Weight Watchers is undeniably on the most well-known and trusted brands in the weight loss industry. Weight Watchers operates in 30 countries. It was borne out of the home of a New York homemaker who met regularly with her friends to discuss how they were getting on with their weight loss efforts. It is modeled along the lines of Alcoholics Anonymous. The cornerstone of Weight Watchers is based on the idea that only those who need to lose weight can truly understand each others plight. Today, this sense of community and support forms the foundation of the Weight Watchers plan. Millions of dieters are thought to have found success with Weight Watchers, with tens of thousands of meeting held each week around the world. Expect weight loss of about 2lb a week on the Weight Watchers plan.
HOW DOES WEIGHT WATCHERS WORK?
The Weight Watchers diet plan is a calorie-controlled, low-fat one. There are two different methods of following the Weight Watchers diet, either through “The Points Plan” or “Simply Filling Technique”. You can switch between the two programs at any time. The Points Plan allows you to eat and drink anything you wish. However, you must keep within a daily Points allowance. The Simply Filling Technique allows you to eat from a set list of healthy foods. You are allowed to eat until you feel comfortable and there is no limit on food quantity. There is also a weekly Points allowance for small indulgences.
WEIGHT WATCHERS POINT SYSTEM
In this version of the Weight Watchers diet every food and drink has a Points value. The Points of each food and drink are determined according to their calorie and saturated fat content and serving size. The formula for these calculations is a closely guarded Weight Watchers secret. Roughly, the more calorific a food product, the higher its Points value.
To determine what you can eat throughout the day, simply add up the Points values of the foods you want to eat and drink. Make sure you do not exceed your daily Points allowance. Your weight, height, age, gender and activity level determines your Points allowance.
Your group leader will inform you of your personal Points allowance at your first Weight Watchers meeting. If you decide to join Weight Watchers online, you will be advised of your Points allowance after registering. You may earn additional Points through exercise. These Points are known as “Activity Points” and are calculated according to your weight and the duration and intensity of the activity.
When you join Weight Watchers you are given a cardboard slide rule to help you calculate the Point values of foods. Weight Watchers also has an electronic Points calculator that performs the same function. To help you with eating out, Weight Watchers also sells small paperback books that catalog thousands of foods from-fast food and full-service restaurant chains and branded and supermarket foods. If you sign up for Weight Watchers internet support, you will also gain online access to an internet Points value databases with a catalog of 30,000 foods.
WEIGHT WATCHERS SIMPLY FILLING TECHNIQUE
The Simply Filling Technique option allows you to eat from a list of healthy foods (e.g. fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, brown rice, potatoes, skimmed milk and low-fat dairy products) without tracking their Point values. The Weight Watchers Simply Filling Technique is similar to the old Weight Watchers Core plan. If you follow the Simply Filling Technique, you do not require a daily Points allowance and simply eat until you are satisfied (not full) from foods on the list. However, you are allocated a set number of Points weekly and can earn further Points from exercise. You can then use these points for foods that are not on the healthy list.
ADVANTAGES OF WEIGHT WATCHERS
- There is no list of prohibited foods. Weight Watchers allows you to eat what you want, while keeping to your daily Points allowance. Although, the Simply Filing Technique is slightly more restrictive, you are still allowed to indulge occasionally.
- Weight Watchers encourages you to eat healthily and gives you an incentive to exercise, which is rather clever.
- The Weight Watchers meetings is where Weight Watchers really comes into its own. Research shows that you are more likely to continue with your weight loss efforts and less likely to give up when you have support. This support is provided in the Weight Watchers meetings, where you have the support and advice from Weight Watchers staff and fellow dieters. It can be a safe haven for dieters who feel embarrassed about the weight problems, since everyone there is in the same boat. You are able to meet new people and make friends. This may all sound rather clichéd, but a good support network is vital. These meetings are especially great for dieters who do not have a support network in their friends and family.
DISADVANTAGES OF WEIGHT WATCHERS
- The cost of Weight Watchers can add up, where you join Weight Watchers online or attend meetings.
- The Points system is based on serving sizes, which is less accurate than using not food weights.
- Weight Watchers does not require you to calorie count. However, you still need to work out Points values, which may or may not be more time consuming than simply calorie counting. The Points system may have been ingenious before food labeling. Now that most foods have labels listing their calorie, fat and sugar content, the Weight Watchers Points system seems somewhat redundant. Perhaps it’s a case of six of one, half-dozen of the other.
WEIGHT WATCHERS VERDICT
Weight Watchers is a well thought out diet plan. The points system may not be better than simply calorie counting, but the exercise for points is a brilliant concept. This may the feature that can really get your weight loss going, for you to learn how to balance “calories in” versus “calories out” and to maintain your weight loss indefinitely. If you want to join Weight Watchers, make sure you exercise to make it worth your while. Once you leave the Weight Watchers program, you are bound to stop using the Points system. Therefore, you also need get to grips with calorie counting, as it is an understanding of the calorie content of food that will play a major role in weight maintenance.
Increasingly, health professionals are supporting the Weight Watchers plan, with some working in tandem with the program to help achieve weight loss for overweight patients.
If you suffer with an eating disorder or are pregnant, the Weight Watchers program is unsuitable. If you have any medical condition, you need to pass the Weight Watchers program by your doctor first to get permission to proceed.