Every year Weight Watchers tweaks their offerings. It might be the actual program like when they made all fruit zero points. The change could be more semantics like the simple start program which was really a new term for simply filling during the first two weeks! There are always new products (cookbooks, exercise items, foods, etc.).
I knew it was going to be very different when I got the email with the message in the picture above. Weight Watchers introduced a game changer with online support.
Weight Watchers Online Support Options
The new support options available include personal coaching and online chat. There’s also the meetings option. Everyone who signs up gets what is called “essentials”. Basically it’s the etools with 24/7 chat. The Weight Watchers mobile app and website were redesigned to support this new feature.
I haven’t tried it yet but I like the idea that I can reach out and get my questions answered anytime.
For an extra fee you get a dedicated coach you helps you personalize the program to meet your lifestyle. They’re available via phone or email to accommodate your schedule. I think this is a great option for those that need some extra help. Frankly, the meeting leaders don’t have time to do this and I don’t expect it at an average of $10 a meeting.
It looks like Weight Watchers has dropped the term “Simple Start”. A few weeks ago we got a new book titled “What to Eat” that replaces the simple start handout. It has great ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks but includes points in addition to power food notations.
The non-food products are getting pretty light inventory at my local meeting with the exception of two new items.
1. Active Link 2.0 – This is more like Fitbit and other activity trackers in terms that it tracks sleep. There is still the monthly fee in addition to the upfront cost. (Gotta admit, it’s a genius marketing model.)
2. Starter Kit – I did buy the new starter kit shown above. It includes two portion control plates, a bento box with three smaller containers inside, a cookbook and coupons. It was all $24.95 this week. I love the plates because they’re dishwasher and microwave safe AND are a subtle reminders of appropriate portions. Doesn’t matter if you eat all power foods if the portions are out of whack.
I’m looking forward to 2015 with Weight Watchers. I received my bling (snowflake charm) for attending 7 out of the last eight meetings and am getting back on track now that vacations are over for many months. Do you like the new Weight Watchers?
I like the new options and could see them helping some people. The online chat (included with etools) is good for newer members, more likely to just have basic program questions.
The personal coaching (which is an extra fee) is nice for those who could use some more personal support (I understand this is done by phone). I’ve been a long enough WW member (regained lifetime member a little less than 15 pounds over goal right now) that I don’t think it would do a lot for me NOW. But, at earlier times in my life it would have been something I signed up for.
I’m a big believer though that the unique and most important part of WW is the weekly meeting and weigh in. The accountability and just the time spent each week with others to focus on weight loss is what makes WW work for me. It isn’t the food plan so much as just the meeting and weigh in.
Kay Lynn says
Kitty, I agree with you that the most important part of WW is the weekly meeting. I need that connection and accountability. A couple of months I was trying simply filling and had a question about how to count oil. Four longtime members discussed and none of us knew the answer. That’s where the online chat would be really useful.
I wouldn’t have to wait a week for the right answer.