Weight Watchers Diet
Is Weight Watchers Right for You?
A lot of people struggle with their weight. If you're one of them,
you've probably tried numerous diets. Most diets deprive you of your
favorite foods, that's unless your favorite foods consist of salads and
tofu. The Weight Watchers plan is a bit different from most others. It's
also one diet that you can stick to without feeling deprived. The
Weight Watchers plan focuses on nutrition, exercise, and counseling,
instead of deprivation.
Following the Weight Watchers Plan
The Weight Watchers plan assigns each food a specific number of
points. The number of points you're allowed per day depends on your
weight and how much you want to lose. The best thing about Weight
Watchers and the point system is that you can eat what you want. If you
want an entire tub of ice cream, you can have it. That would be a lot of
points though, and you probably wouldn't be able to eat anything else
for the entire day.
Weight Watchers works because you can have small portions of any food
you like. Instead of having that tub of ice cream, why not have two
scoops? You can then spend your remaining points on a real meal. Weight
Watchers created their own line of foods available in grocery stores and
online. Some people think the Weight Watchers meals lack taste. An
alternative is to purchase regular food, and then apply the points
yourself. Online support, points, menus, and calculators are available
to make things easier.
Does the Weight Watchers Point System Work?
The answer to that question depends on your weight loss goals. The
Journal of the American Medical Association recently did a study of
Weight Watchers participants. They found that following two years in the
program, one group of participants lost an average of 6 pounds. Another
group of participants, all of whom attended at least 78 percent of the
weekly meetings, lost an average of 11 pounds after two years.
This isn't a significant amount of weight loss, considering it's over
a two year period. Most dieters want to lose 6 to 11 pounds per month,
not per year. If you want to lose a lot of weight fairly quickly, it
seems that Weight Watchers may not work for you.
An obese person, who needs to lose a lot of weight for health reason,
probably wouldn't benefit from Weight Watchers either. The best course
of action is to perform more research, and decide if the program is
right for you. However, it's not all bad news.
Some participants do really well with Weight Watchers. With the
proper exercise and nutrition, you could lose more weight than the
average participant. A person who exercises a few times a week will
experience more weight loss than one who doesn't exercise at all. So if
you're only slightly overweight, the point system may be a good option.
If you're not interested in counting points, you can always try the
Weight Watchers core foods plan. This is for people who don't want to
count points. Weight Watchers provides a list of approved foods (core
foods) that can be eaten with little regard to portion size. If you
stick to the foods on the core list, you won't have to worry about
counting points. You can eat some foods that aren't on the core list,
but then you'll have to count the points.
The Pros and Cons of Weight Watchers
There's a good and a bad side to everything. Here are some pros and
cons regarding the Weight Watchers program:
- The Weight Watchers point system makes it easy to eat a balanced
meal. Since you can basically eat whatever you want, there's less chance
of binging on junk food. You won't feel deprived, hungry, or tired.
- Weight Watchers supplies all you need to stick to the plan. You
can attend support meetings, use the website, and buy prepared frozen
foods. If you don't like the frozen foods, Weight Watches shows you how
to apply the point system to just about any type of food.
- The support meetings provide social support. Some people lose
weight faster, and change their eating habits easier, when they have a
buddy to help them along. The support meetings aren't mandatory though,
and you can build a support network online.
- You learn portion control. The points encourage you to eat smaller
portions of various foods, as opposed to large portions of everything.
- You have complete control over the type of foods you eat. Weight
Watchers doesn't deprive you of anything. The important thing is to keep
track of your points.
- Weight Watchers can become very expensive. The support meetings
aren't free, and normally cost anywhere from $10 – $12 per meeting.
These prices can change though, and vary based on your location. The
online program charges a one time setup fee, and then a monthly fee of
$16.95 (currently). If you purchase the meals, that's an added expense.
It's important to note that Weight Watchers sometimes offers enrollment
specials. There are also specials available for those who become
- Point counting burnout. Some participants get bored and annoyed
with counting points for everything they eat.
- Slow weight loss (for some people). If you're looking to lose a
significant amount of weight fairly quickly, Weight Watchers isn't your
No matter which diet plan you choose, exercise is important. A diet
plan paired with healthy eating is a sure way to lose weight, develop
healthier eating habits, and keep the weight off.