weight Watchers Recipes
You can get all of the benefits of having Weight Watchers calculate points for you and still cook and prepare your own fresh food at home by using the helpful Weight Watchers recipes. There are a TON of these recipes online and in various books you can pick up.
For example, you can get a great recipe for a turkey and cheese wrap that’s worth 6 SmartPoints, which makes a great lunch. If you need something more substantial for lunch, then there are options like pasta. One of my favorite recipes calls for a cup of cooked pasta with half a cup of cooked beans, crumbled feta cheese, and diced tomatoes. If you have this with a cup of black bean soup, then you’ve got a hearty lunch worth only 13 points.
The biggest benefit I’ve found with Weight Watchers comes from the membership support. Now, I know that most people think of customer support as a service to solve problems with a product. But the support you get from Weight Watchers is different.
The thing that sets the support program apart is that you can get things like 24/7 chat support to ask questions about your diet and specific foods. You can also meet in person to get support from a group to stay on track with the program and help others do the same. Finally, you’ve also got the option to add a personal Weight Watchers coach. Granted, this option costs a bit more. But I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that can really benefit from the individualized attention you can only get from a 1-on-1 coaching relationship
What Does Weight Watchers Claim?
This is a big one – I’ve always been very suspicious about the claims that weight loss companies, products, and programs make. You can usually tell when something isn’t going to work when it starts making promises that don’t seem realistic.
That’s one of the nice things about Weight Watchers. They claim that, on average, members will lose between ½ pound and 2 pounds per week on the program. Not only is that a reasonable yet desirable amount, but it also helped me set realistic goals for my weight loss schedule.
This important because all too often people will try a weight loss program, not get the results they expect right away, and then stop. Setting realistic expectations helps people stay on the program and actually benefit from it. Not only does staying on the program mean that you’ll lose more weight, but it also means that you’re more likely to adopt healthy habits for the long-term.
Another thing that I personally liked about Weight Watchers is that they back up their claims with actual evidence. While WW pays for the studies that it cites, the data collection and analysis of the studies themselves are conducted by independent research firms. Many weight loss programs claim to have evidence, but it’s hard to trust someone’s evidence their system works when they’re the ones doing the studies that shows their system works. The independent nature of the data collection and analysis in the studies funded by Weight Watchers is a nice departure from this common weight loss program trick.
Weight Watchers Basics
This section covers basic questions about Weight Watchers. Use this section to get a better understanding of the program before moving on to more specific sections.
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What is Weight Watchers?
Weight Watchers is a weight loss program that uses a point-based system to help people manage their diet and loss weight. Its also a meal delivery service.
How does Weight Watchers work?
Weight Watchers assigns a points value to foods. Members need to consume less points than their daily quota in order to lose weight.
How much does Weight Watchers cost?
That depends on what you’re looking for. You can get information about Weight Watchers recipes and points for free. However, the subscription plans come in one-month and three-month options. You can get 3 months for $3.07 per week. When you add in your starter fee and first month discount, that works out to 3 months for $13.30
Is Weight Watchers worth it?
Many people have found that simplifying the way they track their diet and using the other resources in the Weight Watchers program is and effective way to lose weight.
What is Weight Watchers freestyle?
Weight Watchers Freestyle is a program that assigns 0 points to certain foods. That means you can eat as much of these foods as you want without contributing to your point value for the day.
How does Weight Watchers points work?
Weight Watchers SmartPoints work by factoring in all of the different nutritional information about food. Each food is assigned a certain number of points. Members have a point limit for the day. When you eat less than your point limit, you lose weight.
How to do Weight Watchers for free?
You can do Weight Watchers for free by tracking your own points against your goal and seeing if you lose weight. However, you won’t have access to the support resources that the company provides.
What is the new Weight Watchers program?
The new Weight Watchers program is called Freestyle. It works like the previous program, except there are more than 200 foods that have zero points.
Do seniors get a discount at Weight Watchers?
There’s currently no discount for Seniors at Weight Watchers.
What is Weight Watchers new name?
Weight Watchers changed its company name to WW International, but you can still find things with the Weight Watchers brand.
Is Weight Watchers online worth it?
Weight Watchers online has helped lots of people lose weight. We recommend giving the free trial a go and seeing how you feel about the program.
Using Weight Watchers
We’ll answer all of your questions about using Weight Watchers in this section. Check here for information on how the program works and how to get the best results.
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How many Weight Watchers points do I get?
That depends on lots of different factors, specifically, your current weight and your target weight goals. You also get more points if you’re more active during the day.
Does Weight Watchers work?
Lots of people have found that Weight Watchers makes it easier for them to lose weight and keep it off, so we recommend trying it.
How does the new Weight Watchers work?
The new Weight Watchers program is similar to the old one. It still uses points, but there are more than 200 foods that have zero points. Also, you can track your activity for the day to get an increase in your points.
Does Weight Watchers really work?
Lots of people have found that Weight Watchers works for them. After all, there’s a reason the company has been in business for more than 50 years.
How many Weight Watchers freestyle points am I allowed?
There’s no limit to your Weight Watchers freestyle points. That’s why they cost zero points.
How many points a day on Weight Watchers?
Everyone gets a different number of points per day on Weight Watchers. It depends on your current weight, your target weight, and other factors.
How long are Weight Watchers meetings?
Weight Watchers meetings usually last for around 30 minutes, depending on the particular group and what’s going on.
Where to buy Weight Watchers food?
You can buy Weight Watchers food from the company itself. They have an online store and also have stores in many locations. You can also find it at many popular grocery stores.
How many calories in a Weight Watchers point?
There’s no set amount of calories in a Weight Watchers point. Instead, points are given based on the nutritional qualities of the food. Calories are a factor, but not the only one.
How to lose weight on Weight Watchers fast?
Weight Watchers is a program designed to help people lose weight in a healthy way and keep their weight off. If you’re looking to lose more than ½ to 2 pounds per week, then Weight Watchers isn’t the right program for you. Otherwise, just follow the program and stay under your points.
Does Weight Watchers send you food?
You can order food from Weight Watchers, and there are some programs that let you get food consistently sent to you.
Where to buy Weight Watchers snacks?
The best place to buy WW snacks is at their online store. You can also find them at WW brick-and-mortar stores and many major grocery stores.
What are the free foods on Weight Watchers?
There’s a huge list of zero-point foods. There’s more than 200, so there’s far too many to list here. But you can get the complete list from Weight Watcher’s website.
What are FitPoints in Weight Watchers?
FitPoints are used to measure your activity during the day. The more FitPoints you earn, the more points you can eat in a day.
How to be successful on Weight Watchers?
The best way to be successful on Weight Watchers is to stick to the program and be honest. As long as you accurately record what you’re eating and follow your points, you should be successful.
How do I get the Weight Watchers barcode scanner?
You can get the Weight Watchers barcode scanner through the Weight Watchers app. Use it to scan a barcode to get the SmartPoints value of your food.
How to lose 5 pounds a week on Weight Watchers?
Weight Watchers isn’t a program designed to lose five pounds a week. The program is designed to help you lose between on half pound and two pounds per week.
How to reset Weight Watchers scale?
You can reset your scale by taking the batteries out of it and leaving it without batteries for 10 minutes.
How Many Weight Watches Points is…?
There are a lot of people who want to know how many Weight Watchers points are in different kinds of foods. We’ll answer some of the most popular requests here.
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How many Weight Watchers points is a banana?
Like all fresh fruits, bananas have zero Weight Watchers points. They’re part of the Freestyle program.
How many Weight Watchers points is an egg?
Depending on how it’s prepared, one egg has 2 points and 3 egg whites counts for 1 point.
How many points is an avocado on Weight Watchers?
Avocados count as a fresh fruit or vegetable, which means they are worth zero Weight Watchers points.
How many calories is 30 Weight Watchers points?
Weight Watchers points don’t translate directly to calories. The calories are only part of what goes into determining the points.
How many Weight Watchers points is 1200 calories?
It’s hard to say how many Weight Watchers points is 1200 calories. If it’s 1200 calories of fresh fruit, then it’s zero points. However, if it’s 1200 calories of donuts, then it will be much more.
How many points is an apple on Weight Watchers?
An apple counts for zero points on Weight Watchers. It’s a fresh fruit, which count for zero points on the new freestyle program.
How many points is oatmeal on Weight Watchers?
½ cup of Oatmeal counts as 4 PlusPoints for Weight Watchers.
How many points is peanut butter on Weight Watchers?
Two tablespoons of peanut butter is five Weight Watchers SmartPoints.
How many Weight Watchers points in a baked potato?
One medium-sized baked potato with no toppings counts as 4 Weight Watchers Points.
How many Weight Watchers points is a slice of pizza?
That depends on what’s on your pizza. Generally, the points value will be between five and 11 points.
How many points are almonds on Weight Watchers?
You can have 20 unsalted almonds or 12 salted almonds for 2 Weight Watchers Points.
How many Weight Watchers points is bacon?
One slice of cooked bacon counts for 1 Weight Watcher point.
Weight Watchers App + Weight Watchers Online
This section will cover your questions about the Weight Watchers app and Weight Watchers Online.
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How to cancel Weight Watchers online?
You can cancel Weight Watchers online by logging into your profile on the site. You can find cancellation instructions on your profile page.
How to use Weight Watchers app?
There are lots of different ways to use the Weight Watchers app. The best way to use it is to track your points automatically as you eat.
How much is the Weight Watchers app?
The app by itself costs $3.99 in the app store. You’ll need to pay extra for some of the enhanced features through.
How to connect Fitbit to Weight Watchers app?
To connect your Fitbit to the Weight Watchers app you need to log into the app and tap the gear icon in the top right. After that tap activity settings, then device. Tap no devices connected and select Fitbit. This will start the connection process.
How to cancel Weight Watchers app?
The best way to cancel the Weight Watchers app is to log on with their website. From there, go to your profile. You can find account information where you can cancel the app there.
Other Weight Watchers Questions
We’ll answer questions about Weight Watchers that don’t fit into our other sections here.
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Who owns Weight Watchers?
Weight Watchers is owned by H.J. Heinz Company. They are the majority stakeholder. Other people also have smaller amounts of ownership in the company.
Does Oprah own Weight Watchers?
Oprah bought a stake in the company in 2015, and then sold some of her holdings in the company later on. She doesn’t own the whole company, but she does own some of it.
Why am I not losing weight on Weight Watchers freestyle?
There are lots of different reasons why you might not be having the success you want. It’s a good idea to talk with the people at your Weight Watchers Workshop for more information on your specific situation.
Can you do Weight Watchers while pregnant?
Weight Watchers is not designed for women while they’re pregnant. You should talk to your doctor or a professional nutritionist about your weight while you’re pregnant.
Does Medicare cover Weight Watchers?
No, Weight Watchers is not considered to be a medical service, so Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of it.
Rachel is dedicated to helping individuals and families boost their budgets so they can enjoy the lifestyle they deserve. Rachel graduated with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences. She’s a prolific finance writer, producing tons of articles on different aspects of personal and family budget management.