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A Review of the New Weight Watchers Momentum Plan - Share your thoughts…

Posted Dec 10 2008 9:16pm

Before I get into any specifics I just have to say this…

It’s Flore people, It’s FLORE!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about click here to read one of my old Weight Watcher Rant posts. In short, "flore" was the underground name for a combination of (at that time) both Weight Watcher plans (CORE and FLEX). From the very beginning I followed Weight Watchers Flex Plan by counting points while eating as many Core Foods as possible and it always seemed like a no brainer to me. Sure I could have just counted points for what I was eating before Weight Watchers but considering 1 - 12 inch sub would pretty much be my daily allowance I decided to not only start counting points but change, fundamentally, what I was eating.

Weight Watcher’s new plan, Momentum, takes this same exact concept and finally admits it’s not all about Points. What you eat counts as well. FINALLY, Weight Watchers, Finally… thank you. :)

The Momentum plan is designed to teach you the fundamentals of weight loss and help you stick with your weight-loss efforts, all the way to your goal.

What are the fundamentals of weight loss, you ask? Well the tried and trusted "burn more calories then you take in". Yes people, Weight Watchers has repackaged the basic foundation that we ALL KNOW is true. We need to eat less and move more. It’s not rocket science yet somehow it’s more complicated then quantum physics.

The new plan still uses the tried and trusted Points system. Nothing has changed there. You still get a daily allowance. There are still 35 weekly points to fall back and use how you like. The big change is the focus on what Weight Watchers is calling "Filling Foods" that are pretty much, yup you guessed it, CORE foods.

Specifically these "Filling Foods" are..

  • Whole Grains
  • Fruits & Veggies
  • Lean Proteins (meat, fish, eggs, beans)
  • Fat Free Dairy

The Momentum plan also introduces the concept of "stretching" your points. Or what I always liked to call "bulking". Way back when, I talked about this concept is my Does Size Matter? post.

In the new materials Weight Watchers even puts side by side images up of this idea which eerily reminds me of the ones found in Volumetrics. Another plan that focuses on what you eat and how you can stretch your calories.

VolumetricsWeight Watchers stretching

Again, this isn’t new stuff. It’s the same tried and trusted theories we all know work, Weight Watchers is just wrapping it up all nice for us in new packaging and just in time for Christmas… how thoughtful of them. ;)

In addition to these changes the 8 healthy guidelines have changed slightly and now there are 9. FINALLY addressing something I think they should have a while ago, Activity. In summary the new healthy guidelines are…

  • 5 servings of fruits & veggies
  • 2 servings of milk products
  • 6 glasses of "liquids" - they used to say water.. they changed it. Why? I DON’T know. Bad move in my opinion
  • 2 tsp healthy oils
  • 1-2 servings of lean protein
  • 1 multivitamin a day
  • Choose Whole Grains when possible
  • Get in at least 30 minutes of activity in a day most days of the week
  • Limit sugar and alcohol

Other then those changes the plan is just like the old Flex plan. The points are exactly the same. The formulas have not changed so all your point calculators are still relevant. Again, the big difference is emphasizing what you eat not just how many points it is.

In my opinion these changes are in response to people generalizing the Flex plan as the " eat whatever you want as long as you count it " plan. Which we know is not true. If you ate whatever you wanted your points would be gone by breakfast and you’d never be able to stay on plan. Have you ever calculated Danny’s Grand Slam * breakfast? Ummm yeah.

Anyway, right now I’m thinking the hard core CORE followers are up in arms as they are being told they need to start tracking points (which we all know is not true — if old CORE is working for you then why change your plan.) However, if you are a CORE follower, I’ve been informed that the week 6 materials for the new plan will include a no counting strategy. Which is basically old CORE concepts as they don’t expect everyone to track what they eat forever. Not everyone is cut out for that.

So here’s my take on the new plan… It’s Flore. Eat as many whole, lean foods as possible. Start by counting points to learn about your food choices and to get an idea of portions. When you feel comfortable or when you reach your goal try to eat portions that feel right and learn to read your body’s fullness signals. If you start to need more accountability, start food journaling again.

They should have just called it the "Roni Plan" as it’s EXACTLY what I’ve been doing for the past 3 years. That sounds a bit egotistical but it’s true and I think most maintainers will agree that they’ve been following a similar plan as well.

Personally I applaud Weight Watchers for constantly changing their plan. The seem to adjust based on what is and what isn’t working for their members. When push comes to shove they are a company trying to make money but overall I do believe their plan takes a common sense approach and it did work for me. It’s about finding what works for you.

Now, if when can just get them to make healthier products! Considering most of their Weight Watcher brand food doesn’t even come close to meeting their own healthy guidelines! What is up with that?!?

Instead of a separate weekly question this week, I’d like to hear your opinions on the new Momentum plan. What are your thoughts?

* 20, that’s right TWENTY. Almost 800 calories and 50g of fat!! YIKES!

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