A lot of people have expressed dissatisfaction with the new Weight Watcher’s Points Plus system and requested information about their original plan. They say they lost tons of weight using the old plan and just can’t seem to lose weight using Points Plus. So, by popular demand, we present to you a revised Original Weight Watcher's Diet Plan. It’s revised because it's been passed through several hands but it is basically true to form and should be very effective in helping you shed pounds quickly. Most people who successfully lose weight say dieting is most effective if you have a support system (even if it’s just one person) and that it’s imperative that you carefully record the food you eat. We can help you with the support system: follow along and comment at will on some of our personal endeavors to shed a few pounds.  Also, we've found a really great, printable Food Tracker for you so you can get started without having to dig one up for yourself.  If you're ready to switch things up a bit and jump start your weight loss, check out the Cupcake Time Diet. If you use it first and then move into this diet plan, you'll watch the weight come off even faster!

Breakfast: 1 egg or 1 ounce hard cheese or 2 ounces fish or 1/4 cup cottage or pot cheese
                  1 slice bread, No rolls, bagels, biscuits muffins, crackers, cereals, or special breads were allowed.

Lunch:       4 oz. fish or lean meat or poultry, or 2/3 c cottage cheese or 2 oz hard cheese or 2 eggs.
                  All you want of unlimited vegetables (any not listed on the restricted list below)
                  1 slice bread

Dinner:      6 ounces lean meat or fish or poultry
                  1 portion restricted vegetables (see list below)
                  All you want of unlimited vegetables

Required Snacks: A total of three fruits, one of them an orange or grapefruit
2 cups skim milk

Still Hungry?  Eat unlimited amounts of bullion broth, vegetables not on list, calorie-free bevereges.

Permitted Fruits
1 apple
1/2 cantaloupe
1/2 grapefruit
2" wedge of honeydew
1 orange
1/4 medium-sized pineapple
(One kind reader provided additional information regarding fruits, the following is a list of fruits you may also use. Thanks, Carol!)
1 cup of strawberries
1/2 cup raspberries or blueberries
1 peach or nectarine
2 apricots
1 plum

Forbidden Fruits
Dried Fruits

Restricted Vegetables
Bamboo shoots
Brussels sprouts
Green beans
Squash (yellow)
Tomato juice

Fish was to be eaten at least five times per week, liver at least once a week, and beef, lamb, and dark meat turkey no more than three times per week.

In a Nutshell, the Diet consisted of:

Protein 4 (70 calories each)
Milk 2(90 cal. each)
Bread 4(80 cal each)
Fat 2(40 cal each)
Veggies 3 (unlimited if non starchy)
Fruit 2 (60 cal each)

You also had the option of choosing 7 floaters (weekly) from any of the food groups as well as 750 optional calories.

Feel free to comment if you have more information regarding this diet, can offer a personal comparison of the two, or any questions. And feel free to follow the diets with us along the way; what have you got to lose?



Diane Tregoning
07/03/2013 3:53am

Oh, what joy to find the original diet plan AND the food tracker. This is the version that worked for me. I hate the points plan - too complex.

Weight Weight Don't Tell Me
07/03/2013 6:11am

Glad to be able to meet your needs! Best wishes to you on your weight loss.

08/25/2014 1:22pm

Wait a minute! You forgot to mention that the portion for limited vegetables was a half cup. Also, in the 1960's, there were no floating choices, or 750 extra calories. That came much later. Fish 5 times a week. 12 oz. of tomato juice a day was free. No fat of any kind. Liver was required once a week, although I never knew anyone who had it.

Carol Frilegh
07/08/2013 4:54am

Incorrect. The allowed fruits listed here actually are only the Vitamin C fruit required. Other fruits are allowed like strawberries, blueberries and others. French stye green beans are unlimited.

Weight Weight Don't Tell Me
07/08/2013 5:57pm

Thanks so much for the clarification, Carol! Are the allowed berries allowed in unlimited amounts, too? I'd never heard about the french style green beans - do you know why they're unlimited but normal green beans aren't?

Carol Frilegh
07/08/2013 6:23pm

Other fruit choices,1 cup of strawberries, 1/2 cup raspberries or blueberries, 1 peach or nectarine, 2 apricots, plum, and I cannot remember what else. The French cut beans have the seeds falling out . Cauliflower was unlimited .so were kale and spinach and celery, radishes, lettuce, cabbage , mushrooms ( we "dry baked" them into :peanuts"
We made jello from diet pop and whipped skim milk in to make a mousse, put it back in the fridge to set. I am so sorry I gave my book away form the mid 1960's last year.

06/16/2014 11:04am

French style green beans were unlimited because they had immature beans in them. They are also sliced lengthwise.

12/11/2013 7:03pm

Why does the daily menus differ from the exchange list in a nutshell..daily menus have two breads and 9 oz protein and three fruits ..exchange list in a nutshell has 5 breads four oz of protein and two fruits and two fats. Confuu

08/08/2014 8:20pm

There was a difference in menus depending on gender and youth. If I recall, women were allowed less bread and fruit than were men and children. You may be looking at the women's chart and comparing that to the men's program.

JoAnna Mastersw
01/09/2014 6:43am

I have done both the original and the point system diets. They both work very well however I am more partial to the original because it promotes more healthy eating habits. The point system allows for too much junk food. You can eat a huge piece of fudge cake a day as long as you count the points which means there's less points for sfoods that have good nutritional value.

Forward Motion 411
01/09/2014 6:21pm

I agree with you completely, JoAnna. The points system gives people freedom but that freedom means they may never understand the importance of getting calories that provide minerals and vitamins. (Me, I ate all sorts of treats at first and weight loss was slow and I was always hungry. Once I gave up on that and started eating better food, I lost weight more quickly but I don't really think I needed to lose all of the time in the learning curve.) Also, current research is showing that having 1 sweet per day with breakfast correlates with higher weight loss over time and that weight stays off better. So don't feel like you have to completely deprive yourself of sweets.

01/28/2014 1:14pm

As I recall, in the 70s, prior to their point and/or exchange system, the list of restricted veggies included starchy ones, such as peas, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, all legumes, yellow squash including pumpkin, beets. onion (too much sugar in them, I guess) Don't know why carrots, brussels sprouts, tomato, eggplant, green beans, scallions, okra were on the restricted list. Very low in calories, and carbs in general. The diet to be followed by diabetics is very similar to the WW program that I was on then. Also, doctors treating my diabetes have stated that if someone eats more veggies, and fruit, and less meat, it will be good for the diabetes, as well as shedding weight. For anyone who is a bit (or a lot) obsessive compulsive, any program that encourages one to count points is likely to make for an obsessive attitude about food in general, and also encourages the person trying to lose weight to focus on food more and more. I venture to say that about 80% of dieters have that affliction, and are unable to successfully lose the weight and keep it off. I have tried all of the programs, and find myself now, once again quite overweight, and trying to focus on healthy servings, and healthy choices, not the light at the non-existent end of the tunnel. Because there is no end to the need to eat healthy. Once those adipose tissues get small, they are simply waiting to get filled up again. Hence the yo-yo effect.

Forward Motion 411
02/15/2014 2:10pm

Thanks for your comment, Kathie! I agree with you that it isn't very helpful to have to obsess over points and to focus on food in an unhealthy way. That is one reason i think this particular diet is one that can actually help you re-think how you eat, adjust it, and move forward in a healthy way. I'm sorry the weight came back; I absolutely hate that! Good luck to you in your newest move to improving your health and lifestyle. You can do it! Please keep me posted!

Suzanne Otterbacher
02/14/2014 6:54pm

I thank you for confirming what I remembered of the original plan. When my doctor said my blood sugar was getting too high (and if I didn't lose weight I would definitely be diabetic) I immediately went on my remembered weight watchers plan from the 1960's. I dropped weight and my blood sugar dropped too. After visiting the dietitian/diabetes counselor I loosened up, and stopped losing weight. This gives me the confidence to go back on the plan and lose those extra pounds. Thanks again.

Forward Motion 411
02/15/2014 2:04pm

Happy to be there for you, Suzanne! I think part of life's adventure is to keep trying while knowing everyone is rooting for us. The beauty of this particular diet is it's structure, don't you think?

02/25/2014 6:19pm

So glad to find this site...Thank you for the "original" WW..i lost 45 lbs years ago and kept if off for a long time...i have gone to the new ww program and just can't wrap my mind around it...i like the simple plan alot better... Linda

Forward Motion 411
02/27/2014 1:52am

We're glad you found us, too! So many people seemed to succeed at losing the weight with the original plan. It's surprising WW moved on and left this plan behind. Tonight I was chatting with a friend and she mentioned she was dying to get some ice cream tomorrow as she is going on a liquid diet starting on Saturday. My response? "Ummm ice is a liquid if you leave it out long enough."

Now you understand why most of my diets fail. hahaha But the WW Original plan didn't provide loopholes and kept me on track so I saw success! You might want to check out the Satan Diet on our website to kickstart your diet plans. It's very short term - but you see results that push you more quickly toward your weight loss goals. Good luck to you!!

Mary Svoboda
03/12/2014 10:28am

As I recall,the daily limits were 6 protein,2 bread,3 fat,3 fruit,2 skim milk,unlimited veggies from the list. Starchy veggies had to be exchanged for bread.

Forward Motion 411
03/12/2014 12:46pm

Thanks for your comment, Mary! I think you are referring to the Weight Watcher's Exchange Plan that came after the Original Diet Plan (this one) and the Weight Watcher's Points Plus plan. Am I correct?

I really don't understand how the Exchange Plan worked, except that it was rumored to be based on the diabetic diet put out by the American Diabetic Association. Can you tell me a little bit about how it worked?

08/08/2014 8:26pm

My recollection is similar to Mary's. You were allowed to trade a couple of slices of bread for a starchy vegetable up to two or three times a week. Potatoes or rice could be a simple trade off with bead once in a while. Just watch out for the butter, sour cream etc.

03/22/2014 10:52pm

I have the entire program exchanges. I will post it if you want. Let me know.

03/23/2014 6:11pm

that would be excellent Kelly.

Forward Motion 411
03/24/2014 1:34pm

Yes, Kelly. Please do! The more options everyone has, the greater chances for success. Thanks so much for the offer!

Deena Rhodes
06/20/2014 11:32am

I would very much appreciate the exchange list. Please email me.

08/30/2014 8:57am

Please post the program exchanges, this is the only diet that ever really worked for me. I followed it in the early 80s. I've recently been contact by a friend who did this with me and she was looking for it also. So we are gonna try to do it again almost 30 years later. Any help you could give me would be appreciated. Especially allowed vegetables, fruits, seasoning. Thanks ;)

09/05/2014 7:50pm

Kelly.... I don't see the posted entire program. If memory serves, additional floaters were allotted according to exercise..... Does anyone recall that?

03/30/2014 6:21am

I recently bought on eBay the original WW book, as well as the revised plan WW came out with in 1973. I'm not sure which one I'm going to attempt. To tell the truth, what's holding me back is the incredible amount of fish you're supposed to eat each week! Any suggestions on that? Does anyone know how important it is that I stick to that part of it? Seems to me that I could substitute some of that fish with lean meat, don't you think? I'm totally new to WW but from what I've read, those early plans were definitely easier to follow and quicker weight loss. Plus, I like the clarity and checking off little boxes throughout the day :) But what about all that fish??

03/30/2014 9:01pm

Hey Elizabeth I've got to say I'm with you there! I have always hated fish, like every type of fish including shrimp and lobster. I've started trying to eat fish for weight loss and also because it's just supposed to be so good for you. Mostly I have been just trying to suck it up and eat fish like I eat brussel sprouts, just suck it up and hurry through.

I have found two ways of eating seafood that are acceptable though. 1) Things that are pan seared and have some kind of citrus (usually squirt lemon or lime on them before you cook them) are much less awful tasting and 2) This recipe http://www.forwardmotion411.com/2/category/cilantro%20roasted%20salmon/1.html makes salmon actually tasty (as insane as that sounds) I'd reccomend trying it and if you hate it put it into a taco with black beans to mask the flavor of fish. and 3) put some horseradish on it. I swear it makes almost any fish at least edible.

Quick reminder :if you do buy salmon don't buy farm raised or atlantic (sneaky way of saying farm raised) because they are full of mercury and antibiotics and all sorts of nasty things.

As to switching out to other lean meats, it may work but I would try cilantro salmon first. If you look at past posts in the fitness tab on this website they talk about chelation and how cilantro helps your body detox.

03/31/2014 4:33am

Thanks, Brooke. Your answer wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear (yes, you do have to eat all that fish) but at least you made me laugh as I read your reply :) Oddly enough, brussel sprouts are the only vegetable that I absolutely can't stand and will not eat. Funny that you brought that up.

I copied the Cilantro Salmon recipe down and plan to try it soon. And yes, I've become aware in the past couple of years of the differences between wild-caught and farm-raised fish and try to always buy wild only.

Oh well, I guess I have to suck it up and eat fish, dang it.

03/31/2014 4:33am

Thanks, Brooke. Your answer wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear (yes, you do have to eat all that fish) but at least you made me laugh as I read your reply :) Oddly enough, brussel sprouts are the only vegetable that I absolutely can't stand and will not eat. Funny that you brought that up.

I copied the Cilantro Salmon recipe down and plan to try it soon. And yes, I've become aware in the past couple of years of the differences between wild-caught and farm-raised fish and try to always buy wild only.

Oh well, I guess I have to suck it up and eat fish, dang it.

03/31/2014 4:34am

Thanks, Brooke. Your answer wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear (yes, you do have to eat all that fish) but at least you made me laugh as I read your reply :) Oddly enough, brussel sprouts are the only vegetable that I absolutely can't stand and will not eat. Funny that you brought that up.

I copied the Cilantro Salmon recipe down and plan to try it soon. And yes, I've become aware in the past couple of years of the differences between wild-caught and farm-raised fish and try to always buy wild only.

Oh well, I guess I have to suck it up and eat fish, dang it.

08/08/2014 8:31pm

I found that tuna with salad fixings made a terrific lunch and an easy way to fill the weekly fish quotas.

09/02/2014 4:49pm

Is there any way I could get from you a copy of the revised 1973 ww plan? Either you could scan it to me, or make a copy and I could paper your the materials and postage. Thank you phyllis.oleary@gmail.com

04/07/2014 7:28am

is the the orginal

Forward Motion 411
05/06/2014 9:14pm

Hi Joyce. It was called the Original Plan when I ran across it. However, I remember (sort of - I was really young and just listening to old people talking) hearing about some plan that required you to eat about a gazillion bananas. So...maybe? If you want one where you eat gazillion bananas that is very effective at helping you lose weight - check out the Satan Diet and the Cupcake Time Diet on this website. Banana lovers unite!

04/09/2014 6:09pm

How many points are you allowed on the old points system? Does anyone have that piece?

Elizabeth Fitzmaurice
04/10/2014 3:26am

Trish: No idea. This article's about the Original Weight Watchers Plan, not the Points system.

Forward Motion 411
05/06/2014 9:20pm

Hi Trish. I'm sorry, but I don't. I know a lot of people felt that program was superior to the Points Plus but I never did see the old points system in action. Good luck to you!

04/20/2014 1:10pm

The food exchanges plan was the very bestest! I joined WW in 1982, lost weight, kept it off and became a WW leader. I sure wish I had all my program booklets. I went back to WW in 2010ish and all they talked about was how many chocolate kisses they could eat for all their daily points. Geeeeeeeeze! Does anyone have the extra booklets that spoke to out to eat???

Forward Motion 411
05/06/2014 9:18pm

Hi Catherine! Thanks for your comment. The chocolate kisses thing is why I really prefer the Original plan over the Points Plan. I tried both and I am really just too irresponsible to be told I can eat my points in cake and candy. That just really didn't work for me. I know the exchange plan is based on a diabetic diet. If that was your favorite and you can't find it, you may want to google diabetic exchanges and use that to guide you. Best to you!

05/06/2014 10:02am

Back when i did this originally i hated fish .. substituted 3 oz cans of tuna in water … i lost 25 lbs (gained after stopping smoking when i was 30) in 25 weeks and kept it all off for over 30 years … recently i gained 10 lbs and want it gone so i Googled and found this .. thank you for sharing it .. i am now back on WW and hope to lose the 10 lbs as easily as the original 25 …

Forward Motion 411
05/06/2014 9:11pm

Glad you are a fellow fish hater! The tuna idea is a great way to get the benefit of fish without having to actually eat fish. You should check out our Salmon Patty recipe on this site - it is another painless way to get fish if you couple it with the Corn Fritters!

Your weight loss on this plan "back in the day" was fabulous! And I do think this diet actually gets us thinking about how to eat healthy so we can keep the weight off. Let me know if your 10 lbs slide off as easily this time! Best to you!

05/19/2014 8:36am

To my knowledge, there was never a WW plan called the original plan; if there was it was from the mid-1960s and it definitely did not contain "floater" exchanges and optional calories: that was a creation of the 1980s.

Just like there have been multiple versions of the points plans, there were multiple versions of the exchange plans. What you have posted seems to be a combination of the earlier 60s/70s plan with the later 80s/early 90s plans. I do not recall a plan that ever allowed that much protein PLUS 7 floaters and 750 optional calories. Nor was "all that fish" required by the 80s/90s, and there weren't many, if any, restricted veggies and fruit by then either.

I do not have time right now to drag out all my old materials from the 70s and 80s, but will try to do so later if you have specific questions or are otherwise interested.

06/25/2014 7:28am

Sooooooooooo excited I found this site....can't lose an oz with new WW....

Forward Motion 411
06/25/2014 4:44pm

Welcome, Mary! We firmly believe that everyone is different and that is why we try to cover a variety of diet options that have worked for someone we know (no rumors of success; only true success). So glad you found what you needed!

06/26/2014 4:04pm

Does anyone if mustard is allowed...there was a list of free foods...I also lost 100 lbs 25 yrs ago and kept it off until this year said 25 combo of menopause n quitting smoking...ugghhhhhhh thanks for any help

06/28/2014 1:28pm

I loved the old revised original WW plan of 1973. I lost 50 lbs. and kept it off for years! Have never done well on points..wish we could all have an original (or revised) online support group weight loss group here.

Forward Motion 411
06/29/2014 9:03pm

This is a fabulous idea, Phyllis! Anyone who would like to participate in an online support group - drop us an email at forwardmotion411@outlook.com and we will set up a private site to hold an online support weight loss group. Talk to you soon!!

esther lucchese
06/29/2014 10:07pm

I too lost a lot of wt. on the plan from WW in the 80's. Now i once again need to shed wt. and have failed miserably on the points system. Do you have a copy of the ww plan from the 80,s?

Forward Motion 411
06/30/2014 4:20am

I'm sorry, We don't have any other WW plans other than the 2 posted on this website. Good luck in both your search and your future weight loss!

07/17/2014 5:50pm

Yippie.......found information I have been searching for? Starting on the old plan Monday and looking forward to losing weight. Finally.....do not like the plans over the past 30 years and know that this one will. work for me.. Thanks

09/02/2014 10:22pm

I am starting my Old Weight Watchers. I lost 77lbs once. It only took me about 5 months to do it. I was amazed at how fast I lost the weight. I walked 3 to 5 miles 6 days a week. I worked out everyday. And I didnt eat after 7:30pm..I was really committed. I gained the weight back because of cortisone and steroid injections due to back surgery. I do know that it works. I love the old way much better. I got confused with the new system. Too much to do. I never had to change anything that I ate. Good Luck All!!

09/05/2014 1:27pm

So glad to find this. I did WW in 1992 and was so surprised at how easy it was. I did not like vegies...and this plan helped me discover ones that I liked. I lost 15 lbs on it. The new plans have never worked as well. As others here have said, it seems like people are trying to figure out ways to keep eating junk. This planned helped me become a healthier eater. I need to take off 5-10 again. I think I will give this a try.


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