If you’re on Weight Watchers, congratulations — they just gave you an excuse to eat a lot more. But only of the foods they like. The brand has added over 200 foods to their “zero points” list, a catalog of foods Weight Watchers deems righteous enough not to track.
The new list includes foods that are deemed “healthy” by Weight Watchers, including lean meat, beans, eggs, yogurt, and tofu. Under the new program, called “WW Freestyle,” dieters can eat as much as they want of these foods but must still impose limitations — which have become even more restrictive under the new guidelines — on “unhealthy” foods such as bread and cheese.
The giant corporation is branding the new program as being “flexible” and “easy” to follow. In real time, the program simply restricts desserts, carbohydrates, and fats even further while encouraging limitless consumption of proteins and fiber.
“When I first heard about it, I thought it was too good to be true,” Weight Watchers quoted their go-to spokeswoman, Oprah Winfrey, in a press release. “The fish, beans, and corn in my favorite tacos are now zero Points!”
Weight Watchers has been on a fast-track to rebranding ever since body positivity became cool. Since, its sales have been plummeting and (according to a report by The New York Times) the company has been struggling to convince the public that it only cares about health — not size. However, as its name makes abundantly clear, Weight Watchers’ inherent mission is to promote weight loss and shrink its members’ bodies. Because of this, the rebranding effort has run into more than a few hiccups.
True advocates of food freedom and intuitive eating (like the ones Weight Watchers is trying to emulate) have been advocating for an “all foods fit” model for years, criticizing brands like Weight Watchers for encouraging restrictive eating and worsening weight stigma. Those who preach intuitive and mindful eating have been openly denouncing Weight Watchers for some time, expressing disappointment with Oprah’s endorsement of the program.
Oprah herself has struggled to keep off weight, like many Weight Watchers clients, resulting in weight cycling — the process of weight loss and regain that has been correlated with long-term health problems often associated with obesity.
As pleasant as it may sound, Weight Watchers’ new initiative is nothing radical or freeing — there are still hundreds of foods on the naughty list. For more things you never knew about Weight Watchers, click here.