WW ProPoints, or How I’m Learning to Embrace Changes
***edited on October 16, 2010***
please also see this post
I know many of you are seeing this post for the first time that I wrote in January. You should know that since then I have embraced these changes but I have not really lost any weight. I have also been running more than I ever thought I would. I have struggled with hunger, serious emptiness hunger. I have even spoken to 2 dietitians and my WW leader about what exactly is going on. This post and any posts about Weight Watchers ProPoints is simply my own experience. I wouldn’t take this as the be all and end all of what the program will be like for you. Remember also, I am in the Netherlands, not North America! Even the bread products section is different in NL than it is in Germany for example! So please do NOT take this as the official ProPoints program. If you are changing to this program soon, all I can say is, have an open mind about it. Have a look at my blogger friend Karen’s blog as well – she’s been very successful with PP over the last several months (she is in Germany). Results may vary and are not typical!
Read more –
OK, let me be straight up. I don’t actually LOVE changes.
I’m not totally against them either and I tend to embrace change once my brain has adjusted.
But honestly? I’m struggling a bit with the new WW Program here in Benelux, ProPoints. I can’t figure out exactly why, but I think it’s a combination of things:
1) I used to know point values out of my head and found it quite easy to plan my food for the day and stick to the plan, whilst staying reaching my daily point goal. If I went over my point goal, I most likely exercised and earned a few points and used those up that day. What I didn’t use was saved (only during that particular week). So let’s say I shot for 22 points per day, but had 24, I could use 2 activity points that I had in my bank.
2) Things cost more points now. So rice was 4 points for an unlimited (but satiated) portion, but now it’s 7. Salmon was 6 points for 150g and now it’s 9. OK, I get more points per day (29) but still. This feels “bad” (mental – something I can change)
3) I feel guilty using my 49 “vrijepoints” – these are meant to be used but somehow I feel like a failure when I continuously go over 29 points a day
4) I’m hungry. I seem to be using less quantity of certain items because of the mental block and the extra points values and I am really grumbling hungry. I don’t particularly like being hungry, though I liked what Bitch Cakes wrote in this blog post – I’m not going to die if I’m hungry for more than 5 minutes. But I need to work on that mentality change.
Something else that bugs me a bit about the new program. There are foods which are “green” which means they have the most nutritional value for what you can choose. Things that I used to eat that I thought were really nutritionally sound (just me rationalising in my head, didn’t really have scientific back up), are somehow NOT the best choice I could possibly make. I mean, I pride myself on the good choices I make, yet now, somehow, they don’t seem so good anymore!
A few examples:
I mean, since WHEN is Cottage Cheese not nutritionally sound???
And here, bread and olive oil are not “green” foods. The bread I eat is only wheat (not multi-grain, never corn or white), and extra virgin olive oil???? I thought that was a good fat! I can see how the laughing cow wedges *maybe* aren’t super-packed with nutrition, but it’s better than full fat cheese right? I have the impression that some of my choices are not really the best choices out there.
I have been on so many different WW programs. Especially if you consider the first time I even joined WW was in 1992. I’m sure we were doing some sort of exchange program back then based on the food pyramid. In 1999, the Benelux program was a sort of stoplight – Green was Fruit and Veg, Yellow was your dairy and proteins and Red was fats, alcohol, sugar, etc. I loved that program. Chicken was 2 yellows and a tsp of olive oil was 1 red. Greens were easy and unlimited. A beer cost me 4 reds, bread was 1 yellow. I found that really easy and it showed. I think I lost a kilo a week for the first 10 weeks. 10 Kilos down in 10 weeks!
Then we changed and changed again and changed again. Honestly, FlexPoints has been going on for years now and I was happy with it. I could do this in my sleep (mind you, I didn’t). So, this change is, well, kind of hard to completely accept.
I DO accept it though, I just need to get my head around it and get some of these points values to memory. I need to plan ahead, something I’ve only been doing hit or miss lately.
So. I have at the very least prepared the plan for the next two days worth of food, except for Tuesday, which is Hubs’ birthday and we are going out to eat. Mexican. Pretty much doomed there!!! Trust me when I tell you, in this country, it’s not like it is in the US where you can specifically request how they make your food. Here you order, you get it. I already try to get away with changes when we go to this particular Mexican restaurant and I always get the “Die and Burn in Hell, Lady” look. Probably why this place is generally on my black list. But I’m rambling now.
I have already prepared quite a lot of food for the next two days as tomorrow evening I want to go to Zumba, at the gym I just joined. Having a pretty tight schedule (home at 7pm, eat dinner, change, leave for class at 8.30) I thought it would be a good idea to prepare two lunches, some fruit and a whole container of carrots and celery. This way I will only need to spend maybe 15 minutes in the morning getting the other stuff ready. On Tuesday morning though, I may already prepare the lunch for Wednesday (or a different lunch and eat the 2nd lunch I made on Wednesday, if that makes any sense!). The veggies I can split between 3 or 4 days. The fruit/yoghurt/cereal thing is fairly quick. Basically I’m going to have a pretty unvaried diet this week because there is just too much going on (Tuesday out with Hubs, Wednesday to the movies, Thursday a Tweetup – yes, a Tweetup! Friday preparing for the Birthday party Saturday… I didn’t plan any time in there to breathe yet!!). The challenges are still trying to adapt to the new program, getting myself to the gym and exercising even when not at the gym AND having a packed schedule.
I am going to take my WW shopping guide with me in the train this week to seek out more “green” foods and then make the rest of the week plans while I’m travelling. At least I can use the time I commute for something good – ME!
We have ProPoints in Germany too. I am liking it much better than FlexPoints, actually because I feel like I am hungry less frequently. I do use my extra budget, or at least some of it most weeks, though (and I don’t feel guilty for it).
As for the ‘green’ foods, my understanding was that they are not green because they are nutritionally sound (though of course they all are but it’s not like there are no other healthy foods but the green ones) but because they are filling foods, that will keep you satisfied for longer (that it will take you longer till you feel hungry again). I personally do not really pay attention to that though, anyway. Most of the foods I eat are filling foods (all veggies and fruit are), and if something isn’t, well, whatever.
I do have a feeling like I am losing weight more slowly with it, but that may be seasonal, and I definitely feel better doing PP so it’s worth it for me.
ooh, Bella, I was actually going to contact you and ask you again for the Starbucks drinks. We don’t have them on our list, as there are no (not a lot anyway) Starbucks really in Benelux. Could you tell me what a Tall NF Latte’s points are? I am counting 2 at the moment.
Huh. Maybe I have the wrong understanding. To be honest, I haven’t been to enough meetings on the new program to get the full explanation and I read through the online content quite quickly. Perhaps I’m hanging on too much to the “green” thinking those are the better choices. The way you understand it though, that makes better sense.
And yes I feel like I’m losing slowly (or gaining, but that’s not because the program doesn’t work, that was definitely holidays), but, yes maybe it is seasonal! Yesterday I was riding my bike and I thought “what is the purpose of this exercise? I’m sure my fat cells are clinging to my body for dear life at the moment because it’s so cold!!”
Do you use your free points every day? or more because you’ve gone out to eat or had something alcoholic? I find it quite strange that I’m over every day. I really am not used to that at all.
Hola! I loved reading your post and reply to Bella! I think it is great how you have your week planned out. I got an even bigger chuckle about the Mexican restaurant, because I have to tell you there are places in the US where people give that “look” too! Either way, I know what you are talking about, they are a bit more flexible at places here (I imagine).
As for the green foods (Bella is right on the green)! Those foods are nutrionally sound, but are also “filling” foods, typically due to higher fiber counts! It will be just a matter of time before you are in the swing of the new plan.
In the meantime, I encourage you and Bella to make sure to use all of your extra allowance points. Some people think if you don’t use them you’ll lose weight quicker, not so. Eat up (okay, I got carried away)…eat all your points! Have a fun week!
PS – Gracias for signing up for my newsletter!
I got a ‘nutrition by the cup’ guide from starbucks..
And if i’m counting right.. A tall NF Latte is 2,5 propoints.
With the flexipoints it was 2,1.
thanks. I have been counting two. I should change that going forwards now!
I’m so sorry for the fact that you have to add 0,5pts! :’)
They are amazing (i know).. but still worth the points.. if you ask me!
oh, you know, that’s ok! I always have a triple tall so I wonder if I have as much milk. I’m going to check for 100% clarity. Definitely worth it, yes!!
Hello, I’m going to be an avid reader of your blog now because I went to our local W class yesterday and signed up, Not only is it more confusing because of their new system – my books and class are also in French! Goodness, I won’t have time to eat because I’ll be too busy with the dictionary – and that’s where you come in. I’m here to learn some tips
Hey there! nice to meet you here! I hope I can offer you some help and support! And, WW in French! I wonder if we have pretty much the same program? You have ProPoints too?
Well I guess I should have read your post first and those of your commenters. Yours isn’t in English either, eh? I also used to know the old points sytem inside out and have one of those useful little cards where you could put in the calories contained and the fat content and work out how many points something was. Do you know if there is a similar device for this new pro-points system?
How I am thinking of this new dual system (basic points and extras – mine are 34 and 49) – is that I used to be on 22. The new system gives me 34 and the 7 daily extras (7×7 for the week)which come to 41. Therefore I am doubling the points value of everything I used to eat (for instance English breakfast muffins used to be 2 now they are 4)and just accepting the fact I now have almost double the 22 I used to have. Otherwise I will never get my head round the fact I’ve got so many points.
Hope that made sense, good luck to all
So, first – I am *nearly* fluent in Dutch so I don’t have any issue with the language, but still learning the new system does take some time!
There is a calculation rule but now they are using all nutritional info it seems, so not so easy to just work out in our heads. I’m thinking of getting a calculator to use in the supermarket, so I don’t buy things that turn out to be too many points! The shopping guide is also handy by the way, a good investment!
And hey, how did you get 34 daily? No fair! *throws tantrum*
And if you already have like a list of basics you’d like me to check out the PPoints value, let me know :)
Hi! I am doing the WW programme in the Netherlands too! Luckily I never knew the flexpoints system so to me the ProPoints is just normal. I think I have everything worked out right now, and am losing weight on it, maybe not as fast as I would like, but fluctuating between .5kg and 1kg per week loss – which I think is probably about as it should be :-) But do you know of any conversion tool useful to change flex to pro points? I have a whole bunch of recipes (with flex points values) from my sister in law, and it would be great to have an easy way of converting them, rather than going through all the ingredients and adding them all up one by one….
hey Suzy, that’s a pretty good loss rate actually! nothing wrong with it! there is no tool that I know of at the moment – WW did actually convert all of their receipes from their latest cookbooks to ProPoints values, but I’m not sure that they have an actually tool used to calculate. I am planning on going to a meeting on Tuesday, I will ask for you :)
Hi, I’ve started the ProPoints in Belgium. I must say that it’s nice to find somewhere to chat in English about WeightWatchers. I lost 16 kgs last year and had just completed my stabilization, and then they changed the programme!
I can’t say that I was too happy about that, and the timing couldn’t be worse. I knew everything off by heart and had to start learning to count all over again! My coach put me on maximum ProPoints for maintenance, and this proved to be too much and so I put on a couple of kilos! So now I’ve been reduced to 29 points and am struggling to get down again. I’m within my 2 kilos allowance but can’t say that I’m really happy with things. With the Flexi system, if I was on the minimum it was guaranteed that I would lose weight – in fact I lost a further 3 kilos when stabilizing and without really trying. I’m in my 13th week of the PP system and am not convinced that this is for me.
There are a few people in my group that want to go back to the Flexi, and I’ve also thought about it, but in the long term it’s not going to work if we want to go along to the meetings. It’ll be good to see how you all get on.
I’ve found some great recipes from the UK WeightWatchers magazine and have never been disappointed. OK, they are still on Flexi (and apparently have no intention of changing to ProPoints) but it’s easy enough to convert. They have some good recipe books too. I’ve got quite a collection.
Starting a new week today and will see how I get on …
Hey Veronica, I hear your frustration, I really do!! I think ProPoints does work, it really is just a matter of getting used to it. And since we were both pretty much in the same situation, knowing the FlexiPoints off the top of our heads, it makes it even more frustrating to have to relearn everything! I have considered going back, but it wouldn’t make any sense at this point as I really love logging everything in online so I’m kind of of forced, if you know what I mean?
I recently bought the latest WW UK magazine and noticed some really great recipes too! I think they are also on a “new” program, the “Discover Plan” – they are at least using the green-highlighted foods that we have on the Benelux program! I am definitely going to try a few and then plug them into my online program to use for the future (if I like them of course!).
Good luck and let me know how it goes!
When I started back in March last year I bought the UK magazine, and then again in April. My hubby is a foody and does most of the cooking (lucky me!) and he was also inspired and motivated by their recipes. This got him involved too. Anyway, since then we’ve tried and tested many recipes and I’d be happy to share them with you sometime. (PS: hubby has lost weight too!)
I always love new recipes :) Are you British then? Do you have a blog?
Yes, I am British (but there is the small question of happening to take out dual Belgian nationality last year) .. I suppose it just seemed to make sense after living her for so long. As to blogging, no, I don’t have one of them … but now you come to mention it, suppose that could happen some time too … Recipes, we have lots!
I am so happy I found this blog! I am Swedish, I live and work in Luxembourg and I am currently an online-member only. I lost a lot of weight with WW a few years back (when they used what they called “Eat and Enjoy Points Plan” in Sweden) but then, unfortunately, I put on a lot of weight due to an underactive thyroid. I have been on hormone replacement for the last few years and my metabolism seems to be returning to normal now, so I thought it was time to do something about that extra weight.
However, I find the new PP plan rather difficult to apprenhend and apply. I understand that it is supposed to be flexible and allow you an occasional night out even when on a diet, and I like that idea. However, I was rather shocked when I realised how many customers are actually dissatisfied with the new system, and want to go back to the old one..including people who had already achieved their weight loss goals when the new system was introduced, and were put on the PP plan for maintenance…many seem to have put on weight instead of keeping it off.
I have no idea why WW decided to change the system, except for some arguments about the PP plan being based on the newest scientific evidence, and that not only fat content and calories count, but also protein, carbohydrates and fibre content, because of the way the body digests them…does anyone know more than that? It all sounds so good and scientifically proven, but it does not seem to be working for everyone. In Sweden, there is a lot of speculation among dissatisfied customers that WW was more or less forced to adapt its programme to diets like Atkins, the Glycemic Index diet and other high fat, low-carb diets where you can eat fat liberally as long as you count and restrict carbs. Those diets have become extremely popular lately, and WW Sweden has lost many customers these last few years…to the point of having to downsize in several areas.
I think there are good things and not so great things about the new program. I have found it’s taken much longer to get used to and I’m still very annoyed at how many points it “costs” me to have beer or wine! On the other hand, I get more points, I get the extra “free” points and I earn MORE points with my exercise. So I suppose it all works out.
WW International I’m sure, too, has had to adapt a bit to it’s American Mother. North America has been using this type of point calculation for some time now (with the dietary fibre and carbs, sugars, etc), it was probably also to align a bit more with Corporate and keep up with the latest in scientific studies.
So you are in Lux? I guess our plans are the same since we follow under WW Benelux? Do you find products in your supermarkets (or do you go to France to go shopping?) that we don’t have? We really have hardly *any* WW products here! Not that I have to buy them, but every once in a while I would like to find a “treat” at the supermarket instead of buying strange “crisps” and fake chocolates at a WW meeting (not that I go often!).
Hope you stay in touch Catrin. Sorry it took me a few days to write back!
I’m here in Australia and it looks like we are moving to propoints in 2011. It has been really interesting reading what you think of it.
So without a propoints calculator, is there any other tool to work out propoints? seems like it is getting very complicated.
I’m cynical and wonder if it’s primarily about maintaining market share. The URL I’ve linked to is not my homepage but WW’s own info on how they are doing as a business. Propoints has been good for business during a hard time for them and I suspect it is a response to the popularity of low-carb. I hope it’s in line with recent research too and that’s not the only reason.
I probably won’t change if the UK adopts it as I was a lapsed Gold member who got back to goal using the info I already had at home, so I don’t feel very reliant on meetings. I know the current points system here well and don’t see what benefit I would get from having to go through a learning curve again. Not having to count fruit would be a bonus, but that’s about it.
Actually, the US has not started ProPoints yet and will do so next year. The US and the UK are on similar programs with different names. I actually think that now corporate is planning to standardize world wide given that Europe is now doing ProPoints and the US, UK and Australia will do it next year.
I found your blog through a Weight Watchers forum here in the U.S.! We are getting the new Pro points program in late November, and folks are going crazy trying to get more information! I heard it will roll out in the U.K. in September.
We are very excited about the new plan. We hear that fruits along with veg are now “free.” No counting! I’ll take ANY diet plan that offers free fruit. Is that true? I’m not clear what country you are in.
Anyway, hope you are doing well on your plan. You have a great blog. Hello from Southern California, U.S.A.!!!
I would be very interested in knowing how the PP plan works. We will not have information until later this year and would appreciate the ‘leg up’ on what to do – I’m a slow learner! Thank you.
Hello from New Jersey, USA
I have been a member of WW since 1971 and I just go with the flow when the plan changes, however I like being able to calculate points in my head at the supermarket. Does anyone know the formula for ProPoints? I knew it for Flex and it saved me a great deal of time while grocery shopping. Thanks
thanks for the discussion! We will be moving to this system in November/December in the States. I find it interesting about the changes. Thanks for submitting your experiences!
Do you know, is there still a “non counting” option that is similar to what we know as the old “CORE” or Simply Filling option of Weight Watchers??
I’m in the USA, and we are supposed to be switching to propoints in December. I guess my main question is, for those of you who have gone from the old program to the old one, how big of an adjustment did you notice in what you were eating? Or is this basically a technicality that just makes the science more exact?
I just got back on the plan, and I’m terrified that I won’t be able to stick to it if it changes too much. Thanks in advance!
I currently go to meetings in the UK, Our plan is changing at the begining ot November and from what I have read online it will be propoints. I have found reading your comments really intresting, as I have not been doing very well for the last year so maybe a change will help. Vicky
I’m not sure if comments to this older post are still active, but I am also from the US and we’ve heard the rumors about the WW program change and now know it is likely coming in December.
Many of us (in the US) have been interested in learning what the changes will be before they hit and someone posted a link to this blog entry which I’ve found most helpful. There’s a lot of info out on the web regarding the ProPoints plan and I agree that it does represent a change in the thought process behind calculating points. As someone who has struggled on the “Momentum” plan (which is what the current plan is called in the US) to lose weight, I am actually eagerly anticipating the change. I’ve long thought that the only using calories/fat/fiber to calculate points was a bit misguided (at least for me and my metabolism) but don’t like that calorie component of a food will no longer be used in calculating its point value (if I’m reading the new program correctly).
Nice to meet you and thanks for the informative post!
HI ladies, I’m English but living in the US. I heard we were switching in November, but the date is a minor thing to me. I do one big question though, if there is calculator you have to buy, I hate being forced to buy anything, is there anything they give to you to take to the store as the old/current plan has the little slide card. If not, I would be hard pressed to see how they can can tell new comers that they have to pay to join, pay each week (or month) and then buy a calculator. That will put many people off right there. Then to tell those already members that they have to pay for a calulator will cause many to refuse to swap to the new plan. Please let me your thoughts on this or if there is a slide card that they give you.
I am also very concerned about folks saying that they loose slower.
Katey, in Minnesota, US but raised near Chester, UK
I live in AZ U.S. and we are waiting also with great anticipation. We have no books, no calculators etc in our meetings anymore. I presume this means we will be getting ProPoints soon? This is the first time I have been in WW and can’t say I am doing so hot, but it is my own fault. I am making major changes in my thinking and hope to do better in the future.
I think the main thing to remember about this, is that the two plans are COMPLETELY incomparable.
There’s no point saying, such and such used to be 2 points and now it’s double, because they are not the same thing. They are not calculated in the same way, neither is your new allowance.
The best thing is (and I know it’s a challenge because I’ve had to do it too) to just forget EVERYTHING and start again as if you’re a new member. It’s refreshing, it’s a boost and it works so well.
They are not trying to confuse us, or make anything more difficult. They are trying to make live EASIER, make the plan more LIVEABLE and more FLEXIBLE and they are making sure that all the most up-to-date and exact science is being used.
If you trust WeightWatchers, they will help you to lose the weight/maintain/get back to your goal. I’ve lost 6.5lbs in the last three weeks and would recommend it to anyone.
We are waiting for the changes here in the U.S. and have been reading European blogs, etc., trying to get a feel for it. We are expecting the new program in November. I’m kind of anxious, I’m hoping a change will jump start my loss again. I’ve been on WW 15 months and have lost 78 pounds on WW, 15 pounds before I started, but it has come almost to a stand still lately. Thanks for the info.
Ladies, this blog has been moved. I’m going to make this a sticky topic on my new location. Please bookmark to http://runlaugheatpie.com/
Getting through the ‘I won’t die if I am hungry for more than 5 minutes’ is hard for me. It’s kind of automatic that I’ll just grab something to eat when I start to feel hungry.
How are you liking Zumba?
I haven’t been to Zumba for a while – but am going to get back to it soon. I really loved it!
My head hurts. I don’t UNDERSTAND!!! First off, I hate flex points. And if they changed the program again… UGH!! I am not doing flex points. Those 35 points get me in trouble. I couldn’t lose weight with them. So I do the old, OLD program when you had a points range. And it is what has helped me lose 62 points in the past 7 months. Which is a lot for me.
I just…no. I don’t even understand this. When I was going to meetings my leader spoke about ProPoints and I just…no. My head.
It is hard to change sometimes Sarah. And many of us think, when it’s not broken, why fix it? But there are good, solid, scientific reasons I’m sure why they changed. The last time I saw my leader though, I told her “these free points are doing my head in” Why? Because I see that I have a daily limit of 29 and then I go over by 3 (example). I think to myself “Oh my Dog I went over by 3 points” Sure, they come from my 49 free points, but for some reason watching THAT number decrease daily also messes me up! I would rather just have xx amount of points per day and then earn my activity points and use those for drinking, french fries, a cookie, whatever. She told me, why don’t you then just add 7 to your daily points? I don’t know, why don’t I? It’s too much. My head feels like it will explode. The fact that many things now have more points as well really bugs me. Like cottage cheese was 2 points for 100g. Now it’s 3. OK I get more points per day now, but still. I’m so used to trying to keep my daily points to 1/2 of total and then use the other half for dinner. It NEVER works out that way now. I’m trying to eat healthy. Clean. No added bullshit. Just pure stuff. Making good choices. But when the numbers constantly go over and I’m still hungry, it just feels like what I’m doing is wrong. So confusing!!!
Pro points is due to launch in the US Nov 28th. I am eager to learn as much as I can before the conversion happens. What elements go into calculating a propoint?
Hi John –
Carbs, protein, fat and fiber are the 4 elements of calculating a ProPoint. I do not know exactly how the points are calculated however.
I also do not know how WW comes up with your daily budget (I started with 29 daily / 49 weekly “free” points, now I’m 29/42 I think because I went to another “decade” of weight in kilos – though it was short lived), or the weekly budget. These numbers were given to us at the first PP meeting and I have never actually figured out if there was a calculator available to buy that can help you calculate in the supermarket when you want to try new items, for example.
I have honestly found it the most confusing and frustrating program to date and I have been on many of the WW programs what with being a member for 11 years now. I do wish you luck and more success than what I have had! I can’t blame WW 100%, it’s also me!
Since the new plan factors in four different things (fat, carbs, protein, fiber), it doesn’t seem like it would be possible to make a slider to calculate points. How do you calculate your points? Do you have to buy a calculator? Do they give you one when you start?
Also, just FYI, although the new US plan is based on the European Pro Points plan, it will be called Points Plus in the US.
I have not seen a slider or a calculator. To be honest though, I only go to meetings occasionally. I use the online program which gives me the information. Of course you can also buy the “new” grocery guide, which comes out with every new program. I was given the normal starting materials as if I had joined for the first time and there was a basic foods list included in the packet.