I’ve been tracking with the new Weight Watchers Smart Point system for a week and a half now. The first few days were getting used to the new smart points. Previously, you could pretty much eat anything you wanted on Weight Watchers – everything was assigned points based on the amount of calories, fat, & fiber. Then Weight Watchers switched to the points plus system (which I became very fond of in 2014) that no longer necessarily cared about calories, but instead used carbs, fat, fiber, & protein to assign points to foods.
Weight Watchers has changed their program once again, in an attempt to get people to eat healthier. They’ve assigned virtually no points to veggies and fruit (unless they are starchy) and want you to focus on eating less carbs & fat and more lean protein. The smart points system assigns points to foods based on calories, fiber, saturated fat, protein, carbs, and sugar. That once mentality of being able to eat anything I want, just in smaller portions has been thrown out the window. You just can’t eat that stuff and stay in your points window.
They want you to fill up on lean protein, veggies, and fruits. They want you to eat smaller portions of carbohydrates. Both are good things. However, I must note there are some short comings.
First of all – sodium. 1-1/2 servings of lunch meat is 1 smart point. Do you know how much sodium is in prepackaged lunch meat? If you’re drinking half your weight in water like me, you’d be okay to eat a couple of servings a day of lunch meat. But the normal person doesn’t drink enough water to even remotely hydrate their body, let alone flush the sodium out. Most people are going to look at lunch meat being 1 smart point and think “I’ll eat that for snacks!” Guess what? You’re gonna retain water if you do that…..
Secondly – You can eat too much fruit. Fruit is high in natural sugar and you can gain weight from eating fruit. I think they should point all fruits. Many people hate veggies and almost anyone, if given the choice, would choose fruit over vegetables…let me just fill up on 5 apples a day….
Thirdly – Calories. I’ve been tracking my calories as well as my points. I weigh 225 lbs. I’m eating fairly healthy on this WW system. I’ve added good carbs to make up for calories, yet I’m still struggling to eat at least 1400 calories a day and stay within my points window. I work out hard, 6 days a week. I burn at least 300-400 calories a day with those workouts. Considering myself “lightly active” the calories needed to maintain my current weight are 2300 calories a day. To lose weight I should be eating somewhere around 1700-1800 calories. Granted, I still have a lot of weight to lose, but I’m creating a huge deficit by eating only 1200-1500 calories each day with my exercise. We will have to wait and see how this goes…
Anyway, these are just some thoughts I had on the new Smart Points system from Weight Watchers. I do like how it’s guiding you towards eating more veggies and lean protein, but I’m afraid this new Smart Points approach may turn those who once loved WW away. You see, the appeal of Weight Watchers to most people was “Eat the foods you love and still lose weight – it’s all about portion control” and now, well, it’s not…I’m pretty much eating low calorie, low fat, low sugar, and moderate carbs…and I’ll get a big whack on my hand from the point system if I indulge in some cake and try to be honest about it…had a few bites of cake today, took 15 of my 30 allowed points away….