I'm going to show you how to do Weight Watchers for free but my goal with this post is to get EVERYONE to sign up for Weight Watchers. Why? Because it works! I don't get paid a dime if you sign up, unfortunately, but I still promote Weight Watchers all day every day. Why? Because it works! Oh, I already said that. I've lost 50+ pounds and am on my way to losing the next 50 thanks to OrangeTheory and Weight Watchers. Onto the tips…
How to do Weight Watchers for Free
Note: There is no way to calculate points on the Freestyle program unless you sign up for a Weight Watchers membership. I got mine (online only) for less than $20 a month, and it's totally worth it, for the scanner alone! I can walk into any store and scan any food, and the app tells me how many points it is.
Establish goals and start tracking.
Measure and weigh yourself. Track your BMI. Then, set goals. I don't set goals based on BMI charts because I think they're bullshit, but it's a good jumping off point and something else to track. Don't put a whole lot of faith in the scale because it's so finicky. While it's one more measurement to track, it's not the NUMBER ONE thing to track. Everything all together is what matters.
For example, say I weigh 300 pounds, wear a size 24, and have a BMI of 38. I set a goal to get to a BMI of 26, 200 pounds, and/or a size 14. Even if I'm not losing weight, if I'm losing inches I will be happy. That's why it's important to track more than one measurement.
Follow the Weight Watchers Principles.
The four pillars of a scientific-based approach: healthy weight loss, fits into your life, informed choices, and a holistic view.
What does all of that mean? It means if you're going to follow the Weight Watchers philosophy, you'll be losing weight at a rate of about 2 pounds a week (more at first). You'll be eating foods that fit into YOUR life, not into a small box with limited food choices. You'll be tracking everything you're eating. And last but not least, you'll use the power of positive thinking to make it all come together.
Weight Watchers is not a crash diet; it's not a fad, either. Weight Watchers is a way of eating and living that you can sustain literally for the rest of your life. Even if you aren't counting points, you can follow the list of 200+ 0 point foods to keep you full, and follow my tips for losing weight faster.
Team up with a friend (or a bunch of friends!) to support each other on your Weight Watchers journey. Join my free support group, look for groups on Meetup, post in local groups to ask about others doing the program. You can even set up a meeting for you and your friends to weigh in each week. I also do an online meeting in my group every Sunday and Thursday. :)
Start a competition.
Starting a friendly competition is a great way to jump start weight loss! I love winning, so I will make SURE I'm doing everything I can to lose weight just so I can kick my friends' asses. :) There are online sites where you can do competitions, too. DietBet is a good one to try.
Plan it all out.
Use these cheap meal prep containers to plan your meals ahead of time. This will increase your chance of success by quite a bit.
Track everything you eat.
You can use the app iTrackBites to calculate points for old Weight Watchers plans. It is a paid app. I know you're looking to learn how to do Weight Watchers for free, but the app is only a few bucks. You can also use MyFitnessPal but it tracks calories which has always been a pain for me. I love Weight Watchers because I get a certain amount of points and sometimes that means I can have a soda or eat a candy bar without going over. When I'm tracking calories, I can't really do that.
Even if you're simply logging your food, you'll eat less because you're being more mindful of what is going into your body. This includes “bites”, “tastes”, etc. If you're cooking and you taste test, write it down.
Also don't forget to track your fluid intake. I aim for half my bodyweight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 200 pounds, that'd be 100 ounces of water a day. I don't drink any soda except once in a great while, and if I want a coffee I get this Starbucks drink because it's only 2 points.
Drink more water.
If you've talked to me about weight loss – at all, ever – you've heard me tell you to drink more water! Struggling to drink enough? Water is an important key to weight loss. Read my tips about how to drink more water.
Utilize 0 point foods.
0 point foods are high in protein, and low in calories. Incorporating them into your daily diet is the best way to get started with Weight Watchers. Get the list here: 0 Point Foods.
The lowest number of Freestyle points given each day is 23. Knowing this, I started eating 0 point foods and following blogs for Weight Watchers recipes. Some of my favorite low point recipes include:
Focus on portions.
Even though there's a huge list of 0 point foods on the Weight Watchers plan, you'll still need to focus on portion control. If you're drinking the amount of water you should, you should also be able to handle portion control. But, if you're anything like me, you'll eat a TON of food based on emotional issues or having a crap day. It's okay to have a day where you fall off the Weight Watchers wagon. What matters the most is what happens after. Do you get back up and start eating healthier foods? Or do you let it spin out of control and turn it into a 5 pound gain? The choice is yours. 100% up to you.
On the other side of the coin, make sure you're eating ENOUGH! I've seen folks post in the group that they're eating 1000 calories a day and not losing weight. That's because they are not nourishing their bodies. Our #1 goal has to be to NOURISH our bodies! Do not starve yourself, do not binge… work every single day until you find a happy medium.
Enjoy your food.
If you don't enjoy the food you're eating, you won't stick with Weight Watchers. The reason I love the plan so much is that I can eat whatever I want, within reason, and will still lose weight. I can eat the foods I like… the foods I love… and still lose weight!
Move your ass.
You don't HAVE to exercise in order to lose weight with Weight Watchers, but I highly recommend it. Not just for health reasons but also because your skin will look MUCH better if you exercise while you're losing weight.
Try different types of workouts. I love OrangeTheory Fitness more than life itself most days! I finally found my PLACE that I need in order to enjoy my weight loss journey. If you like cardio, do cardio. Love weights? Do weights! Check out my fitness section for ideas.
Have fun with it. Find what you love and stick with it. Don't love it anymore? Switch it up! One of my favorite fitness tools? Kettlebells!
I'm a huge (HUGE!) fan of positive thinking. If you start Weight Watchers with a positive mindset, you will succeed. Read that again. YOU. WILL. SUCCEED. If you go into it thinking you'll fail, YOU. WILL. FAIL. Choose your own adventure. :)
If you learn nothing else from your post, know that it's critical to LOVE yourself and to BELIEVE in yourself. You can do this. Are you ready? One last step…
When you can afford it, sign up for Weight Watchers.
While you're here, check out my newest FREESTYLE recipes:
Dessert Pizza from my friend, Jen.
Pretzel crusted chicken nuggets from my friend, Katie.
And Weight Watchers Lemon Pound Cake from my friend, Melissa!