After all the hype, hubbub, and speculation recently, Weight Watchers 360 is finally OFFICIALLY here! It rolled out on the eTools/Weight Watchers online website yesterday (read my thoughts here), but it finally launched in the meeting rooms today.
It seems like a lot of people are writing about the new program now, not just me and a bunch of other speculating members. There’s an article on the USA Today website written by Nanci Hellmich. Of course, they’re naturally writing about the new program on the What’s New Blog on the Weight Watchers website. Even Weight Watchers CEO David Kirchhoff shared his thoughts about the new program on his blog Man Meets Scale in a new post titled Manifesto baby! It’s time for a Better Way (aka Introducing Weight Watchers 360).
Here’s one of my favorite parts from his post:
Weight Watchers 360° is designed for human nature. It is built to harness our strength, and to recognize our vulnerabilities. Through it comes the possibility that we can tackle this issue once and for all. For too long, we’ve been set up to expect disappointment. Now, we can expect amazing.
Welcome to the next 50 years.
I absolutely love the sense of hope that exudes from that paragraph. Given I’ll be turning 49 in a couple of months, I’m absolutely ready to enter my second 50 years of life feeling strong and healthy. I’m ready to harness the strength I know I have within and figure out how to overcome my weaknesses!
Weight Watchers 360 – The Basics
As you would definitely expect, there are new materials that go along with a new program release. Weight Watchers 360 is no exception. That’s being said, the new materials seem to have less information in them than what appeared in the PointsPlus and PointsPlus 2012 materials when they each rolled out over the past couple of years. The glossy Week 1 getting started booklet in each of those plans was around 100 pages. In the new materials, the Weight Watchers 360 booklet is only 37 pages. It covers the basic concept of the new program at a bit high level overview. It also includes a few recipes in the back.
There is also a somewhat plain Frequently Asked Question addendum that is 17 pages. It covers most of the nuts & bolts of the food and exercise components of the program. As I mentioned in my description of the new Weight Watchers 360 booklet, it’s covers things at more of an overview level. On most topics, at the bottom of the page will be a notation of where to look in the Frequently Asked Questions booklet to get more detailed information.
I know there has been a LOT of speculation and rumors online that there were possibly going to be changes to how fruit is handled on the program. I can now confirm there is ZERO (see what I did there?) truth to that rumor. There are no changes to the food component in the new program. Fruit continues to remain 0 PointsPlus value. Per page 4 of the Frequently Asked Questions booklet, Weight Watchers factored in the caloric impact for a reasonable number of servings of even the highest-calorie fruits into their calculations of the daily PointsPlus Target. So, everyone can remain calm and eat zero PointsPlus fruit.
UPDATE: If you came here looking for information about Weight Watchers 360, you might want to check my other Weight Watchers 360 posts!!
Weight Watchers 360 – The Extras
Naturally, there are also plenty of extras that members can purchase in addition to the basic materials that are included as part of their Weight Watchers membership. The first up is the “Ultimate Weight Watchers 360 Kit” that includes lots of tools to help members be successful. One of the things I love that they’re doing now is offering a variety of case styles for the kit. Long gone are the days of the basic black carrier! They still offer a black option, but at least it’s little more fun now.
Given I have a love of all things Weight Watchers and love sharing about everything here with you guys, I purchased one of the new kits (naturally). The retail price for the kit is $39.95 and here’s a peek of everything you receive:
I realize you might be able to make everything out clearly, so here’s a more detailed listing for you, along with the brief description of each item that was included on the packaging:
- Success Handbook – Strategies, routines, and temptation busters from someone who’s been there herself. (My note: This is actually one of the biggest reason I decided to purchase the kit. This handbook is actually a workbook with lots of action plans on topics like Mastering Your Motivation, Change Your Self-Talk, Understand Your Goals, etc. It’s 150+ pages and was written by Liz Josefsberg who is the Director of Brand Advocacy for Weight Watchers as well as a Weight Watchers Leader.)
- What to Eat Now cookbook – Solutions for a complete 12 weeks on plan. Includes 150 recipes, meal ideas, and more! (240 pages)
- PointsPlus Fitness Workout DVD Sampler – Three workouts to get your going and preview what the PointsPlus fitness series is all about.
- Track – Your 12 week planner and tracker to keep you going.
- Silicon Measuring Cup Set – There was no description on this, but it’s a collapsible set containing 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and 1 cup measuring cups. I’m planning to take these to my office to have a set there. Since they’re collapsible, they won’t take up much room in my filing cabinet drawer.
- Body Measuring Tape – No description was provided, but it’s a basic 60″ retractable measuring tape.
- PointsPlus Calculator and Skin – No description provided. The actual devices aren’t included in the kit when you purchase it. Instead, there is a coupon for each included with the kit. I pulled my coupons out right after I bought it and redeemed them for the free calculator and skin. I don’t know why they do it that way with the calculator, but I’m glad they do for the skin. This way each member buying a kit can pick out the skin they like best.
- Weight Watchers Coupon Sheet – No description provided. This is actually where your find the aforementioned coupons for the calculator and skin. There are also coupons for $5 off an electronic food scale, $5 off the PointsPlus Fitness Series DVD set, as well as a variety of coupons for Weight Watchers food products from both the meeting rooms and grocery store.
- PointsPlus Value & Power Foods Stickers – No description provided. It’s pretty much what the name implies. It’s a set of stickers with various PointsPlus values that you can put on food items you purchase. This is probably not something I’ll ever use. I usually just write the PointsPlus value on the box with a Sharpie marker and will likely to continue to just do that.
- Carrying Case – There wasn’t a description (or mention) of this anywhere on the packaging. It’s a neoprene-style case with the Weight Watchers logo that can hold all of the materials from the kit. It’s actually a pretty nice case and is very roomy. I put my iPad 2 inside it and there was room to spare. It’s folded in half in the photo above, so you can’t really tell what size it is. I used the handy dandy Body Measuring Tape that came in the kit to measure it. The dimensions are approximately 10.25″ x 11″.
One thing you may have noticed that is different from years past is that the kit no longer includes the Dining Out Companion (now called Eat Out) or the Food Companion (now called Shop). They’re still available for purchase, but they aren’t included in the kit. They seem to be much larger this year and I heard a couple of other members saying there are a lot more restaurants included in the Eat Out book versus years past. They retail for $19.95 if you buy both books at the same time, or $11.95 each if you buy just one of them. (Sorry for the blurry photo! Not sure what happened there.)
Last up, there is a new cookbook. This is definitely always one of my favorite things about a new change to the program. I am a self-professed cookbook whore, so if there’s a new cookbook to be had, let me at it! Naturally, I snapped one up right away and began drooling over the images of recipes I’ll probably never actually make.
This cookbook is aimed at creating healthy and tasty meals that are packed with flavor. Trust me when I say, healthy meals don’t have to be bland, people! There are loads of ways to add flavor to foods without resorting to fats, salt, and/or sugar! Another thing I loved as I was glancing through the cookbook is that every recipe contains at least one ingredient from the Power Foods list and most of them contain more than one. I love that! The cookbook is broken down into seven chapters — Finger Foods, Light Soups & Salads, Between the Bread, The Main Course, Sides from the Garden, Sides from the Ground and Grain, and How Sweet It Is. It also includes sections in the back where you can find recipes based on PointsPlus value as well as a list of recipes that work with the Simply Filling technique.
Weight Watchers 360 – The Giveaway
Ok, so here’s where the fun starts. Normally I would say this is probably what you’ve all been waiting for, but given that Weight Watchers 360 just debuted today, that might not be the case in this instance.
Each week (well, most weeks), my leader Jacki marks a few of the Weight Watchers Weekly fliers with an asterisk on the back and then mixes them in with the rest of the fliers. The members who randomly receive the marked fliers win a door prize. It’s usually something like a copy of the latest issue of Weight Watchers Magazine, a box a snack bars, some Fruities (fruit flavored candies), etc. Well, this week she only marked ONE flier with an asterisk and I WON!!! Woo Hoo! When I found out the prize was a copy of the new Turn Up the Flavor cookbook, Jacki and I both started laughing since I’d just bought the cookbook right before the meeting started. So, I decided I would share the wealth with one of my lucky readers!
That’s right! One of YOU now have a chance to win your very own copy of the new Turn Up the Flavor cookbook that’s hot off the presses and only available at a Weight Watchers center.
Since I’ll be covering the postage to mail the cookbook out of my own pocket (i.e., not cheap), I’m sorry to say that I have to limit this to US and Canada residents only. Shipping a 300+ page book internationally would simply be too cost prohibitive due to the weight.
There is one form of entry that will be mandatory for all giveaway participants. All of the other possible forms of entry are entirely optional. To be entered to win, you MUST leave a comment below telling me your favorite way to add flavor to a recipe that doesn’t involve using fat, salt, or sugar. If you enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter widget below without leaving the required comment, you WILL be disqualified from winning.
Once you have completed the one mandatory form of entry, the other optional methods of entry will be available to you in the Rafflecopter widget. All methods of entry are a one-time only option with the exception of tweeting about the giveaway. I have that option set to allow for tweeting about the giveaway once per day, so you could actually receive 10 additional entries if you tweet about the giveaway every day through the contest.
This giveaway will run for 10 days ending at 11:59pm PT on Wednesday, December 12. A winner will be randomly selected on Thursday, December 13 and will be notified via email. The winner will have 48 hours from the time I send the email notification to respond. If they do not respond by the end of the 48 hour window, another winner will be randomly selected who will then also have 48 hours to respond.