Oprah said so, so I did it. Weight Watchers does a great job of integrating the FDA recommendations for diet into their plans. The FDA makes modifications to it’s diet recommendations every 5 years. In 2015, the FDA recommended we lower our sugar and saturated fat intake and Weight Watchers said that sounds like a great idea and SmartPoints was born.
I did some research and found the original Weight Watcher plan (1970s) included fish 5 meals a week and liver 1 meal a week. They also restricted many items such as chocolate, gravy, peanut butter, pudding, and alcohol (source). Um no thank you. The liver-free SmartPoints program works like this: foods high in saturated fats and sugar will cost a lot of points while lean protein will lower the points. Nothing is off limits though, so you can enjoy that chocolate bar just don’t have anything else for the rest of the day.
On day 1 I made my first mistake. I bought some jelly beans because it was almost Easter at the time and I was celebrating. I ate the serving size despite wanting to inhale the whole bag. I later added the 130 calories of jelly beans into my app thinking it could not be more than 4 points with such a small amount of calories. Unfortunately it was 8 points and I had a small piece of chicken and steamed broccoli for dinner. I did not take long for me to realize that while SmartPoints was not necessarily restricting anything, you have to be part of the 5% of people who can be satisfied with one square of chocolate (I made up that statistic but I bet it’s accurate).
I was diligent for about 3 weeks and lost 3 pounds. I continued the plan for another month, losing a couple more pounds.
Overall, I liked the Weight Watcher SmartPoints program. The app is easier to use than most calorie counting apps and it was very easy to sign up. To sign up I just went to weightwatchers.com, put in my information, paid, and checked a box saying they will charge me for eternity until I went through what I am sure is a painful process to cancel (luckily I am a master at cancelling subscriptions so bring it on WW). My only big complaint about SmartPoints is that all Weight Watchers grocery store products still have the PointsPlus points on them. They have a lot of desserts that more than doubled in points and it would have been better for them to start rolling new products out with both points on them before the program started. I think this program is perfect for someone who needs to learn to eat healthy, but I think I would prefer to just make healthy choices most of the time and enjoy my 130 calories of jellybeans without the guilt of adding them into my calculator.
I will be cancelling my membership after the trial period, but I did find a lot of great recipes along the way thanks to some WW bloggers.