On the heels of allowing more zero-point foods to its weight loss program, Weight Watchers has now introduced its WW Freestyle Program.
The new system is intended to make it easier for people to adhere to the point system while still continuing to lose weight. Weight Watchers noted that in its six-week clinical trial, the WW Freestyle Program produced better weight loss results among participants than in clinical trials of previous Weight Watchers programs.
The point system is a trademark of Weight Watchers programs, where people aren’t tied to a restrictive diet of particular foods but are held accountable for their food choices. When a participant eats something indulgent like a dessert or burger, they accumulate points called SmartPoints (and are only allowed a certain amount per week), and so they are incentivized to eat healthier the rest of the week and avoid high-fat, high-sugar choices.
Previously, Weight Watchers allowed participants to eat an unlimited number of fruits and vegetables and they would accumulate zero points, encouraging them to go for these options rather than indulge unhealthy choices with their limited points for the week.
Now participants have the freedom to eat many more foods without tracking or measuring, including options like eggs, corn, all fish, all seafood, skinless chicken breast, skinless turkey breast, non-fat plain yogurt, beans, peas, lentils and tofu.
The company has also said that up to four unused SmartPoints each day can be automatically rollover for members to use as they wish on another day, allowing customers more flexibility.
In the sixth-month clinical trial, researchers found the new point system to be more effective with the following results:
- Participants experienced an average weight loss of 7.9 percent after six months
- 93.6 percent of participants agreed WW Freestyle helps them feel healthier
- Participants reported significant reductions in food cravings and hunger
- Among those who reported trying to lose weight in the past, 82.2 percent of participants reported that WW Freestyle is easier to do
Weight Watchers spokesperson Oprah Winfrey was thrilled with the announcement. She said in a statement: “When I first heard about it, I thought it was too good to be true – the fish, beans and corn in my favorite tacos are now zero Points! I thought the SmartPoints system was livable before, but Freestyle brings an even greater level of ease.”
Weight Watchers offers different programs depending on preference, including check-ins with a weight loss coach, an app for tracking online only via their “OnlinePlus” program, or a combination of the two.