Weight Watchers Simple Start Program

by DanicasDaily on December 8, 2013

Happy Sunday all!  This morning I couldn’t wait to head out to my Weight Watchers meeting and get my hands on the new 2014 Weight Watcher program materials.  I have been anxiously awaiting this years update because I knew it involved a spin on Simply Filling with the new Weight Watchers Simple Start Program.  There are so many cool things about Simple Start including a new Weight Watchers Simple Start Mobile App that actually works great (dare I say better than the original app). It’s OK ~ I am a technology/Weight Watchers “Geek” and can totally admit it lol!

Before I jump into sharing my thoughts, I want to say, nothing is changing about the Weight Watchers Program in 2014. 

It’s still the same program whether you are counting points+ or following the Simply Filing Technique….they’ve just added to their tool kit to help you become more successful at creating a healthy lifestyle!

Simple Start is very similar to the old Kick Start Program that Weight Watchers offered several years ago when they had the Momentum Program….you may remember my posts about it back in 2009 when I decided to Kick Start things for a week.  The Kick Start Program was a one week pre-planned menu tailored towards those counting points, while Simple Start is a two week plan geared toward those who want to venture out, learn more and try the Simply Filling Technique.

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There are three ways to learn about the Simple Start Program ~ Attend a meeting and get this fancy 40 page handout, download the Free Mobile App (described below) or head on over to the Weight Watcher’s Website and learn about it online.

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The program is actually pretty “Simple” Open-mouthed smile Yep, you know I had to say that, right?! 

Basically there are 3 steps to follow:

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1. Choose from their pre-planned meals: breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks or build your own using the Build a Meal Sections (picture building a sandwich from the bread up).  This includes adding in 2 tsp. of healthy oils each day along with the recommended 64+ oz. of water, coffee, tea, and sugar free drinks.

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Snacks are included if you feel hungry between meals ~ the “key” to gauging your hunger is to listen to your body and ask if you are truly hungry or want to eat something because you can.

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2. Make sure you “indulge” a little each day picking from their indulgences list using 7 WPA a day – think of this as your 49 WPA divided by 7 days.

For those inquiring minds, yep, you can totally have 3/4 oz. Chocolate + 4 oz. Wine for your 7 points+ indulgences every day!

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3. Keep portions in check, NOT by measuring per se, but, by visualizing using the recommended 10 inch plate, 12 oz. bowl and 12 oz. glass to gauge portion size.

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Aside from the recipes being included in the book, the two extras I love:

Every meal has a recommendation to swap it out to make it vegetarian, boost the flavor or if you want to venture out, how to order something comparable when dining out.

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I also love the fact they give you a complete shopping list so you can stock your kitchen up and set you up for success….you just have to remember to get rid of the not so good foods in your kitchen when adding in the new power foods!

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The premise of Simple Start is that you are choosing 100% Power Foods Only ~ they provide a list to help make is easy to identify what is included.  Feel free to use this as a reference to help make Simple Start work for you by picking from the menu or mixing/matching menus or power foods based on how you eat.

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Once you’ve completed the two week Simple Start program ~ you can choose to do it all over again, move onto Simply Filling and add in more foods, go back to counting points+ based on your daily target or do any combination of the above.

The key to success is finding out what works best for YOU as that is the program that you will be able to sustain and make it a lifestyle even when you reach goal.

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Now I’ll be the first to admit when I heard they were coming out with a new app, I wasn’t sure how good it would be since my Weight Watcher’s Mobile app isn’t the best it could be.

However, I have to say I think Weight Watcher’s got it right with the new Weight Watchers new Simple Start App!  If you are an e-tools subscriber, it’s FREE!

  • For iPhone’s, you can find it in the app store by searching “Weight Watchers Simple Start App”.
  • For Android Phones, you need to remove the space for SimpleStart by searching the Google Play store for “Weight Watchers SimpleStart App”.

The app has pretty much everything the little handout has down to the How it Works and Food list so you can take it with you where ever you are.

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It also has fun little thoughts that appear each time you open it along with little awards and such to cheer you on!

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All of the preplanned meals include the recipes for making them….

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Along with tips to swap out ingredients to mix things up, make it vegetarian or boost the flavor.

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There is also a section to allow you to track as you go with the Build a meal section…Simply Click the meal, then, click the food you are eating, then save it.  You are limited to adding only the foods Weight Watchers has identified with the Simple Start Program.

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It’s a pretty awesome app with great pictures and I love how it’s interactive.  I hope they continue to add meals, recipes and more to build it out throughout the year.

The last part of my Weight Watchers Update this year is what is new that you can purchase at the Weight Watchers meeting locations.

I’ve broken it down into two sections ~ what I bought and what I want to buy Open-mouthed smile

Any guesses on what I bought??? If you guessed their new cookbook, you are 110% right.  I’ve honestly never met a cookbook with pictures I haven’t wanted to buy LOL.

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I love the tag line of Got 20 Minutes and the fact that you can pick and make any of these meals faster than you could go out to eat or get take out at a restaurant!

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The book has a little bit of everything in it……along with some drool worthy pictures!

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Plus a section that identifies all the recipes that work for Simple Start….aka Simply Filling!

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You can easily cater any of the recipes to match Simply Filling by subbing ingredients or by counting the points+ towards your WPA for any ingredients that are not Simply Filling.

In this case, you would count the tortilla as everything else in this sesame steak taco is either 0 points+ or Simply Filling ~ Yum!

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The other thing I love about this cookbook is their FYI’s on every page showing you how to make it a meal and/or bulk it up to make it more satisfying.

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WHAT I WANT TO BUY

Ummm, the collapsible measuring cups you could only get in last years kit!

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And the new Success Kit!  I know, I haven’t bought one in a long time, but, this kit is so different than any kit Weight Watchers has ever offered.

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I mean how cute are all these bags?  I love them all and they are perfect for storing your weekly handouts if you are a pack rat and hold onto all of them like me!

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What makes this kit different though is all the “good stuff” you get inside…it isn’t all about having just the Complete Food & Dining Out Companions or coupons/calculator.

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You get an expanded Meal Planner with recipes to help you take Simple Start even further.

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Plus this totally cool Find Your Fingerprint guide to help you find out what works best for you.  I’d totally buy this kit for this book alone.

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I first thought this was another salad bowl, but, it’s a microwave steamer….kinda cool.  On the right, workout cards – pick one new exercise to try out each day (I love that!)

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See what I mean….totally fun and I didn’t even list all the other stuff you get like the calculator, 3 month tracker and $45 in coupons for more cool things!

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From now until 02/01/14 you can get the kits for $34.95 – deal!

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The “Official” Weight Watchers Roll out for Simple Start is in January 2014 so I have no doubt you will be seeing more about the new program soon.

Seriously ~ Fun Stuff ~ It is one of my favorite times of the year because regardless of whether the program changes completely or gets refreshed ~ it always jazzes me up for another year to try something new and have fun with it ~ MOTIVATION!

QUESTION OF THE DAY:

Will you be taking the Two Week Simple Start Challenge?  If you already have or started, what do you think of the program?

I haven’t tried it out yet, but, I plan on taking the two week challenge when we get back from Australia and after Christmas….anyone else want to join in January??

Night all!

{ 149 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Stephanie March January 13, 2014 at 11:20 am

Thanks! I just want to make sure that something I start has a good chance of success.
I don’t eat many restaurant meals– much of it will be either airport food, or breakfast at budget hotel buffets (nothing cooked to order but there is usually fresh fruit, cereals/oatmeal and yogurt) or a hospital cafeteria. (again—there are some choices, but they are limited). So as long as it can be “fruit” and doesn’t have to be a particular kind of fruit. or “yogurt” and not a special flavor or fat percentage….etc. then I should be able to find something. Is that how it works–can you pick and choose foods versus needing to be something very specific?
Thanks!

102 Lynn January 13, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Is there a gluten free pasta which you can use in place of the whole wheat pasta with Simple Start?

103 Karla Schlaefli January 13, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Do you have to be a member of WW e-tools to get the app? I downloaded on my phone but I had to have a WW password. I chose not to sign up for e-tools due to the added expense (I am life-time and only pay if I gain above my goal weight) and I prefer the meetings. Is WW really this stingy with all of their apps? Thanks!

104 DanicasDaily January 13, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Hi Carla,

If you are lifetime at goal you get free e-tools. You just have to visit your Weight Watchers meeting location to get the free code.

Yes, you do need to be an e-tools or online subscriber to use the apps.

Thanks,

Danica

105 Jennifer Shelton January 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm

What is the average weight lose on the SimpleStart?

106 elizabeth January 14, 2014 at 3:05 pm

Hi Danica! I am new to WW and I stumbled upon your site while looking for new recipes for simple start and I love what you have!! I had a question I thought maybe you could answer – I’d like to get a couple of items but I’m only an online subscriber. Do you know if I could still pop into a meeting and purchase items, or can I only do it online? Thanks Danica! Your site is so helpful!!

107 DanicasDaily January 14, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Hi Jennifer,

The official average is up to 2 lbs per week. That being said, most people I know are losing more in the range of 3-5 lbs a week depending on how closely they follow the program.

Danica

108 DanicasDaily January 14, 2014 at 9:56 pm

Hi Elizabeth,

Yes, you can pop into any Weight Watchers locations to buy their product as you do not have to be a member. If they give you any grief, you can mention it is a gift for someone or that you are an online member. I do believe the prices at meetings may be cheaper than online.

Danica

109 DanicasDaily January 14, 2014 at 10:04 pm

HI Stephanie,

You can definitely pick and choose as I tend to do that more than trying to eat just the recipes/suggestions provided. You just need to focus on lean meats, fruits/veggies, fat free dairy and whole grains (brown rice, ww pasta, etc.) rounded out with 2 tsp. of healthy oil (think roasted veggies as a side or oil & vinegar as a dressing).

Danica

110 kay January 15, 2014 at 10:43 am

Can you save the 7 per day indulgence points for one day. in other words, use all 49 on a Saturday?

111 deborah popovich January 16, 2014 at 10:57 am

Hi Danica

I’m on week 2 of simple start lost 2.8 lbs at my weigh in. This program is so easy. I’m shooting for my 10lb star by week 3.

Debbie

112 Jill January 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Hi Danica,

I did Points Plus about 2 years ago and then got pregnant and stopped the program but have all of the PP information already so am just interested in learning about the 2 week Simple Start. Am I reading the Simple Start post correctly? You can eat unlimated amounts of food as long as it is on the Power Food list? And then you can have an additional 7 points of snacks or food not listed on the Power Food list?

Thank you much!!

113 DanicasDaily January 19, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Hi Kay,

Yes, you can use your WPA however it works for you as long as you keep it to 49 WPA for the week. The 7 per day is just a recommendation.

Danica

114 DanicasDaily January 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm

Hi Jill,

The key is to eat until satisfied and to focus on power foods and the good health guidelines. The 49 WPA is to be used for anything that is not a power food like wine, chocolate, real bread, cheese, etc.

Danica

115 patty January 21, 2014 at 1:39 pm

Hi Danica

I just started simply filing but I cant seem to make myself behave! i am worried about going back on friday for my first weigh in :(

116 Robyn January 23, 2014 at 11:42 am

Two questions:
1.I did CORE years ago and loved but have gotten off track. This sounds like it’s similar? 2. Also I am a nursing mom. Do I get extra WPA or no because I should be eating until I am full?

Trying to find the best time to start while managing work and twin daughters.

117 Susan January 23, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Hi Danica,

Great review – thank you! I’ve been tracking points for a while now and I think I’ll change next month to the simply filling technique.

Do the AP work the same? If I earn 7, it would add to my weekly “indulgence” points? Not losing AP is very important to me. 14 in a day would allow me to “indulge” in a Big Mac once in a blue moon!! What’s better than that! :)

Thanks again for your awesome review.

Cheers !

118 Dixie January 29, 2014 at 5:10 pm

I am starting my second week of simple start and the first week went well for me, down 5 lbs. I do the weight watchers at work program. After the 2 weeks is up can you continue eating the same way? I really like having a list of things I can eat and only having to worry about counting the indulgences!

119 Karen January 30, 2014 at 11:55 am

Hello, I’m baffled at how everyone is losing. I should preface and say that I am age 50, I joined but have not lost. My spirit is falling. Everyone keeps reporting weight loss. Leaders have looked over my foods. Did anyone else suffer this as well? I am the same weight as when I started. 2 weeks into this. Thanks a bunch!

120 sarah campione January 30, 2014 at 1:23 pm

I would like to know how many fruit and veggies you can have on simple start or just the one that are included in receipt in booklet. you get 7 points for treat do. how many snacks do you get

121 lisa v January 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm

Hi there~
I just found your blog and can’t stop reading, btw I have a pot of the black eyed peas and kale soup on right now. I followed the simple start program for 2 weeks and lost 9 lbs. This is my send week on p +, I have lost 13 total since January 5th. Thanks so much for the awesome blog!! Keep up the good work.

122 sandra February 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm

I am in my late 50s’ and after a few days on Simple Start I had lost 3 lbs. After that the numbers stalled and actually started to creep up a bit. I am discouraged after reading the rave reviews. I’m not sure if I’m eating correct foods. I sure am not eating those chocolates and ice cream, why isn’t the weight coming off as fast as I anticipated.?

123 nicki February 4, 2014 at 9:42 am

I’m on my 3rd day of doing Simple Start but have not lost one single pound. When do you actually see the results? I don’t even eat all the 7 points for snacks, mostly I eat about 4 points a day. I eat about 2 cups of edamame (which is listed as unlimited snacks) a day and fruits such as apples and pineapples. I made a mistake of eating regular couscous instead of whole wheat couscous one day. Is this part of the reason?

124 Roxy February 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Is the formula still about calories, fat grams and fiber grams?

I have been a member off and on since 1992 the last time was 2003. I have seen many changes over the years from a limit of eggs and liver once a week (yuk! ) to exchanges to points.

I am in joining online instead of attending the meetings. I am assuming that the online benefits are different than the e- tools that an be added to a meeting membership? Will I receive all of the e-tools in addition to the online benefits. Is there a membership that includes everything; meetings, online and e-tools.

Thanks

125 Heather February 4, 2014 at 6:01 pm

One thing I was unable to deduce from reading your blog and others like it is whether or not nuts (pistachios, walnuts, etc.) are allowed under the WW plan. Could you tell me their “position” on this type of whole food? Thanks!

126 Jami February 6, 2014 at 8:43 pm

I got a fitbit Flex for Christmas. I wondered if it was compatible with Weight Watchers?

Thank you,

127 Dawn February 8, 2014 at 9:44 pm

Can you do the simple start all online?

128 Gina February 9, 2014 at 11:24 am

I have done weight watchers a few differant times, and managed to lose 15 each time. I have now been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovaraian Sydrome, which causes me to carry alot of weight around my belly area, and makes it difficult to lose weight. Can you tell me if WW will be able to help me lose the weight even though the pcos is causing issue?

Thanks

129 Stephanie February 10, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Hi. I’m planning on (re)joining WW as soon as possible, but I have to go out of town for the long weekend (4 days). Would it too hard to do the Simple Start while eating out a lot or should I just wait until I get back?

130 kay February 11, 2014 at 11:09 am

Just started SF and was told at first meeting that we cannot save the 7 indulgence points like we could on PP.. HAVE TO USE THEM OR LOSE THEM daily

131 DanicasDaily February 11, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Hi Kay,

I think that is incorrect. If you look at your guide for Simple Start it states 7 per day, 49 per week. It is just a recommendation to use 7 per day, but, not to exceed the 49. You do not lose them if you save them up.

http://www.weightwatchers.com/images/1033/dynamic/GCMSImages/us_simplestart_indulgences.pdf

That being said, they do not roll over between weeks – you have to use or lose the 49 each week. Perhaps that is where the confusion is.

Thanks,

Danica

132 Donna February 26, 2014 at 7:22 am

Can oven roasted turkey breast and 99% fat free ham such as Boars Head from the deli be used on Simple Start?

133 Lindsey February 26, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Hi!
Your website is so helpful! I am looking for the old quickstart (?) chart from WW from a few years ago. It was a very simple 2 week plan offering choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I’m not a good point counter…I do much better with looking at a chart and picking food combinations. Any help??

134 Cynthia February 26, 2014 at 9:27 pm

The weight is not coming off because people are not counting their points as I believe they should be on the program. I don’t see how the program can encourage you to eat as much as you want of the Simple Starts foods (pasta, rice, bread…etc.) and not track. It doesn’t make sense to me.

135 Cynthia February 26, 2014 at 9:29 pm

I don’t see how one can be eating unlimited amounts of foods such as edamame beans when they’re meant to be tracked!

136 Donna March 5, 2014 at 10:44 am

Hi! I started Simple Start and am on day 5. I lost 3 pounds the first 2 days, then crept up to my original weight. That’s not the main issue – I’m having digestive issues and haven’t had a bowel movement since I started the program. That’s not normal for me. Following the rules exactly with no indulgences and 5-6 glasses of water a day. Water is all I drink, except for the fat-free cappuccino I had with breakfast this morning. Advice?

137 sue rollins March 7, 2014 at 7:08 am

where can i purchase the kit you are showing

138 Martin Krogh March 9, 2014 at 9:38 am

I joined WW several years ago. I achieved my goal and became a lifetime member. I had since put on a few pounds and went back to meetings for a few weeks and paid my weekly dues until I reached my goal again. Once again I have put on a few pounds and would like to go back. Question: Under this new plan I’m assuming that my lifetime membership still applies, Am I right?

139 Janine March 11, 2014 at 9:12 pm

Hi, like many of the other comments above, I had a lot of success with WW several years ago-actually lost 30 lbs and was able to keep it off until my first baby. I’ve been yo-yo dieting for a while now and have even tried WW online and had no success. I loved going to meetings but there are none in my area-closest one is 60 miles away. So, my question is, do you think that this program will have as much success online? Are the tools user friendly and the same that you would get in the meetings?

Thanks,

Janine

140 Margie March 14, 2014 at 6:59 pm

I am thinking about joining WW again after being successful many years ago. I lost the weight back then from the Winning Points…the old program that calculates calories, fat and fiber. Will meetings incorporate the old plan or should I just use all my old information and do it on my own?

141 Russ March 20, 2014 at 11:39 am

Nothing incorporates the plan you mention. If you want to do Winning Points, you will have no choice but to do it on your own. Of course, you could still go to meetings if you want or need the group support, but they will be using the new program, Simple Start and Points Plus. Any “new” plan at WW is always built upon the plan or plans of the past, but once they put a new plan into effect, anything before it is history.

142 Sharon March 27, 2014 at 9:11 am

Hello -
I just joined WW yesterday – and am on the Simple Start program.
I have been using flax seed in my morning smoothie and like to add chia seeds sometimes to my meals throughout the day. Is that allowed – or does their fat content rule them out?

143 Carolyn White April 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm

I just joined WW online because we no longer have Weight Watcher meetings where I live. I am so confused as to hoe the WW program works. Could you be so kind as to explain the program. If I start with the Simple Start does that mean I have to eat only the Simple Start receives? Thank you!

144 Tammie April 10, 2014 at 7:52 pm

Hi Danica….

I am just starting the Simple Start program and after reading my materials I received last night at my meeting I have a question that I can not find an answer for. Can you eat as much as you want from the power foods food list? What about portion size? Example of what I am thinking. Take brown rice: does this mean I can have a bowl full or just the 1/2 cup serving size? I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.
Thank you…

145 DanicasDaily April 10, 2014 at 7:57 pm

Hi Tammie,

You can eat as much as you need to feel satisfied. They use the portion sizes as a gauge or starting point.

Good luck! You will do great.

Danica

146 DanicasDaily April 10, 2014 at 7:58 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Ideally yes you would stick with Simple Start foods, however, you can eat any if the Power Foods with the green triangle as well.

Danica

147 Becky April 11, 2014 at 4:49 pm

I rejoined WW once again on 12/27/2014. I did Simple Start for two weeks and then moved to Simply Filling. On the first week of Simple Start you have to use your 7 indulgence point each day and cannot carry over to the next week. On week 2 and after you can use more one day as long as you don’t go over the weekly total. I am almost 65 years old and just completed my 15 weeks on program and have lost 34.6 pounds. I seldom use my indulgence points. You can’t eat all you want of power food, you eat until you are satisfied. You do need to measure out you recommended portions, and make sure you get in the recommended serving of fruits and vegetables, dairy, healthy fats, and have a balance of proteins and whole grains. I follow the recommend foods or swaps specified in Simple Start. The reason I don’t always use indulgence points is I am satisfied eating the power foods.

148 Lee April 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm

I would love to do this program but it isn’t available in South Africa yet , and online WW only accept US billing addresses.
Does anyone have any advice for me?
I have followed the old program many times but I need something new – I am so frustrated!

149 C April 19, 2014 at 8:12 am

Is there a way to buy the simple start book without joining weight watchers?

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Danicasdaily.com is not meant to be a substitute for any professional advice, guidance, or counseling. Any information contained on this site reflect Danica's experience and is not intended to take the place of medical advice from a physician. Weight Watchers® and PointsPlus® are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The number of Points+ provided for food on this site was calculated by Danica based on published Weight Watchers information. This site does not imply sponsorship or endorsement by Weight Watchers International, Inc. Danica does not guarantee the Points+ information is correct. I am not associated with Weight Watchers and they have not endorsed this site. I highly recommend joining WW and attending regular meetings as a way to successfully lose weight.



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