I have been wanting to share my Weight Watchers Maintenance Mode experience with you guys for a while, but I knew I needed to be able to maintain my weight as best I could before I shared anything.
And here’s the exciting news. I have been able to maintain my weight for about 6 weeks. As great as it is to maintain your weight, there are so many challenges that I just didn’t understand when I first started.
I love Weight Watchers and fully stand behind their Beyond the Scale program. I think SmartPoints are the best (better than Points Plus) because they limit your sugar intake and allow you to lose weight even faster. But SmartPoints also allow you to turn “weight loss” into a lifestyle, which is truly the key to success. This post, however, isn’t about how much I love Weight Watchers. This post is about what Maintenance Mode is really like.
Let me explain. I was losing about 1-2lbs a week when I was in Lose Weight mode. And it was easy to understand. I had 30 SmartPoints a day to use on foods that will keep me full and still eat what I love. It just made sense to me. And I could see the results right in front of my face when I weighed in.
Switching the button on the app was so gratifying. This was a step I wasn’t able to take when I tried Weight Watchers before (on PointsPlus). It’s a huge milestone and should be celebrated. Don’t take this for granted. Switching the button means that you have met your goal and are on the path to learning how to keep the weight off.
You might be surprised to learn that there isn’t much documented about Maintenance mode on the Weight Watchers website. I found 2 articles about it before I switched. Just 2! Maybe there is more about it in the meetings, but for us online only subscribers, this is a problem to me.
It’s great that you can adjust your daily SmartPoints target while Maintaining to keep you in the 2lb threshold. But what if I need 40 SmartPoints a day to actually maintain my weight. I haven’t changed from the 36 they give you to start off with, but I could.
To refresh or learn more about Weight Watchers Maintenance Mode.
It’s hard because everyone’s body is different. The way my body registers weight will be different from yours.
I feel like I am eating almost everything I was eating before I lost the weight. Now, this is an exaggeration, but hear me out. We recently went on a trip to Indiana to visit my husbands family and friends. It was a great time, but I ate and drank pretty much whatever I wanted, within reason. I didn’t track anything except a quick mental checklist of the thin crust pizza and beer I was drinking. We ate out a lot and I just really wanted to enjoy myself and deal with the consequences later. Well, I lost weight during the trip. I couldn’t believe it.
Besides not eating tons of carbs from fast food restuarants, I didn’t really change what I used to eat before I lost the weight. Yes, I am much more mindful of what I am putting in my body and try to steer away from those cakes and brownies and cookies and carbs. But I’m human and realize that one treat won’t kill my progress.
My body was so used to eating 30 SmartPoints a day. I had a schedule. I liked my schedule and I really didn’t want to deviate from it. But when I moved to Maintenance mode and had to start eating more SmartPoints, my body wasn’t so happy. I lost weight the first week I was trying to maintain simply because I couldn’t keep feeding my body the SmartPoints I was used to. Hitting that daily goal was much more difficult than I realized it might be.
As awesome as it is to have 6 extra SmartPoints a day, I didn’t want to spend them eating junk or crap just because I thought I needed to use them up. Yes, I did that first week, but then I felt guilty the following week. So I changed my tune. I basically stopped tracking unless I needed to look something up. I haven’t diligently tracked almost the entire time I have been maintaining, and I am still maintaining my weight loss.
It just didn’t feel necessary to me to track if I knew I wasn’t going to hit that daily target. I don’t recommend this unless you are able to maintain your weight without tracking. (I also weigh myself every day – gasp – so I know if I am above or below my goal weight well ahead of my official weigh in day).
Overall, I am so pleased with Weight Watchers and the SmartPoints. I couldn’t have lost the weight without this program, and if you know me in real life, you know I love to talk about Weight Watchers. And while maintaining my weight has been a challenge, maintenance mode is a place I would love to be in forever…it’s insanely gratifying.
I’m so glad that you found this post helpful. I also didn’t find much online about WW Maintenance mode, hence why I wrote this post. I actually found figuring out maintenance harder than losing weight…only because there isn’t a ton out there for it, but it does get easier to level out. Just listen to your body…it seems to know now more, which is awesome.
Thanks such much for this article. I reached my goal weight five weeks ago and since that time, I’ve lost almost 8 pounds on Maintenance Mode! My struggle was that I was not “eating” all my smart points ( for the reason you mention. I’m not hungry!) so I’ve tried that, but I’m still trying to figure this out. I’m not complaining about losing more weight than I intended to, but I also think I’ve lost enough. There is not a great deal of guidance out there so I appreciate finding this article.
Thank you. I agree…it was such an adjustment for me to maintain too. Having the extra points was hard mentally, but you can do it! It gets easier.
I enjoyed reading your article on WW maintenance; however, once they added the five additional points to maintain my weight without losing any more I gained over two pounds in the first week. I lost 52lbs and could not be happier, but now that I’m in maintenance seeing the weight gain for the first time in seven months was devastating. I am going to go back to 23 points on blue and try to drop what I gained. Hitting my goal was amazing, but I want to stay there. Hopefully, I can figure out how to stay where I am without gaining too much. Again, great article.
I Googled articles about maintenance on Weight Watchers, and THANKFULLY, found yours. And yes, there are not many articles to be found. I am also online only, and only in my second week of maintenance. It is a challenge. Its a BIG mental challenge. I haven’t given up my app or tracking. I have a goal set of 6 weeks at my goal weight, and then I will stop tracking. I just have to navigate through this process. Weight Watchers helped me lose 30 pounds with Smart Points and I am so grateful for all of the help and information on connect that lead me to my goal weight. But now in maintenance, it seems I’m on my own. I’ll keep staying the course and I appreciate your tips so much!
I love the Smart Points program with the zero point foods. Sharon, I’m sorry you don’t like it, and I’m sure it’s not for everyone. But I have been with Weight Watchers for 10 years and have never reached my goal, because the weight loss was slow, and I would over and over blow it, gain weight, and have a difficult time getting back on track. It wasn’t until I finally got disciplined with this new program that I started losing weight consistently—about a pound a week. And I feel like I am eating plenty, including being able to save enough points up to eat some sweet snacks in the evening. I am excited that this plan is helping me overcome bingeing on sweets. I am excited that it has encouraged me to exercise consistently and am amazed at how easy it is to rack up fit points, which I enjoy exchanging for food. I generally earn an extra 9 or 10 points a day by doing 30 minutes on a treadmill, and I can earn 9 or 10 points when walking 3 miles with my friend in the mall! This program is awesome!
You know, I think WW is great while you are losing weight. I felt like the resources were there and they really helped you along the way (I was online only, so no meetings for me). But when I switched to maintenance, all of that changed and it felt like there was really nothing else out there. No resources or really any help. I successfully maintained my 40 lb weight loss for over a year (until I got pregnant) but I had a hard time finding anything online.
I do love the way that WW is headed…being more holistic is a great move. There are great comments, by the way.
I am a life time member of weight watchers although I stopped going almost two years ago. Today I popped into a meeting to see what has changed. I think that overall WW promotes healthy eating but I agree that maintenance is a whole other beast. I stopped going as the meetings don’t really focus on maintenance. WW are taking a more holistic approach now which is good. BUT for people trying to maintain I think it is difficult. While you are losing the numbers dropping on the scale are reinforcing and celebrated as you reach various milestones. Not so when you’re maintaining.
It presents us with an interesting challenge.
I also am a supporter of WW and nothing I write here is intended to be a criticism. I simply agree that as a lifetime journey, a bit more on maintenance would have ensured I would have kept turning up once a month.
I recently lost 25 pounds following the new SmartPoints system. I was very skeptical about all the zero points foods allowed…but it works! My husband followed the program with me and he is down 27 pounds. It was so much easier than counting Points Plus. Right now I am trying to maintain my weight. The problem is not gaining weight, but because I have changed my eating habits I am trying hard not to lose more. This is a change in how you eat and although I have always been a healthy eater, I needed to make some changes. I am 58 and my body does not react to food and exercise like it used to. I wholeheartedly recommend this new program.
Hi Sharon – I lost 40lbs on the SmartPoints plan and I was able to keep it off for over a year. I got pregnant last year (I had my baby in May 2018), so I haven’t been on the Freestyle plan yet. But I do understand your hesitation. I have the same concerns as well, and I will post more updates once I start the program back up again.
How much did you lose and what’s your status today? I DO NOT like the Smart Points Free Style. With those zero point foods they added, (only because they reduced the daily points to 23 from 30) you would be starving!. There’s no consistency with zero point foods, because it’s tracked as zero, though my body knows corn, eggs, beans, seafood, yogurt, and chicken ALL have calories. I’m still going to meetings, but I decided to go to the time when Weight Watchers would start you with a points amount based on height, weight, etc. And, then it would be reduced for each 10 lb loss . This makes more sense, because as you lose, you don’t need to eat the same amount of points as you go down. I joined in 2015 and I started with 30, but after 75 loss, the 30 points was causing so many ups on the scale. I complained to Corporate, but they told me to reduce my points myself! I’m paying all this money!
Thank you so much Missy. It’s been interesting to switch and trying to maintain my weight loss.
Thanks Ashley. I’m really happy with sharing my experience and I am a huge advocate of Weight Watchers (they don’t pay me to say that either). It just works and I have been able to maintain my weight for the first time in a LONG time. They have an option to select that you are breastfeeding which will give you more points for the calories you are burning (I think…I heard they do that).
If you want me to talk about SmartPoints in more detail and why I think it’s awesome, just email me.
Congrats on keeping up the weight loss!
I really like that you have documented your journey and can actually explain why you like smart points vs points plus as well as how you’ve made the weight loss journey. I’ve been trying to find something that will work for me once I have this baby. Each time I lean more and more towards Weight Watchers because of your posts! I just will need a structure and plan in place once she’s here and it sounds like Smart Points is going to be it for me.