I feel like WW, aka Weight Watchers, revises its program every couple of years. And while this can be a good thing – because keeping up with customer feedback and the latest research is important. This MyWW review looks at whether the latest WW rendition changes the WW brand to something positive.

Because let’s face it: they certainly have enough to make up for after releasing that horrible Kurbo app for kids. Don’t even get me started.

What is Weight Watchers MyWW

Anyhow, the MyWW name is consistent with the ‘personalized’ nature of the program. WW is just staying on-trend: everything these days is about tailoring weight loss to your specific DNA/preferences/gut bacteria/lifestyle/whatever, so I’m not surprised that WW has jumped on the bandwagon.

But does a personalized approach override the ‘diet’ part of MyWW?

The MyWW Plan – Which MyWW Plan is Right For Me?

MyWW isn’t just one plan, it’s three. After you fill in a questionnaire, the program selects the plan it feels is right for you. Of course you’re free to follow whichever plan you want:

MyWW’s Green Plan

Green, which has the largest SmartPoints budget (yes, we’re still dealing in Points) and 100 Zero Point foods, which of course count for nothing towards your SmartPoint daily allowance.

On Green, the ZeroPoint foods are fruits and non-starchy vegetables. This plan has the fewest ZeroPoint foods, meaning you’ll track most of what you’re eating. 

MyWW’s Blue Plan

Blue has a more moderate SmartPoint budget, but more ZeroPoint foods – 200 in all. ZeroPoint foods on the Blue plan include those on the Green plan plus eggs, beans, tofu, fish, skinless chicken breast, and nonfat plain yogurt, which is just as gross and sour unsatisfying as it always has been. In fact, all of the free dairy on the blue and purple plans is nonfat. 

MyWW’s Purple Plan

The Purple plan has the smallest SmartPoint allowance, but 300 ZeroPoint foods. Those include all of the ZeroPoint foods on the other two plans, plus whole wheat pasta, legumes, corn, sweet potatoes, and whole grains. Because it has the most ZeroPoint foods, you’ll track the least on the Purple plan.

Avocado, unfortunately, is gonna cost you points on all three plans. Booo!

When you have fewer SmartPoints to play with, you get more ZeroPoint foods. This is MyWW’s way of getting you to eat more healthfully and use the points you have for less nourishing options. Except that all fats cost SmartPoints, even the healthy ones. Aside from eggs and some fish that contain fat, ZeroPoint foods are mostly fat-free choices, and we need fat. It carries flavor, it fills us up, and it helps us absorb fat-soluble vitamins.

So creating a system in which healthy fat sources are penalized is a bit whacked. You can eat 18 bowls of grapes on MyWW, but oop! A tablespoon of olive oil is going to cost you 4 Points!

Absurd.

In my previous review of WW, I found the constant counting of Points to be brutal. I’ve also had clients who actually can’t stop counting Points because they did it for so long, they now see every food not as food, but as a Points value. So the shift to giving followers more ‘free’ foods seems to be a step in the right direction. 

What’s not a step in the right direction is the continuation of FitPoints, which are food Points you earn by working out. If you choose, these can be used to bolster your Points budget. 

As I’ve said a million times before, working out so you can eat more is a terrible way of looking at food and exercise, and besides that, your body doesn’t work that way. I see this component in a lot of weight-management programs and apps, and it always kills me. 

Why are they making activity into a punishment-reward situation? It’s very wrong.

Let’s be very clear that despite WW’s name change and new branding, program personalization, renaming ‘meetings’ as ‘workshops,’ and calling weigh-ins, ‘wellness check-ins,’ it’s STILL A DIET. 

On WW, you’re successful if you lose weight; there aren’t other ways to measure success in the program besides that.

Is The MyWW Program Worth It?

Nobody does the MyWW program for anything but weight loss and if they do, those individuals are few and far between. Sure, it’s a ‘lifestyle change,’ but WW continues to exist and continues to collect lifetime members who cycle on and off the program, because diets don’t work in the long-term. 

Some people say that counting Points ‘keeps them accountable,’ but for many people it’s a chore that can easily become the focus of an obsession. The arbitrary assignation of a number of Points is also problematic: how does an app know what your body needs from day to day?

I can understand the desire to keep things flexible and easy for people, and incentivizing nourishing foods by giving them zero Points. But what does this teach people about balance? A cup of oatmeal used to have 5 SmartPoints, and now it’s a ZeroPoint food for Purple plan followers. 1 cup of brown rice used to have 6 SP, now it’s also a ZeroPoint food.

How does that even work? How do you take a high SP food and suddenly make it ZeroPoints?

Even with the new ‘flexibility’ of the plans, you can definitely overdo ZeroPoint foods. If you do, and you gain weight, many people would consider that a ‘failure’ for them, not the diet.

That’s pretty bad, but that’s dieting for you.

Most importantly, WW doesn’t address the WHY of your eating and food choices. Like every other diet, it’s a band-aid that temporarily covers up what’s really causing you to make the choices you do and to feel the way you do about yourself. We go on and off diets without really addressing our underlying issues. 

And every time we cycle on, the diet industry – WW included – is there to catch us. 

5 Comments

  1. This is interesting, I am not very familiar with Weight Watchers, but I am not a fan of diets! I did the Noom program last year for 2 months and enjoyed it as it was focused on lifestyle change.

  2. I had been on and off Weight Watchers for 15+ years. I had seen all of the changes in the program. I was always successful at keeping the weight off until Oprah took the program over. I’m not sure why but I felt as though the zero point food list really confused people. Suddenly most people were not losing, instead people were either maintaining their weight or gaining. A group within weight watchers had started a forum called the “Snail Club.” The discussions were about not being able to lose on the program. No one ever looked at the program as being the problem but looked at themselves as the problem. I quit the program a few months back as it was not worth it to maintain my weight for $46 per month. I found your forum because I was curious about the new program. I agree with your assessment. If you want to lose weight it’s going to take effort. Eating a healthy and balanced diet and getting regular exercise is the way to success.

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