Saying Farewell To Freestyle… For Now…

I know. This title is probably shocking to all of you. I’m saying farewell to Weight Watchers Freestyle?  It’s true, and while part of me is a little sad about it, I’m not actually abandoning Weight Watchers, but just the current plan. Allow me to explain. 

I love everything about Freestyle except one little detail: I’m not really losing weight! As an experiment, I took the season of Lent as an opportunity to step away from the scale and to focus on what I’m putting into my body more than the number on the scale. Healthy living is not always about the number, and I needed to regain sight of that. So for 47 days, I didn’t weigh myself. Instead, I focused on eating the right foods and staying on track. I had a few indulgences and a few days where I consumed a little bit more than I would have liked, but I tracked everything and in those 7 weeks I didn’t go over my weekly Smart Points allowance once. Not a single time! This means I stayed on track and balanced throughout the entire Lenten season.  I was really proud of this, and I was certain the scale would reflect my almost 7 weeks of effort and focus. Then I stepped on the scale on Easter morning…

I had lost 2.7 lbs.  In almost 7 weeks of being on plan on Weight Watchers Freestyle, I had not even lost 3 lbs.  That averages out to less than half a pound every week. 😩

I know that on a weight loss journey that you want to have lasting results, slow and steady losses win the race, but this isn’t a slow loss. This is a slower than a snail’s pace loss. So, I’ve decided it’s time to switch things up.

For the month of April, I am abandoning Weight Watchers Freestyle and am switching back to 2 plans ago and tracking Points Plus. When I hit goal the first time, I was able to lose almost 60 lbs in a year and a half using Points Plus. Mathematically, that 18 month period of time where I had ups and downs and weeks of overindulgence still averages out to more weight lost each week than my 7 perfect weeks on Freestyle. 

One thing I know for sure is that I had a much easier time staying on track with the Points Plus plan because the Points were tracked in such a way that I could have a little indulgence every day and still remain within my daily Points Plus target. I had my treats down to a science, and there were plenty of options that ranged between 2-5 PP which allowed me to feel satisfied and not deprived. I credit my success of losing 57 lbs to the ability to enjoy a little something sweet every day.

Once Smart Points happened and they cracked down on sugar, my peaceful and successful Weight Watchers world was turned upside down. Suddenly every little treat that fit perfectly into my plan practically (and some even literally) doubled in points values under Smart Points. All of the sudden every trick I had used to stay on track and lose weight was no longer valid. This instantly made things harder. I understand the health benefits of buckling down on sugar intake, but for those of us with a sweet tooth, it comes at the cost of a few other things.  

In order to find products that help satisfy our sweet tooth under Smart Points we not only have to pay a lot more in terms of actual dollars, because for whatever reason it’s okay to charge $6 for a pint of healthier ice cream and half that for a half gallon of healthier, but still using sugar ice cream. We also pay in terms of using artificial sweeteners a lot more than we should just to help us enjoy a little something sweet. While sugar is not good for you, I don’t think artificial sweeteners are any better. 

Don’t get me wrong, after 2 years with Smart Points I had managed to get things working again and had lost about 10lbs. 10 lbs in 2 years is still rough given my losing 57lbs in less time than that with Points Plus, but still, it was something.  However, since Freestyle, I’ve literally been going up and down the same 5 lbs since December. Something is just not working. 

Yesterday was my first day on Points Plus, and I feel so great about it.  I was able to enjoy a Reeses Egg for only 5 PP instead of 8 SP. I got to have a nice balance of healthy 0 PP produce while “paying” for some lean meats and enjoyed a sweet treat or two without tanking my entire day. I was instantly reminded why I was successful on Points Plus, and I can’t wait to see what my results are. 

So here’s the plan:

For the month of April, I will be following the Points Plus plan using the iTrackBites app. My Points Plus target is 26 daily Points and 49 weeklies to mess with as I see fit (versus 23 sp daily and 35 weeklies). I will also be tracking what I eat in the Weight Watchers app under Smart Points and the Freestyle plan so I can see what being on track on Points Plus actually means for Smart Points.  I’m one day in, and already the results are fascinating. 

Day 1:

Points Plus: 26/26. Perfect day on plan.

WW Freestyle: 35/23. Over by 12 sp. 12!! For the exact same foods that kept me on track on PP. Interesting? I think so!

I’ll be keeping you up to date on my YouTube channel with daily vlogs, so head over there and subscribe so you can watch me on this experimental journey. My hypothesis is this: Weight Watchers Freestyle is an amazing plan to establish a lifelong healthy eating lifestyle, which is perfect for weight maintenance. However, in order to lose weight (at least for my body), I need Points Plus back in my life and I can’t lose on Freestyle.  Will my hypothesis prove to be correct? Only time will tell.  

How are you feeling about your results on Weight Watchers Freestyle?

20 thoughts on “Saying Farewell To Freestyle… For Now…

  1. Ashley Hutchison Stone says:

    I am really thinking about going back to regular smart points, I had lost 52 pounds and was almost to goal before freestyle, now I can’t seem to lose. I don’t think I can handle the responsibility of the zero point foods. I’m going to give it this month and if no change I’m switching back

  2. Sherry A. Chycota says:

    So far I haven’t had any problems losing on Free Style. I’m down 15 pounds since January. I lost two pounds one week and gained them back the next, one time, but I’m steadily losing between .6 – 2 lbs a week. My downfall is wine. I love a couple of glasses of wine in the evenings, but it takes from my food allowance. I decided to try filling my glass with just a little wine and adding diet lemon-lime soda, to cut out some points. I’m a creature of habit and don’t mind not deviating from low pp foods that work for me. I had a girl ask me one time, “Don’t you get tired of eating the same things every day?” My reply was, “Not as tired as I am of being fat.” 😉

  3. Hannah says:

    It certainly will be interesting to see how this all plays out. I’ve been on all the different points plans over the years and 6 weeks ago started on Freestyle. I have lost 8.2 pounds so far and I have really enjoyed the plan. Maybe once I stop loosing I will be looking for another option. I love treats and indulgences as well! Best of luck to you and I can’t wait to see the results!

  4. Juanita Perrin says:

    I am also having trouble to lose on freestyle, i also lost 40 lbs on points plus and have felt it is the plan for me, while I do admire my weight watcher friends who are doing well on Freestyle and like it I am not there, so i have been going to my meetings but following points plus again since March and have seen the scale move, as you say i too like my snacks and will be following along to see how you do. Best wishes on your weight loss journey. I love watching and following along with you.

  5. chris johnson says:

    I have heard that some people count the 0 point foods as they used to be. So, what does that do? And, 23 points is not enough. I am going over every day. But, I totally agree with you and maybe I too, will go back to Points Plus. I also have a sweet tooth and when you need just a little something sweet, a piece of fruit, an egg or piece of chicken is not going to cut it. Thank you for your insight and making me think about this new plan…thought it was just me and I was failing at it (I am a Lifetime member)

  6. Christina Delp says:

    I know nothing about Points plus but you bring up some interesting ideas and information. I wish I knew more about the differences between Beyond the Scale SP and the Points plus programs. I will be following along as I have gone back to Beyond the Scale program I lost 54 pounds on it and was one pound from goal…. until freestyle. Maybe I should try PP, I’m already using itrackbites. I can’t wait to see your results and I am way excited for you!

  7. Melissa says:

    Are you using the free itrackbites or the pro? I downloaded the free one, but am thinking of upgrading since I’m having trouble finding the foods I want to track!

  8. Abigail says:

    I downloaded the iTrackbites app just now. Are you paying the $2.99/month upgrade? If I don’t, I won’t have access to the restaurants and stuff on the app. I don’t have any of my PP stuff anymore so I’m going to have to souly depends on the app to help me use PP again. I wanted to ask just in case there’s a trick to the app i don’t know about.

  9. Samantha says:

    I only started at the end of February but have lost 13 lbs. I have a sweet tooth and have been looking for low point desserts. There are a few that are zero points if you have your serving size right. I have 1 cheat day (usually Saturday after weigh in) where I usually blow all/most of my weeklies. Then I spend the week making up as many as I can.
    I have also heard of people using their fit points instead of weeklies. They feel like they earned them instead of just being given the points. I have thought about doing it that way, but I seem to be losing steadily for now by using my weeklies.

  10. Melodie says:

    Thank you so much. I knew it wasn’t just me who was losing ridiculously slow on freestyle. And, thanks for itrack bites info. I got to goal on momentum the plan right before points plus and they have it on the app as well! I can’t wait to start losing again.

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  12. Laura says:

    I truly believe that Points Plus was the best plan ever!! And though Simply Filling is my final goal (I realize the Freestyle is a step towards that), like you I think they are great maintaining plans, after all we don’t want to count points for everything forever!!! I think the big issue with Freestyle is that it gives too much freedom – you do need to be able to control how much you are eating (even the zero point foods) and saying you need not weigh, measure or track those is setting up for failure if you can’t control your eating. I’m giving Freestyle one more shot (my sister has been hugely successful with it) but then that’s it, I’m back to Points Plus.

  13. Lori S says:

    I stumbled upon this post while searching for information on the WW plan that I found successful before Freestyle. I am VERY frustsrated with freestyle and I have been a WW lifetime member since 1990. This is the first plan where I have actually gained weight. I find that “free” foods are of course not really “free” and we have no way to track them. For example, if I eat 4 oz of chicken, the tracker registers 0 points, when it fact it should reflect that you have gone over the optimum portion size. Plus, because your points target is so low, I feel like I have less flexibility and am in fact hungrier on this plan. There is only so much protein you can eat.

    My question, are you still using the Smart Points, which is I think the older plan. (the one with free fruits and some vegetables) If so, have you had luck with the tracker that you reference in one of your comments above?


  14. Judy Levy Horowitz says:

    I have been a WW since 1966, though not steadily. I’ve been on a lot of food plans. I’ve had successful weight losses on all of them, but slipped during maintenance because I didn’t continue to go monthly. Recently, I lost 40 pounds on Beyond the Scale, which I loved. When the plan switched to Freestyle, I stopped losing and I’ve recently started gaining. I have gone back to Beyond the Scale and I am tracking with ITrackBites. I have started losing again. I will not go back to Freestyle. Like many of you, I need the structure.

  15. Mbbrown says:

    Thank you so much for this blog. I lost 80 lbs on points plus. I have tried smart points and free style and it is just terrible for me. I am a 6’3, super active mom of youngsters and elementary teacher. I average 10,000-14,000 steps a day. I need food (and yes, carbs!) for energy. Points plus gives me what I need to maintain or loose if needed, plus the flexibility to eat out and be on the go. I use an app called ProTracker plus. It is excellent and you can change the settings to count points in variety of different ways. I am so glad that there are others out there that feel the same way that I do about this program!

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