I Tried This Wellness Program for 30 Days and It Honestly Changed My Life

I thought WW was just for shedding pounds—but I found out it's about so much more than that.

What Is WW?

WW (formerly Weight Watchers) is a wellness-focused program aimed not just at helping members lose weight, but encouraging them to get active and live healthier lifestyles, too. Its signature points systems help you keep track of what you're eating and how much you're moving.

When you create a WW account and state your weight goals, you're assigned a number of SmartPoints per day. Everything you eat and drink is assigned a SmartPoints value, and your job is to stay within your daily SmartPoints budget—but if you go over, that's alright, because you're also allowed a number of "Weeklies" that help keep WW flexible for your lifestyle. And if you use fewer than your allowed daily SmartPoints? Up to four points roll over into your Weeklies for you to use them when you want, on what you want. WW also awards you a daily number of FitPoints, so you're encouraged to get up and get active to meet your fitness goals. You can even connect your fitness tracker (Fitbit or Apple Watch, anyone?) to the WW app to seamlessly track all of your movements, no extra effort required.

WW works because it encourages you to both track what you're eating, and eat healthier in general. Over 200 foods (mainly fruits, vegetables, and lean meats) are worth zero points, meaning they don't count towards your daily SmartPoints. Since they're healthier, WW rewards you for eating more of them. It trains you to live a healthier lifestyle all-around, as opposed to a restrictive crash diet that values quick weight loss over everything else. WW works because it's backed by behavior-change science, which means that by simply tracking your behavior, you're more likely to achieve your goals. With WW, the changes are gradual—users can expect to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week—but they're more geared toward long-term healthy habits that allow you to better sustain your weight loss.

I Tried It—Here Are My Honest Thoughts

I was a little nervous when I thought about trying WW—isn't it a program for moms that includes weekly public weigh-ins? Um, no thanks. But I quickly realized WW is for anyone who wants to prioritize their own wellness (and, no, you don't have to attend public meetings if you don't want to). I was surprised to find a supportive community and a program that was so focused on my overall well-being, from mind to body, all within an easy-to-use app.

Since graduating college, my life slowed down a lot. I work a stable 9 to 5 job, with no homework keeping me up at night, no meetings and classes to jet off to at all hours of the day and night...and no excuse for still eating cheap, quick meals like boxed macaroni and cheese or buttered pasta. Now that I have more time (and a little more cash), I decided to focus on myself. I wanted to learn how to properly nourish my body, cook healthy and tasty food, and sure, lose a few extra pounds, too. Enter WW.

I quickly learned how much fun (yes, fun) it can be to use WW. It almost feels like a game, like a competition with myself, on how I can best strategize my day's SmartPoints, on how to splurge on my Weeklies, and on how I can push myself to get active and meet my FitPoints goals. And if I'm feeling down on any particular day, I can just scroll through the feed of inspiring posts from the WW community. People use the digital WW Connect community to share personal wins, ask for support, and help lift each other up—it's one of the rare places where if someone else is winning, it inspires you to gain wins, too.

I also learned to be more mindful of what I'm putting in my body. Since the WW program is based on tracking, it forces you to be aware of everything you're consuming. I noticed that I had formed habits like snacking while watching Netflix and opening up a beer every night when I got home from work. Once I logged those treats and realized they made me run drastically over my budgeted SmartPoints (and that I didn't really need to be consuming them anyway!), I quickly eliminated them from my day. That's not to say that you can't ever treat yourself—I've now worked out a system where I eat within my SmartPoints every weekday, and then use up my Weeklies during the weekend as a fun, rewarding splurge.

I discovered that cooking meals full of healthy ingredients can be tasty and satisfying, too. I've been a pescatarian for over a year, but I never learned how to cook more than a couple of veggie-based entrées, certainly not enough to healthily sustain my lifestyle. Some of my proudest moments on WW haven't been weigh-ins, but rather have been the days I learned how to make one of my favorite meals, fish tacos, using almost all ZeroPoints ingredients, or how to make an amazing salad for lunch with a side of fruit. There are hundreds of free recipes on the WW app, with point values already assigned, so I now have wholesome, tasty meals at my fingertips night after night. It's so great knowing and loving everything I'm putting in my body.

But mostly, I learned that WW is about far more than losing weight. It's about helping you to become healthier overall—and yeah, some weight loss does tend to come with that. WW takes care of your body, but also your mind, thanks to its partnership with meditation/mental wellness app Headspace. WW encourages you to form goals that aren't solely tied to your weight—you could be aiming to run a marathon, or climb a flight of stairs without losing your breath, or play with your kids for longer. It's about slowly and surely forming good habits that will stick with you. It's about you, and your own personal wellness journey.