Weight Watchers has tweaked their already excellent PointsPlus program for 2012. Along with some program changes there’s a website redesign, some adjustments in points and pricing, and (of course) new reference materials. And here in Central Austin, we got a groovy new meeting location with weigh-in stations that are a bit more private than the old ones.
There were some unhappy campers at this week’s meeting when they realized their allotment had gone down. This happened for people who were already at or near the lowest target of PointsPlus. For women, the previous low target was 29. Now it’s 26. You can imagine this was kind of a shocker. It’s not as bad as it sounds, though. Weight Watchers stresses that this is actually a way to add flexibility into your plan. So basically, you can eat less if you want to, whether it’s because you need to get past a plateau or just don’t always feel like using all your points on a given day, but you don’t have to.
Another element of flexibility that’s been added is you can replace your daily points with the Simply Filling plan. It used to be all or nothing — now you use any time as a break from the regular plan.
The weekly PointsPlus allowance of 49 has not changed, nor have the Activity Points.
Changes in Points
Several of us at the meeting noticed right away that the PointsPlus value for wine changed for the better. Wine used to count as 4 points for 4 oz. Now it’s 3 points for 5 oz. Yay! Here’s mud in your eye!
You get double the Parmesan Cheese for one point. Used to be 1 tablespoon = 1 point. Now 2 tablespoons = 1 point.
I’ll be checking for other changes in PointsPlus values. Have you found others? Please post them in the comments!
Now free for Lifetime Members!
After the improved PointsPlus value of wine, this is my favorite change. Lifetime members now get free eTools. As you probably know, when you become a lifetime member, you don’t have to pay for meetings providing you stay within 2 pounds of your goal. Unfortunately you had to pay for eTools. I don’t know about you, but I’d be lost without my PointsPlus iPhone app. Weight Watchers has always done such a great job of helping people maintain their goal weight — this fee was a barrier that worked against that goal. Not any more!
The cost of a monthly pass has gone up by a few dollars. The pricing varies by region, so you’ll have to check for the pricing near you. Members who have been using the monthly pass prior to the changes are grandfathered in at the old price.
The Getting Started booklet has been updated to reflect the PointsPlus 2012 program. It does a much better job of explaining the whole program, and contains a bunch of yummy-looking recipes.
We have new Pocket Guides, as well, with a slightly more robust list of foods and their PointsPlus values.
There are 3 new Power Start trackers. These are aimed at new members, but Weight Watchers is encouraging everyone to use them to get acquainted with the new plan. In addition to the standard areas for manually tracking your meals, they contain meal ideas and recipes right on the page.
Most of the redesign happened at the top levels. There are now rich navigation menus that allow you to get directly to the page you’re looking for with a lot less hunting.
You can now get to your weight and activity trackers from anywhere on the site — a most welcome change!
There are lots of new recipes on the updated site, with photos you just roll over with your mouse to get the PointsPlus values. It’s a really appealing presentation. (I wonder, though, how this works with screenreaders — anyone know?)
Note: at this writing, PointsPlus values that show up on search results page have not been updated. They only show up in the Pocket Guide.
The Weight Watchers PointsPlus 2012 program isn’t in any way a massive overhaul. You won’t have to change how you do the plan, but the new flexibility means you can if you want to. The free eTools for lifetime members and tweaks in PointsPlus values are all positive changes.
And there’s the wine thing. Can you tell I’m happy about that?
Have I missed anything? Have you found some other changes in PointsPlus values? Please let me know in the comments!
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