As most of you probably know, I’ve made references the past few weeks about working on a secret project with the folks at Weight Watchers. Now that the new Beyond the Scale program has been officially launched, I can spill the beans!
Beyond the Scale
Yep, that’s right, I’ve actually been following the new program for the past three weeks. Weight Watchers reached out to a couple dozen people across various social media platforms (bloggers/vloggers, Instagram, Facebook, etc.) and offered us the opportunity to take the new plan for a test drive and kick the tires before it went live this week. I know a lot of members are kind of freaked out right now because they don’t like change, so I’m here to share my experience on the new plan with you.
There is a LOT of information I want to share with all of you. Rather than cramming it all into a single post that would be ridiculously long, I’ve decided to spread it out over the entire week. Since everyone attends meetings on different days, I thought this would be a cool way for people to have some new content every day regardless of which meeting they attend.
I will be sharing a few random sneak peek photos scattered throughout my post today. I’ll go into more details about each of them in various posts throughout the upcoming week. Here’s my plan of attack:
- Monday: General overview and my thoughts about the new program
- Tuesday: Day in the life where I share a side-by-side comparison of one day of eating tracked in both PointsPlus and SmartPoints to show how the plans compare & contrast
- Wednesday: Overview of some of the new products released
- Thursday: Q&A where I’ll answer any questions left in the comments on the posts from today through Wednesday
- Friday: I’ll share a review of a recipe I’m planning to make this week from one of the new cookbooks
- Saturday: Week in review where I’ll recap everything and answer any other questions people may leave
The new program consists of three primary areas of focus: food, fitness, well-being. There are definitely some major changes in the food and fitness areas, but well-being is something that’s never really been an official part of the program in the past. While losing weight is certainly a major aspect of the program, it isn’t the only thing. The new plan is far more holistic and focuses on improving one’s overall health and well-being, not just the number on the scale. Personally, I LOVE it!
Now, let’s look at each area of focus in a bit more detail.
With Beyond the Scale, we say goodbye to PointsPlus and hello to SmartPoints. While PointsPlus was good at helping us eat the right amount of food, SmartPoints will also help us eat the right types of food, too. The new system takes saturated fat and sugar into account when calculating the points value which helps ensure we aren’t eating too many foods that could increase our risk for certain health issues like diabetes, heart disease, etc. Don’t worry though, it doesn’t mean an end to all treats. It just means we need to be more conscious of them and have them more sparingly.
When you go online for the first time after your account has been migrated to the new program, you will be presented with a brief Beyond the Scale assessment. This assessment will appear in both eTools via the web browser or via the mobile app, so you will be able to take it from whatever you preferred method of access is for WW. Once you’ve completed the assessment, it will provide you with your personalized daily and weekly SmartPoints target. Your tracker (eTools and/or the mobile app) will then be switched over to SmartPoints so you can begin tracking your food. Of course, if you prefer, there is an updated 12-week journal tracker available as well (more on that in a few days).
Over the past couple of weeks, I have seen quite a few people on social media speculating about things like the Simply Filling option would be going away, fruit would no longer be zero points, etc. I’m here to reassure you that none of these things are true! Simply Filling is definitely still part of the Beyond the Scale program and fruit is still zero points. Worry not, fellow Weight Watchers!
In the fitness arena, with Beyond the Scale, we say goodbye to Activity Points and hello to FitPoints. While Activity Points generally helped us focus on getting in more formal exercise, FitPoints focuses on overall movement. So, from the moment your feet hit the floor each day, you’re working on earning FitPoints. One thing I really love about FitPoints is the focus less on exercising as a means for earning more food points. Instead, the focus is on moving more in order to feel better. I think this will be HUGE for members who hate formal exercise.
In a nutshell, people who take time to pay attention to their well-being are generally happier, less stressed, sleep better, etc. All of those things also help people stay on track and meet their goals. Beyond the Scale will help members incorporate simple little forms of “me” time each day. By doing so, you may be helping your overall health and weight loss efforts far more than you know.
I know this is the section everyone has been waiting for. So, how did I do in my three weeks following the new Beyond the Scale program? I lost another two pounds this week which brings my total loss on SmartPoints to EIGHT pounds! Needless to say, I was thrilled with my results. Not only that, after the first three or four days, I noticed a marked decrease in my cravings for sweet/sugary snacks.
I will admit that I struggled a bit mentally the first several days. The new plan felt more like a “diet” to me than did the previous plan because I was feeling deprived and still craving all the sugary snacks. Once those cravings passed and I hit my stride with the new program, I almost can’t imagine going back to the old plan now. I feel better and I have more energy. Given the fact that my sugar consumption is a lot lower now, I can’t wait to have my next round of blood work when I see my doctor in February. My A1C number has been borderline diabetic on my two previous annual blood draws, so I’m really hoping to see an improvement next time.
All in all, I can’t say enough good things about the new Beyond the Scale program from Weight Watchers. I’ve seen several images over the past couple of weeks floating around social media touting this as the biggest change in Weight Watchers 50-year history. Initially, I didn’t think that was the case. I thought the move from the old food exchanges system to a points-based system was the biggest change ever. After three weeks of following this new plan, I think my initial instinct was wrong. This whole shift of focus from strictly looking at the number on the scale to looking at one’s overall health and well-being may very well indeed be the biggest change Weight Watchers has ever made, and I, for one, welcome it.
Until next time …
Disclaimer: I was part of a special group who received early access to this program. I was not paid in any way for my effort or time. All opinions are entirely my own.