Welcome to Beyond the Scale!! (Week-Long Series)

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!

Weight Watchers SmartPoints Review Logo

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.

Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale Weekly

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

Weight Watchers Beyond The Scale Plan Materials

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.

Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale Assessment Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale Assessment MobileWhen 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).

Weight Watchers 2016 Food Journal

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.

Weight Watchers 2016 Starter Kit

Photo from Weight Watchers


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.

Weight Watchers Year-Round Fresh Cookbook

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 …

The Daily Mel | Signature Image

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.


  1. Jeremy Logsdon says:

    I am definitely intrigued by this new program. I like the emphasis on decreasing sugar intake, for sure. I get it for free at my workplace, but only during the semester, so I’ll have to wait until late January to try it out, but I am definitely excited to give it a spin!

    A question – how do the amount of points compare to the old PointsPlus? As a for instance, I knew on PP that I had 71 points a day, which felt to me to roughly translate to around 2,000 calories. Is this new plan comparable, or is it such a different beast, comparisons like that aren’t really at play anymore?

    • Melissa says:

      Hey Jeremy! I haven’t actually done a comparison of calories to points on the new program. Calories are actually part of the formula now for calculating SmartPoints, so it should be fairly easy to figure out an average over time. Of course, foods that are higher in sugar and/or saturated fat will result in a higher points value per calorie than foods that are more protein-friendly.

      • Chris says:

        Hi Melissa,

        Many of my favourite recipes have a total carbohydrate value but don’t isolate the grams of sugar comprising the total carbo value. Is there a way to assign a SmartPoints value without knowing the total grams of sugar?

        • Melissa says:

          Not that I know of, Chris. As far as I know, that information is a required value. If you are a member of Weight Watchers, you could enter the recipe in the Recipe Builder on the WW website and it would calculate the SmartPoints value for you.

  2. Jill G. says:

    Thank you for this! I noticed in the app a week or so ago they were asking for calories, saturated fat, sugars, etc., when calculating food points and I got excited as the lack of calories specifically has always bugged me a bit about WW.

    I’m really looking forward to how you’re spreading it out over a week so I’ll definitely be checking in each day 🙂

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks, Jill! I’m excited to see calories back in the mix as well. I hope you enjoy the series this week and look forward to any feedback you want to give. 🙂

  3. Bonnie says:

    Thanks for the post! I am really interested to see what the new program holds. My Doctor is concerned about my weight more then he has in the past and mentioned WW again. I may go check out a free meeting on Thursday and see what they have to say.
    Quick Question. Do you feel the new plan is Vegetarian friendly?

    • Melissa says:

      Yes, the new plan can definitely be followed quite easily by those who follow a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle. There are loads of meat-free protein options that are low in SmartPoints value. My leader eats a mostly plant-based diet, so it can definitely be done. 🙂

      • Sharon says:

        What foods does she use in this case? Most plant-based diets are very low protein diets, and present themselves as such. Thank you!

        • Melissa says:

          She eats lots of beans, whole grains, eggs, etc. She’s not strictly plant-based or vegetarian. I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for several years and could incorporate this program into that lifestyle.

  4. Renee' says:

    I am a WW member. I am almost at my big goal and plan on becoming a lifetime member. I am glad you like the neq plan. You stayed that members are “freaking out” because we don’t like change. Please think before you make bold, encompassing statements. I have no issues with change. Myself and many other members are angry because we haven’t been able ton track for over 1 week. I love WW, but they rolled out this change in the worst way possible, Don’t assume anything else.

      • Laura says:

        I would like to add to that (as I’m in the change is bad camp) change isn’t necessarily bad but it is very stressful. I started WW several years ago and was very successful. Then in December they rolled out a new plan – PP. I fell off the plan & quit. I started back this past September and have been doing very well. I’ve been very excited. Now this. Personally, I think it may be less stressful to members if they either did a larger soft launch – distributing the materials a month ahead of time and allowing people to figure out new points values, etc. OR if they did it in Feb/Mar – after the holidays. The holidays are so stressful anyway with lots of parties, things to do, finishing up EOY things with your job, etc. I’ve had my meal points memorized and was feeling great. Now many things have changed points – things that weren’t the healthiest but were good, quick meals during a busy season. I’ve been so discouraged this week. I don’t have time to reconfigure things (and I mean that literally – I worked 105 hours at my job last week). As I’m in marketing, I’m sure these changes are placed strategically throughout the calendar in order to maximize #s, but it would be nice to give more thought to what’s best for your members. And this is feedback I heard across the board with my friends that do WW and are in various groups. Several ppl, myself included, have given up tracking this week. I hope I can come back strong once I have time to study this. But just very frustrated right now. And tired.

        • Melissa says:

          Wow, I can’t even imagine working 105 hours in a single week, Laura. Hang in there!! While I agree it would be nice to have a bit more transition to help members ease into a new plan, I recognize that WW is ultimately as business. As you mentioned, I’m sure the launches are timed for maximum effectiveness to bring in new members. My assumption, and it’s purely just that, is they launch in early December so they have a few weeks of media buzz over the holiday period so all of the New Year Resolutioners are excited to join come Jan. 1. Since they are a corporation with an obligation to their shareholders, I can’t fault them for that.

          • Maureen says:

            I just don’t understand why they can’t offer several difference plans and we choose which one we want to follow. I lost 80 lbs using Momentum (the plan before points plus). They changed the plan to points plus and told me if I continued to follow momentum WW would not be able to support me. I moved over to points plus and hated the plan. I gained every week, eventually just giving up. So in December I joined WW again hoping that the PP would work…three weeks later…the plan changes to SP, which I am finding difficult to follow since I do like my treats. Truth is….I know how to eat healthy….I want a plan that fits my lifestyle…momentum did just that!

    • Melissa says:

      I’m also a WW member and have been for quite some time. I never said ALL members were having an issue with change. I said a LOT of members and I stand by that statement based on anecdotal information from comments and conversations I’ve had with fellow members across social media and my local meeting, so I’m not assuming anything. There have definitely been major technology issues over the past week or 10 days. My post had nothing to do with those, but with the overall program.

  5. Renee says:

    nice! we had a soft launch last week in the Netherlands so I went to a meeting to get the new materials and hear from my coach all about the new program! I only was able to update my online/app sub today so I don’t really know yet how it matches the previous program. I was a little upset that there’s no more no-count days (I don’t know what it’s called in the US but for us it’s “telvrij” ) but after letting it sink in a bit I thought I would just go back to points since I hadn’t really been counting for 2 months anyway… 😀 I’m glad to have a fresh start as I was really in a rut and getting really sick of what I was eating!

    congrats on the loss – amazing!!

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks, Renee! We still have the “no count” option here. It’s called the Simply Filling technique. I had definitely been in a rut for a while as well, but the new program has definitely rejuvenated me!

  6. Danielle says:

    Hi Mel,

    Great job as always! Can you explain more about the “FEEL” section of the program? Is it just the same booklets given out & topics discussed under a new name? Or has the content of those discussions & booklets been dramatically enhanced?

    • Melissa says:

      If you’ve been attending meetings recently, they’ve been laying the groundwork for this part of the program. In the new Plan Guide, the well-being section is front and center. It’s even covered BEFORE the food aspect of the program. Members are encourage to incorporate “me” time into their normal routine. It could be something as simple as taking a quick nap, stretching, etc. or more structured like creating a vision board, taking an art class, etc. The order the Plan Guide lays out the new program is well-being, then food, then fitness. Hope that helps!!

  7. Karen says:

    Hi Melissa! I remember you from Dotties! Thank you for your review. I do WW online. My new week hasn’t started, but I am anxious to hear what’s in store. I have followed just about every WW program since 1973. I did reach my goal in 2001 and worked for WW as a leader for 9 years. I trust WW, I always have. So I am ready ready for a change! I am looking forward to all of your posts this week. You are so awesome!

  8. Tracy says:

    I can’t believe I’m gonna say this, but I think this might be the first time I’ve actually commented here on your blog, instead of on Twitter or Facebook?! BAD TRACY, DEFINITELY NO COOKIES.

    Thanks for writing this post up – after you mentioned there was going to be a new WW thing, I was definitely intrigued, because wasn’t the last one new/different enough?! And still not good enough to tempt me back.

    But this one might well be. Especially as I think my biggest problem is definitely sugar/carbs – so I might well be heading back to WW… IF they’ve introduced this programme in the UK. I’ll need to check the website and see!

    I’m glad it’s working for you, though. Losing those wee pounds and the sugar cravings must feel wonderful. 😀

    • Melissa says:

      Lovely to see you here!!! Yes, this program was also released this week in the UK. I believe it’s called SmartPoints there as well, even though we’ve historically always called the same program by different names. LOL

      I’m feeling absolutely amazing these days! I was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism, so that’s getting working out as couple. That, coupled with the new program, has me feeling like a new woman. 🙂

      • Tracy says:

        Yup, the plan’s literally just being rolled out this week in meetings – I signed up for a three month pass last night after leaving this comment, and the meetings nearest my house are on Tuesday nights, so it was divine intervention that you posted this yesterday. 🙂 But yup, Smart Points and the No Count plan (which is what it USED to be called, back before it was the Core Plan – it was No Count when I FIRST JOINED WW!) and everything, so it’s weird having the same names as the US for a change, hah!

        Glad to hear that it’s working so well for you! I had hypothyroidism as a teenager – NO FUN AT ALL. But if you’re still feeling awesome, that’s excellent!

        • Melissa says:

          Yay!! So glad it all worked out then. In photos I’ve seen on Instagram tagged with #wwuk, it looks like you will receive three separate books for the new program whereas we only have one larger book. Other than that, the programs seem the same.

  9. Kitty says:

    I was really interested to read your comments on the program. I’ve been doing it for a little over a week and have similar feelings.

    I really do feel this is a big change…and I originally got to lifetime on the exchange program! The degree to which the high sugar and saturated fat affect the point count (especially the sugar since the sat. fat often comes with protein) is really quite a bit. I’ve seen some food of the same calories cost 10 times as many SmartPoints as another food. That is a really dramatic difference.

    The only thing I’ve really struggled with is occasionally finding it hard to get to 30 SmartPoints. I am dualling tracking and I can easily get to 26 PointsPlus but that sometimes only gets me to 27 or 28 SmartPoints. I am going to have to work on getting to the minimum (no trouble doing it when I go out, but sometimes challenging while at home).

    • Melissa says:

      Yes, I’ve definitely noticed it seems foods higher in sugar definitely take a bit more of a hit. If something is higher in sugar AND saturated fat, it can be a very dramatic difference. I share one such example in my Tuesday post where I walk through one of my food journals from last week. I tracked the same foods on both programs to compare and contrast.

  10. Sharon says:

    How do you think this will impact vegetarians, especially vegans? The emphasis on being “protein friendly” concerns me as I eat a near-vegan diet. Whole grains, beans, some nonfat yogurt and eggs…thoughts?

    • Melissa says:

      The plan is still definitely very workable for vegetarians/vegans. While it may be “protein friendly” in the aspect that foods with more protein are a bit lower in points value, there are still plenty of plant-based protein sources that work well on the new program. None of the foods you listed in your example have changed in points value on the new program.

  11. Lisa says:

    Hi Mel. Thanks for providing all of this valuable info. The changes to the plan took me by surprise, but I think it will be a good thing for me in the long run, as my weakness is needing a sugary treat after a meal. I also know the less sugar I eat, the less I need it — so onward and downward (weight-wise, that is)!

    How does one get the Beyond The Scale materials (plan guide & pocket guide) shown in your post? I’d really like to have access to those, especially starting out. Thanks!

    • Melissa says:

      I’ll be sharing about my experience all week during this Beyond the Scale series. 🙂 If you check my latest post from today, I walk through a day on SmartPoints vs. PointsPlus and share lots of information specifically about SmartPoints.

    • Melissa says:

      The assessment will pop up automatically on whatever day of the week is listed as your weigh in day in the settings on your account. So, if you weigh in on Thursday, your account will be migrated to the new plan on Thursday and you will receive the assessment the first time you log in to either eTools or the mobile app.

  12. Monica Matthews says:

    Excellent explanation! I am so happy that Simply Filling is still an option. It’s how I live my life! 🙂

    • Melissa says:

      Thanks, Monica! I was also happy to see Simply Filling was still part of the program. While I generally prefer counting points, Simply Filling is a nice option every now and again if I find myself getting burnt out on counting points.

  13. Mary Swanson says:

    Thank you! I want to be a part of this and need all the support I can get. I was gaining week after week. I’m hoping this will get me back on track. ♡

  14. Katherine says:

    Can you explain how fit points is decided on what you’re going to have. My fitpoint number was changed in the middle of the day how does that happen. I haven’t found any information just wondered if anybody had any ideas how that works out it just seems like you know you can’t use my points before thanks

    • Melissa says:

      FitPoints weren’t really discussed in much detail at my meeting on Sunday. Per my leader, there will be a lot more information about that presented in week 4 (week of Dec. 27, I’m guessing). According to the information in the Plan Guide I received, it appears to me they want members to focus more on exercising for the health benefits and less on doing it just to be able to eat more points. That being said, it did say that if you happen to go over your points budget by a few points and you have earned plenty of FitPoints, you may swap them one for one as SmartPoints. So, you *can* still technically swap them, but it seems like they would rather that be something done occasionally rather than as part of one’s normal routine. Does that make sense?

      • Katherine says:

        Thanks for the reply Melissa, I understand what you are saying. Guess Fitpoints is a hard concept for me since at this point I don’t see how they are calculated. I don’t earn them to eat them. I like to just test myself and see how many more each day or week I can get. But with activity points I knew at about 5000 steps from fitbit I would get my first Activity point. Now I don’t have that info to work with. They don’t seem logical?? I will wait and see what they say. I was afraid I missed something.
        Thanks again! Love your postings .

        • Melissa says:

          Thanks, Katherine! I hear what you’re saying. I do love the new aspect of the program for setting a weekly FitPoints goal. I decided the initial goal set for me was too low since I was easily exceeding it every day. I discovered I could go into the Settings –> Activity section and adjust my goal, so I bumped it up by a few FitPoints per day to give me a bit more of a challenge.

  15. Sharon says:

    One thing I’ve noticed that surprised me is the high points value in one cup of nonfat plain yogurt, 5 points (for 110 calories). I’m assuming that it’s the carb/sugar content that creates this issue…but it seems that the program would want to encourage the consumption of lowfat dairy products. Do you know anything about the thinking there, or is it just an algorithm issue?

    • Melissa says:

      My guess, and it’s purely just a guess, is that it’s just an algorithm issue. Skim milk also jumped by 1sp per cup which doesn’t make sense in my mind, but like you, I know dairy inherently has natural sugars and carbs which I suspect are the culprit.

      • Sharon says:

        I did notice that nonfat plain Greek yogurt is only 3 points (vs 5 points for the regular nonfat plain), which makes sense with the current guidelines. 🙂

  16. Sharon says:

    How do you handle using the calculator in the phone app when a sugar count is not available? For instance, I have cookbooks with healthy recipes I use on a regular basis. Every value is available but sugar – carbs, yes; sugar, no. Do you have any recommendations on how to handle that? Thanks again. 😉

  17. Pattie S says:

    Just found your blog after discovering link over at Danica’s and I want to say THANK YOU for posting this info. I have lost 100 lbs over a stretch of time on the “old” WW original points system and failed miserably at the PP system. I never really understood why but I seemed to gain/lose the same weight over and over in a month but increased walking, etc. I’ve got 60 lbs more to go to reach my goal and hope that THIS version of the WW system is more successful than PP was. If they overhauled that program then they kudos to them for listening to us at here who were struggling so badly.

  18. Sheryl Scully says:

    I waited a whole week to find out what “Beyond the Scale” was all about. And it was an especially long week because they discontinued WW kitchen app which I used just about every night to make a meal.Then I was not even able to login to track my points! I love new programs but I haven’t been able to enjoy learning about it because etools doesn’t even work 🙁 I am angry, sad, depressed, frustrated and if I start to eat my feelings I cannot even track it! I am very disappointed in WW right now.

    • Melissa says:

      I understand your frustration, Sheryl. I’ve definitely felt it as well. I was so sad the Kitchen Companion went away because I loved using it on my iPad in the kitchen to pull up recipes to prepare. The folks from WW who I have been working with during the beta testing period have repeatedly said everything will hopefully smooth out once everyone is converted over to the new system. Today should be the last day of account migrations en masse, so I’m crossing my fingers everything will be up and running normally beginning tomorrow.

  19. Kim White says:

    I only wish I could use it on line. It was up for a few days, then trouble. It keeps giving me the old WW site, don’t get it. Guess I will again have to call them, hopefully I have time after work. Upset no one can take my call on the weekends. This plan does seem good, but for me, the on line tracking makes a difference.

    • Melissa says:

      People have been successful on every version of the Weight Watchers program over their long history. That being said, members are reportedly losing weight 15% faster on the SmartPoints program vs. the previous PointsPlus program.

  20. Janet schluter says:

    I have to say weight watchers is the best plan I have tried. I made my goal then I went to Florida and ate like I used too. Needless to say I gained it all back, but it was my fault. Will return in April for support and TRACK my food , the most important rule to lose and you DO!!

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