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Weight Watchers Changes 2019 – No Longer Weight Watchers!



Here we go again. For Weight Watchers members it is time to start wondering what is up the sleeves at Weight Watchers corporate.

In the past, they have made major changes to the program so that members have to buy new books, counters, and revise their eating plans. This time, the news is good.

Weight Watchers is not changing Freestyle or Simply Filling. On 2019, they intend to change their name, branding, and emphasize healthy habits. They are adding more features and trying to make the scale only one measure of wellness (and maybe not one for you). I happen to like it.

In other good news, there will be more zero SmartPoints Foods. Hurray!

”Weight Watchers” is becoming “WW” with the tagline “Wellness that Works” – because it isn’t about losing weight as much as it is about getting healthy. The word “weight” is disappearing from their lexicon.

I attended an internet meeting with Gary Foster, Ph.D. who is the Chief Scientific Officer of WW yesterday to learn about the updates. The WW mission statement reads: We inspire healthy habits for real life.

And in keeping with this statement, WW is not only the new name but many other aspects of their program:

 

And in keeping with this statement, WW is not only the new name but many other aspects of their program:

  • Weigh-In NOW Wellness Check In
  • Leader NOW Wellness Coach
  • Receptionist NOW Wellness Guide
  • Meetings NOW Workshops
  • Stores NOW Studios (see above photo)

Which would you rather attend? A meeting in a store with a leader or a workshop in a studio with a wellness coach?

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The Wellness Check In is not only about a weigh in. First of all, you don’t have to weigh in if losing weight isn’t a goal for you. You can talk about eating more fruits and vegetables, workouts, meditations, or all the times that you didn’t attempt to throw your phone at your boyfriend’s head.

Wellness may be a squishy word because it encompasses so many concepts but I think it is a good one. Maybe you want to bring down your bad cholesterol numbers, or maybe you are prediabetic. There are many good reasons for attending a wellness workshop and the answers to these common afflictions overlap.

I asked if they would test blood pressure at the workshops – and he said they might in the future. The concept that you are checking in on all those other aspects of health is a good one. I know most of you know that weight is just one measure of health and maybe not an important one for many people. For example, I gained 8 pounds when I trained for a triathlon. Was I healthier? YES! and heavier.

I believe that Lifetime Membership FOR NEW MEMBERS is going to go away at some point. This is not an official announcement but It seems logical to me that the goals for attending WW workshops are not only about losing weight. Dr. Foster indicated that Lifetime memberships are a relic of the older programs.

Today, they are launching a program called “Wellness Wins” that will help you build healthy behaviors. As you track your new habits you get “wins” that you can trade in for free gifts. (They can’t call it points because you are already tracking points in the foods). The idea is that you get rewarded for shorter term goals that keep you moving in the right direction.

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One healthy habit could be meditation. WW is partnering with Headspace to provide some content to help you with this practice. I will review Headspace on its own in the coming weeks because I had never heard of it. The concept is an app that teaches you to meditate (and they charge you $8 per month for the service).

What does the future hold? How about having Alexa track your points so you don’t have to write anything down? They are working on it.

WW wants to help you with all the issues that may be holding you back – food, mood, stress, sedentary lifestyle – and your relationship with yourself.

I think that all of this makes sense. People don’t want just to lose weight because they know they put it back on again – they want to change their lifestyle and become healthier. Good work, WW!

 

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