Trying to lose weight or regain your bounce for the beach?

There’s nothing like the prospect of peeling off winter clothes to spur most of us into action to lose weight.

‘The thought of looking slimmer for holiday or being able to wear more revealing clothes is a big incentive for many people – and WW Freestyle™ can not only help you to do that but also to banish unwanted pounds for good,’ says Julia Westgarth, Head of Programme at WW, the new Weight Watchers.

Not only can the pioneering Freestyle weight-loss programme enable you to shed a stone in time for your summer holidays – but it will also naturally guide you towards enjoying a happier and healthier lifestyle once summer is long gone.

And, as WW Freestyle is based around delicious foods that are abundant in summer – such as fruit and vegetables, seafood and lean meats that are perfect for barbecues and picnics – there has never been a better time to overhaul your lifestyle whether you’re embarking on a summer weight-loss campaign or looking to revitalise flagging fitness resolutions.

Not only can the pioneering Freestyle weight-loss programme enable you to shed a stone in time for your summer holidays – but it will also naturally guide you towards enjoying a happier and healthier lifestyle once summer is long gone

‘We don’t ask you to make radical changes on Freestyle – but we do suggest how you can adapt your eating habits to achieve your weight-loss goals,’ says Julia. ‘It’s realistic, healthy and you definitely won’t feel deprived.

‘The programme is also very flexible so you can still go for a summer evening drink in the pub garden or have friends over for a barbecue – you don’t need to make huge changes to your lifestyle to ensure you enjoy yourself and stay on track.’

WW Freestyle gives you more freedom and flexibility than ever before, and is proven to help you lose weight and feel confident. With WW, nothing is off the menu so you can still enjoy the foods you love.

If you follow the programme, you will steadily lose weight – between ½lb and 2lb a week is a healthy and realistic goal – meaning that if you start now, you could be a whole stone lighter by the time the summer holiday season comes around.

WW Freestyle gives you more freedom and flexibility than ever before, and is proven to help you lose weight and feel confident. With WW, nothing is off the menu so you can still enjoy the foods you love

WW Freestyle gives you more freedom and flexibility than ever before, and is proven to help you lose weight and feel confident. With WW, nothing is off the menu so you can still enjoy the foods you love

‘More importantly, with WW Freestyle you’ll discover a new healthy way of life that means your extra weight will be a thing of the past once summer has gone,’ Julia adds.

This is because Freestyle naturally encourages you to eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, lean protein and wholegrains – foods that have been scientifically shown to help guard against a range of serious conditions including heart disease, stroke and cancer. These foods will also help keep your energy levels constant throughout the day and food cravings at bay.


The success of Freestyle is based on a unique combination of three key elements: a SmartPoints® system for food, FitPoints® for exercise and a mindset package that enables you to harness the latest developments in science-backed behaviour-change techniques to identify goals and achieve them.

WW members also have access to group workshops, a members-only online community for support, and a WW app that helps you to track meals and activity, and offers hundreds of recipes and tools to help you with activity and mindfulness.

Crucially, Freestyle has been scientifically shown to work. In a clinical trial assessing WW Freestyle at the University of North Carolina over six months, participants lost an average of 7.9 per cent of their total body weight, 93.6 per cent felt healthier, and there were significant reductions in food cravings and hunger. Vitally, almost all participants were satisfied with what they’d achieved with the programme.

The SmartPoints system allows total eating flexibility, enabling you to eat less one day and more the next, so you can easily fit it into your lifestyle. The system is designed to reward healthy choices – and more than 200 foods have been awarded a ZeroPoint rating, so you can consume them in portion sizes that suit you without weighing or measuring.

How WW freestyle works 

In the WW Freestyle programme, every food and drink has a designated SmartPoints value – one easy-to-use number calculated according to three key components:

■ Calories establish the baseline for how many SmartPoints the food is worth.

■ Saturated fat and sugar increase the SmartPoints value because too much of them is not good for your health.

■ Protein lowers the SmartPoints value (the more protein in any food, the lower its SmartPoints value) as protein builds and repairs tissue and helps you feel fuller for longer.

It couldn’t be easier

Any food or meal that is high in lean protein and fibre (a tuna sandwich without mayo on wholemeal bread, for instance) will be lower in SmartPoints than a low-protein food that is high in sugar or saturated fat (such as cake). As a general guide, don’t exceed a total of 23 SmartPoints a day, and you will lose weight (a healthy rate of weight loss is ½-2lb per week).

Calculating your SmartPoints budget

When you join WW (formerly Weight Watchers), you get a personalised SmartPoints Budget. This is calculated according to your age, height, weight and gender to ensure optimum health and a steady weight loss of ½-2lb per week. You’ll also get an extra weekly SmartPoints allowance to use on treats, bigger portions (when you’re really hungry) and nights out. Up to 4 unused SmartPoints from your Daily Budget will automatically roll over into your Weekly Budget. As long as you don’t go over your total in any seven-day period, you can dip into your weeklies at any time.

In addition, you can super-boost your own SmartPoints Budget by earning FitPoints for any activity you do (see below).

One of the fantastic things about WW Freestyle is the flexibility to eat out with family and friends. While you may have to leave a few decisions up to the chef, you can still choose food that supports your get-healthy goals, works with your SmartPoints Budget, and delights your tastebuds!

Fitness should be fun

At WW, we believe all activity is good activity. The most important thing is that you find something you enjoy doing; after all, that’s the secret of sticking with it! Based on the latest science, FitPoints 2.0 is a personalised measurement of your activity, based on your height, weight, age and gender, and it encourages you to make exercise choices based on what will have the greatest health pay-offs.

The most common reason people give for not engaging in physical activity is lack of time. FitPoints 2.0 helps you make the most of the time you do have. As you can see from the table below, strength and high-intensity activities earn more FitPoints.

Fitpoints Earned*

Walking for 30 mins 2

Circuit training for 30 mins 5

Running for 30 mins 9

* Based on a 55-year-old woman, 5ft 5in tall and weighing 14st 7lb. Estimate only – the precise amount of FitPoints earned will vary from member to member. 



As lean proteins, almost all fruit and vegetables and pulses are included on the ZeroPoint list; this also means that many of the best delicacies that most of us associate with summer – such as prawns, asparagus, strawberries, salmon or raspberries – feature heavily in the tempting Freestyle recipes being published in Weekend today, the Mail on Sunday tomorrow and in the Daily Mail next week.

Extra points, called FitPoints, can be earned through doing physical activities you love, and if you don’t have an active lifestyle, one of WW’s Coaches will offer suggestions they think you’ll enjoy. Anything that gets you moving will do great things for your health, mood and wellbeing.

Food and fitness are both firmly underpinned by Freestyle’s mindset techniques, which use leading science-backed strategies to help you shift to a positive frame of mind.

These powerful behaviour-change tools can help you to identify your goals and maintain your motivation more successfully.

You’ll also learn techniques to promote a positive outlook on your aims and your achievements


Happier people make healthier choices – and that’s a scientific fact. This is why the pioneering WW Freestyle programme is firmly rooted in helping you to adopt a more positive, contented outlook on life, which in turn makes it easier to achieve your health, fitness and personal goals.

‘The way you think drives the way you behave. This is crucial to anyone embarking on a programme of positive change,’ explains Julia Westgarth, Head of Programme at WW.

It explains why mindset is one of the three key elements of Freestyle, along with healthy eating and fitness. Anchored in the science of behaviour change, Freestyle uses proven strategies to keep you motivated to achieve long-lasting results – whether your goals are losing weight to look good on the beach or getting fit for a specific challenge.

Tapping into the mindset element of the Freestyle programme has great benefits for those trying to lose weight because of its range of techniques for dealing with stress, low self-image and patterns of negative thinking, which can lead to comfort eating.

Feeling positive about yourself and your goals for the future is key to success, says Julia.

‘People who enjoy the process of achieving a goal are much more likely to stick with it in the long run.’

One key way to keep up momentum is to get support from fellow members using the WW Connect social platform to join in discussions and share experiences. ‘Many of our members find this private social platform to be a very powerful source of on-going inspiration, along with following other members’ food and health tips on Instagram,’ says Julia.

Another important tool is to plan carefully for the week ahead. This way you’re much more likely to get to your exercise classes, schedule some ‘me’ time and stay on track with your healthy eating plans by cooking and shopping ahead.

Planning your meals in advance is particularly useful and helps to prevent ‘decision fatigue’ that can see you making poor decisions later in the day – like reaching for the biscuit tin or succumbing to fast-food snacking on the way home from work – after an otherwise successful day on your WW plan.

What you’ll get as a WW member 

WW app With the 4.8-star rated app you can scan barcodes for quick tracking, get help with meditation, access audio workouts and track your wellness journey.

WW Workshops Benefit from face-to-face weight-loss support at a workshop from an expert WW Coach.

Recipes Access thousands of quick and easy recipes using simple, nutritious ingredients, with their SmartPoints already calculated for you.

Online Coach Chat to an expert Online Coach for guidance and advice when you need it, 24/7.

Connect Social community support full of inspiration from fellow WW members. Visit to join.

Scientists believe this is because reserves of mental stamina become depleted as the day wears on, leaving us prone to making rash, short-term choices, particularly if our blood glucose levels are low.

All the more reason to plan your WW meals and snacks in advance – pack them first thing in the morning before you head out to prevent moments of weakness later on.

Adopting a positive attitude towards food is also key to success: research shows that regimens that leave you feeling punished or deprived are impractical and miserable for most people. Studies also show these diets rarely work because the pressure of cutting out key food groups or ‘treats’ becomes too much for most people in the long term. Research suggests that the best long-term results come instead from gentle, positive encouragement and a sense of enjoyment.

At WW, the philosophy is that food is a pleasure to be enjoyed, with nothing specifically forbidden. With this in mind, our recipe section today focuses on mouthwatering recipes that will be good for your waistline and health. Try them and see for yourself!