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60's and 70's Weight Watchers Food Plans

I'm trying to find the first Weight Watchers diet that Jean Neidich started in 1963.

By skajj01 from Staten Island, NY


60's and 70's Weight Watchers Food Plans


Original Weight Watcher's Plan per Day:

9 oz protein; 3 fruits; 3 fats; 2 breads; 3 veggies (at least); 2 milks.

You need to get no more than 30z of cheese a week and 1 of those days you have to eat liver. 8oz of water a day is also recommended. A serving of the above is 3 oz protein per meal, 1 banana is 2 fruits, or 1 apple, and so many berries, etc. Fats are 1 tbs per serving, milk is 8oz per serving and bread is 1/2 cup rice or pasta or 1 piece of bread. (10/19/2009)

By av8rs3

60's and 70's Weight Watchers Food Plans

No way the original diet was 9 oz. of meat a day. It was 4-6 oz. for lunch and 6-8 oz. at dinner. And this was to be the after cooking weight.

The reason there were lots of recipes with dehydrated onions was that onions were on the limited vegetable list. Not only did that mean they had more calories, but WW's had a rule that you couldn't split them up. So, if you wanted real onions, you had to eat 1/2 - 1 C at a time! And of course, they couldn't be fried. But dehydrated onions were a free food.


Here is the original diet as I remember it. They gave you little blank menus with places to mark off your daily/weekly requirements or allowances, which helped.


  • 1 egg, poached or hard boiled (I don't know why you couldn't have it scrambled on Teflon ware, maybe Teflon wasn't popular enough yet)
  • 1 slice white or whole wheat bread
  • 1 serving fruit


  • 4-6 oz meat or 2 eggs or 2 oz hard cheese or 2/3 C soft cheese
  • 1 slice white or whole wheat bread
  • at least one serving vegetables, unlimited


  • 6-8 oz meat
  • 1/2 or 1 C limited (aka #2 vegetable)
  • preferably some unlimited vegetables

Daily Required

  • 1 Tbsp oil (could be eaten to 1 tsp increments)
  • 2 servings dairy
  • 1/2 - 1 C limited vegetable (sorry, can't remember which!)

  • 1 serving of dark green vegetable (I can't remember if that serving of this was 1/2 C or 1 C, either)
  • 3 fruit servings, at least one of which had to be citrus

Daily Allowed For Free

  • 1 C tomato juice

Weekly Required

  • 7 eggs a week, at first, all at breakfast. You could have additional ones at lunch! Later, after the cholesterol scare, you were only allowed 4 per week, all at breakfast. None were required.
  • 1 meal with liver, beef, or chicken. If beef, it had to be broiled.

Weekly Allowed

  • 3 beef meals for either lunch or dinner but there were 2 rules; 1)all beef had to be broiled so that any grease dripped into a pan and 2)you had to use the low end of the allowance for any beef meal, that is, 4 oz at lunch or 6 oz at dinner. Beef meals included: ground beef, round steak, trimmed completely, lean sirloin, trimmed completely and all-beef hot dogs (2 per meal).

  • 4 oz cheese divided into two meals and only eaten for lunch

Meats Not Allowed

  • pork of any kind
  • deli or meat or poultry
  • smoked meat or any other kind of processed meat or poultry
  • duck
  • wild game
  • lamb (except for Passover! Jean was Jewish, lol. But the once a year lamb counted as a beef meal and had to be broiled like beef). It wasn't allowed the rest of the time because it it more fatty.

Fish Not Allowed

  • shellfish
  • salmon
  • mackerel

Vegetables Not Allowed

  • avocados
  • potatoes
  • corn
  • yucca and other potato-like veggies

Food Lists

Fruits Serving (had to have one fruit at breakfast; the other 2 could be eaten any time.

  • one small of most
  • 1/2 small banana or grapefruit
  • 1 C strawberries
  • 1 1/2 C watermelon
  • 1/4 medium cantaloupe
  • 1 med tomato
  • 1/2 C most juices except tomato. 1 serving tomato juice = 8 oz

Dairy Serving (could be eaten any time)


  • 8 oz skim milk (originally, only reconstituted dry milk was allowed, but that changed early on)
  • 2/3 C plain unflavored yogurt
  • 2/3 C buttermilk
  • 1/2 C evaporated skim milk
  • 1/3 C dry milk
  • soft cheeses allowed at breakfast or lunch, never dinner
  • 2 T cream cheese
  • 1/2 C or 2/3 C 2% cottage cheese or Farmer's cheese (depending on which meal)
  • hard cheeses to be eaten at lunch only and limited to 4oz/week
  • 2 oz cheddar, mozzarella, American, Swiss, etc. (this was before low fat cheese much, much later they were allowed and you got double)

Oils: 1 Tbsp per day with meals (could be split into increments of 1 tsp)

  • vegetable, salad, or olive oil
  • mayonnaise (no low fat or fat free back then; later allowed to use low fat and count it as 1/2 the fat as in regular)

Limited Vegetables:

  • peas
  • onion
  • Lima beans
  • pumpkin or other squash
  • carrots (I think)

Unlimited Vegetables

Those unlimited on most diets (celery, lettuce and lettuce family, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, turnips, beets, etc)

Unlimited Dark Greens vegetables

  • broccoli
  • spinach
  • kale
  • collard and other greens

Free Foods:

  • herbs
  • mustard
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • boullion, chicken or beef
  • dehydrated onions
  • diet Jell-o
  • diet soda pop
  • tea and coffee, no sugar or honey
  • diet sweeteners
  • 8 oz tomato juice (this could also count as a vegetable or fruit. If you drank it as a fruit at breakfast, then you could have 3 fruits to snack on between meals or at night.

Condiments Not Allowed:

  • catsup
  • barbeque sauce
  • commercial salad dressings
  • tomato sauce or paste

Later Changes

Eggs: After the cholesterol scare, they changed egg requirements to 4/week. You could have them at breakfast or lunch (1 if breakfast, 2 at lunch). You only options for breakfast were 1/2 C soft cheese or 2 oz protein with your bread and fruit. Later still, they changed it so that you could have cereal, more on that below.

Low fat products; They pretty much didn't exist until the 70s. When they started to be available, changes were made slowly. For example, you could use diet margarine and diet mayo and they were worth half the fat. But, you didn't really need more, so most people didn't.

Alba and cocoa powder; Alba was a chocolate mix drink that was allowed early on because it wasn't higher in calories than regular milk and contained all the nutrients, supposedly. At some point, an allowance of cocoa powder was made. I can't remember the amount, but you mixed it with hot water, a pinch of salt and sugar substitute for cocoa.

Tomato sauce: Commercial tomato sauce wasn't allowed since it had added sugar. To make tomato sauce for anything, you had to use your cup of tomato sauce, boiling it to reduce by half and adding Italian seasonings and if desired, sugar substitute.

Early 70s Changes;

Allowed you to eat diet cheese for twice the bang and allowed you to use some previously illegal grains, potatoes, cereals.

Three times a week only, for dinner or lunch and in the place of your serving of bread at lunch, you could have:

  • oatmeal, equal to no more than 120 calories
  • dry cereal, no sugar, no more than 120 calories
  • 1/2 C cooked rice, wheat, or other grain
  • 1/2 C cooked egg noodles
  • 2/3 C cooked macaroni
  • 1 ounce corn meal
  • potatoes, equal to no more than 120 calories

Legumes and peanut butter came in the mid 70s and I don't remember the rules. (01/04/2010)

By Lindij

60's and 70's Weight Watchers Food Plans

Recipes: I have more in an old recipe box that I will look for. I just remember these that
I still sometimes cook:

Pizziolas 60s thru 70s):

  • 1 slice bread
  • tomato sauce (made from reduced tomato juice and herbs)
  • 2 oz Mozzarella or for a switch, cheddar, grated

Very lightly toast bread, don't brown it. Just make it dry so that it doesn't get soaked up when you add, tomato paste, spread over it. Add Italian herbs, to taste, on top and - grated cheese. Place under broiler til cheese melted.

Buttermilk Chicken Lunch (60s thru 70s)

  • 4 oz chicken breast, cut into 1 oz pcs.
  • 2/3 C buttermilk
  • chives
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • dehydrated onions
  • 1 slice bread, crumbled

Dip chicken in the buttermilk and then in the bread crumbs. Place into a small casserole dish or pan that has been sprayed lightly with Pam (not really allowed til later, but...). Then mix remaining crumbs and buttermilk with the Worcestershire sauce and chives and pour over the chicken.

Bake on 400F til chicken is cooked through and "crust" has browned. Sound terrible, I know, and maybe it was, but I ate it all the time. Compared to the fish 5 times a week, it was like a gourmet meal, lol. And not liking milk, I was always trying find ways to use my dairy requirements up.

Cola Chicken (not very healthy, but not bad tasting).

  • 1 can diet cola
  • 4-16 oz chicken breast (4-8 for one, 8 -16 for two of you)

Place seasoned chicken in a slow cooker and pour the cola over the top. Cook on slow 4 hours. "Kinda" like BBQ, lol.


By Lindij

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June 18, 20160 found this helpful

Very informative. Thanks.
Two thoughts: 1)the old plan works FOR ME because it nudges me into a lower carb, more veggies regimen. I also like filling in those little boxes and I quit eating when they are full.
2)as to the liver, which few actually ate regularly, remember that people were not taking mega doses of vitamins in the 70's. Many popular diets these days caution users to take vitamins to supplement the diet. And WW was ahead of the game on fish recommendations!

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