Monday, December 14, 2015

Trying the New Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale Program

Last week Weight Watchers rolled out a new program called Beyond the Scale.  Apparently their members asked for a more comprehensive, whole-person approach to weight loss and the company has delivered.

Beyond the Scale focuses on the three areas of Food, Fitness, and Fulfillment to help members reach more personalized goals.  And they have changed the Food plan in a major way.

Members will now be counting SmartPoints which are based on calories.  Saturated fat and sugar increase a food's SmartPoints value, while protein decreases it.  The old PointsPlus system only used grams of carbohydrates, fat, fibre, and protein in its calculations.

And there is still a no-counting option as well, called the Simply Filling Technique, wherein the member eats from a huge, long list of whole, real, nutritious foods... and only needs to count SmartPoints for any indulgences not on the list... chocolate or wine, anyone?

Beyond the Scale

Unfortunately, through most of last week, the digital tools for the new program were not working round the clock. There were lots of glitches with the web site itself, and the apps were not functional as well.  I know there is written material, and there are paper trackers and a hand-held SmartPoints calculator, but once people get used to those digital tools, they tend to panic and get kinda cranky when they are not available.

But today things appear to be working somewhat better, and my head seems to be in the right space, so I have decided to commit to following the new plan for this week and see what I think of it compared to the old one. I was not immediately a fan of PointsPlus when Weight Watchers converted to it many years ago from the former Points system.  I thought they were allowing too much food every day and as it turned out, they were, because after a couple years, they decreased the lower allowable daily target.

The new SmartPoints system is very personalized and every member gets a Daily Points Target and an additional Weekly Allowance based on age, sex, height and current weight.  They are also encouraged to earn FitPoints throughout the week and can be assigned a target for that as well, based on an assessment about current activity levels. Yes, we Weight Watchers tend to get quite numbers-oriented!  Along with adding Me Time and encouragement to take care of ourselves, the picture is complete.

So today, Sunday, is the beginning of my new week.  I have done an assessment and have been assigned a Daily Points Target of 30, a Weekly Allowance of 28, and am aiming to earn 28 FitPoints throughout the week... 4 per day.  It's on!

I have chosen to use both the paper tracker that is given to members at meetings...

and the Android app on my Samsung smartphone.  It has a working barcode scanner which I am somewhat excited about.

I spent some time looking up the SmartsPoints values of some of my favorite foods... happy to see that most veggies and fruits are still zero points... and I also did some calculations from the nutrition labels on things in my pantry that I could not find in the food listings, or that the barcode scanner didn't locate in the database.  I am happy to report that coffee, tea, and herbals, along with water, are still zero points.

Now I know I do better on any given food program when I do some planning.  Makes sense, right? So I made some mental notes about what my day's menu is going to look like and did a rough calculation of the SmartPoints it will all cost me... and here is how it turned out.

Breakfast at 8:30 a.m.

This is my go-to breakfast and I enjoy it a couple of times a week at least.

2 large eggs scrambled in non-stick pan with 2 grape tomatoes and 2 slices of white onion
1 small mandarin orange
SmartPoints used = 4

Lunch at 12:15 p.m.

It is a gloomy and wet day so I decided against my normal salad and chose to have something warm and filling.   Comfort food. 

1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup zucchini
3 grape tomatoes
3.5 ounces canned chicken breast
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 ounce light parmesan cheese
SmartPoints used = 7

Afternoon Snack at 3:00 p.m.

This is a common one.  I love powdered peanut butter.

1 medium gala apple
2 Tbs Chocolate PB2, reconstituted with 1 Tbs water
Green Matcha tea
SmartPoints used = 1


Glass of red wine at 5 p.m.

Love that I can now measure right in the glass!
SmartPoints used = 4


Dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Candlelight.  Bad picture.
4 ounces baked chicken breast
3 ounces baked sweet potato
baby carrots
5 ounces red wine
Smart Points used = 9


Evening snack at 7:45 p.m.
2 fresh medjool dates
1 Tbs raisins
1/2 ounce roasted and salted cashews
SmartPoints used = 4


So, in total, I used 29 out of my allotted 30 SmartPoints, and, because I walked for 55 minutes I earned 4 Fit Points... the proof in a screenshot from my app...

There are still a few questions... and I will be be addressing those in future posts this week.  

Oh, and, in case you forgot... yes, I do work part time for Weight Watchers... and these blog posts are in no way endorsed or even encouraged by them.

What is your favorite snack these days?  Have you tried fresh medjool dates?


  1. My mom is going to start this new program, as well! I hope you both like it!

  2. Interested to hear more about the new program once they workout the kinks. Your food looks absolutely delish to me. Honestly I suck at tracking everything from food to workouts. Not sure why I'm such a seat-of-the-pants girl but I am. I can stick with workouts and blogging and many things but tracking = no bueno.

  3. This sounds like a good program I did WW to lose weight after both of my kids. I do think it's an effective weightloss method. Sounds great that they are focusing on the whole person now. Best of luck on the program I'd love to hear more about it down the line.

  4. My best friend is doing the new program as well. I will be interested to see how you both like it. I do like that you seem to have an adequate amount of food with this plan. It's so important to eat enough calories too. Have a great week!

  5. It's very interesting to see how the new Weight Watchers program works - looks you've did a great job this past week, and got to drink wine!

  6. I know another blogger who is participating in the new program. Hope it continues to work well for you!

  7. I've heard so many good things about WW. Actually, I recommend WW to my teens and their parents. It's probably the most realistic weight loss program out there.

  8. I used a similar counting system to lose weight and it really worked for me, I just couldn't go back to it now. I hope it works for you!

  9. Good luck! I a, hearing many people don't like this new point system but I also think they are upset that the app has been down.

  10. The thing I like about Weight Watchers is that it CHANGES WITH THE TIMES.... It's not a stilted, stuck in the 80s diet, it morphs and nutritional studies continue to turn out new information !

  11. Not a wine drinker but haven't seen the glasses. Maybe that's only in Canada?

  12. That is awesome that WW is taking a more comprehensive approach. Keep us updated.

  13. it seems EVERYONE is raving about how well the program works as well!
    The Daily Mel (do you read her?) adores it.

  14. I was just wondering about this for after baby! Definitely need to look into it!

  15. Looks like a cool new program. I'm horrible about actually tracking things. I tend to lose weight when I do, but I'm really bad at committing to actually doing it...


Love it when you leave me a comment!