First off, it wasn’t a New Year’s resolution. I don’t like setting myself up for failure, so I never resolve to do anything that I don’t really want to do. I don’t know if it was the pancakes that lady was flipping or if it was the way Oprah said, “Freeeeeeeeeee-ing,” but something about the latest series of Weight Watchers commercials made me pick up my phone and research the hottest weight loss program of 2018.
I joined Weight Watchers.
Ugh. Those are words I never thought I would say. Weight Watchers and fad diets were the trend of my mother’s generation. I expected more of myself. Surely, I could just make healthier decisions and live a healthier life. Right? Apparently I can’t.
I currently weigh more than I ever did at 9-months-pregnant with any of my four babies. So, I can’t blame it on them. The only person I have to blame is myself … and possibly the writers of This is Us because I tend to binge eat chocolate ice cream through my tears every week. Darn that Jack Pearson.
So here’s the skinny: Within my first week of being a WW Freestyler, I lost 4 pounds and the weight just continues to come off! The fact that I get to decide what, when, and how much to eat means that I’m in control of this diet — it’s not in control of me. And I like that.
Here’s everything you need to know about the pros and cons of the Weight Watchers Freestyle program.
You get to choose whether you want the OnlinePlus plan, the OnlinePlus with Meetings plan, or the Personal Coaching plan. Full explanations of each plan are laid out on its website. I chose the OnlinePlus plan for $3.99/week. Baby, I’m worth it.
You get to choose what to eat. You don’t have to buy any special meals from WW or drink any special shakes. You shop for the foods you like at your own store and NOTHING is off limits.
So, how does that work? It’s simple! You’re allowed a certain number of points per day and each food is assigned a point value. To maximize your weight loss, stay within your allotted points.
There are 200+ “Zero Point” foods that make this very easy. Chicken, fish, turkey, shrimp, eggs, most veggies and fruits, and even fat-free Greek yogurt make the list. You don’t have to count them, weigh them, or anything! Talk about easy!
With all other foods, either enter their name or scan their bar code using the WW app’s barcode scanner, and see how many points are assigned to them. You can adjust the size of the serving to more accurately calculate the number of points you are planning to consume.
It’s easy to find dozens of low point recipes on the WW website and on social media. So far, I’ve enjoyed cooking many of my family’s favorite recipes only substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream or baking instead of frying. I’ve also found recipes like these 1 point banana pancakes that I can make ahead for myself. (This recipe makes 8-10 DELICIOUS pancakes that store well in the fridge.) Add a little drizzle of syrup, and you have a tasty 3 point breakfast!
What I like best about the Freestyle program is that I get to choose what I eat. Nothing makes me crave bread more than being told that I can’t have it, so I’m soooo glad that bread is not off limits. Nobody likes a hangry mama! I just have to decide how badly I want that buttery biscuit and what I’m willing to sacrifice for it. If I had eggs for breakfast and chicken with veggies for lunch, I may still have an entire day’s worth of points left at dinnertime and treat myself to that biscuit. But if it’s been a high point day already, I’ll probably skip the biscuit or save it til tomorrow morning. The choice is mine.
Eating out isn’t impossible either. Obviously large, greasy burgers and anything deep-fried are going to be incredibly high in points but that doesn’t mean you have to starve. Even most fast-food restaurants have a handful of low point items (beyond just dressing-less salads) that will satisfy.
What’s my fast-food go-to meal? I’m so glad you asked. I’ve had this meal twice this past week and a third time today because I needed a good picture to show you. Oh, the things I do for our readers! I present to you, the Chick-fil-a 6 piece nugget Kid’s Meal with a fruit cup and Coke Zero.
Isn’t it glorious?
I lost weight eating Chick-fil-A!!
If you get the grilled nuggets, they’re only 1 point, but I happen to think the original nuggets are totally worth a measly 4 points. I walked away feeling full, happy, and proud of myself.
Happy is always better than hangry.
The WW app and website are both incredibly user-friendly. On top of tracking your food points, they enable you to track your weight and your activity. You also can post and comment in the Connect forum just like you would on any other social media platform, sharing encouragement, recipes, and even your struggles with others who are walking the same walk.
As I said earlier, the WW community has tons of fun, healthy, low point recipes to share. But most grocery stores carry a few Weight Watcher brand products, as well. At our little store, I found these WW Giant Fudge Ice Cream Bars. Oh my goodness! I cannot taste the difference, and they’re only 4 points. Now I’m excited to try even more of their products because these little gems are absolutely delightful!
So far, the only negative I’ve found is that many people feel that this program is not structured enough. People who need hard lines and firm limitations might struggle with the amount of freedom and versatility WW Freestyle gives them. Those individuals might need to tailor the program to meet their needs or work with a coach to add accountability.
All in all, I have to agree with Oprah. Weight Watchers Freestyle is most definitely, “Freeeeeeeee-ing”! And I have the now-baggy jeans to prove it.