Weight Watchers Freestyle Review, Cost, Pros & Cons

a woman jumps for joy on the beach after losing weight with weight watchers freestyle digital

Weight Watchers has been in the weight loss business since 1963 (1), and while a lot has changed since Jean Nidetch first introduced it to the world, a few things largely remain the same:

It’s a proven system for losing weight and improving your health, and now they have a whole host of modern day options that have only enhanced the Weight Watchers experience.

The company recently we through a major rebranding, and now they’re just called WW. They’ve also made some enhancements to the program, with a renewed focus on improving overall well-being.

In this Weight Watchers review, we’ll detail how today’s version works, including giving a you a comprehensive look at their new Freestyle program.

How Does WW Freestyle Work?

ww freestyle logo

Weight Watchers Freestyle still brings all of the core components that make Weight Watchers so effective and popular – you’ll still be using their Freestyle SmartPoints System to track your eating and exercise throughout the day, you have the option of attending their in-person meetings, and they even have one-on-one coaching.

The biggest differences with Freestyle (2)?

  1. Rollover Points – Save Points to Use Later
  2. Zero Points Foods – 200+ Foods that Don’t Count Against Your Daily Points

With the launch of their new Freestyle program, Weight Watchers introduced something they call ZeroPoint Foods. This is a list of more than 200 food items that have a 0 point value, meaning you can eat as much of them as you need or want to throughout the day.

Beyond that, you’ll still be tracking your food and exercise using the WW SmartPoints system. All of this can be done through their app. The app will also be your go-to resource for meal planning, seeing the point totals for foods, tracking your exercise, and connecting with the Weight Watchers community.

If you have the option of attending Weight Watchers Meetings in your area, then you’ll want to opt for their Workshop + Digital plan. The meetings allow you to connect with other members, and are an excellent way to get feedback, advice, and stay on track with your goals.

Foods to Eat & Avoid: A Guide to WW Freestyle’s New Zero Points Foods

eggs are just one of the 200 new Zero Points Freestyle foods

One thing that people usually appreciate about Weight Watchers, is that there really aren’t any foods that you can’t eat. But, remember, you do have a point total you have to stick with if you want to lose or maintain a healthy weight.

If you eat a big bowl of ice cream, for example, this is going to but a major dent in your point allotment for the day. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some ice cream, however. What it does mean, is that you’ll gradually learn to enjoy these foods in moderation, and the WW SmartPoints will help teach you these healthier eating principles.

How Do the ZeroPoint Foods Work?

Their new zero Points foods (learn how the points work here) are what make the Freestyle program different, however. These are 200+ Weight Watchers foods that you don’t ever have to worry about tracking or portioning – that means you’re free to eat them whenever you want.

Here are just a few of the Freestyle foods that count for Zero Points:

  • Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Eggs
  • Fish & Seafood
  • Corn
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • and Many More

These foods help to simplify your life. With any of the foods on the Weight Watchers Zero Points list, you won’t have to weigh, measure, or track them. This is great news, especially when you’re first starting the program.

You can see the whole PDF list of Freestyle ZeroPoint foods here.

WW Pros & Cons

WW has been a leader in the diet industry for decades, and the feedback about thier program typically seems very positive. That said, there are some cons you may want to consider before joining.

Here area  few we’ve identified:

Pros

  • Backed by Science
  • New ZeroPoints Foods via FreeStyle Program
  • Option of In-Person Meetings
  • 1-to-1 Coaching Available
  • Pretty Affordable
  • Easy-to-Use App
  • Option of Connecting with Other Members
  • Works with Variety of Dietary Needs

Cons

  • Some people prefer more of a “done-for-you” program
  • Can be hard to maintain weight loss without sticking to a healthy eating plan
  • Coaching program can be cost prohibitive
  • Results require commitment to the WW lifestyle

How Hard is it to Follow?

Highlights

  • Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning: Use the App to Make Lists and Quickly See Point Values for Foods
  • Do You Have to Use Heat & Eat Meals? No, you’re encouraged to eat healthy, whole foods, but on-the-go meal are an option if you prefer them.
  • Meetings & Weigh Ins: WW still offers their meetings in select cities and towns. They only difference is that they’re now called WW Studio.
  • Exercise: Moderate exercise is encouraged, which you can track using their SmartPoints system.
  • Meditation: WW now offers guided meditation through their app

Weight Watchers is actually very easy to follow, especially if you have any experience using a smartphone or tablet. Everything is controlled through their new WW App, which is pretty user-friendly for the most part.

When you first sign up for Weight Watchers, they’ll gather all of the information they need to build a customized weight loss plan for you. This will allow them to calculate a daily food and exercise point total for you to follow.

When it comes to tracking your points, that is all done through their app as well. They have a huge food database, a barcode scanner, and even point values for many of your favorite restaurants.

If you feel like you’re a person who has a tough time following a plan, then you may want to opt for their 1-to-1 coaching program, or the WW Studio plan to help keep you on track.

Learn more and see all of the WW plans here.

Do They Have Plans for Special Diets?

It’s important to consult with your medical doctor before starting a new diet, especially if you have unique dietary needs, like diabetes or other serious health issues. That said, WW can work for pretty much anyone, including vegetarians, vegans, or people following the keto diet. You decide how to use your SmartPoints, so even if you’re following a vegetarian diet, you’ll just want to make sure you’re staying within your daily point allotment if you’re trying to lose weight.

If you have any questions about following a special diet while using the WW system, consult with one of their customer service reps before joining.

Does it Work: What Experts Say

Based on clinical studies, and years of customer testimonials, it’s safe to say that the Weight Watchers program definitely can work for those who follow it correctly. Because it’s been around for so long, it has one of the largest bodies of research of any of the diets we’ve reviewed (3).

In fact, there are several studies showing that people can lose weight following the WW system, and many of those people have been able to keep it off.

Here’s what one doctor had to say about WW:

Although the Weight Watchers program has undergone revisions and updates throughout the years to stay current with nutrition trends and research, the basic premise has remained the same – a focus on healthy food choices, portion control, physical activity, nutrition education and community support – all of which promote positive lifestyle change. -Perri Halperin, RD [4]

How Much Does Weight Watchers Cost?

WW plans start at $3.07 per week and go up to $8.46 per week depending on which plan and options you decide to go with. 

They currently have 3 plans and pricing points to choose from:

  • Digital: Starts at $3.07 per Week
  • Workshop + Digital: Starts at $6.92 per Week
  • Personal Coaching + Digital: Starts at $8.46 per Week

Summary

If you’ve been looking for a proven way to lose weight that is safe, fast, and affordable, then the brand new Weight Watchers OnlinePlus Freestyle program may just be the perfect program for you.

While weight loss results are going to be different for everyone, WW has been proven to work for those who follow it correctly.

It can be a great way to lose weight and improve your health, if what we’ve outlined above matches your budget and personal preferences.

CLICK HERE to Learn More and see current WW plans


VIDEOS:

  1. Sam Escobar, 11 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Weight Watchers, Good Housekeeping. Found here: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a35093/weight-watchers-facts-history/
  2. How WW Freestyle Works, WeightWatchers.com. Found here: https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/article/how-ww-freestyle-works
  3. WW Science Center, WeightWatchers.com. Found here: https://www.weightwatchers.com/us/science-center
  4. Ariana DiValentino, The pros and cons of Weight Watchers, according to medical professionals, Insider. Found here: https://www.insider.com/weight-watchers-pros-cons-2018-8