Weight Watchers

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)

Weight Watchers is one of the most consistent weight loss programs in history.

Their program has helped thousands of people to lose weight in a sensible and sustained way over their 50 year history.

wwlogo

They have continued to stay up-to-date offering more and more flexibility with their plans.

They also have an entire range of branded food products, scores of recipe and cookbooks, and even produce a magazine!

Weight Watchers Basics

Weight Watchers focuses on the SmartPoints® program, where all foods are given a point value and dieters simply keep track of their daily points in relation to their individual goals.

There are essentially 4 levels of Weight Watchers services to help dieters be successful with their PointsPlus® system.

Weight Watchers Online Plus

This is their basic level of service and includes:

  • 24/7 live chat with trained weight loss coaches.
  • Weight Watchers’ digital tools and mobile apps.
  • Thousands of recipes and meal ideas.
  • Seamless activity tracking with your devices.
  • Access to a comprehensive video series.
  • An online support community.

Weight Watchers OnlinePlus is just under $19 a month.

Personal Coaching

The 2nd level of service includes everything in the OnlinePlus level along with personal coaching.

Members are assigned a personal coach who will do the following:

  • Provide one on one phone sessions and emails.
  • Develop a personalized action plan for you.
  • Provide motivation and accountability.

Personalized coaching costs about $55 a month.

Meetings

For dieters that prefer face to face contact, Weight Watchers meetings are also available if they exist in a dieter’s location.

This level includes everything in the OnlinePlus level plus access to weekly meetings and private weigh-ins.

Prices vary depending on location.

Total Access

This is everything: Personal coaching, Meetings, plus all the benefits of the OnlinePlus program.

Weight Watchers Benefits

The ongoing Weight Watchers program is flexible and allows for steady weight loss. Using the techniques Weight Watchers teaches, you will be able to:

  • Learn to handle hunger and beat temptation
  • Stay full longer, with delicious food.
  • Make healthy, smart choices second nature
  • Get expert information based on the latest nutritional research
  • Learn to choose food wisely with the PointsPlus® System
  • Adapt the program to your needs
  • No required or forbidden foods
  • Smart Phone Apps to Take Weight Watchers everywhere

Foods Allowed

Weight Watchers is designed to help you look at food in a fresh way as there are no required foods or forbidden foods, but rather you should learn how to make better choices.

You should learn to eat smarter so you stay fuller longer, and you’ll get strategies for beating hunger and temptation. Using their SmartPoints® system, you will be taught about filling foods and satisfying choices that you can rely on to help keep hunger in check.

For instance: Both an apple and a cookie are about the same calories (95), but a cookie has a 2 SmartPoints® value, while the apple has a 0 SmartPoints® value.

The program allows for some indulgences of the foods you love as well as allows for eating out.

Is Weight Watchers Effective?

Weight Watchers is a sustainable (2 pounds weight loss per week) and workable program that has been successful for 50 years. It is common to see a number of people try different diet fads, only to return to Weight Watchers when things don’t go so well.

What Weight Watchers has to offer is the company’s best program yet and emphasizes lifestyle change as the method most successful for permanent results.

Pricing

Pricing varies by location, so you will need to check with the Weight Watchers® site to find the exact prices and fees in your location.

Downsides?

  • No diet program will work for 100% of the population – but Weight Watchers is most certainly one of the best choices out there.
  • Some may not like keeping track of SmartPoints® values.
  • Some may not be tech savvy enough to benefit from their tools and mobile apps.

Links

Weight Watchers® USA – Official Site

Weight Watchers Canada – Official Site

Everydiet.org is an advertising partner of Weight Watchers.

    References:

  • Dansinger, M. L., Gleason, J. A., Griffith, J. L., Selker, H. P., & Schaefer, E. J. (2005). Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets for weight loss and heart disease risk reduction: a randomized trial. Jama, 293(1), 43-53. link
  • Ahern, A. L., Olson, A. D., Aston, L. M., & Jebb, S. A. (2011). Weight Watchers on prescription: an observational study of weight change among adults referred to Weight Watchers by the NHS. BMC Public Health, 11(1), 434. link
  • Djuric, Z., DiLaura, N. M., Jenkins, I., Darga, L., Jen, C. K. L., Mood, D., … & Hryniuk, W. M. (2002). Combining Weight‐Loss Counseling with the Weight Watchers Plan for Obese Breast Cancer Survivors. Obesity research, 10(7), 657-665. link
  • Truby, H., Baic, S., DeLooy, A., Fox, K. R., Livingstone, M. B. E., Logan, C. M., … & Millward, D. J. (2006). Randomised controlled trial of four commercial weight loss programmes in the UK: initial findings from the BBC “diet trials”. bmj, 332(7553), 1309-1314. link
 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
Last Reviewed: December 13, 2015. Disclaimer
  • Amy – WW Lifetime member

    WW is a wonderful program and if you can really make it a life style, it is very workable. Personally I started on the Flex plan, using their points scale and their frozen meals were easy to take to work. Now I am a firm believer in their Core Plan, eating whole, healthy foods and omitting the fattier, less healthy choices. Not that I couldn’t have ice cream or PB, you can totally eat what you want. WW is all about learning that you CAN have your piece of cake and eat it too….but you don’t need the entire cake.
    Exercise is recommended, and will increase your results.
    You can find support on-line at WeightWatchers.com (great for tips and recipes), or at local meetings lead by Lifetime Member (someone who has reached their “goal” weight and maintained it).
    As for costs, they do very but once you reach lifetime, all meetings are free as long as you maintain.
    Great all around program! I give it 5 stars!

  • rachel- ww hater

    it takes so much time in 3 mothes 5 lbs that it is a waste of money and the meeting cost so much

  • Julie- 50 down/30 to go

    It is not about rapid weight loss, it is about consistant weight loss, and maintaining what you have lost. This is the best program available, because it in NOT a diet. It is a program that teaches you how to eat healthy. Many of us have lost that knowledge because we have been programed to eat everything on our plates. We like rich foods, and pile our plates high, then eat it all because thats what our moms told us to do. Afterall, think of all those starving children in Africa. WeightWatchers helps to change that mindset, and gives us the support to get there.

  • Mary

    WW works end of story, follow the plan and lose the pounds. You didn’t gain the weight over night don’t expect to lose it over night.

  • Erica

    I lost 7 lbs in my first week, it does work, but you need to keep a journal of everything you eat. This is well worth it.

  • Annabelle

    I realy enjoyed WW programmes, I reached my goal in just over threes months but as soon as I tried to move on with out the meetings I fall start back into my out habits and now my weigth is more then when I started.

  • dd

    its not so much the weight loss that you achieve while on WW programme but the habits that it encourages.

  • Hottie1012

    Well I am on it right now and i think it works well. I love the fact that i know when i am done dieting i can always just count my points so that i don’t gain the weight. I just need to drink more water and stay determined 🙂

  • NARI

    I HAVE BEEN A WW MEMBERS SINCE DEC 2007 AND I HAVE LOST 23 POUNDS WEIGHT WATCHERS WORKS WHERE NO OTHER WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM DID.WEIGHT WATCHERS IS THE BEST

  • britney&marielena

    me and my sister think we need to lose weight. i weigh 84.6 and my sister weigh 78.0

  • Tee

    It works…I lost 9.6lbs my first week and I ate ww and skinny cow ice creams every night. I don’t consider it as a diet I think of it as a healthier eating plan, portion control is the key to success. I love WW!!!

  • ANDREW

    I have been on Weight Watchers since Jauary 3rd of 2008. I have lost a total of 47 pounds in that span! I still have another 52 to go, and I KNOW that WW+aerobic exercise+commitment will equate SUCCESS! Good Job Everyone!

    -Andrew

  • Kate

    I am both a ww lifetime member and a trained ww leader. I lose 71 pounds in 10 months. weight watchers works!!!!

  • Steph

    WW is the only way I’ve been able to lose some weight… a total of 52 lbs in a year.

    I’ve been on a plateau for the past 6 months at the halfway point to my goal. It’s frustrating, but, I’ve kept on doing flex anyway (I just dropped the meetings – ugh gas and food prices! – and went with just WW online).

    It’s an amazing thing when I think of it. I’ve maintained losing 52 lbs for 6 months!! I’ve never been able to do this before without giving up completely. (I figure my body just wants to stay at this weight for a while and adjust.)

    That’s what WW does. It gives it’s members tools to control their eating and NOTHING is forbidden. It’s all about choices.

  • Marissa

    I am a lifetime member of weight watchers. It took me about 2 yr to lose my weight (60-70 lbs) but it was so worth it. I am looking into becoming either a receptionist or leader at the meeting so that I can help not only keep myslef on track but help others also.

  • Mickey

    WW Works!!
    I have lost weight on WW 2x. I gained the weight after the birth of my 2 children because I didn’t follow the plan when I was pregnant. I need to lose about 10-15 pounds to be at my goal weight. Towards the end I didn’t go to meetings or use the online tools. Once you figure out the plan you can do it on your own. I recommend going to meetings, because they help you to stay focused and make you accountable because you know when you weigh someone is going to see if you have lost weight or gained weight. When nothing else works WW does. It is not a quick fix, it is a life style and it is just the way you should be eating any way. Portion control is so important. You really can eat what you want.

  • Hosh Janlin

    I am stupid but this program is smart…unlike me I need to loose at least 200 pounds and weight watchers has helped me to loose 100 so far this is a miracle program and i love it thank you weight watchers..thank you..love Hoshy xoxo

  • Gina

    I am a lifetime member. Unfortunetly I got off track, not going to meetings and weighing in… But I am back, Tomorrow is my first weight in and I do believe I have lost 5 lbs. Meetings keep me honest. I know it works but like anything worth attaining I must work hard, eat right and exercise. Good luck to all who are on my journey!!!!

  • love ww

    to rachel-ww hater i have lost 11 pounds in two weeks on the core diet so obviously you did not stick to ur plan

  • Annie

    I have been on and off WW for years, lose 50 gain 50, lose 50 gain 50 last time I lost 81 pounds in a year and last year put it back on. I am back on it and will do my darndest to stick with it and keep it off. My health is deteriorating,I must beat this fat once and for all.

  • Marisa

    weight watchers rock. Its truely works. I was a size 12 four months ago and now i’m a size 6. The food is so good. I’m addicted to weight watchers!

  • peannutbutterjellytimelol

    whoa Marisa that’s some serious weight loss!!!!

  • wwlifer

    I lost 52 lbs in 26 weeks with the WW program!! Was a size 18, now an 8 and have kept it off for 9 months :o) This is BY FAR the BEST plan to assist in weight loss. WW ROCKS!!

  • CCCC

    The three times I tried WW I became OBSESSED with food and how much I could cram into a day. I stuck to my calorie limit (the old WW plan) but I was lucky if I lost 1 lb. Some weeks I would gain a pound. The point system was just as bad for me – I would rationalize about food that I didn’t know the point value and wind up eating too much. The WW food was bland and anything with taste upset my stomach so I had to stick to everyday food. I was obsessed with eating more than I was –before– I was on the diet and wound up gaining 5 lbs! I stopped WW, lost the 5 lbs plus another 15. I need something that keeps me from obsessing about food.

  • xlilmissx

    marisa was you on the core or the points plan.what was or is, every one else on.i want to pick the best plan.

  • karen

    i have been doing ww for the last 2 years and have lost 5 and half stones. I have now come to a grinding halt and am thinking about moving over and trying slimming world?? any thoughts??

  • Trish

    I have lost 25 pounds in 4 months.

  • Bev

    I’m a lifetime member who went from size 16 to size 4 over 14 months of meetings. That was six years ago and I’m still at my goal weight of 130lbs. I’m definitely not a “group joiner” but WW works because it is sensible, easy to incorporate and provides accountability in a very supportive environment. Add the exercise, it’s critical and becomes fun when you begin to see the results. Thirty minutes aerobics with thirsty minutes weights on five days of the week works wonders for me. Pick out the low points foods you absolutely love and make sure they are around in abundance. Fortunately I love fresh, raw veggies!

  • wanda

    I have been over weight about 80% of my life. I got up to 309lbs. On my own I got to 215lbs. My health has declined somewhat and most of the exersize I did I am unable to do or not do as well. I’ve packed on almost 30 pounds in almost a year. Is it possible to lose the weight on this plan with little to no exersize?

  • nanette

    Day 1 and I already can’t stay away from the Weight Watcher icecream cones. I have to have the whole box. I can’t find the recipe for the “unlimited soup” on the web-site. Can anyone help?

  • ElleDee

    yes it is possible to loose weight with little exercise. I am on weight watchers right now and it is great, I lost 4 pounds in my first week with no exercise at all. Even though exercising will help increase weight loss it is not a requirement. This plan is the best way to loose weight, its all about portion sizes and eating healthy! Love Weight Watchers!

  • CHUCK FEASTER

    WW IS THE BEST WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM IN THE WORLD,,,I LOST 44 LBS. IN 6 MONTHS AND HAVE KEPT IT OFF FOR ANOTHER 4…

  • Josh

    All weight loss diets are only good for temporary weight loss. If you choose to lose weight without exercise (weight lifting and cardiovascualr exercise), you will lose muscle, your metabolism will slow, and you will end up in worse shape than before you started. Any program that lets you eat bad foods to lose weight is even worse! Weight watchers is horrible as is any other weight loss program with no exercise plan.

  • Reverend Edo

    My wife and I used the Weight Watchers program two years ago and we both lost our goal of 30 pounds. I stopped watching what I eat and gained about 10 of it back. So, I am now starting back up, and getting back on track.

    Josh made a comment that Weight Watchers is horrible, but I want to counter that. ANY lifestyle that is not an active lifestyle is not good for you. A few people have asked if Weight Watchers will help you lose weight without having to exercise, and I would say yes it does (for most), but only because most people who join Weight Watchers are overweight. If you are overweight, and curb your eating – you WILL lose weight. But, will you be healthy? Probably not. I will say it is not a good idea, in fact it it a BAD idea, to simply want to lose weight without striving for a healthier overall lifestyle.

    If you want to become healthier, then join Weight Watchers and begin an overall fitness routine of healthy living, eating, and exercise.

  • paula

    hi there. started weight watchers 4 weeks ago.. am doing the points plan and have stuck to my points allowance. lost 3lbs the first week after i joined and then 6lbs last week and now im just back from the weekly weigh in and have put up 2lbs…cannot understand it as im sticking to the plan…my leader said it has something to do with it being my time of the month…is this right? please help !!!!!1

  • Meri

    I did weight watchers and I lost 45 pound in 8 months. I love it. I have kept the weight off. It didn’t even feel like i was on a diet. I love it!

  • Jillian

    I love weight watchers!! its a really good plan to help you eat in a better way and do a complete lifestyle change.. Its not a quick fix so if your looking for that try something else

  • Mary H.

    I have joined ww many times. This time though I really want to stick with it. So far I lost 8 pounds in 6 weeks. I’m happy. I just started walking again now that the weather is good. I’m hoping this will make a difference. My problem, (and I’m really trying to fix this), I have always been an all or nothing person when it comes to weight loss. Once I blow it, I blow it. Anyone have any advice?

  • Katee

    I have never tried weight watchers i just wanna know if it works cause i wanna lose weight and fast…

  • COURTNEY JENNINGS

    DONT TAKE THIS DIET ITS SUCCESS RATE IS ABOUT 20%

  • SHELLY PRINCE

    I LOVE WEIGHT WATCHERS SO MUCH THAT I AM READY.

  • Laura JJ

    I did WW a couple of years ago and lost 50 pounds in 8 months. The program helped with portion control which was the reason I stayed above my healthy weight. Exercise really helped me also.

  • Amanda

    I started Weight Watchers 6 weeks ago, and have already lost 15.5 pounds. Years ago when I tried WW, I ended up gaining weight in the first week, so I gave up. This time, I stuck to the points and make sure I eat all the points I’m suppose to. It really works better if you eat your points rather than not getting them all in in a day. I’ve always had success with the Atkins diets…quick easy weight loss, but I always felt like I was starving myself of MANY foods. Weight Watchers doesn’t even feel like a diet for me…I’ve just become a LOT more aware of what I’m eating.

  • donna

    I’m a lifetime member of weight watchers. It took me several tries with the program before I succeeded. I found the “core” program to work for me. Unfortunately, weight watchers revamped their program so the core program is not really discussed until a few weeks into the program; and even then, it is not really explained in a thorough, enthusiastic way. It seems most participants prefer the “points-fles” program. Thru “core” I lost 30 lbs in about 8 months, and have kept it off for 1 year and 3 months so far. I still weigh in once a month for free.

  • Kyleigh

    I love WW because I am looking to change my eating habits for life and NOT just a diet to lose weight for now. This plan helps me to understand portion control. I was always over eating and at first when starting the program, I found that I was eating all day and then logging on at night to do my points, which is a BIG mistake. I was eating pretty healthy (so I thought) but eating HUGE portions, I found I was using all my day’s points and week’s points all the first day. Now I measure my food and notice what a portion looks like. I am using WW online and love that because it makes me use a checklist to make sure I am getting in all my servings of fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole grains and daily water intake. If I didn’t follow the checklist I wouldn’t be eating all my servings of fruits/veggies, etc so I am thankful for that (makes me eat healthier and makes me aware of what I am putting into my body). WW is working for me (joined one wk ago), I joined a gym 3 weeks ago and have only missed 3 days of working out since then. At this point, I am only doing straight cardio for anywhere from 45 min to 1 hr 15 min daily. I found due to my poor eating habits prior to WW, I gained 1.5 lbs and my clothes are still tight and my belly bloated and this is while working out every day. . .sigh. HOwever, after my first week on WW, I lost 3 lbs FINALLY! See what portion control and getting in all my fruit/veggies (fiber) can do for me? This plan teaches me how to eat better and healthier portions and also allows me to live my life. Ie, on other programs w/packaged food, you can’t go out to eat and go to parties and eat. With WW, you plan ahead what you will eat at dinner out or a party and stay w/in your range. I can go anywhere and do anything and still eat. It makes sure you understand that if you are going to be splurging on an occassional night out that you save your points for the big event. Just love this!!

  • maheen

    ww is wonderfulllllllllllllll i luv it!!!!!!!!!!!!!nd i prefer 2 use it

  • tricia.folla

    i just put to bed and have gained a lot of weight and would want to loose asap.

    i really d not want something with side effects on me

  • rosie

    i have been on weight watcher for exactly one week today and have followed it faithfully. I eat exactly the points have to and have cut out diet soda, i dring almost 2 1/2 ltrs of water a day, eat fruits and vegetable and weight watchers meals and i have GAINED ALMOST 5 POUNDS!!! WHY????

  • colette viau

    Hi I joined weight watcher this summer.I paid 132.00 dollars. I have gone only 1 time because I had a ride with a friend to Lancaster Ont., but i live in Alexandria,she stopped going,so I have no more ride to go,please i want my money back or please please open in Alexandia. Colette

  • ANON

    I am on the Momentum Plan, and frankly I don’t know what the differences are between that and the precursors, like CORE, FLEX Points, Winning Points, etc. As far as I’m concerned, they are just new marketing gimmicks.

    Going to my first Weight Watcher’s meetings was akin to jumping on a merry-go-round carousel in the middle of a rotation. You’ve got people there who have signed up repeatedly over the years, people who have been going to meetings for a year or more, and complete newbies. When I told the receptionists on two different meeting days that I was new to Weight Watchers they seemed surprised. Excuse me, but I didn’t spend my life obese, I got that way thanks to an industrial injury that severely cramped my formerly active lifestyle.

    Truthfully, I was and continue to be somewhat skeptical that Weight Watchers would work for me. For one, I had heard that the National Weight Loss Registry reports that the only people who maintain weight loss permanently are those who spend, on average, 1-2 hours per day exercising (10,000 steps per day). Since I can’t take up running or jogging and don’t expect I will find the time to walk nearly two hours each and every day, I was skeptical that diet alone would work for me. The good news is that I’ve lost week every week since I joined Weight Watchers. The bad news is that I’ve lost such a small amount of Weight that I haven’t even managed to shed 10 lbs. yet. There was no dramatic initial weight loss at all, and I started to plateau almost right away. Fortunately, I fully expected to see slow weight loss on this program. Why? Because several years before I started Weight Watchers I had all but eliminated red meat, fried foods, candy, sodas, coffee, juice and other empty calories — none of it having resulted in a single pound lost. For all the healthful changes I made in my diet, I continued to gain weight. That is despite the fact that I have always been the type to eat salads, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. I have always been the type to bring home almost half of my meal at a restaurant in a doggie bag. The vast majority of time, ice cream, chips — I would throw them out iced over or stale because I wouldn’t go through them fast enough in my house. No thyroid problem. No gluttony problem. My problem amounts to being too sedentary — and there are medical reasons for much of that.

    Honestly, I found WW meetings confusing, on the one hand, because they don’t run it like a class. There is no “new enrollment” group. Everyone, men & women, experienced WW and new members, are lumped in randomly and new and old members come and go at will. I suppose the benefit of this One Room Schoolhouse approach is that you can learn from people who have been a part of the program longer. Yet when I asked not one but several Weight Watcher’s meeting center Leaders what the differences were between all the various plans Weight Watchers has advertised over the years, including this latest, “Momentum” I was met with long pauses and vague answers. For instance, there is another technique, Simply Filling, where you don’t count Points, but none of the Leaders had used that method to achieve their own lasting weight loss so they really couldn’t be of much help in that regard.

    Speaking of Points, what makes them work is the fact that you are tracking them every single day in the form of a daily Points target and a weekly Points allotment. What makes the Points system not exactly so great is that it is based upon a proprietary, patented mathematical formula that converts body mass statistics to a Daily Points Value, and caloric information to Points values for individual foods. You will need the nutritional information to convert every food you consume to Points. This means you are not only counting calories, but then adding an extra step of converting that data to Points values. It also means that if you home cook or use cookbooks without nutritional data for each recipe, calculating your Points is a nightmare. You will have to save ALL the labels off of everything in your pantry and refrigerator and convert the servings to Points using the Weight Watchers calculator or online database. If you eat out of a box or a can, no problem. If you cook fresh you will have to search out the nutritional information, add the Points value of every single item in the recipe (dependent on quantity) and then divide the total by the number of servings the recipe makes.

    Prepare to do a lot of counting and math using Weight Watchers, just as you would on a program that counts calories. For a cheaper approach, just ask your doctor for a calorie goal or go to the US government website on the Food Pyramid and keep a Food & Exercise journal. They key is that if you write everything down religiously, you’ll lose weight. There are studies backing that approach. Weight Watchers, then, is best if you know you won’t do any of that without the accountability and camaraderie of a group. If that’s what keeps you motivated most, that is where Weight Watchers shines. Whereas other diets are sketchy on support, Weight Watchers revolves around it, and that is what makes the program successful for so many people.

    Given that I’m not much of an extrovert and that what I was learning in the meetings were only scratching the surface of the many diet and health books I’ve read over the years, I am happier simply using the Weight Watchers eTools. These online Tracking tools are helpful because they save all the info. from day-to-day and month-to-month, graph your progress, log your food, activity weight, etc. That isn’t to say that the eTools are perfect, however. The entire Weight Watchers website has been known to go down for hours on end, and there is no courtesy attempt on the part of the Weight Watcher’s corporation to notify or explain the outages to paying subscribers, either. Was my personally identifiable information safe from hackers? That’s one disadvantage of the eTools online system for Tracking because EVERYTHING you enter resides on their servers. If the site is too busy or subject to a denial-of-service attack, you’ll have to wait with fingers crossed.

    Secondly, the eTools are created with FLASH, and while FLASH has its uses on the web to create interactive, animated content, it is very slow. Beyond that, entering one’s personal data into the Tracking software requires a “loading data” time that is roughly 1-2 minutes on a high speed connection. Weight Watchers claims that dial-up users will only wait about 2 minutes, but that is what I am waiting for my Tracking data to load on a HIGH SPEED connection. Consequently, I would not recommend Weight Watchers online at all for someone on a dial-up connection. Meanwhile, I would recommend their meetings only if your main struggle is with “emotional eating”, you don’t realize that fast food has a ton of fat & calories (Points) compared to veggies & salads, and you are a complete newbie to dieting. Translation? If you’ve read any of the bestselling diet books in the past few years, what they talk about in the meetings — the fact that a given number of Points in jelly beans is going to be less satisfying than that same amount of points in something bulky, like a giant salad — that’s not going to be news to you. If you already know that you can eat twice or three times as much vegetables or fruits and not approach the calorie (Points) equivalent of a highly processed food such as a candy bar, hamburger or a bag of potato chips the “educational” content of the meetings is going to be far too simplistic to hold your interest. If, on the other hand, you are a real extrovert and will benefit from the social aspect of the meetings to keep on going, Weight Watchers is a great choice.

    From what I’ve gathered thus far, Weight Watchers emphasizes the low fat angle, which was popularized in the 1990s. For instance, you are supposed to drink fat-free milk and skim or low-fat cheese — otherwise the Points per serving are too high and you will feel hungry throughout the day for eating the full fat version in such small quantities. Meanwhile, Weight Watchers International are not yet doing enough, in my opinion, to emphasize the fact that not all carbs are created equally. The Momentum Plan introductory pamphlet — which is about as much “explanation” as you will get when you join — sounds vaguely like it is based on the Glycemic Index or some other such approach to minimize wild blood sugar swings — and the hunger that yo-yo blood sugar “spikes” cause — yet it stops short of actually EXPLAINING anything in great depth or in terms you may recognize from diet & nutrition books. Hence, if you buy Weight Watchers brand frozen dinners, for example, you will find that a vast majority of them revolve around starchy white pasta. These are not “filling foods”, in my opinion, because the carb counts are off the charts and the vegetable content is surprisingly low coming from a diet food manufacturer.

    In my experience, eating high carbs and low fat is a recipe for HUNGER. Dieters need a balance between protein, carbs and fat in EVERY meal or snack to really maximize fullness. But Weight Watchers makes no distinction between the fact that eating an apple with a handful of nuts or a bit of cheese is going to keep you much more full than eating that apple by itself or eating the nuts or cheese by itself. It’s the combo that works, yet Weight Watchers presently designates an Apple or just about any other fruit or vegetable as a “filling food” regardless of whether or not you combine it to achieve a good balance of carbs, fiber, fat and protein. That’s not adequate, in my experience, as someone who suffers from reactive hypoglycemia, as I suspect many who struggle with obesity do. The fact that a particular vegetable or fruit is unprocessed and has plenty of fiber and nutritional value does not “trick” my body into feeling full if there is no protein and/or fat to round it out. Thus, I think the diet approach advocated by the Zone, South Beach or similar diet is probably more realistic for someone who really struggles with hunger (vs. stress eating). Momentum doesn’t quite cross the threshold into telling dieters what they really need to know. And though Weight Watchers, on the whole, is the most highly vetted of all diets out there, they are surprisingly vague on the science. Since many of us dieters have “been there” and “done that”, it’s somewhat odd to join a weight loss program that doesn’t scratch much of the surface. Where is the book that goes into all the scientific details that Make Momentum, or any other plan they’ve advertised in recent years, work? Weight Watchers boils every new marketing campaign down to a pamphlet a 7th grader would find unchallenging. Fortunately, the mechanics of their system — a supportive atmosphere paired to religiously journaling your activity, weight and consumption habits — work.

  • Ed Comer

    Where is your meeting schedule?

  • edeline

    i am edeline i am 16 years old i am 200 pounds i need something that can make me drop some fat

  • Omgirl

    I have used Weight Watchers twice. The first time I lost 18 lbs in 4 months without any exercise. The second time I lost 11 lbs in 3 months with moderate exercise. It’s not a ton of weight, average about 1-2 lbs a week. But it really changed the way I saw food. I learned which foods were really bad choices and how to substitute for lower fat/lower sugar/lower calorie equivalents without sacrificing much taste. I also learned quickly how big my portion sizes had been, and how to eat the right amounts of food. It only took about one week to get used to the new size of meals and I no longer felt hungry or craved sugar. I could eat almost anything, I just had to adjust the amount or sacrifice something else later that I might have eaten. It’s all about making wise choices. More than anything, W.W. changed the way I looked at food overall and the way I ate in a permanant, sustainable way. It wasn’t a fad diet, not a quick weight loss scam. It was something I can and do use all the time now when I need to shed a few pounds. I highly recommend it. (I did the online version, not the meetings, as I’m on the computer all day. It was so easy for me to look up points and put my foods into the system to keep track.)

  • jane

    i have friends who swear by this diet…while they’re ON it. i have an aunt who has dropped 100 pounds…gained it. she’s happy with WW…while she’s ON it. please people, stop wasting your money and “checking in” at meetings…it’s a recipe for cheating. This system may have worked for dieters in the 60’s, but we know more now—specifically, the scale doesn’t mean as much when you are striving for true fitness. Don’t fall in love with the number on the scale and have a body composition that looks like crap. And don’t go to meetings when we’re in the age of the internet and you can find common interests with like-minded individuals and meet up for support if you so choose–for free! WW is outdated. As for me, I’ve struggled all my life, but no more. I went to my first WW meeting when I was 15, and then again when I was 20, and 26 having nominal success, feeling ashamed and defeated, and then gaining it all back and more. Afterall people told me I was just a big boned girl. And then when I was 28 years old (5’4 tall, 214 pounds) I discovered Body for Life. I started going to the gym with a friend who was trying to lose baby weight. I didn’t really think much of it, but soon I dropped weight, then I started eating 6 times a day, balnaced meals. I found out I had a passion for running, and so I trained for a marathon. Two years later, I ran my first marathon. By that time, I had lost nearly 90 pounds, and 8 dress sizes. I weighed 124 pounds and was a muscular size 4. Currently I’ve maintained at a size 8 and about 135 pounds (I’m no longer running 20 miles a week). I am in great shape, happy, healthy, and have maintained a healthy weight for 7 years. It’s totally possible to completely transform yourself, but you have to look to yourself, not others at meetings. A great support system is at transformation.com. It’s part of the Body for Life community. Good luck to everyone out there no matter which plan you choose. Peace.

  • Nikita Council

    I have done WW twice. The first time i lost almost 90 pounds and got pregnant. After the birth of my son i went back on it. I have lost 73 pounds now and it only been 5 months. I dont go to the meeting because im doing it for me. Since i already know how to maintain i just pick a date weigh in that day like if i was goin gto the meetings. I didnt know that WW really worked at first. I have learned that WWW isnt a diet it all about the portion size. Not only im doing point system but im also working out 3 times a week. All i can say is that I LOVE WW!!!!!

  • Marandy

    Hi there! I think and know for sure, that WW is working!!! But you have to do your part also. Don’t think this is a quick weight loss plan, it took you years to be “Overweight” so it will take you at least 3 month to loose 5-6 pounds…
    After all you have to do also EXERCISE (but that every diet will tell you !)and not only think the “diet” alone will do the thing. It’s all about mind-setting and YOUR commitment to yourself. I lost 10 pounds since 3.November ‘09 go swimming with a couch, 3x a week for an hour. I never used to do sport! I was a couch potato!!! So if I can do so can you ! :-)Have fun and GOOD LUCK! It works.

  • jeremy

    WW is the most do-able for most people, the most basic, and makes the most sense. I’m not here to tell you it’s the only good way, because there are others, but it’s the best I’ve found.

    What WW is: A support group that provides a comprehensive list of suggestions coupled with proven science to aid in weight loss. WW is low cost, and can be done in person or on the internet, your choice. You can use the points system, or stick with a list of suggested low-density foods. You can eat whatever you want, just not in large portions, the plan encouraging healthy food choices. It’s the only system I’ve found that allows you to eat whatever you want. If I want that piece of pecan pie, I can eat it.

    What WW is not: a gym, personal trainer, a shrink to find out why you binge, a personal assistant to follow you around your daily lives, or a personal chef making sure you eat the right foods. It is not the answer to all your health and fitness needs, nor does it aim to be. They will not nag you to quit smoking or remove the drama or stress from your life that sabotages every diet plan you try. 10 to 14 bucks a week isn’t going to solve your life problems.

    My story: I went on WW in 2002. In 15 months, I lost 78 pounds. Then I lost my business, and was nearly shot and killed. I hadn’t learned to deal with life on life’s terms and picked up the fork, my drug of choice, gaining 114 pounds. THEN I nearly had a heart attack in my front yard. Went back to WW, and the weight came off slowly, and I slowly learned how to manage my stress, dealing with things in ways other than binging. I’ve had some equally devastating things happen since then, including botched surgery that almost killed me, but this time, I’ve kept off the 60 pounds I’ve lost…for 3 years. How? I stay sane, I exercise, I have a life outside of my downtown loft and my computer…i.e. friends, concerts, movies, art museums, coffee at sidewalk cafes…you get the idea. And I haven’t smoked in 7 years. I hit goal before with smoking and no exercise, quitting a week after I hit goal. In January of this year, I decided to lose the rest. I’m down 16 pounds and 9% body fat, in addition to the chunk of blubber I’ve kept off for 3 yrs. I run/ walk my doggies 3 miles a day (one is fat and can’t keep up with me), and weight train 4 to 5 days a week. And I really enjoy it. My exercise plan is my own personal choice, not dictated by WW, as are all the other changes I’ve made in my life except food intake…save their great visualizations, and of course they do suggest exercise.

    I previously bailed on WW not because of the program, it was because I hadn’t dealt with the reason I got fat in the first place. I bailed out the water but never fixed the hole in the boat. The people who fail use their points for junk, are addicted to drama, are depressed and use food as a drug…you guys know. This is where the sword enters our hearts. Before, I blamed diet plans without a good, hard look in the mirror.

    Basic weight loss: eat less calories than you burn. Period. WW points you towards healthy choices and teaches you proper portions. It will not prevent you from eating a gallon of ice cream to deal with whatever it is you need to numb. That’s on you. I go to group therapy, made some friends, started doing fun things, and started exercising. The ones who fail seem to miss this one. Locked in the house in front of the computer 16 hours a day doesn’t cut it.

    I’ve tried Atkins, which nearly killed me…I could go down the line with all the rest of the diets I’ve been on. They aren’t sustainable. Eating the foods I like and minding my portions…that I can live with. Also, I’m a vegetarian and WW allows for that. There are a couple of other good programs out there, but they are harder to stick with due to stricter exercise requirements (and for me eating flesh).

    WW should emphasize body fat, some of you are right with that. Myself and many other WW members purchased Tanita scales we use, so it’s not an issue to me…I put it in the category of fitness which was my responsibility.

  • Heather

    I did WW 3 times. The first two times, I couldn’t believe how fast I lost the weight, but I was also exercising. I was an instructor for many years, and never had to diet, because of all the exercise. The last time I did it, I had knee surgery and was not teaching/exercising, never lost any weight. The points are too hard to count with a busy family, and I would have to make all seperate meals if on the Core. I think it’s expensive to pay $15 week to get on the scale. Bottom line….get moving and watch the weight come off.

  • pumagirl1

    I’ve been doing weight watchers online since May 2009 and have lost 35 lbs, and am near my goal weight. The online programs works for me, as I am a nibbler, and often lost track of how much I was eating. I have adapted the program to my eating style, and bring portion controlled food to work or when running errands. I eat when I want to, and have added more veggies and fruit to my eating program, so that I can eat all day and (hopefullly) not go over my points values. I always track my points, even when I go way over, meaning I use up weekly points, activity points, and end up in the -60 range! It doesn’t matter to me, as this is a lifestyle change, and not a “race to the finish line”. I plateaued for about 6 months, but kept up with the program every day, and have just started losing again. It helps me keep track of my goals and accomplishments, and the things that I would like to get better at. Great site, great recipes, and on-line is less expensive than meetings. I can see doing this forever and enjoying it. Give it a try! I was really surprised how wll it has worked, and I have improved my eating habits, and added more exercise to my days. All great changes to make. Make the program your own, and you will succeed!