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, generally in a sensible way.

Weight Watchers has 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 latest innovation is called Simple Start and works with their highly successful PointsPlus™ method of tracking food intake. This encompasses healthy nutrition, effective calorie control, and livability. The goal is to lose weight and keep it off.

The philosophy behind Weight Watchers believes that eating is just one part of long-term weight management. A healthy body results in a healthy lifestyle (both mental, emotional, and physical health). They do not tell you what to eat, but provide the information, tools, and motivation to help you make good eating decisions.

Weight Watchers Simple Start

Weight Watchers Simple Start is a two week plan designed to help you stop dieting and start living. They make it simple with all the tools and support you need to be successful and deal with the temptation that’s bombarding you from every direction.

The basics of Simple Start:

  1. Includes a smart phone app with easy step-by-step guides.
  2. Real food  called PowerFoods that fill you up fast and keeps you full longer.
  3. No measuring and no math for fast results.

After two weeks members move on the ongoing Weight Watchers Program.

Weight Watchers Ongoing

The ongoing Weight Watchers program is more 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 Weight Watchers PowerFoods
  • 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

For the first two weeks, while on Simple Start, members are to eat the PowerFoods recommended in various combinations and in recipes suggested.

For the rest of the program 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 PointsPlusTM system, you will be taught about filling foods and satisfying choices that you can rely on to help keep hunger in check.

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

What is ProPoints?

ProPoints is the name of the new Weight Watchers Points system in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Pro Points works in a similar way to PointsPlus but with variations based on local food labeling regulations.


One of the strengths of this program is the ability to meet regularly with others – in an environment of mutual encouragement and support.

Enjoy support from your Meeting leader who lost weight with Weight Watchers, is a trained expert in the program and is committed to your success. You also benefit from the exchange of tips, recipes and others’ practical experiences. As a Meeting Member, You attend Meetings once a week for less than an hour. There’s no contract, so you pay as you go, and you can sign up for the Internet weight-loss companion for Meetings, Weight Watchers eTools.

Weight Watchers Online

Weight Watchers Online provides all the tools you need. Chart your progress online and see your rewards as you go with the Weight Tracker. A series of interactive foods enable you to manage daily food choices, eating out,  and activities.

The on-line program also has a very strong community – chat rooms, numerous message boards and recipe swaps. All are extremely active and very helpful.

Is Weight Watchers Effective?

Weight Watchers is a sustainable (2 pounds weight loss per week) and workable program that has been successful for over 40 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.

Weight Watchers Simple Start is the company’s best program yet and emphasizes lifestyle change as the method most successful for permanent results.


Pricing varies, so you will need to check with the Weight Watchers® site.


No diet program will work for 100% of the population – but Weight Watchers is most certainly one of the best choices out there.


Weight Watchers® USA – Official Site

Weight Watchers Canada – Official Site

Weight Watchers UK – Official Site

Weight Watchers New Zealand – Official Site

Weight Watchers Australia – Official Site

Everydiet.org is an advertising partner of Weight Watchers.

 By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
  • Melanie

    I am doing weight watchers points plus system for the second time in my second week. Ive been following to a t and only lost half a lb plus exercising 6 times a week for 30-60 mins. A little discouraged but assuming im trying to hard this time. Last time i lost 2 lbs a week consistently and cheated once a week.
    Crossing my fingers for a big loss this week.

  • Ana Maria


  • Ana Maria

    WW is a great program because you can still eat your favorite foods, you just have to count you points!! Drink plenty of water and don’t forget to exercise. It worked for me in the past and I lost 20 pounds in a month!! I think because I am young and was active every day doing zumba. I am jumping back on to this because I had a baby and gained lots of weight but I am so motivated and remain that way because I know WW works for sure! Remember its not a diet its a lifestyle change!!!!!

  • wellington

    I believe the flex program is so must better than the w/w plus.
    I lost like 50 lbs on it and the new one just is not doing it for me.
    I am thinking about going to ” Sparkpeople“….
    Does any one think w/w will make some changes to the good??

    • Joyce

      I too lost weight on WW, till they changed it to the plus point program. Before I could eat healthy, but still have my In-N-Out hamburger once a week and still loose weight. After, it would cost me so much points that I was hungry, and I stopped loosing weight.


    I have been on WW for 5 weeks and lost 15lb! Great program and super easy to stick to!

  • Ally

    I’ve been on WW for about 2 weeks now, technically 3 but that first week doesn’t count as I forgot to count my cooking oil intake.

    I’ve lost 2 pounds on the scale, but in terms of inches, I feel like I’m putting on weight. I usually lose weight on my face first, but I’ve seemed to have gained weight and my tummy is always bloated.

    Not sure what is going on. Should I stick to it for 12 weeks and see if it’s the right program for me? I exercise 3 times a week too, but with no results.

  • Eva

    Sorry I got your name wrong, I meant Ashlee. ;)

  • Eva

    To Ashley,
    ”I have stuck to the same diet and 1 hour of exercise why did I gain weight?”

    Keep in mind that the more you exercice, more muscles your body makes. Muscles weight more than fat , which means you will weight a little more but it is an amelioration. Hope it helped you :)


  • tzafi


    I don’t attend meetings due to my all over-the-place shift work as a nurse but I am a member of WW online. The tools are amazing, tracking is empowering, nothing is off limits, supportive to the max and best of all: IT WORKS!!! It truly does

  • CC

    I don’t know about you all but I definitely gained weight with WW. I have been working out 3 times a week averaging about 400 cal per session. I have never exceeded my points or consumed any of my week/exercise allowance points. I am seriously giving up on this. I think I am going back to Sparks People because I lost 30 pounds while doing the calorie counting program. Bottom line WW isn’t really for me so Good Luck everyone :)

    • Kim

      CC – If you are truly sticking to the program, you won’t gain. You are either overestimating your calories burned, or underestimating your points. Make sure to weigh and measure everything. There are lots of ways to cheat on this….trust me, I know :) Keep at it and try tweaking things – step up your activity, reduce your portions (weigh everything), drink more water, reach out for support, etc. See what happens. Good luck!

      • Gae

        I am a college sundett doing weight watchers for the second time! I did the older points system online in high school and lost 30 pounds in about 6 months! It was awesome. I loved the program. I am now going into my senior year of college and I just finished my first week on the Points Plus system and I love it so far! (again!) They both seem very effective in terms of helping you learn to choose foods wisely as well as learn portion control- however I am finding that the Points Plus system teaches you more about how to optimize what you are eating as far as eating the healthiest foods that will also fill you up and give you the most energy. I personally think it is more valuable than just going for the points like in the old system. I am hoping it works as well as the first time I did it. I hope you find a lot of success with the program! Good luck sweetie! xo

  • Philippa

    The idea of unity and meeting weekly results in success – which is fabulous. HOWEVER….
    WW products are very processed and either high in sweeteners or sugar or salt. I recall losing weight within a 7 week period however the food options were not healthy. I trained myself to eat many of the same foods, diet drinks and WW cholocate. I kept within my calorie/points but to be honest, I felt that this diet wasn’t a good option in the long run.

  • Meghan

    To me WW is the best way to lose weight. A year ago I did this and lost 30 pounds within a 2 month period. I also excercised everyday! The first week I lost 5 pounds. I like it because it gives you variety and you dont have to give up your favorite foods. I can eat out and not feel guilty as long as I am within my points. Ive tried alot of diets and can never stick with it. I know ALOT of people who have done this and had great success.#teamweightwatchers

  • Julie

    Lost 50 lbs on Weight Watchers in the past 6 months. Fantastic program.

  • Ann

    I have been using WW for 16 weeks, I have lost 45lbs so far. Really easy programme to follow

    • Mark

      I went to WW as a kid. I hated being told what to eat and what not to, and having to mesraue it. And it was geared toward adults – I was the only kid there. It made me feel even further removed from other kids than I alreay was. It put far too much focus on the problem, and made the “solution” feel like punishment.

  • Suzy

    After I had my baby I used WW and lost 37lbs! I am back on it again just to lose the last 15lbs…can’t wait, because I know it works!

  • yola

    I’ve a life time member of Weight Watchers.
    Great program

  • Kirsty

    I have tried several diet types including WW. I have done it a couple times and successfully lost weight. Each time I stopped and tried on my own, I gained a good portion back. I started again and have lost 10lb in 12weeks. It just works! I love that it’s not food restrictive, but teaches me to portion better. When I do it to hard (& have points left over) I don’t lose. Your body needs enough healthy fats to lose it’s holding fats. You need to eat your bonus points, so being restrictive hurts the losing process, not help. I’ve learned alot from WW. I lean toward a more vegetarian, but not strict, and prefer yoga as my exercise of choice. I am 42, have osteoarthritis and am in medical menopause AND STILL LOST WEIGHT. Weight Watchers just works!

  • Ashlee

    I have been on weight watchers before and lost 12lbs in 5weeks. I am on it again and my first week with my diet and 1 hour of exercise I lost 5.4lbs and I am on my second week with 5days left and I went to weight myself just for fun 4 days in and it said i gained back 1.8lbs. I have stuck to the same diet and 1 hour of exercise why did I gain weight?

  • Linda

    I did Weight Watchers, and it really worked. I followed the points system. With 30 minutes to and hour of exercise plus following you specific plan, you can’t fail. One plus to Weight Watchers is the fact that your points are set to you. If you use Momentum, you will be able to eat a variety of fresh foods that are considered filling and free to eat. I lost all the weight that I needed to lose and have an easy to follow maintenance plan set up solely for me. The weight wasn’t gained in a day and they give you tools and support that keep you motivated. I used weight watchers online, mother used the meetings. This is truely a 5 star weight loss program.

  • Mary

    I read somewhere that WW is bringing out a new program again soon. Has anyone heard anything?

    • Honey

      I did Fat Camp as a child and Weight Watchers as a teenager. I did feel that Fat Camp was exleemrty demoralizing and did little to effectively modify behavior. It felt like the staff really didn’t know how to handle weight problems. The “solution” in their eyes seemed to be to force kids to memorize Canada’s Food Guide and get them to do moderate amounts of exorcise. In all the time I was in the program I saw no indications of success for me or any of the campers. Education isn’t enough to change behavior. Just because you know you need several servings of vegetables in a day won’t stop kids from wanting donuts. Weight Watchers did not feel as bad (probably because I was older) but I did feel out of place as the local meetings were pretty much all aimed at (and attended by) middle-age women. There was one other male (I myself, am male) and he was a 50+ biker-dude whose wife had clearly dragged him in. What might actually be helpful to kids is the Weight Watchers online content. It depends on the age, and while I have had little success with it, I should provide an environment where kids can get at the content while not feeling out of place. The question is whether Weight Watchers really works without the “Community”. These days I recognize that if there was any positive change to happen, it should have started early and from home. My parents, while not overweight, could still have benefited from some education. I think what tends to happen is that most parents get frustrated and want their kids weight problem to be someone else’s problem.

  • lynn

    i used ww in 2008 and iost 16pds in 8wks and am ready to do it again. im going to try on my own at home. i loved the meetings but am not working right now.i would like to lose 10 to 15 more pds.i love to walk and have been walking 1 to 3 miles a day

  • Vanessa

    Weight Watchers is wonderful. I started ww weighing 168 pounds at 5’9″. With in the first week I lost 8.2 pounds. The first week I lost the most weight, but after that I lost an average of 1-2 pounds per week. It took me two and a half months to reach 142 pounds. I kept most of the weight off for 3.5 years. Not until I stopped weighing myself did I notice the weight pack on.

    The diet works. I did the diet with strict exercise and walking everywhere. I didn’t go to the gym nor did I do any vigorous exercise.

    Now I am trying the diet again and I lost 7.5 pounds in my first week :)

    The first time I went to meetings. Now I’m doing it on my own. If you want to try it, I suggest googling the formula for your point value (or going on Wikipedia). You can also google the points u can eat per day as well. Also do it with a friend…it’s easier and you are more likely to lose weight successfully. Meetings are a waste of money.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!!!!!

  • 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.

  • 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.)

  • edeline

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

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