Weight Watchers core food list


I put that as the title because it’s currently the #1 search term on my site and I want this entry to start to build up better pagerank than [this one](http://www.momathome.com/viewfromhome/misc/weight_watchers_new_core_plan_3_weeks_and_not_counting.php). I quit working for Weight Watchers last week.

If you came here just looking for that list folks have been begging me for, then [go here](http://www.geocities.com/core_food/index.htm). There, I’ve done it. No one can fire me over giving the link. If you think just having a list of foods will help you lose weight, then enjoy. It’s a great program and I hope you’re successful following it on your own.

Updated 10/30/06: PLEASE NOTE: IF THE LINK IS DOWN, I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO CONTROL OVER IT. I DO NOT KNOW THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHO POSTED THAT INFORMATION, NOR HAVE I EVER COMMUNICATED WITH THEM. I have stated many times that I do not believe that simply eating from a list of foods is an effective way of losing weight. I only posted the link so people would stop asking me for it. If the link is down or has been removed, then I’m sorry. I know of no other resource for getting the list other than at your local Weight Watchers Center or website and I won’t be looking for one. Thanks for understanding.

Why did I quit? I’m looking at my [MasterList Pro file](http://www.safarisoftware.com) (more on that great application in another entry) and I currently have 14 projects going. Some are personal, related to the move in June or the kids or volunteer work. More than half are clients that are paying me far more than my Weight Watchers salary. There are just so many hours in a day, and Weight Watchers is as close as you can get to a volunteer job that pays. Let me explain something…Weight Watchers employees are all lifetime members. That is, Weight Watchers only hires people who have been successful on the program. That is good business sense. But Weight Watchers �sells� employment as a feel-good kind of thing. Do it to keep your weight down, do it to socialize and work in small 2.5 hour chunks. No one works for Weight Watchers in a meeting room for the money, unless it’s to pay for gas each week.

As a receptionist, you get paid a base rate for working a meeting, plus a cut of member fees and product along a scale that I could never quite figure out aside from the fact that it didn’t add up to much. Connecticut has a higher minimum wage than other states ($7.10 I think) and during slow months there were some meetings that my actual pay was so bad I was automatically bumped **up** to minimum wage rate. Come on, I’m nearly 40 years old. I haven’t worked for minimum wage since I was 17. Weight Watchers is **not** hurting. The stock is doing well and press has never been better. They just don’t invest a lot of their money in low/entry-level personnel that turn over the way theirs does. I could work in a grocery store for more money, and I wouldn’t have to be an armchair psychologist to do it. It takes some serious people skills to be able to handle the clerical work in a job where a calculator and a pencil are as high-tech as it gets, yet at the same time give each person standing in front of you loving and direct attention while they lay their emotions bare at your feet. Literally. It’s a big responsibility for a job where the last and definitely least reward is financial.

When you’re working on a project where your hourly rate works out to be close to triple digits, leaving to go earn about $7 per hour for 3 hours of your time (not including getting there and back) can get to be a bit of imposition on your life. I was beginning to resent the time I had to work for Weight Watchers, and that’s not good. That’s not good for me, that’s not good for the members and that’s not good for my co-workers that had to deal with me rushing to my cell phone every available minute (I tried to keep it on vibrate when I was actually dealing with people).

I’m still following the program. I certainly can’t afford to buy new clothes now so I have to keep my weight down. My version of Weight Watchers is to try and snack wisely, eat only when I’m really hungry and when given a choice, go for the core.



  1. Joyce Weight Watchers' leader says:

    I currently work for WW as a leader. I lead 14 meetings a week and it does help pay the bills, but only because I work my tail off and have built my meetings up. Leaders are paid a percentage of the total income of the meeting. So a larger meeting which generates more income will result in a larger paycheck for the leader.
    Free lifetime members do not generate any income unless they buy product . . . as well as a member who weighs at another meeting and then attends mine.

    So sometimes my efforts feel like an awful lot and the compensation too small.
    However, I do it because I enjoy it. No one else is offering me a job where I can stand in front of people, talk,laugh, motivate and entertain . . . and I LOVE doing that! I also have the flexibility of the short work hours to spend time with my daughter.

    Do I think that WW underpays it’s employees? You bet! I read recently that the CEO of WW, Linda Huett is one of the highest paid CEO’s in the country.

    But as someone already mentioned, I chose this job. In some ways, I see it as a vocation. I enjoy helping others (though often I feel I needed a psychology degree) but I also just enjoy the experience. It’s fun!

    For those considering working for the company. Weigh your reasons against the low pay – it might still be a job you’d love!

  2. Chris says:


    I just started on WW with my wife and I am a bit confused with the point system. Is there a point scale for men and one for women or are they considered the same. We are not going to meetings (my wife has in the past but we are just doing it from the info that she received. She also went on line and signed up for a 3 month stint so we could get some new ideas). There is nothing on the website that gives information on the scale for men and women…or at least we can not find it.

    I appreciate any help you can provide.

    Thank you,

  3. lori Johnston says:

    You are amazing! I wish you much success and good Karma for generously creating this beautiful website. You motivate others to get out and do good things. Have a great day.

  4. Wendy says:

    I am interested in the Weigfht Watchers plan. I have been on steriods and am weining down from 80mg to currently 30mg daily for nerve disorder. Have gained about 100 lbs over the past couple years. Need HELP in choosing a diet plan. Never had to diet before and am very confused. My activity level is limited due to my disease, CIDP. I dont like going to meetings and prefer to just buy the kit out right if possible. Or what is the Core plan? HELP.

  5. Donna Jean says:

    Hey, girl,
    I love your website. Thanks for the list. I currently attend WW and am a lifetimer. The truth about working for WW is the truth. I love it. I don’t work there, but was considering, as became disabled a few years ago, and need supplemental income. But the truth is the truth….I can do my shopping if I become a receptionist, but no other visable benefits, except it is a volunteer-like job.
    Thanks for being real!

  6. Jill says:

    Thank you so much! I have been going to WW for a number of years. Finally, I made lifetime. After gaining back most of my weight, I am back on the program. For a change I have tried the core plan. So far, I am really enjoying this plan. Being able to eat without measuring has been helpful. Your list of foods is wonderful! Thank you so much. I am hoping to get pregnant and this is the kind of plan I can follow during my entire pregnancy.
    Again, thank you for this list.

  7. donna says:

    Do you have the points plan list you can send me .I am a single mom and it is very hard to join . I do not have the extra money .It seems everyone keeps the points plan under wraps .If you could send it my way I would appreciate it

  8. Anonymous says:

    Since I’m an online member I’ll never qualify to be a leader unless I go join at a meeting before hitting goal. Goal is still 53 pounds away, so I’ve got a lot of time to think about this, sigh… However, it seems to me that being a WW leader is a lot like being a La Leche League leader which I did for years, totally unpaid. LLL leaders take phone calls in their homes at all hours of the day and night, visit people in hospitals, as well as lead regular meetings. They do it for no pay and no mileage. I guess if you looked at WW as a semi-volunteer postion and you could afford to do it, it would actually be a kind of fun thing to do. However, in fact it’s more akin to Pampered Chef, or Tupperware where you work really hard to promote business and still don’t make a fair share of the profits.

    If you look at it as primarily a service you’re providing because you believe in the plan and like supporting other people you probably can live with the financial unfairness (although I agree it’s still unfair). If you went into it because you really needed to generate extra income, then it certainly isn’t the best way for most people to do that.

    One of the reasons I’m doing online is because it seems to me that WW’s meetings are grossly overpriced. Now that I find out that they aren’t even paying their local staff all that well it seems even more overpriced. I haven’t even been impressed with WW’s food. I can get better tasting equivalents with Thomas’s, LC, etc. and I actually prefer smaller amounts of real stuff to larger amounts of WW stuff (like candy or ice cream bars).

    That said the plan itself is the best eating plan I’ve come across. I’ve lost 17 lbs so far relatively painlessly. So I’ll keep at it. I may continue on line indefinitely, or I may end up making my own spread sheet, buying the food guide, and by using my points calculator just go it alone.

    I just feel sorry for people who can’t even afford to do online or buy the WW at home kit. A lot of poor people really need the program, but currently it’s way out of reach for them. La Leche League wasn’t out of reach for anybody.

  9. Annoyed the First Week says:

    I started last week at WW… I decided to do the Core Plan, and half way through the week I have confused myself by looking at the dining out book. In one book, you can have salmon or any fish, but in the other book it does not have a check by most of the fish. Now, I don’t know if I am doing this right or not. So can you have fish as a free food or not!!!!

  10. Cari says:

    okay so i know how the points system works, and i’ve been on it for 4 weeks, i’m thinking now that the core plan may be better for me i just don’t know how the core plan works. can i get it explained to me please.

  11. Renee says:

    Hello there,

    Thank you for the awesome website. I am on the “core” plan and LOVE it. It took me a few weeks to get it down and also get my body use to not having as much sugar as it was use to. I think the core plan will help me maintain the weight loss when I reach “goal”. It changes the way you look at food.

    I have a quick question. Do you know where I can get the “Slow Good” slow cooker by weight watcher cookbook? I have been looking all over for it and when I find it it is REALLY expensive. Please email me at peachteach@gmail.com

    Thanks 🙂


  12. chrisie robinette says:

    maybe iam just dumb but i could not find the core list iam i missing something?

  13. Deb says:

    I work as a WW leader – have for five years – after losing 100 pounds on the program. No, I don’t get paid fairly for all the time I put in and sometimes I do get frustrated. However, Weight Watchers paid experts to develop the food plan, they develop the products and they have a patent. I do think they should pay the staff more, but I do not think their weekly fees are too high. If you want something cheap, go to another self-help group, such as TOPS. They do provide the group support, but at least when I was a member, they didn’t provide a food plan. By complaining that the weekly fee is too high, you are telling me that the hours I put into planning and leading a meeting isn’t worth much, and frankly, that really makes me angry. The members I help do appreciate the work that my receptionists and I do – if you don’t want to pay for that, fine, but don’t steal from Weight Watchers by getting the food plan elsewhere and then complain about the weekly fees. (And, it is stealing).

  14. Lvelek says:

    Hi. I clicked on the “go here” for the list that everyone’s been begging for. When will it be back up?


  15. Judi Sohn says:

    Lvelek, I have just edited the entry to address that issue. Short answer: I have no idea. I have nothing whatsoever to do with the person or persons who posted the list.

  16. Robin says:

    I am also looking for the Slow Good Cookbook. Do you know where I might find it? Thanks much!

  17. mom2emandpatch says:

    For a Core Food List try Google Searching Bootcamp Buddies. It’s a non-WW sponsored forum. Go to the WW Core Forum. In this forum go to the fourth “stickie” (at least it’s the 4th today) This is a FAQ site. The Core list is here.

  18. Mean Girl 2 says:

    Wow! I have been working for WW since May of this year and I can certainly understand why you no longer work there! All of the people that I have met at my location realize that this isn’t about a “career” and the money but about helping people and touching the lives of the people in your meeting room. So, I guess if you think you are going to get rich working there, you would be frustrated. Maybe I am lucky that I was assigned to the meeting that I used to attend as a member, because I really care about those people and want to see them succeed. I work a very demanding full time job, but never regret my decision to work at WW. As far as the cost, has anyone priced what it costs to join the other programs like Jenny Craig or LA Weight Loss, WW is a bargain. And with the Monthly Pass, you do have access to e-tools at a cheaper rate than paying as you go with WW – the cost works out to $9.22 a week! I guess for me, when I was a member, paying the weekly fees (which do give you all the information to work the program – you don’t need the extra products if you don’t choose to buy them) was worth it to me – to be healthy and live a better quality of life!!!

  19. Judi Sohn says:

    Get rich? Are you kidding me? I work for a nonprofit now for goodness sake!

    It’s not about the money. It’s about the fact that Weight Watchers employees are NOT volunteers working for a cause. They are employees who deserve to be fairly compensated for the skills they bring to the table. It’s about letting employees know that they appreciated and supported. It’s about the expectation that employees have to be arm chair psychologists and deal with issues that they are not adequately trained or supported to do. I’m happy that you love your job. I loved mine, too. But at the end of the day I have responsibilities and I no longer felt the obligation to volunteer for a company that was making money hand over fist on my back.

  20. Heather says:

    I just had a quick question…I just purchased the 2007 WW program…my question is, when looking through the journal…it looks like that you are allowed up to 46 points now! How many points are allowed if you weigh 300 pounds?

  21. Lori Diaz says:

    I have an old WW book and it’s from 2004. I was reading the above posts and it appears that the points have changed. I want to do the program from home with a friend since I’ve gone before and try it that way. Do you know how many points are allowed for 189 lbs is it it still 24? I have my point calculator and my exercise slider. Please advise if you still know. I appreciate your help.

  22. Brenda says:

    Yes between 22 and 27 pts for 175 to 199 pounds 🙂

    Tell me where to get the CORE information?

  23. Paula Banks says:

    Hi Judy,

    I found your great site about core foods. I have a questiond. Regarding the cereal/breads, you state you must limit them to one meal daily. Does that mean I can have cereal for breakfast and a slice of whole grain bread or a potato at another meal? Or one starch, including cereal, for the entire day? Thank you.

  24. Marie says:


    I bought the book which lists the point values for all the recipes but the book does me no good unless I know how many points Im allowed to have per day! Im really disappointed because it says its the “complete system” and the flex points sounds great but it doesn’t tell you how to figure out how many points you can have. Does anyone have this info or am I missing something?

  25. Janice Hawfitch says:

    Hi, I tried to download the LIST just now and it said the the page was not available.

  26. Veronica says:

    Interesting that you optimized this page for the search term “weight watchers core food list” and yet have no interest in actually providing anything but a link to the list. BTW, you are infringing on the Weight Watchers trademark by using their name in the URL of your page.

  27. Judi Sohn says:

    Are you kidding me, Veronica? Thank you for giving me my laugh of the day.

    First of all, THIS IS A BLOG. I have never claimed it was a Weight Watchers site. It’s just a blog. I post here on a lot of topics, and I haven’t written about Weight Watchers in years. I wrote this entry 2.5 years ago.

    I have not optimized the page for the search term. It just worked out that way because my blog has decent page rank. Used to be 5, but oh well. If you found this page via Google, it wasn’t because I gamed the system.

    And please, before you accuse me again of something that is that ridiculous, research the difference between a URL and a domain name. Yes, the words “Weight Watchers” are in the URL because that is the title of this BLOG post. That’s how blogs work. Look it up.

    Weight Watchers would have legal issue with me had I A) used “Weight Watchers” as a domain name (the part between the “www.” and the “.com” or B) actually provided the information that folks are asking for, ironically.

    Once again, everyone. This is NOT a Weight Watchers-focused site. I never pretended it was a Weight Watchers-focused site. I never optimized it to be a Weight Watchers-focused site. YOU ARE LOOKING AT A BLOG ENTRY.

    2.5 years ago I found a link on another site. I posted it as part of a BLOG entry. I am under no responsibility or obligation to maintain that link, or to provide the information that was once contained in that link. If the link is now dead, I am sorry. I will not fix it. I will not try and fix it.

    I kept the comments open here since folks seem to enjoy posting to each other, and it does me no harm as long as no one tries to post the core food list here themselves. Keep commenting if you like, but don’t expect for me to change my mind and provide the core list here.

    Thank you for understanding.

  28. Karrie says:

    Does anyone know what a leader is paid?

    I did read where receptionist get miniumum wage. I am seriously thinking about looking into being a leader but I need to know if it’s financially feasible for me.

    Any input would be appreciated.

  29. Not a WW fan says:

    I tried WW and found a lot of people (mostly women) with serious psych problems – eating disorders and personality disorders abounded. While I’m all for self-help groups, you really need to be able to identify or feel you fit in for those to work. I was not able to relate to the feelings or thoughts of the individual who were attending these meetings.

    Is there any sort of similar weight loss program for people who genuinely don’t have an eating disorder, but a metabolic problem that makes weight loss and healthy weight maintenance difficult? I was too thin most of my life and now have a problem due to internal injuries from an auto-accident.

  30. Lisa says:

    I’ve been trying the online WW program and like it, but I know that e-tools is very similar and costs a little less. Is it possible to buy a single monthly pass to get the e-tools access code, and then continue to pay the $12.95 monthly fee for JUST e-tools? (I’m not really interested in going to meetings). Or do you need to continue getting the monthly pass to keep e-tools active? I’m just trying to save a little money, if possible.

    Thank you!

  31. Kayla says:


    I found your website very interesting… I was thinking about becoming a WW employee.. could you please contact me with more information regarding pay, benefits etc? I would greatyl appreciate it.

    Thank you,


  32. Angel says:

    I don’t like WW at ALL. This diet caused my mom to develop an eating disorder. She was encouraged by her “leader” to follow her plan wayyy beneath her allowed flex points. In return she lost 100lbs within 8 months. It is scary to see a loved one turn into a bag of bones.

    This “leader” encouraged my mom to follow a plan similar to this:

    Breakfast : Coffee

    Lunch: Granola bar

    Snack: low -fat yogurt

    Dinner: 1/2 boiled chicken breast 1 cup spinich and broccoli

    Evening snack: 1 graham cracker

    Someone please tell me, how healthy is this? It’s not. It’s called starvation and alot of weight watchers leaders encourage this way of eating to drop that weight.

    My mom dropped the weight, then suddenly began to gain because her body turned on her. It woke up out of starvation mode when she went to maitainance. Now that she has put 20 lbs back on, she’s BACK on the flex plan and off the maitainance and on top of this has become an over exerciser in order to keep the weight off.

    WW has a grand plan to keep people coming back and paying out more. They put you in starvation mode, you drop the weight, you get on maitanance, you start to gain because the body comes out of starvation mode and holds on to everything you eat, then you are forced to return to the flex plan and pay more and more and more.

    It’s disgusting and I’m hurt to watch my mother go through this hell. And they keep telling her that she can’t do this alone, and that she will fail if she doesn’t come to the meetings. They keep driving it into her head that meetings make weight loss more successful, when actually meetings are just a money maker.

    I honest plan to start a website in order to spread the truth about how WW actually works.

    They need to be exposed for what they do to people like my mom.

  33. Susan Kenny says:

    Well, I was a receptionist for weight watchers for one year. I finally quit because the pay is below minimum wage in many cases. After giving many hours of my time and being a dedicated and loyal employee I was treated very badly. I want to continue the program but as far as working for the company it is the WORST job I have ever had. They want you to travel without gas reimburisment, attend training meetings, “extend the service vision”, that is, be empathetic to members and provide them with whatever they need, clean the centers, stay extra hours without being paid, etc. I was treated so badly at the end, my head is still spinning. DON’T WORK THERE!!!!

  34. Tina says:

    Wow! I stumbled onto this site while researching WW meeting ideas from other leaders. I have been a lifetime member of WW for 25 years and an employee for about six months. The comments here about it not paying a lot are fairly accurate but not comprehensive. A lot of WW locations are franchises and not owned by WW International. They each set their own rules regarding reimbursement for mileage etc. So far, I have found our owners to be reasonable. The comments about leaders encouraging their members to eat below their points target is frightening! I don’t know ANY leader that would suggest that and any that do should be reported and fired. It is certainly not my goal to keep members hooked so they’ll keep paying. I LOVE seeing my lifetime members that are at goal and pay NOTHING to attend meetings! WW works because it’s a lifestyle and NOT a diet. Yes, it’s a business and you can’t blame the company for wanting to protect the plan they’ve worked so hard to develop. I guess I’ll get off my soap box now. WW works. If you weigh the cost of the program against the benefits, you’ll discover it’s quite a bargain.

  35. Angel says:

    You sound like a total downer.

  36. Jocelyn says:

    hi my name is jocelyn and i have done weight watchers by using one of my friends books at work and it worked… just that, i kind of stopped doing it cause she asked for the book back… and i think that it is called the core plan.. its that book that tells you everything about what foods are what points and so on and so forth… i was wondering if there was any way to get that book and if so where can i get it for a cheap price because frankly i would love to get back into doing the weight watchers again… i am a 20 year old mom of one… and i went from 165 to 207 (ending weight at the end of my pregnancy before i had my son) then right after i had him i went to 185 and stayed there for almost a year then i did the weight watchers and lost 10 pounds in like a month… now i am back up to 185 trying to work out and lose the weight again and it just doesnt seem to be working… i just want to get the body back that i had when i was 16 cause i really miss my boyfriend looking at me the way he used to lol.. so is there any way you can help me by either sending me a majority of the foods in an email or something cause i am in dire need of losing some weight and i do not want to starve myself anymore!! thank you


  37. I joined weight watchers on line and cannot get into how to keep up with weight, recipe or anything. I paid for three months and so far I haven’t gotten anything for my money. Tell me how to get into it.

  38. Jessica says:

    Thank you for the honest information. I am a student and a lifetime member. I was considering becoming a leader, but I noticed that the pay information was nowhere to be found. I did not assume it was much, but it is helpful to know how much. It would not be worth my time, because you can get paid 3x as much for doing other product demonstrations for the same chunks of time. I appreciate the enlightenment so I can continue moving on. It is a great program though! It is disappointing they do not believe in investing more in their leaders!
    Thanks and best of wishes to you!!

  39. Sue says:

    I just spoke with my insurance man yesterday. I am holding off on life insurance because of my weight. I used to belong to weight watchers- and may do it on line this time. ( Projected start May 1) . The biggest problem is budgetary. Not in the price of the program but in the price of the food- and I am talking about the cost of home cooking not prepackaged. Right now , I can buy everything for $52.00 for 2 weeks . But its not Weight Watchers- I have several of the sook books and wish that they were set up more like Robin Tyler or Sandra Lee from Food Network- Make this A meal and using the same ingredients get totally different B,C, and D. I am a single and something serving 6 is dooming me to the same stuff or buying food for food for weeks – the avg. supermarket does not sell 1 chix breast. I have a tiny little freezer on top of my refrigerator. I don’t drive so prefer to shop 1 market in a 2 week period. So how do I do this without going above $55.00 per pay period? Usually it doubles my food costs and with my electricity going up 300-400% this last year ( everyone’s here has) – that’s not an option.

  40. Felice says:

    Sue, WW does have a cookbook intended to make planned leftovers. For the life of me, I can’t think of the name of it off hand, but it is fairly new and geared toward the newest Momentum plan.

    By the way, I JUST was hired for WW to start as a receptionist and on to be a leader after training, etc. I found this blog while looking for info on working for WW, so I was happy to find it. Keep in mind, this is only a part time job for me, as I don’t currently work (I have 3 daughters I have been lucky enough to stay home with.) So that being said, I know the money isn’t great, but I am really excited to give it a try and form my opinions. I will let you know how it works out!

  41. blah says:

    you need to stop misleading people by having “weight watchers core food list” as the title to your blog.

    1. Judi Sohn says:

      And you need to learn how to read. Thank you for reminding me that it’s time to close comments on THIS 5 YEAR OLD ENTRY ON MY PERSONAL BLOG.

      For everyone else who may see this and doesn’t want to pay Weight Watchers: I do not have the core foods list here. I never had the core foods list here. I do not know who does. I never knew who did. I found a link that worked. I published it 5 years ago. Now it doesn’t work. Sorry.

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