Weight Watchers is starting a new eating plan called the Momentum Plan. If you have been planning on going to Weight Watchers as soon as the holiday is over, you should join now because they are teaching their current members about the plan THIS WEEK!
If you are a Weight Watchers eTools member, you can learn about it now. If not, you can sign up for it online for only $17 a month with a $30 startup fee.
The Momentum Plan
Before the Momentum Plan, Weight Watcher members had two plans to choose from: Flex and Core. Now, everyone will be on the same plan: Momentum. They have taken the best of both plans to create Momentum. Their whole philosophy is, “Don’t eat less, eat smarter.” The new plan still incorporates a lot of the favorites:
- The Weight Watchers Points System
- The weekly Points Allowance
- The Good Health Guidelines
- The Filling Foods List
The new aspect of this plan is the Filling Foods List. The concept is that if you choose foods that are higher in fiber and water content, they will keep you fuller for longer than if you eat other foods. There are studies that have found that people will eat the same volume of food every day. The actual SPACE that the food takes in your stomach might have more to do with how full you feel than the calories, fat, or protein.
On this point, I have an issue with Weight Watchers. Personally, I have found that I can eat a small amount of food and stay full for a long time as long as it has enough protein. The size of the food can affect my “emotional” hunger. If I’m eating to make myself feel better, then the feeling of being “full” can make me feel better, but for actual satiety, I need protein, not fiber and water. Now, they have lean meats on their filling foods list, but they are promoting the water and fiber content far more than the protein.
The Filling Food List has basically just replaced the Core Foods List. In fact, even though they say they only have ONE plan now, they DO have the Simply Filling Technique, in which you can eat from the Filling Foods List to a feeling of satisfaction, just like the old Core Plan. It is considered another way to keep track instead of a different plan. In essence, they want all of us to eat from the Filling Foods List, whether we track our food or not.
They are really promoting tracking your food intake. This makes sense, since SO MANY studies have shown that people who keep a food journal end up eating healthier and losing more weight than those who keep it all in their head. The Points System is so easy that it’s possible to keep it in your head, but writing it down really makes it more real. Weight Watchers eTools has made is SO easy for me to keep track because I’m at a computer all day.
30 Minutes of Exercise Every Day
One of the Good Health Guidelines is 30 minutes of exercise every day. This was part of their Move More program before, but now they are saying that it’s important to get it in every day. When I first started Weight Watchers, they always recommended exercise, but they also said that you could lose weight without it on their plan. I’m pretty stoked that they are making exercise a higher priority now.
Their new program has a great training section on Managing Hunger and recognizing whether you’re really hungry or if you are tempted to eat for other reasons. This is a nice program and worth going to the Weight Watcher classes just for this. Learning how to listen to your body is really important.
The Helpful Habits section is another new aspect of the Momentum Plan. They have tracked down the eight things that successful Weight Watcher members do:
- Ask for help
- Learn from experience
- Manage your environment
- Manage your feelings
- Manage your thoughts
- Monitor yourself
- Prepare yourself
- Take care of yourself
There is a training segment for each of these that will help you learn these habits for yourself. These aren’t a simple replacement for the Tools For Living. They are habits that you can teach yourself to keep on track.
SetPoints Values are a way of tracking foods from the Filling Foods List. If you watch your hunger signals and take a portion that seems “reasonable,” you can just count the food as its SetPoints Value instead of trying to figure out its actual Points value. Using this, they really want you to assess your hunger levels. This incorporates some of the concepts of the Core Plan into the Momentum Plan.
Not So Different
All in all, the new Momentum Plan is not that different from the previous plans. They appear to be mixing the Flex Plan and the Core Plan into one process, urging you to eat healthier foods and keeping track of them in a way that works best for you.
The best part of the Momentum Plan is that it’s new and different and there is a whole new set of materials to get every week right when we need them the most: the holiday season. If you have been thinking that you’ll join Weight Watchers after January first, get the jump on your New Years Resolution and do it NOW. You have enough time to lose five pounds before the first of the year, instead of gaining the typical fifteen.
There are so many reasons to eat healthy this season and only one reason to eat unhealthy. Start living right now and don’t put it off until January.
Update 12-09-08: I have created a new version of my food journal form that works with the new Momentum Plan. You can download it here:
If you aren’t a wiz at Microsoft Excel, you can order a food journal here: