If you've decided to start on the Weight Watchers program then congratulations, 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 me loose the most weight?
This article will hopefully answer some of the above & some of the most asked questions about the Weight Watchers Purple plan.
If you are wanting a general guide on all the plans take a look at 'What is the new Weight Watchers plan?' This 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 named their new program, myWW.
The program now includes 3 individual plans all of which are 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 (Green Plan) or a plan that gives you a smaller allocation of SmartPoints and a bigger list of zero point foods (Purple Plan).
Or you can go for a plan somewhere in the middle (Blue Plan)!
The change was made as WW began to realise that people differ & want to lose weight in different ways.
We don't all eat the same foods or even like the same foods!
Some people are vegetarian, some are vegan & some are meat eaters. Other people follow gluten free diets & some may steer away from artificial sweeteners.
Some people don't like chicken, or fruit, or vegetables or 'shock horror' 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.
The SmartPoints™️ system was developed by Weight Watchers to help people easily monitor what they are eating and to nudge them to choose healthier foods.
When you join WW you are given an allocation of SmartPoints that you can use each day on the food that you eat. This allocation of SmartPoints is individual to the person 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! It can be worked out by calculating its calories, protein content, saturated fat content and sugar content.
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 cooked lean beef steak (3oz) which is high in protein, low in saturated fat and sugar works out at 3 SmartPoints.
A lean medium sized fillet steak will fill you up more than 0.5oz portion of chocolate so WW nudges you towards eating the steak!
Having said all that, WW also realises that you may prefer to use your SmartPoint allocation on that portion of chocolate rather than the medium beef steak! It is totally up to you what you use your SmartPoint allocation on.
Remember, no food is off limits!
There has been many, many a time that I have chosen chocolate over a high protein steak!
As well as your daily SmartPoint allocation, you are also given a weekly SmartPoint allowance and a list of zero point foods that 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 with a glass of wine or a sugary dessert with 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 Purple plan?
With the WW Purple plan you get the biggest choice of zero point foods (300+) and the least SmartPoint allocation ...... read on though 😀 as there are great benefits of the Purple plan.
Although you get a smallish amount of SmartPoints you do also get a comprehensive list of zero point foods that you can use to 'bulk out' the SmartPoints with.
And these zero point foods include potatoes, brown rice, wholewheat pasta etc!!!
How many SmartPoints do I get on the Purple plan?
As I said above, 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.
Generally speaking on the Purple plan you will not be allocated any less than 16 SmartPoints per day and you may be allocated a lot more!
And of course you will also 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 a correct SmartPoint allocation for yourself.
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 Purple Plan
There are over 300 foods that are classed as Zero Points on the Purple plan. A printable list can be found on the WW website here.
It is important to bear in mind that just because a food is zero SmartPoints, it doesn't mean a free for all!
Eating too much of the zero point foods will hinder your weight loss.
However, saying that, zero SmartPoints foods are really useful to bulk out your daily SmartPoints.
All fresh fruits including apples, apricots, bananas, strawberries, blackberries, pears, melon, cherries, blueberries, grapefruit, orange, kiwi, mangoes, 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
If you use fruit in smoothies you need to point these.
Unsweetened applesauce is zero points.
Non starchy vegetables are zero SmartPoints on the Purple plan. These include, squash, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, leeks, turnips, tomatoes & zucchini.
Starchy vegetables such as Parsnips, peas and corn are also zero SmartPoints on this plan.
Unlike the other plans foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, cassava and yams are zero SmartPoints on the Purple plan.
Canned vegetables are also 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.
- BEANS & LEGUMES
Beans such as black beans, edamame, kidney beans, pinto beans, navy beans, chickpeas & fava beans,
Fat free, canned refried beans
Eggs (including duck eggs)
Non fat, plain Greek yogurt
Non fat, plain yogurt
Plain soy yogurt
Plain non fat or 1% fat Quark
- FISH & SHELLFISH
Fish including Anchovies (in water not oil), carp, catfish, flounder, herring, salmon (including smoked salmon), snapper, tuna (fresh and canned tuna in water not oil)
Shellfish including abalone, crab, lobster, oysters & scallops.
- CHICKEN & TURKEY
Skinless chicken breast / skinless turkey breast
Ground (minced) chicken breast (not ground chicken thigh)
Ground (minced) turkey - if it is marked 98% fat free
- TOFU & TEMPEH
Tofu, including firm, silken and smoked.
- PASTA & GRAINS
Air popped popcorn made without sugar or oil
Rolled oats, steel cut oats
Whole wheat cous cous
Whole wheat pasta
Pasta & noodles made from buckwheat, brown rice, peas, lentils, soy bean etc.
What is the difference between the Purple, Blue & Green plans?
With the Purple plan you get a smaller amount of SmartPoints to use on a daily basis and a number of additional SmartPoints that can be used throughout the week . You also get the biggest selection of zero point foods of all the plans.
The Green plan gives you most SmartPoints of all the plans but there is a smaller list of zero point foods that you can choose from.
The Blue plan gives you a moderate amount of SmartPoints to use throughout the day but you can also enjoy a good amount of zero point foods. You can read more about the Weight Watchers Blue Plan here.
So, is the Purple plan the best myWW plan?
The Purple plan is ideal for many people as it gives a large choice of zero point foods, including brown rice, mashed potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, popcorn etc to supplement daily & weekly SmartPoints.
If you are good at portion control it may be an ideal plan for you!
I did try the Purple plan (a couple of months after WW introduced it) but as I am totally rubbish at portion control (esp when it comes to pasta and potatoes 😀 ) I swapped back to my tried & tested Blue plan.
Having said that, I have friends who swear by the Purple plan. They say it gives them just the right amount of SmartPoints to use on the foods that they love but they are also able to supplement their diet with some great zero point food choices.
If you love pulses and pasta and starchy veg (but are good at portion control) then this may just be the right plan for you.
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, WW won't give a definitive answer.
Many people find that they lose a good few kilos in the first week of starting the WW plan but then this drop down to a steadier loss (of ½ to 1 kilo per week) after the first few weeks.
This bigger initial weight loss may be due to a complete change in someones diet (and losing water) when first starting the WW program.
It also depends 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 those scales. You may not always see a loss on the scale but you may notice other things ( a NSV - non scale victory) such as your belt doing up an extra notch or fitting into a smaller pair of jeans.
Exercise, mindset & the Purple 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.