Weight Watchers has been around for over 50 years, helping people to improve their food choices and offering social support.
Let’s dive in to see what makes Weight Watchers such a popular weight loss program. In this article we’ll take a look at what their diet plan entails, as well as answer the question, does Weight Watchers really work?
This will provide all the information you need to make an educated decision before signing on!
But Losing Weight is Hard!
Not necessarily. What’s hard is giving up foods you love and having to wait for results, often in the face of delicious temptations like pizza and ice cream.
Weight Watchers breaks down all foods into a point system, so you can eat all the foods you love, while exploring healthier options.
You start the day with a certain number of points. Foods that are more calorie dense and nutrient poor get a higher number of points that you subtract from your daily allotment.
Healthier choices, such as vegetables and fruits, get a lower number of points (and have a lower number of calories), so you can eat more of them.
Weight Watchers Point Count – The Joy of Cooking
Through the Weight Watchers program, members learn how to shop for and prepare from scratch delicious and nutrient dense foods.
Since the focus is always on foods you enjoy or want to explore, there aren’t any hard to find ingredients or complex steps to follow, unless you choose to.
There are many websites dedicated to Weight Watchers recipes, and they list the points that each serving is worth, so counting is easy. Keep in mind that if you change the ingredients, you may have to change your point count.
Did you use apple sauce instead of oil in your cupcakes? Great! You used up fewer points! Did you double the icing recipe? You used more points.
There are no pre-packaged foods you have to buy, no necessary supplements or products. Just tweak your grocery list as you need to for your meals for the week, which are entirely up to you.
You are able to log restaurant meals as well. Many restaurants are listed in their points calculator, and you are encouraged to choose your meal wisely so as to not spend two days worth of points on one dinner.
Social Responsibility – Weight Watchers Local Weekly Meetings and Online Program
Many people can’t stick to a plan unless they have a very solid support structure, and this usually means family and friends.
In the real world, for some reason, family and friends are often the opposite of supportive when it comes to your weight loss quest. Constantly offering “just one” cookie, or “just one” slice of pizza.
The constant offerings of tasty treats are what started the whole problem of being overweight! It makes no logical sense, but that’s the reality.
Weight Watchers organizes local weekly meetings for members to get together to discuss successes, stumbling blocks, and strategies to stick to your plan.
One of the center points of the weekly meeting is the weigh in. Participants are weighed privately with their coach, and it’s up to the member if they wish to share this information.
For many people, this type of support is the make-it-or-break-it factor. Having people who are going through the same journey, with similar struggles to talk with and brainstorm against can be the key to allowing you to change your habits for good.
The online program is structured to emulate the in-person groups, but since it’s over the internet, it misses just a little of the personal touch. Weigh ins are logged privately, and support is largely in a forum format.
What Does Weight Watchers Cost Per Month?
One of the detracting factors of the Weight Watchers program is the expense to be a member.
There are several levels of membership, the least costly being $19.95 per month with a $20 sign up fee, the most expensive being $54.95 per month, though it includes personal coaching, and there are several levels in between.
The lower priced option is best for those who need less support, and who enjoy the use of apps and devices to track activity and food logs.
The pricier the plan, the more personal and extensive your support becomes, and this is a great choice if you need more knowledgeable guidance.
Realistically, this fee could simply replace your restaurant meals, as purchasing groceries and cooking are more favorable anyway.
Tasty treats are expensive, so you can divert those funds as an investment in yourself towards getting healthier.
Bottom Line: Does Weight Watchers Really Work?
The answer is…it depends. It depends largely on where you are on your weight loss journey. If you have some experience in nutrition, you know how to calculate your daily caloric requirements and can modify your macros based on your activity level, then this program isn’t going to be the best for you.
If that last sentence made your eyes glaze over like the donuts on your boss’ desk, then you’re in the right place! Weight Watchers is a good program for anyone who is newer to planning their meals around nutritious choices and who doesn’t have a background in food science.
If you’re open to cooking, then this is definitely a good choice.
It’s also the right program to help anyone lose weight who doesn’t want to have a restrictive diet and needs the flexibility to choose a fitness plan that fits a busy schedule.
The social support system of the weekly meetings is a great boost to anyone who feels like they are alone in their journey, or doesn’t have enough support through friends and family.
As with all weight loss programs, the results are dependent on your own choices and biochemistry. If you’re following the structure and not finding success, look for hidden calories and make sure your math is good.
Contact a healthcare professional if you have concerns or conditions to address.
With the simple point system, encouragement to exercise, and the social accountability, it’s easy to see how so many people have found success with this system. Remember that weight loss is not a straight line.
Some weeks you may lose more or less, some you may increase a little or stay the same. The structure of Weight Watchers makes it great for supporting you during your whole journey.