After years of utilizing the Weight Watchers program to help stay within my weight goals, I have tons of great Weight Watchers Meal Planning Tips to share. The ones in this post are focused mostly on following the current FreeStyle Program parameters. That said, many of them will also work no matter what Weight Watchers program you are following.
Weight Watchers Meal Planning Tips
Prepare your fruits and vegetables for the week at one time
One of the best things I have found to keep myself on track, day to day, is to prepare my fruits and vegetables all at once. If I do my grocery shopping on Saturday, I come home and immediately prepare these items. I will dice, slice, chop, and prepare all vegetables and fruits for snacks, and recipes. Prepare smoothie bags for the freezer, or just peel and slice fruits when applicable.
You can use airtight storage containers in your refrigerator for storing until ready to eat, or you can use a baggie if preferred. When you are ready cook or just grab a snack, they are ready. I don't fall into the trap of grabbing something unhealthy since it is already ready to grab.
Always have a zero point soup on hand
One of the best tips I have used consistently is to keep a low or zero point soup on hand for easy meals when I just don't feel like cooking. They are also especially helpful when I have gone out to eat, or binged on higher point foods throughout the day. A zero point soup is a great filling recipe that can keep me on track while not feeling deprived. Our Slow Cooker Vegetable Soup isn't zero points, but low points (only count potatoes) and delicious. Plus it is super easy and freezes well!
Build your meals on a base of zero point foods
On the Weight Watchers FreeStyle plan, there is a list of over 200 foods that are zero points. This list includes all fruits and vegetables with the exception of potatoes, avocado, and coconut. It's also a list that includes lean proteins like chicken breasts, turkey breasts, beans, lentils, eggs, and nonfat plain yogurt. With so many options that are low in points (and usually low in calories), you can easily build meals that are point friendly while also being delicious.
I recommend making zero point foods a base of your meals. Using things like a side of vegetables and a lean protein for zero points, you can add flavor and variety with a small portion of a starch and some healthy fat. It is easy to prepare a healthy and flavorful meal that is low in points and ultimately lower in calories without sacrificing flavor when you do this.
Continue measuring foods regardless of how long you've been on the program
One of the biggest struggles I see is that people forget that they still need to measure things. You can eyeball portions and be really inaccurate. Even if you've been doing it for a long time, still grab that measuring spoon, a digital scale, and measure your portions to ensure you are eating the points you are counting.
These tips are ideal for meal planning for your family. They aren't anything spectacular or life-changing, but simple reminders of how to keep your menu in line with the core value of Weight Watchers. That is to help you learn a healthier lifestyle that doesn't deprive you of any one thing but focuses on helping you learn how to fuel your body.