Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: March 10, 2022
Weight Watchers(WW) has been a recognizable brand for more than half of a century. They’ve gone through a lot of changes over the decades; including the information that they share, the foods that they recommend, and the way they represent their brand. We’ve been a big fan of most of these changes and we’re certain that WW will continue to make smart changes going into the future.
WW rolled a few major changes in 2021. Some of the most notable changes were the addition of WW+ and several new digital tools within their app. These innovations helped millions of people stay on track with their diet and meet their health goals for the year.
2022 is finally here and we’re excited to see what changes are in store for us this year. We’ve already gotten word of a few major additions to their website and meal plans that are going to have a big impact on current and future customers.
Let’s take a few moments to look at a few of the things that Weight Will change in 2022.
The New PersonalPoints Plan
WW tends to only modify their existing plans once every two years. 2021 was certainly a big year thanks to WW+, but they didn’t make any fundamental changes to their available meal plans. But with 2022 here it’s time for WW to roll out the newest addition to their meal plans. It’s an entirely revamped points system known as PersonalPoints.
As the name implies, the PersonalPoints plan attempts to take a more personalized approach to meal planning. Weight Watchers even designed their own PersonalPoints Engine to gather useful information and use it to design a points budget and food list that is unique to each user.
This is an incredible step forward from the previous plan offerings, which featured some variety but were ultimately the same for people sharing the same plan.
Researchers have understood for some time now that proper health and dieting is not a “one size fits all” concept that will work equally well for everyone. This is why the standard dietary guidelines pushed by the U.S. government have never been well-received.
It’s also why different people can experience different results with different types of diets. Some people succeed on high-protein diets, some on low-carb diets, and others on more niche solutions like Mediterranean diets .
The bottom line is that each person is unique. They have unique cravings, genetics, and eating habits. The experts at Weight Watchers realized that their meal plans needed to evolve to reflect these new understandings. The new PersonalPoints Plan was their solution to this obvious problem.
In What Ways Is The PersonalPoints Plan Different?
- No More SmartPoints
Before we detail some of the key changes, here’s a quick look at how the new PersonalPoints work:
WW began using SmartPoints back in 2015 and has had plenty of success using it as a metric and a dietary algorithm. It essentially calculated point values based on the sugar, saturated fat, calories, and protein in any particular food. It was a very straightforward metric but didn’t allow for much flexibility. It also failed to consider other dietary aspects like fiber.
The new PersonalPoints metric will consider protein, saturated fat, unsaturated fat, fiber, calories, and added sugars. Ideally, this will make it more apparent which foods have healthy levels of fiber, protein, and unsaturated fats while helping to avoid saturated fat and excess sugar.
RELATED READING: How the Weight Watchers Personal Points Work
If you’ve used WW in the past, then you’ll immediately notice that most foods have slightly different point values than before. You will also notice some point variations in foods that did not exist before. For example, there is a clear point difference between a standard version of an ingredient a whole wheat variation. That point difference indicates the healthy difference between fiber content.
- No More “Standardized” Plans
The previous move from a single plan to three different plans was a big step. It confused a lot of people but ultimately helped customers choose a healthier meal plan that suited their personal preferences and eating habits. WW has gone a step further by removing these standardized plans and creating unique meal plans for every customer. Your PersonalPoints plan will fully reflect eating habits and goals in a way that the previous options could never do.
The biggest element of personalization is the Zero Points food list. Each customer will have their own unique list that is curated using the new PersonalPoints Engine. Weight Watchers believes this approach will make it much easier to stick with your new diet and we believe that they’re right.
- A More In-Depth Quiz
Weight Watchers doesn’t simply guess what foods should be on your Zero Points list. Instead, they’ve revamped their dietary quiz to include more personal questions that will be used to design your meal plan. Some of the questions will focus on:
- Your favorite foods to eat
- How active you are on a regular basis
- How often do you like to eat
- Whether you deal with specific health problems like diabetes
- How often do you eat specific food groups like fruits and vegetables
These questions help determine what foods will be included on your Zero Points list. If you’ve used WW before, then you may see some familiar foods on that list. You may also lose some foods that were previously on the list. The goal is to populate the list with healthy foods that you are more likely to enjoy. Having food options that you never eat on your Zero Points list doesn’t provide much benefit or motivation.
There are a total of 14 food categories on the list and you will have some control over what foods are selected. You should keep this in mind when you are answering questions and selecting the types of foods that you enjoy. If there was a specific food you really enjoyed on your previous Zero Points list, then be sure to select that food again during your quiz if given the option. Non-starchy vegetables remain a Zero Points food for all WW members.
- The Ability To Modify Your Plan
What happens if you take your quiz and realize that you don’t like any of the food options on your list? Or what if your habits change over time and you want your personalized plan to reflect those changes? Weight Watchers has made it incredibly easy to modify your plan whenever you see fit. It’s as easy as going into your settings and taking the introductory quiz again. WW will provide you with a new Zero Points list immediately.
Of course, this isn’t a feature that should be abused or used to “cheat” with certain foods. Weight Watchers recommends giving every PersonalPlan at least two weeks before making adjustments. Every diet is going to feel challenging at first and you’ll never see the results you want if you don’t give it a proper opportunity. But in those cases where you are certain you want to change your plan all that you need to do is retake the quiz.
New Sources Of Bonus Points
Previous plans were all about carefully spending your SmartPoints by only eating certain foods alongside those on your ZeroPoints list. The new system has added three different ways that you can add PersonalPoints back to your budget. This motivates people to make healthier choices in life so that they can justify those extra carbs on occasion. Here are the three ways you can now gain more points:
Exercise has always been a fundamental variable in the weight loss equation. You need to burn calories if you want to consume calories without gaining weight. With the PersonalPoints plan, you can manually track your daily physical activity or use a fitness tracker to do the technical work for you. Certain trackers are compatible with the Weight Watchers app and will make it much easier to measure your daily activity levels.
RELATED READING: Does the new WW really work?
There are a few different factors that will influence how many PersonalPoints you gain from physical activity. They include the type of activity, the duration of the activity, and personal factors like your age and weight.
- Eating Vegetables
As mentioned, non-starchy vegetables are the only food group that is on everyone’s Zero Points list. But these foods are more than just “Zero Point” alternatives. They can be used to add points back to your budget. Each cup of non-starchy vegetables will refund you a single PersonalPoint. There’s no limit to how much you can use this feature. Add a cup of healthy vegetables to your meals three times a day and you’ll earn 3 additional PersonalPoints to use as you see fit.
- Staying Hydrated
Hydration is another important component of a healthy lifestyle. Weight Watchers is now refunding a single PersonalPoint to every user who drinks at least 60 ounces of water on a given day. However, unlike the vegetables, this point can only be redeemed once every 24 hours. If you combine it with three cups of vegetables with your meals, then you’ve earned a total of 4 free PersonalPoints for simply making healthy choices.
Other Weight Watchers Changes Coming In 2022
The PersonalPoints system is going to be the major focus for the year, but it’s not the only change that WW is rolling out. They are also adding additional plans for users with diabetes and insulin resistance.
Second, there are rumors that they will move away from the older “Healthful vs Unhealthful” labeling system toward a version of the Traffic Light System used in the UK. Finally, WW has announced that they will begin working with several new partners in the coming year.
All of these changes are very exciting and will undoubtedly have positive results for millions of customers.