New WW Program 2021/2022: PersonalPoints
Hello, friends! As you may or may not have already heard, beginning today there is an all-new WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) program called PersonalPoints. I was fortunate enough to get advance information about the program straight from WW, and since I have a lot of readers who follow the WW program, I wanted to put together a post outlining all the details of the new plan. PersonalPoints has some pretty big changes from the previous programs, so if you are a WW member or are considering becoming one, definitely read on for more information! If you’re just here for the tasty lightened up comfort food recipes and not interested in WW, don’t worry, I’ll be back to posting recipes soon!
Let’s dive into the new program.
A whole new points calculation: PersonalPoints
One of the biggest changes coming your way with the new program is an entirely new way of calculating points. WW has changed plans a few times in the past six years, but has been using SmartPoints algorithm (calculated using calories, saturated fat, sugar, and protein) as their points calculation since December 2015. As of today, SmartPoints are no longer the unit of tracking for WW members. This is a major change!
The new points are called PersonalPoints, and are calculated using calories, fiber, protein, added sugars, saturated fats and unsaturated fats. The algorithm behind PersonalPoints is intended to help guide you toward foods higher in healthy fats, fiber, and protein and lower in added sugars and saturated fats.
Because of this change to the points system, if you’ve been doing the program for a while, you will notice that the points values of many foods will be different. You’ll also see differences between say, white pasta (4 PP per cup of cooked penne) and wheat pasta (3 PP per cup of cooked whole wheat penne) which may encourage you to make a higher fiber choice.
Everyone’s PersonalPoints Program is Unique
This is another huge change! Two years ago, WW went from having one plan that all members used to introducing three different plans you could choose between. This time, they’ve individualized things even further, and everyone’s plan will be a little different. How is this possible? While all foods will use the same PersonalPoints calculation to determine their points, your zero point foods list will be completely personalized.
When beginning the PersonalPoints program you’ll be given a quiz where you answer questions about what types of foods you like to eat, your eating patterns, and your activity level. WW will use your answers to give you a personalized list of ZeroPoint foods along with a daily and weekly PersonalPoints budget. Don’t be afraid to tell WW what you like to eat in the quiz, they want to put the healthy things you enjoy in your ZeroPoint foods! You will be able to take this quiz again if you’d like to switch up your ZeroPoint foods, though WW suggest trying a plan for at least a week or two to give it a chance and see how it fits your lifestyle. To re-take the quiz you’ll just go to Profile > Settings > Food Settings > Food Plan and re-answer the questions.
The possible ZeroPoint foods available are:
- non-starchy vegetables (the only group that will be ZeroPoints for all members)
- avocado (new!)
- fish and shellfish
- chicken and turkey breast
- tofu and tempeh
- plain, nonfat yogurt and cottage cheese
- beans, peas, lentils
- whole-wheat pasta
- brown rice, quinoa, other whole grains
It’s important to note that while ZeroPoint foods lists will be different, the PersonalPoints calculation will be the same for everyone. So, while you may have potatoes on your ZeroPoints food list and another member may not, if a food does have points for both of you (say, an ounce of cheddar cheese or a slice of bread) it will be the same number of points on all PersonalPoints plans.
Because of this change, recipes will likely not have the same amount of points per serving across the board between members. It’s quite possible for a recipe to have many different points values per serving depending on a member’s individual ZeroPoint foods list. Eek! I’ll speak more on that and what it means for my recipes later in this post.
Ways to Earn More Points
That’s right, there are now three ways you can earn more PersonalPoints to use throughout your day or week. Who doesn’t want more points? Here’s how you can add to your points budget:
- Eat Your Veggies! For every cup of non-starchy vegetables you track you’ll get 1 PersonalPoint added to your daily points budget. This is an unlimited earn, so if you track three cups of veggies today you’ll get three extra points in your daily points budget. If you’re wondering what non-starchy veggies include, it’s basically the vegetables that were zero points on MyWW Green. So, yes to carrots and butternut squash, no to peas, potatoes and corn.
- Drink Water! Tracking 60 ounces of water in a day will earn you one PersonalPoint added to that day’s budget. This earning is limited to once per day.
- Get Active! You can also earn PersonalPoints by tracking activity. How many you earn will depend on the activity as well as your height weight, age, etc. You’ll be able to track activity manually or passively using a compatible fitness tracker, same as previously. These points can be earned on an unlimited basis and will be added to your weekly points budget rather than your daily budget.
What’s The Same/Change is Hard
I know a lot of things are changing, and change is hard. I totally get it. If the WW plan you’ve been using is working for you, the prospect of changing to something else is scary. Throughout the past couple WW program changes, the points algorithm stayed the same (SmartPoints), so if you knew the SP value of your favorite bread (or whatever), that stayed the same. This time points values will change, daily and weekly points budgets will change, and there’s going to be a learning curve.
My advice is not to panic. Give the new program a shot. The points calculation may be changing, and your points budget may look different, but the overall method is still the same.
- Various nutrition information from each food item is turned into one simple number, making it easy to evaluate the food’s overall nutrition and track it in the app.
- You’ll still get a daily points budget along with a weekly points budget to use as you like.
- Rollover points will also stay the same, so if you don’t use all of your daily PersonalPoints one day, up to four unused points will be rolled over into your weekly points budget.
- There will still be ZeroPoint foods that you can use to make sure you never go hungry. You can use these foods as a base for meals, eat them as a snack, or add them to meals that need a little bulk.
Remember, the new program will be assigning you ZeroPoint foods based on what you like to eat, so it will be customized to your preferences. Also, there’s (potentially) ZeroPoint avocados! I am interested to try out the new PersonalPoints program myself and see how it works for me.
WW PersonalPoints FAQs
Okay, the program is brand new today, so nothing is a frequently asked question yet. This is a list of questions and answers based on questions I had or anticipate you having that I haven’t covered above.
- Can I stay on my current SmartPoints plan instead? Nope. When WW introduces a new program, they commit. The WW site and app will no longer offer the previous programs. Additionally, since I calculated SP for my recipes using the WW recipe builder, I no longer have a way to calculate the SmartPoints for my future recipes. I will keep the SPs listed for currently posted recipes.
- Can I re-take the quiz? I mentioned this above, but in case you missed it, yes! To re-take the quiz go to Profile > Settings > Food Settings > Food Plan and re-answer the questions.
- Will the recipes and foods I added in the WW app automatically convert to PersonalPoints? Yes, though you may have to do a bit of maintenance. Since PersonalPoints uses some added pieces of nutritional information, there may be ingredients that are missing this info and will require more information. WW assures me a banner will appear on those recipe pages prompting you to add the needed info, so I hope that’s true!
- Is there a specific Diabetic plan? I had heard some rumblings about a diabetic-specific plan before getting the new program details from WW, so I wanted to include this question. The answer in my opinion is…sort of! If you’re living with diabetes, you will be on the same PersonalPoints program as everyone else, but your ZeroPoint foods list will take your health condition into account. The quiz you take at the start of the new plan includes the question “Are you living with either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes?” and if you answer yes that will factor into the customization of your plan and which foods will appear on your ZeroPoint foods list.
How will this affect the recipes on Emily Bites?
I’ll be honest, when this new program was explained to me I panicked hard. How the heck am I supposed to list the points per serving for my recipes when they will be different for everyone? I’m pretty sure I actually said the words “oh, so my blog is doomed” on the video call with the WW team. I can be a bit dramatic, but seriously, listing the WW points is one of the reasons a lot of y’all come to my site and make my recipes. I’ve been blogging about WW-friendly recipes for eleven years. It’s a big part of my life. It’s now my career. I depend on y’all to come to my site and cook with me.
WW was very nice and super encouraging about members still using my site, but they didn’t really have any suggestions for me on how to make this work for my recipes. I freaked out and spiraled for a few days, but managed to formulate a solution that I think will actually work out really well! WW has assured me that it should work in reality the way it does in my head, so that’s a good sign.
Here’s my solution: I use the WW recipe builder to create all of the recipes I post here on my blog. Moving forward, I will include a link in each blog post that says something to the effect of “Click here to determine your PersonalPoints per serving!” The link will take you to the recipe I built in the WW recipe builder and if you’re logged into the WW site/app it should automatically show up with your PersonalPoints calculated. Easy, right? You can then save or track the recipe into your account and once you do that you’ll be able to edit the recipe within your own account.
Not only will this show you your individual PersonalPoints per serving, but it’ll make the recipe easy to track within the WW app, and easy for you to make changes. Using a different cheese than the recipe specifes? Once you track or save the recipe in your WW account, you can make edits based on your changes.
This does mean that I won’t be able to post points per serving within the blog posts or on social media, because they will differ based on your ZeroPoint foods list, but it should be easy for WW member to just click on the link to view their PersonalPoints and track from there. Whew! Once I figured this out and confirmed that it should work with the WW team I felt so much better about being a helpful resource for those on the WW program moving forward.
Updating my Recipes
I will definitely be updating all of my current recipes with WW recipe builder links so that they can be tracked using the new program. Because I’ve been at this for eleven years, I have well over 700 recipes posted on my site, so it’s going to take me a bit. Please be patient with me as I am only one person! I will definitely make the updates as quickly as I’m able. I plan on working backwards chronologically so that my most recent recipes will be updated first, but if there are certain recipes you want me to get done sooner rather than later, feel free to comment on this post and I will do my best to accommodate your request. I will post updates here and on social media (Instagram and Facebook) as I continue to add these links to my recipe posts.
I haven’t had a chance to use the new program myself yet, but I’m interested in trying it out and seeing how I feel about it! When I’ve done the previous MyWW program I used the Green plan, so I feel like having more ZeroPoint food categories and less daily points will definitely be a change.
So…what about you?? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new PersonalPoints program. What are you excited for? Nervous about? I want to hear what you think! Give me a comment below. Also, if you don’t already, make sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or by email to get updates and tons of delicious WW-friendly lightened up comfort food recipes!
Thank you so much for being here and for following my blog and cooking along with me! You are all so important to me. A lot of my readers follow the WW program, but for those of you who don’t, thanks for your patience while I explained these changes to the WW folks – I’ll keep listing nutrition information for everyone else! We’ll be back to recipes with the next post, I promise. Love you guys, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!