For more than 40 years, millions of people, of all ages and weight goals, have followed Weight Watchers. The popular weight loss program promotes a healthy, balanced diet without food restrictions. The eat-what-you-like plan uses a point system to track foods. Determined by calorie count, as well as fat and fiber content, every food is assigned a number. Tracking points encourages users to make better food choices and learn portion control. Extra points are earned with physical activity.
Unlike other weight loss programs, Weight Watchers includes weekly meetings and check-ins. At the initial Weight Watchers meeting, dieters will learn their daily targets. Points are determined by weight, height, age, and activity level. Participants also receive tools to help track their points like food journals and guidebooks with popular grocery store and restaurant food point values. Typically, followers tend to lose between a half pound and 2 pounds per week until they meet their goals and establish long-term lifestyle changes.
Flexibility: There are no forbidden foods. Simply eat what you want but stay within your points. The plan allows for occasional indulgences and fits easily into most lifestyles. For example, you will not need to prepare separate meals for your family.
Food Knowledge: The plan teaches you about foods and how to make the most of your points. You’ll learn which foods will make you fuller for longer. In grocery stores, you’ll find that some frozen food brands like Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones now include Weight Watchers point values on their packaging.
Lifestyle Change: If followed correctly, you should expect to achieve steady weight loss at a healthy rate. The program teaches portion control. With Weight Watchers, you're more likely to keep the weight off than with more dramatic fad diets.
Support Group: You’ll get assistance from Weight Watchers to set a healthy weight goal and establish your point target. By attending weekly meetings, you’ll receive on-going, motivating support from your meeting leaders and weight loss group.
Portion Tracking: You may find portion sizes small. To properly track, you will have to measure serving sizes and record all foods and beverages. For recipes, you’ll need to know the nutritional information for all ingredients in order to calculate points. The details could prove overwhelming.
Group Overload: While motivating for some, group meetings are not for everyone. You also may not have time in your schedule each week to attend in person. Alternatively, the Weight Watchers program may be completed entirely online without in-person meetings and weigh-ins.
Slow Burn: You may feel discouraged if you do not see results quickly. Weight Watchers builds a healthy, long-term plan for an average 1/2 to 2 pound weight loss rate per week. Some weeks you may not lose any weight at all.
Costs Add Up: Meetings cost about $13 per week with an initial $30 registration fee. For the virtual experience, online meetings are $5 per week. If you have a lot of weight to lose, and intend to be active in the program for a lengthy time, the costs will certainly add up.