Weight Watchers Recipes from the 1970’s (2024)

Weight Watchers Recipes from the 1970’s (1)
Did you know that Weight Watchers has been around since the 1960’s? This weight loss plan really took off in the 1970’s, and there it was a lot more restrictive than the points system Weight Watchers uses now.

But, seeing some of the old diet tips, the plan itself, and some of the recipes probably brings back old memories (both good and bad), and just because the diet is different now, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t some good parts of the older plan, and some great recipes. Let’s take a look at how the basic program worked in the 1970’s, and some of the recipes that dieters were allowed to make and eat.

The Basics

In order to be successful with this, or any diet, it was important to follow the program as it was written out by Weight Watchers. For instance, you could only eat the foods that were available on the menu plan, in the amounts and weights that were specified. You could combine a lot of the foods, as long as all ingredients were counted in each dish. It was important to keep a daily food record. Here are a few of the rules for Weight Watchers diets back in the 70’s.

No Dietetic Products

Dietetic products were not allowed on the Weight Watchers diet, with the exceptions of unsweetened, carbonated beverages, artificial sweeteners, and imitation or diet margarines.

Condiments and Seasonings

Weight Watchers Recipes from the 1970’s (2)
Many condiments and seasonings could be used as desired. This included many herbs and spices, as well as some beverages and prepared sauces.


There were some vegetables you could have in unlimited amounts, including capers, celery, gherkins, lettuce, parsley, and radishes. Other vegetables, such as asparagus, bean sprouts, beet greens, tomatoes, kale, and cucumbers were allowed in limited amounts.


Users of the early Weight Watchers diet were allowed to have certain amounts of fruit, and were encouraged to have one fruit or juice for breakfast each day. Fruits were divided into three groups, one fruit daily (cantaloupe, tangerine, grapefruit, etc.), multiple fruits daily (apricots, Mandarin oranges, pineapple, etc.), and once weekly (grapes, bananas, cherries, etc.). They could be fresh, frozen, and canned (unsweetened).

Fish, Meat, Poultry, and Alternatives

These foods were divided into two categories, B, and C. B group foods could be eaten exactly three times each week, for either lunch or dinner. Group C foods were what were considered the must-have foods each week.


Many diets don’t include bread, but the old Weight Watchers diet did. Users could have bread with meals only, as listed on the Menu Plan. Bread products could be fresh, pre-sliced, packaged, and enriched, 100 percent whole wheat, or enriched rolls. Each serving was to weigh one ounce.

Eggs and Cheese

You could have four eggs per week on this diet plan, for morning and noon meals. They could be hard boiled, poached, or scrambled (with no fat). Some cheese and cheese products were allowed, such as cottage cheese made with skimmed milk, and no more than four ounces of hard cheese each week.


You could have skimmed milk, evaporated skimmed milk, or buttermilk. If products were labeled as “skimmed milk products,” they were not allowed on the Weight Watchers diet.

1970’s Weight Watchers Recipes

Weight Watchers Recipes from the 1970’s (3)

Now it’s time to check out some of the interesting recipe ideas Weight Watchers had for dieters in the 1970’s. Some of them don’t sound half bad, while others look like they were a great incentive to limit one’s diet.

Molded Asparagus Salad

Weight Watchers Recipes from the 1970’s (4)
This was an easy recipe for a molded salad, something that was quite popular back in the 70’s. For this salad, you were required to sprinkle gelatin over a half a cup of tomato juice in a saucepan, stirring slowly until the gelatin powder dissolved. Then, it instructed users to add more tomato juice, vinegar, salt, hot sauce, and some sweetener, pour into a mold, and chill until the mixture had a syrupy texture. Finally, the asparagus was added.

Frankfurter Special

This was a mix of hotdogs or frankfurters, pineapple, onions, and carrots. It might sound weird to some, but many found it quite tasty. For those who wanted to serve this meal with a bit of flair, the frankfurters could be served on the pineapple core.

Broiled Apple Burgers

A lot of Weight Watchers burgers weren’t made from beef, but used mackerel, frankfurters, or even gelatin instead. These burgers were actually made from beef, and they sound quite tasty. The meat was broiled on a rack, and then served with apples. For a bit of a twist, you could cook the apple on the grill as well.

Peach Melba

This dish was and still is quite popular, both with dieters and non-dieters. It was made with delicious peaches, and gelatin balls that looked like cherries, but were actually made with gelatin and diet soda.

Stuffed Lettuce Wedges

Here is another quick and easy Weight Watchers recipe from the 1970’s that is totally diet friendly for just about any diet. It was simply lettuce leaves stuffed with cottage cheese and seasoned with paprika, with some radishes on the side.

Inspiration Soup

Here is a strange name for a soup that doesn’t sound very inspiring. This watery soup is made with tomatoes, beansprouts, green beans, and asparagus. It is loaded with healthy ingredients though, and is an excellent food for dieters.

Perfect Pizza Lunch

If you were on the 1970’s Weight Watchers diet and you wanted pizza, you could have a version that was simple to make and didn’t cost much. Of course, it wasn’t exactly the best pizza substitute, but if you were craving tomato sauce and cheese, it was great. All you had to do was put sauce and mozzarella cheese on a slice of bread and place it under the broiler until the cheese melted.

Chilled Celery Log

This is a treat that you probably still see at family gatherings, baby and wedding showers, etc. It is quick and easy to make, and if you like cauliflower, quite tasty. To make this dish, simply mash cauliflower and stir in a bit of green pepper. Spread mixture into celery sticks and let chill for 45 minutes before serving.

Weight Watchers Recipes from the 1970’s (2024)


What is the difference between the old and new Weight Watchers program? ›

The old WW program assigned points to foods based on their calorie, fat, and fiber content. The new WW program, called MyWW, assigns points to foods based on a more holistic approach, taking into account the overall nutrition of the food.

What was the Weight Watchers plan in 1977? ›

In 1977, Weight Watchers introduced 1-2-3 Success Program, the first iteration of the plan involving points. The points were based on calories. However, in 2010's the PointsPlus Plan, took into account micronutrients such as protein and fat for a more in-depth point system.

What was the Weight Watchers plan in the 1960s? ›

The original Weight Watchers dietary plan in the 1960s was roughly based on the "Prudent Diet", developed by Dr. Norman Jolliffe at the New York City Board of Health. It was based around lean meat, fish, skim milk, and fruits and vegetables, and it banned alcohol, sweets, and fatty foods.

Can you eat too many zero point foods? ›

Of course. All foods have a point value and while there are tons of “zero point foods,” there are also portion size rules. You can absolutely eat too many daily points on zero point foods.

How did the old Weight Watchers plan work? ›

While Weight Watchers is known for its point system today, the original 1960s program was a fairly simple list of restricted, limited, and unlimited foods. Most of the diet's principles were those Nidetch had picked up in a program at an obesity clinic at the NYC Department of Health.

What is the original core plan for Weight Watchers? ›

Core Plan. The Weight Watchers Core Plan classifies certain types of food as “core”. These healthy foods from all food groups, include fruits, vegetables, fat-free dairy, lean meats, and whole grains. Dieters may eat such foods until they are satisfied, but not feeling full.

What is the Weight Watchers scandal? ›

Oprah Winfrey will leave the board of WeightWatchers after almost 10 years, following the entertainment mogul's revelation that she is using a weight-loss drug. Winfrey informed the company this week that she decided to not stand for reelection at the annual meeting of shareholders to be held in May 2024.

What are the negatives of Weight Watchers? ›

  • Points system for food tracking is very simplified, making it difficult to learn about the nutrition of the food you're eating.
  • Doesn't provide much education on food or fitness.
  • Members must rely on the program to continue losing weight.
Jan 19, 2024

What is the secret to Weight Watchers? ›

By giving you permission to eat an unlimited amount of these foods, Weight Watchers is tricking you into eating high protein and high fiber. This causes you to get fuller faster, ensuring you eat fewer Calories. So as you can see, a zero point food is NOT a zero Calorie food.

Why is Oprah leaving Weight Watchers? ›

Oprah Winfrey has revealed why she left her nearly 10-year post as a WeightWatchers board member last month. Her resignation was motivated by her work on an upcoming TV special on the rise of prescription weight-loss drugs, she said during a Thursday appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

Does Oprah own Weight Watchers? ›

Last month, Winfrey announced that she will not stand for reelection to the board of WeightWatchers at the annual meeting of shareholders to be held in May 2024. She has served on the company's board since 2015 when she acquired a 10% stake in WeightWatchers.

What are the 3 different Weight Watchers plans? ›

This article has been viewed 73,334 times. Weight Watchers now has 3 different food plans to choose from: the blue plan, the green plan, and the purple plan.

Why is fruit no longer zero points on Weight Watchers? ›

Whole fruit is a ZeroPoint food, but once it becomes part of a smoothie, the experience of “eating” it changes. Research shows that liquids don't promote the same feeling of fullness and satisfaction that solid foods do.

How many points is a banana on Weight Watchers? ›

A fruit is a ZeroPoint food if it's: Fresh or frozen without added sugars or fat.

What is the best food to eat on Weight Watchers? ›

  • Skinless chicken breasts & thighs.
  • Skinless turkey breast.
  • 98% fat-free ground chicken or turkey.
  • Pork tenderloin or other lean cuts.
  • Flank steak or other lean cuts.
  • Bacon (turkey, Canadian)
  • Fish fillets or steaks.
  • Shrimp or other shellfish.

Why did Weight Watchers change their program? ›

ThePoints is a simplified plan that makes Weight Watchers much easier to follow and, conversely, much more helpful to successfully achieve weight loss goals. The market for diets and fitness apps is constantly becoming more crowded, and WW will need to change to stay competitive.

Did Weight Watchers change their plan? ›

UPDATE: As of November 14, 2022, the new Weight Watcher plan is called the Points® system. You can read more about the new Points® system HERE. It is similar to the Weight Watchers Freestyle plan that was in rolled out in 2017-2018 and the MyWW Blue program that was rolled out in 2019-2020.

What's new with WW 2024? ›

Zero-Point Foods in 2024

There appear to be no major changes to the WW zero-point food list in 2024. Zero-point foods are nutrient- and vitamin-dense foods that form the foundation of healthy eating. These healthy and delicious foods can be enjoyed in meals or as snacks without having to count any points.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Catherine Tremblay

Last Updated:

Views: 6358

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (47 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Catherine Tremblay

Birthday: 1999-09-23

Address: Suite 461 73643 Sherril Loaf, Dickinsonland, AZ 47941-2379

Phone: +2678139151039

Job: International Administration Supervisor

Hobby: Dowsing, Snowboarding, Rowing, Beekeeping, Calligraphy, Shooting, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Catherine Tremblay, I am a precious, perfect, tasty, enthusiastic, inexpensive, vast, kind person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.