Everything you need to know about the new Weight Watchers including what's the same, what's new and different, and more.
UPDATE: Check out the latest information about the myWW program, the new Weight Watchers plan that is launching in November 2019.
Back in September, Weight Watchers officially changed its name to WW, but what does that mean for you? Is it the same Weight Watchers program you love? What's changed? Here's your guide to everything you need to know about Wellness that Works™.
We all heard about the big Weight Watchers name change a few months back when they officially changed their name to WW. For many people who have followed and loved Weight Watchers for years (like me), this was a scary change and it left many of us worried that there would be a big change to the ways things were done, how points worked, and how the program worked. However, this rebranding actually didn't change anything to how the program and points system works. Phew.
Here are the big picture things you need to know about this change:
- There is no change to the points and current Freestyle Smartpoints system
- WW is moving to focus more on wellness and health, as opposed to just weight loss and management.
- There will be a New Wellness Wins rewards program to motivate members
- New focus on mental wellness through a partnership with Headspace, the meditation app
- Building better communities and support with the launch of WW Connect Groups
- Updates to Fitpoints and focus on physcial activity and fitness
- Focus on health and removing artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservativesfrom WW food products
Now that we know what the major changes to Weight Watchers are with the new WW brand update, let's dig into each of these changes so you know what they will mean for you.
WW Freestyle Smartpoints Program
Knowing that this is what most people are concerned about, let's start right in with the points system on the new WW plan. It's exactly the same - same point values, same daily points targets, same zero point foods.
Here's some more info. Last year, Weight Watchers updated its points system to Freestyle Smartpoints and added a whole new group of zero point foods. This shift from Smartpoints to Freestyle Smartpoints, was a major shift in how points were calculated on previous programs and shifted the focus to healthy food choices like lean proteins, legumes, beans, vegetables, and fruit. Under this new Freestyle Smartpoints system, most of these foods became zero points. At the same time, many foods that were higher in sugar and/or saturated fats saw an increase in points.
At the same time, most people saw their daily points target decrease. With the addition of so many more zero point foods, the daily points limits were decreased. Want to learn more about the new plan? Here is a full guide to the current Weight Watchers points system and of all the changes made at the end of 2017.
Focus on Wellness and Health
The main focus behind the rebranding and change to WW, Wellness that Works, from the old Weight Watchers name, was to show a major shift from being a company focused on weight loss and management to being a company focused on overall health and wellness. The CEO, Mindy Grossman, explain this shift when she shared, ""We are committed to always being the best weight management program on the planet, but now we're putting our decades of knowledge and expertise in behavioral science to work for an even greater mission. We are becoming the world's partner in wellness. No matter what your goal is — to lose weight, eat healthier, move more, develop a positive mind-set, or all of the above — we will deliver science-based solutions that fit into people's lives. This is just the beginning of our journey to become the world's partner in wellness."
This shift broadens the mission of WW (previously Weight Watchers) to be about so much than weight and personally, I love it. Being healthy is about so much more than the number on the scale and I love that the program is now focused on overall health and wellness, not just pounds lost.
Wellness Wins Rewards Program
Another really exciting part of the new WW Program will be the Wellness Wins Rewards programs. This new program provides fun incentives and rewards for keeping up with the program. Along your WW journey, members will be able to earn "Wins" when they stay on track. For example, you may earn a win if you track all day, exercise, or attend a meeting. There are all kinds of ways to earn Wins.
Once members collect a number of Wins, they can "cash" them in for rewards. Some current rewards being offering include a $15 Kohls gift certificate, a one month membership to ClassPass, portable Bluetooth speakers, a 90 day memberships to Headspace, and all kinds of fun WW swag.
Mental Wellness and Headspace Partnership
Although the details haven't been released yet, it is said that WW is teaming up with the meditation app Headspace to offer support for being more mindful. As someone who loves the Headspace app, this is super exciting! Most likely this will include Headspace meditations right in the WW app on your phone.
Also even though the Headspace partnership isn't up and running quite yet, you can find meditation resources on the current WW website to help support mindfulness and mental health. Great addition!
WW Connect Groups
Another feature being rolled out with the new WW program is WW Connect Groups to foster more community. These groups are being created to help members find community and connect based on common interests. There will be diet related groups like vegetarian and vegan and also groups based on hobbies and interests, like hiking or running. Additionally, you can find groups for men, for Moms, or for people who travel frequently. The idea is to connect with members like you to share advice, inspiration, and celebrate successes. This feature is another part of the WW app.
It also includes an Instagram like area where you can follow other members, like their posts, and use hashtags.
Updates to WW Fitpoints
Another space that the WW program is looking to improve is their approach to fitness and Fitpoints. In the past, all members earned the same amount of points for an activity. For example, if you jogged at 6.0 mph for 30 minutes, you would earn the same amount of points regardless of age, physical health, and body composition. With the new approach, Fitpoints are more customized to the individual and based on their personal body make-up.
Additionally, Fitpoints now recognize the difference in activities. High-intensity activities and strength training are now rewarded with more Fitpoints than lighter activities like walking or cleaning.
Changes to WW Food Products
Lastly, in line with the other changes to Weight Watchers, they are now updating their own food products to be free of artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives, This is in line with thier overall shift to health and wellness.
Overall I am super excited about the move to WW from Weight Watchers. I love that the focus is moving away from strictly weight and thinking about overall well-being and health. It feels more in line with what is good for me both ohysically and mentally. I am also super excited about the Headspace partnership and the potential for a partnership with Aadaptiv, a fitness app.
With that said, I am not sure I will ever stop calling it Weight Watchers. Truth be told, it's just hard to make the switch to using WW as part of my everyday vocabulary. So whether or not I actually use the right words, I am really excited about these changes.
How do you feel?