It’s almost new year and you’re ready for a new you, right? I know I am. Getting started with Weight Watchers is much like getting started with any lifestyle change: it’s going to take some dedication and it may be uncomfortable at times, but it’s going to change your mind and it’s going to change your body!
Not only will you see the number on the scale go down when you follow Weight Watchers, you’ll feel better all around! Weight Watchers isn’t just a diet – it’s a lifestyle and it is a program you can easily follow no matter where you are or what you’re doing (you can even stay on track at Disney!).
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Getting Started With Weight Watchers
Don’t start Weight Watchers like you’ve started any other lifestyle change in the past. This time is different – I don’t care how many times you’ve tried it (or anything else) before. Start with a clean slate. 100% fresh. Don’t think about your past failures, just about your future success. It’s going to happen because you’re going to make it happen. So let’s get started.
Whether you become a member or follow the Weight Watchers plan for free you are going to benefit from your hard work!
What is Weight Watchers and How Does it Work?
Weight Watchers has been around for more than 50 years! In 2018 they changed to Wellness That Works, or WW for short, but most of us are still calling it Weight Watchers out of habit.
Weight Watchers counts points, not calories or carbs or any other macros. They make it super simple to track with their app, which is included in the cost of your monthly membership.
You can attend meetings in person (they have meeting spots all over the world), or you can just do an online membership. The costs are similar, though the online-only program is a bit less expensive.
As an alternative, you can use iTrackBites to track your points, for a fraction of the cost each month.
You get a target number of points to consume each day, and you want to stay as close to that number as possible. The target is based on your age, gender, activity level, weight, etc. As you lose weight, your allowed points will go down.
You can go over by a few each day (dipping into your weekly points allowance), or stay under by a few, but the goal is to be as close to your target as possible. You don’t want to eat too few or too many points; there’s a reason they give you the amount they do. Trust their process.
Every food (and drink!) is assigned a point value based on their formula. Their goal is to get you eating healthier, whole foods – but one drawback for some is that sugar-free foods are lower in points and they aren’t necessarily healthier.
Full sugar, full fat foods are going to be the highest in points, while foods like fruits and vegetables will be zero points for the most part.
Freestyle is the newest Weight Watchers plan. In the past, you may have seen Simply Filling, Flex, and PointsPlus. Freestyle is my favourite so far because there are 200+ zero point foods now!
The new Zero Point foods list focuses on making sure you get more lean protein in your diet. Before, it seemed like folks would load up on sugar-free junk because it was low points, but now that chicken and veggies are “free” (eat with moderation), more Weight Watchers members are focusing on that.
Chicken is zero points, eggs are zero points, but you may get bored if you don’t diversify what you’re eating. Focusing on lower carb (but not low carb, this isn’t about deprivation!) and higher protein is key because you’re going to stay full longer.
To avoid getting tired of the same old foods, though, I use Pinterest and blogs for ideas (like this one: 20 ways to eat eggs so you don’t get bored).
Weight Watchers: Things to Keep in Mind
There are a million available resources to help you on your Weight Watchers journey, but the number one thing you need to remember is that you must track every bite! That is the absolute BEST tip I can give you, because it all starts with tracking.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a bite of pie or a handful of chips, put it in your Weight Watchers app and track the points. The ONLY exception to this rule is that you don’t have to track 0 point foods. However, I highly recommend putting them in your app anyway.
You want to make sure you keep a handle on how much you’re eating, and you may want to calculate your calories if the program stops working for you. In order to do this, you need to know what you’ve been eating.
So if you hit a wall, plug all of those foods into MyFitnessPal or a similar app and see how many calories you’ve been consuming. It could be too few or it could be too many. Either way, it’s a jumping off point to help you figure out what needs to be switched up to help you get back on track.
Weight Watchers Fitness
No matter which “diet” you’re following, incorporating fitness into your routine is vital for maximum success. While Weight Watchers doesn’t require exercise, it’s recommended – even more now that it’s Wellness that Works. The “draw” for many over the years was that you could lose weight even without exercising.
That’s great, but do you really just want to lose weight? I want to look great and feel great, which means I’m going to do my best to exercise even if that just means walking every day! If you’re struggling, here are some tips for getting 10,000 steps a day. I personally have a lot of health conditions that affect my ability to exercise so using my FitBit Charge 2 is the ideal way that I can measure my own physical progress.
Weight Watchers Recipes
- Weight Watchers Grilled Sweet Potatoes
- Weight Watchers Smoothie Bowl
- Weight Watchers Egg Salad
- Zero Point Pineapple Salsa
- Low Point Vegan Pancakes
- Frozen Yogurt Blueberry Bites
- Weight Watchers Chicken Fajitas
- Weight Watchers Four Bean Salad
- Weight Watchers Zucchini Pizza Boats
- 11 Fabulous Weight Watchers Chicken Recipes
- 41 Fantastic Weight Watchers Recipes
- Weight Watchers Jalapeno Poppers
- Weight Watchers Mac & Cheese
- Weight Watchers Berry Crisp
Free Weight Watchers Facebook Groups to Join
Some Weight Watchers groups on Facebook are really spammy, so be careful when searching for them! Join these instead. None of these groups are officially from Weight Watchers (they don’t have one as far as I know), but they are created by other bloggers so I know they’re legit. Best of all these are free Weight Watchers support groups!
- Low Point Weight Watchers Recipes
- Freestyle Recipes & Support
- Air Fryer Weight Watchers Recipes
- Instant Pot Weight Watchers Recipes
Is Weight Watchers Right for You?
Paleo, Keto, Atkins … sheesh!, It seems like every diet cuts out food groups (like fruit!), or just doesn’t allow for enough calories to keep me satisfied. Weight Watchers is perfect for those who love to eat, and don’t want to be limited to certain food groups. If you’re looking for something that is sustainable long term (even for the rest of your life) that won’t leave you feeling deprived, Weight Watchers may be right for you.
I love that I never feel hungry, and I don’t necessarily have to say “no” to any certain food – I just eat it in moderation. This allows for an enjoyable night out without having to say I can’t eat carbs or have a drink. Yes, you can have any beverage you just have to count your points and not go overboard. Check out these my top post for cooking meals on Weight Watchers.
About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Teacher who specialises in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has studied nutrition for children and taught adults cooking skills. Angela loves to share family meals and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!