Foods That Are 'Free' Points On Weight Watchers

If you want to lose weight without the deprivation or hunger pains, we have good news. Diet plan giant Weight Watchers, now rebranded as WW, offers an extensive ZeroPoint foods list. The list features guilt-free foods packed with fiber, protein, and unsaturated fats and low in sugar for low carb, nutrient-dense meal planning and snacking. You can even find plenty of foods to satisfy your sweet tooth on this list of foods that are "free" points on Weight Watchers.

Here's a quick rundown of how points work for those unfamiliar with the Weight Watchers programs. WW assesses foods according to calories, nutrient density, and other elements. This helps the company develop algorithms to guide clients toward healthy eating habits through better food choices. Each food item is worth a specific number of points, and the algorithm helps each client formulate a personal diet plan. The goal is to help individuals lose weight in healthy and sustainable ways using a daily PersonalPoints allotment.

The new ZeroPoint list replaces the previous SmartPoints system. According to Cooking Light, the new system encourages people to fill their plates with more of the 200 "free" foods on the zero-point list. You don't have to be a WW client to use the free foods list — even non-members can benefit from eating more of these healthy whole foods.

'Free' point foods for healthy eating habits

So, what foods does WW consider free? A surprising variety of foods once assigned multiple points lands on the new list. Weight Watchers allows zero-point foods according to customized plans, so you have to join to see if some options apply to you. Generally speaking, all fresh and frozen fruits are free, along with most vegetables. The list even includes animal proteins, like skinless chicken and turkey breasts, salmon, and lobster (per Cooking Light).

As Healthline notes, WW provides additional education for people with type 2 diabetes. The goal is to help them eat healthier and enjoy some of the "free" foods on the list that are less likely to affect blood sugar levels.

However, just because foods equate to "free" points doesn't mean you can overindulge and expect to reach your health goals. All foods contain calories, including zero-point foods (per Houston Methodist Leading Medicine). However, zero-point foods are higher in nutritional value and lower in empty calories than other foods, like junk food, candy, and alcohol. WW recommends eating the usual amount of your favorite "free" foods and adding larger portions if necessary. You can use the zero-point list to add flavor boosters like salsa, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, soy sauce, citrus juice, mustard and more to old favorites (via Livestrong).