Weight Watchers Simply Filling Technique

by DanicasDaily on September 15, 2012

Happy Saturday all!  Several of you have commented and emailed me asking me to explain how  to use the Weight Watchers Simply Filling Technique.  Some of you guessed it right in that I do have a few “tweaks” I apply to make it more of a sustainable lifestyle for me.  However, please know that I have a set of rules that I apply to my “tweaks’” and if any of them fail, then, I do not allow that “tweak” anymore.  In my post today, I plan on explaining to you Simply Filling versus CORE, the jist of how to work the Weight Watchers Simply Filling Technique officially and how I work the plan.



For those who have done Weight Watchers for awhile, you may recall the CORE Method.  CORE was the first time Weight Watchers introduced the concept of not tracking points, focusing on whole, clean, real foods and listening to your bodies hunger signals.  I  know this concept freaked out several people and I loved hearing all the comments from everyone like…..

“If I knew when to stop eating and eating just until I was satisfied, I wouldn’t be here”.

The thing that I am not sure most people realized though is that there is so much “healthy” stuff you can eat so it was hard to go overboard on CORE.  There were a few foods that I absolutely loved on CORE that I made sure I measured so I wouldn’t go overboard like avocados & olives.  I did miss having breads and it was often tough to decide which part of the day I’d have my “one serving” of carbohydrates.

I actually did the CORE method for over a year when it first came out and successfully lost/kept off 35 lbs.   I lost more on CORE than I did counting points because it took away my obsession of how much of this or that can I get for my points and it helped me focus on Whole Foods that were more nutritionally sound.


Following the Simply Filling Technique is pretty simple once you get the hang of it.You do not have to track your food, however, I recommend tracking and measuring in the beginning until you feel comfortable that you can control how often you eat and the size of your portions.


1.  Focus on Power Foods/Simply Filling Foods ~ lean proteins, fat free dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, your 2 tsp of healthy oil, reduced calorie breads and broth based soups.

2.  Use your Weekly Points Allowance (WPA) for any foods that do not fit in the above categories or do not fit into a category on this Simply Filling Foods List.  You do not have to track the points+ for any of the Simply Filling Foods you eat.  You only track the non-Simply Filling Foods.

3.  Eat just until satisfied making sure you eat slowly, listen to your body and stop/rest/assess as you are eating.  The goal is to not feel too full or too hungry, but, to feel “just right”.

100% Homemade Simply Filling Ice Cream ~ count 1 WPA for the Sugar Cone!


I know there has been some confusion over the little green triangles that show a “Power Food”.  I have learned that not all Power Foods are Simply Filling Foods and vice versa. It was this Weight Watcher’s article that confused me when I first started looking into it when people were asking about the green triangles.  image

Therefore, to keep things simple, I focus on this Weight Watcher’s Simply Filling List since it is very similar to when I followed CORE. I look for similar items that would fall into the categories, i.e., like light breads and thin buns.


Before I jump into this part, I was to start off by saying this is 100% how I follow the Weight Watchers Simply Filling Technique based on my experience with CORE and what I can sustain as a lifestyle, not just as a quick fix to lose.  You do not have to apply any of these “tweaks” when you work Simply Filling, but, I wanted to share for those who have asked.


1. The food items needs to be similar – just like I do with the fat free versus low-fat cheese. The low-fat cheese I use has 2 g of fat and I am more likely to pick that as a snack versus a fat free cheese slice. Plus I can recognize the ingredients on low fat over fat free cheese. 


Canadian Bacon falls in this category for me too as it is a fat free luncheon meat. I also will use a Simply Filling item when it works the same – like I don’t mind cooking with fat free cheeses. Soy Cheese is Simply Filling so food for thought on this one.


Another example of similar or close to Simply Filling is I will “fry” my sweet potato wedges in my 2 tsp of healthy oil which is Simply Filling.  Having Sweet Potato Chips is NOT Simply Filling


2. I will ALWAYS substitute something that is more nutritionally sound if I can keep my portions in check. My focus is always on clean eating and foods I can recognize the ingredients on – limiting artificial things. This is one reason I will often use the real deal for products.


3. I have to be real with myself – am I losing weight with the tweaks I am making and/or am I making too many? If I find I am making too many tweaks or not losing weight, then, I count the points+ against my WPA or find a Simply Filling Substitute.

4. For packaged foods, I assess the ingredient list to determine is it really not Simply Filling or close. I read somewhere if it has more than 3 ingredients, then, count the points+ for the entire item/recipe. I try to follow that.

I am not really a fan at all of any of the Light Breads, but, I have found that I love the Oroweat Honey Wheat Thin Buns. I can totally enjoy sandwiches and burgers, like this Better Than a Big Mac knowing that it falls into the same category as a Light Bread – stats wise.


5. Last, but, not least, when I am put in challenging situation, I try to focus on “Simply Filling Like” foods. I actually did a post on this during The Husband’s birthday week to show how I apply that logic by making the most of our dining out.



The way that I figure out my recipes is to breakdown the ingredient list. You do not need to count any of the points+/WPA for foods that are Simply Filling. For all non-Simply Filling Foods, take the total of the ingredients and divide it by the total number of servings.

This Italian Wedding Soup is the perfect example


Here is what I did in this case:

  • 1/2 lb Jennie-O Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage = 9 points+
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs – although you could make your own with light bread to make it Simply Filling, I didn’t. = 3 points+
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan = 2 points+

Total for non-Simply Filling Foods = 14, divided by 6 servings = Simply Filling + 2 WPA per serving.

If there are more non-Simply Filling Foods than there are Simply Filling, I count the entire serving against my WPA (a good example is real deal pizza).

Did I mention Nonfat Lattes, Cappucino’s and Misto’s are 100% Simply Filling?! Open-mouthed smile


I personally feel that the Simply Filling Technique addresses all the things I LOVED and didn’t LOVE about CORE and made it the ideal plan.  As sad as I am avocados and olives are out, I completely understand why they are ~ for their “abuse” potential. I know if I didn’t measure them, I could eat a lot of avocado!

On the other hand, they took away the once a day restriction on a healthy carbohydrate and adding in reduced calorie breads.  For me, that made up for taking away AVOCADOS!

Here is a link where you can go to see how I have been working the Simply Filling Technique since July of this year.


I have created a Simply Filling Category for my Recipe page ~ eventually I will get everything flagged that is Simply Filling.


Does that help provide you all with some insight on how you can apply the Simply Filling Technique?  Anyone ready to jump in and try it now?

Please let me know if you have any additional questions and I will be more than happy to answer them if I know the answer.

Off to watch Date Night with The Husband for Date Night! Catch up with you all tomorrow!

Night all!

{ 122 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle January 1, 2014 at 8:58 am

Why is that SF/FF yogurt is a Simply Filling food but not SF/FF pudding? When the plan was “Core” just before Simply Filling, SF/FF pudding was part of the food list.


DanicasDaily January 2, 2014 at 12:33 pm

Hi Michelle,

I would count SF/FF pudding as Simply Filling – It may not necessarily be a Power Food but it is a Simply Filling Food.



Christina January 13, 2014 at 8:08 am

Today is my first day on simply filling. I was a total point counter until I read on the website about the simply filling technique. I can handle pretty much all the food on the list. And, super pysched about the nonfat latte’s and the weekly points allowance.

And you even get activity points …

Any suggestions or assistance during my learning curve would be great! :-)


Ivonne January 26, 2014 at 7:35 pm

New ww sf, first week depressing gain 1 pound not sure why. Any suggestion help greatly appreciated. Thank you


Liz February 5, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Hi – what do all of your abbreviations stand for? WPA, SS, SF… Thanks!


Megan February 21, 2014 at 6:36 am

Wpa- weekly points allowance
Sf- simply filling or sugar free depending on context
Ff- fat free


Sonya February 27, 2014 at 4:25 pm

How do I know what a low calorie bread is? I thought I had bought some at the store, it was 100% whole wheat, but when I look up the points, it comes to 2 per slice. Would the package say low fat/fat free?


MARIAH June 9, 2014 at 10:04 am

Look for breads that say “LIte”


Kathy July 20, 2014 at 4:56 am

I use Sara Lee Delighful Honey Wheat which is 1 point per slice.


Jade May 7, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Hi Danica, loving the site. Do you have the recipe for the pizza pictured above? I can’t find anywhere on your site. I have never made pizza in my life… but I so want to make that one… and haven’t a clue how to. Thanks !!


Debby June 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Hi Danica, love your website. I too did the core previously and had success. But have two questions. Do you think you could substitute a small amount of avocado for healthy fat? and where do you buy the fat free cheese that is pictured? It looks yummy!


Jeanette June 16, 2014 at 12:23 pm

Your blog is quite helpful. I just rejoined WW for the umteenth time and praying for success. Is there anyway to find out the point value of each SF meal without having access to e tools? I know it cost more, but I prefer to pay weekly rather than use my debit card. I’ve read that some members have cancelled their membership and were billed continuously and WW would not give them a refund. So my biggest challenge is “just exactly how many points are in each of the SF meals”.
Do you have any idea?


Karen July 24, 2014 at 4:40 am

I happened to find your page here on WW Core. Thank you! I have been on and off of WW for quite sometime. I did the points and found that I did lose weight on it but, life happens and had to quit several times to restart. Keeping up with points was impossible. Tried the Core and loved it! I did feel like the pink elephant though, the blank looks from those doing points and felt the moderator was more a points person. Went back for Simple Start and had a great start. Then again the points system won out over the Simple Start/Core at the meetings. I wanted to continue on the Core but felt the moderator again stumbled through this. I went back to my high protein low carb to just nothing at all. Gained back about 8 pounds due to life situations again and have become a stress eater and not watching what is going in my mouth. Going to try WW again and hopefully I can get through this and complete it for good!


Leah Gluck October 12, 2014 at 5:22 am

I was trying the old core plan to see if it would be something for me. Where do you find the sf plan besides going back to ww…? I am a total failure on points.. My old book only has core so I don’t know sf at all.Please help me to understand both plans..thanks


Diane October 18, 2014 at 6:51 am

Is Ezekiel bread considered a SF food? The flax loaf has no flour or sugar and is made up of whole grains.


kimberly November 18, 2014 at 7:19 am

I lost my weight and kept it off with the original points system; however, after they switched to points+ for some reason I couldn’t sustain it. I love that simply filling seems healthier; however, I’m confused on things like turkey burgers. In some places they appear to be simply filling and in other places they aren’t. How do I know the difference between simply filling meats and I need to count the points meats?


Pat January 6, 2015 at 8:39 am

Hi Danica! I am retired, WW lifetime member as of two years ago, and have gained weight because I fell off the plan, obviously! Want to go back on the program, attending first return meeting on Friday, but interested in the Simply Filling Technique. I have just read through your basic thoughts on the program, and hope I understand enough to get started myself before Friday. Is there a list posted somewhere of SF foods? I have my old Power Foods list, but you said not all PF are SFF. Thank you for your informative blog, I am going to follow you here and see what else I can pick up.


nancy January 30, 2015 at 7:20 am

I have been doing simple start for a year now.
My question is …
simple start gives 7 indulgence points PER DAY ONLY. NOT to be carried over or saved.

does simply filling allow you to use those 49 points a week whenever you want to, within that week? Such as saving up some of the weekly points for the weekend? (which simple start does not allow you to do)

Is that the difference between the two?

Please reply,
Nancy Cadle


Linda Lalley March 22, 2015 at 5:47 pm

I started Simply Filling today , ) & have done quite well. I was doing WWPP but have been under a lot of stress & calculating points seemed to be adding to that stress. So I decided after reading your blog to just take a break from the points plus & just breathe! I have been searching everywhere to see if we are allowed fat free vanilla coffee creamer or sugar free coffee creamer? Thank you for any input!


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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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