Congratulations! If you've decided to start on the Weight Watchers program then you really won't regret it.
However, the different myWW plans may throw you into a bit of confusion - which is the best, which is the easiest, which will help you lose the most weight!
This article will answer some of those questions and will outline some of the most common questions asked about the myWW Green plan.
If you are wanting a more general guide on all the plans take a look at 'What is the new Weight Watchers plan?' It will answer some of the more generic questions about the new myWW plans.
At the end of 2019, Weight Watchers changed their Freestyle program and called it 'myWW'.
The program now includes 3 individual plans all based on the SmartPoint system. For more details on this read on!
You can now choose a plan that gives you a big allocation of SmartPoints and a smallish list of zero point foods to choose from (the Green Plan) or a plan that gives you a smaller allocation of SmartPoints and a bigger list of zero point foods (the Purple Plan).
Or a plan that is somewhere in the middle (Blue Plan)!
These changes in the program were made when WW began to realise just how different people are with regards to how they want to lose weight.
We don't all eat the same foods or even like the same foods!
Some people are vegetarian, some are vegan & some are avid meat eaters. There are some people who follow a gluten free diet & some who may steer away from artificial sweeteners.
Some people don't like chicken, or fruit, or vegetables or plain yogurt! Some like to eat processed foods whereas some others hate to.
You get my point .... we are all different!
And the WW plans that have gone before may have been a bit restrictive with regards to peoples differences.
If you were a chicken eating, plain yogurt loving person with a desire to eat all things beans then you benefited greatly from the old Freestyle plan.
If you weren't, then you may have struggled on the plan.
So how does the SmartPoint system work.
SmartPoints™️ is a system that Weight Watchers developed to help people easily monitor what they are eating. It is used to nudge people to choose healthier more filling foods.
When you join WW you are given an allocation of SmartPoints to use on any food that you like.
This allocation of SmartPoints is individual to you and is worked out on your weight, sex, height etc.
Your SmartPoint allocation can then be 'spent' on any food that you desire .... no food is off limits.
Every single food has a SmartPoint value!
The SmartPoint value of each food can be worked out by calculating its calories, protein content, saturated fat content and sugar content. When you sign up to WW you will be provided with a tool to enable you to easily calculate these!
Foods that have a higher saturated fat content and sugar content will be higher in SmartPoints than a food which is low in sugar, low in saturated fat and high in protein.
For example, chocolate is high in saturated fat, high in sugar and low in protein and works out at 4 SmartPoints for 0.5 oz.
Whereas, a lean 3oz beef steak which is high in protein, low in saturated fat and sugar works out at 3 SmartPoints.
A lean beef steak will fill you up more than a 0.5oz portion of chocolate so WW nudges you towards eating the steak!
Having said all that, WW also realises that some days you may prefer to use your SmartPoint allocation on chocolate rather than the beef steak!
There has been many, many a time that I have 😀
It really is up to you what you use your SmartPoint allocation on as no food is off limits!
As well as your daily SmartPoint allocation, you are given a weekly SmartPoint allowance and a list of zero point foods which don't need to be 'pointed'.
Weekly SmartPoints ('weeklies') are for you to use any way that you want throughout the week!
If you want to use them all up in one go (by eating a takeaway pizza on a Saturday night) then that is up to you. Alternatively, you can use them over the week perhaps on a glass of wine or a chocolatey dessert with your dinner.
Zero point foods don't need to be 'pointed'. In other words there are foods that you can eat that don't count towards your daily & weekly SmartPoint allocation.
Each of the myWW plans has a different list of zero point foods.
What is the Weight Watchers Green plan?
With the WW Green plan you get the biggest allocation of daily SmartPoints of all the plans. You also get a list of over 100 zero point foods.
The zero point food list includes most fruits and lots of vegetables but does not include foods that are included in the other plans such as fat free yogurt, chicken breast and fish.
You do get a good allocation of SmartPoints though 😀 which is always a good thing!!
How many SmartPoints do I get on the Green plan?
The amount of SmartPoints that you are allocated will be calculated on your personal measurements. How much you weigh, how tall you are, your sex and how old you are etc.
But generally speaking on the minimum number of SmartPoints that you would be allocated on the Green plan is 30 SmartPoints per day! You may be allocated a lot more.
And of course you will be provided with a weekly SmartPoint allocation too.
I can't stress how important it is to sign up to WW so that you can receive the correct SmartPoint allocation for you.
Don't think that because your 6 foot tall male neighbour gets 40 SmartPoints per day, that you as a 5ft 2' woman with only a few kilos to lose will also be allocated 40 SmartPoints a day!
WW will not work if you do that 😀
Zero Point Foods on the Green Plan
On the Green Plan, the list of Zero Point foods is limited to fruits and non starchy vegetables. A printable list can be found on the WW website here.
These Zero Point foods are really useful to bulk out your daily SmartPoints allocation.
Most fruits including apples, apricots, bananas, strawberries, blackberries, papyas, mangoes, cherries, blueberries, grapefruit, orange, kiwi, peaches, plums & pomegranates.
Dried fruits such as dried apricots, figs, raisins & banana chips are NOT zero points. Make sure to work out the SmartPoints of dried fruits before eating.
Canned fruit and canned fruit cocktail are zero SmartPoints as long as they are unsweetened and come in their own juice (not syrup).
Frozen berries are zero SmartPoints - as long as they do not include added sugars or other ingredients.
If you use fruit in smoothies you need to point these.
Unsweetened applesauce is zero points.
Non starchy vegetables are zero SmartPoints on the Green plan. These include, squash, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, leeks, turnips, tomatoes & zucchini.
Starchy vegetables such as Parsnips, peas and corn are NOT zero SmartPoints on the Green plan.
Potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes are NOT zero SmartPoints on this plan.
Canned vegetables, including pumpkin puree, are zero SmartPoints as long as they do not include added ingredients.
Pickled vegetables are zero SmartPoints.
Frozen vegetables, including frozen stir fry vegetables are zero SmartPoints as long as they don't include sauce or added oil, seasonings etc.
Fat free salsa is zero SmartPoints.
What is the difference between the Green, Purple & Blue plans?
The Green plan gives you the most SmartPoints of all the plans but there is a smaller list of zero point foods that you can choose from. The zero point foods are limited to fruits and vegetables on this plan.
With the Purple plan you get a smaller amount of daily SmartPoints. But you also get the biggest selection of zero point foods of all the plans. The zero point foods on the Purple plan include potatoes, brown rice and whole wheat pasta. You can read more about the Weight Watchers Purple Plan here.
The Blue plan gives you a moderate amount of SmartPoints to use throughout the day but you can also enjoy a good selection of zero point foods. You can read more about the Weight Watchers Blue Plan here.
So, is the Green plan the best myWW plan?
The Green plan is ideal for many people as it gives a larger SmartPoint allocation than any of the other plans. Although you get a smaller list of Zero Point foods, if you love fruit & veg these can be used to bulk out your daily SmartPoints without you needing to point them.
I haven't tried the Green plan but it is the plan that I would follow if I ever changed from the Blue plan.
If you love your fruits and veggies and never really eat pulses, beans, potatoes, meat and fish then this may be a plan for you to look at following.
How much weight should I expect to lose?
This is one of the first questions that people ask when starting on their WW journeys!
And not surprisingly, it's impossible to give a definitive answer.
Many people lose a good few kilos in the first week or so of starting on the WW program but then this drops down to a steadier (healthier) loss of ½ to 1 kilo per week after the first few weeks.
The bigger initial weight loss may be due to a complete change in someones diet and losing water when first starting the WW program.
It is also dependant on a persons starting weight. People with more weight to lose may see a bigger change on the scales in the first few weeks of the plan compared to someone who has joined WW just to lose a few kilos.
Once settled into the plan, WW suggest that you should expect a loss of between 0.5 kilo to 1 kilo a week (one to two pounds).
It is really important to remember that it isn't all about the number on the bathroom scales. The majority of us join WW to lose weight but there are other things that indicate that we are getting healthier and fitter!
You may not always see a loss on the scale but you may notice other things (Non scale victories - NSV) such as your belt doing up an extra notch or fitting into a smaller pair of jeans. In my opinion, one of the best NSV's is noticing a shift in mindset about food!
Exercise, mindset & the Green plan
The new WW has shifted away from just focusing on weight loss. It now looks at overall health and wellbeing.
The myWW plan encourages regular activity and when you sign up for WW you will learn all about FitPoints and how these can help in your WW journey.
Mindset is also extremely important & signing up to WW gives you lots of advice on shifting towards a better mindset around food.
Whichever myWW plan that you chose, I wish you the best of luck.
Enjoy all the changes that joining WW brings not only to the number on the scales but also to your overall health and wellbeing.