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Weight Watchers

For more than 50 years, Weight Watchers has been a trusted approach to weight loss for men and women.

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  • Established: 1963

  • Founder: Jean Nidetch

  • Headquarters: New York City

  • Stock Symbol: WTW

  • Accessibility: Meetings, Online, Books, Apps

  • Diet Type: Low-Calorie, Low-Fat

  • Gender: Male and Female

  • Celebrity Endorsements: Jessica Simpson

  • Corporate Site: WeightWatchers.com

BACKGROUND

It's been 50 years since Weight Watchers came on the scene and started helping people live healthier lives. Weight Watchers helps members create a foundation to introduce healthier choices and physical activity into their lives. Weight Watchers was made popular by the weekly meetings that are still a cornerstone of the program today.

Weight Watchers allows you to eat the foods you like without restriction. Simply stay within your daily range and you can still enjoy the foods you love balanced with nutritious choices like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Unlike many diets, Weight Watchers also encourages an active lifestyle.

It all started in a living room, where women would gather to support one another while losing weight. Then it grew, and became one of the most recognized names in weight loss. They've remained an innovative brand, taking the plan online, and creating a program specifically for men.

Weight Watchers Meetings The original Weight Watchers plan invites members to weekly meetings where they help dieters form a network of support with people sharing similar experiences. Each person checks their weight privately. Meetings are conducted by a trained Meeting Leader who motivates and offers the group support through information about nutrition and fitness.

Weight Watchers at Work The Weight Watchers At Work program wants to make your workplace healthier by offering you and your company all of the success of the Weight Watchers program right from your own office.

DietsInReview.com is an advertising partner of Weight Watchers. This review is strictly our own opinion.

PRO
  • Programs to suit adult men and women
  • Choose counseling via meetings or privacy and convenience online
  • Online program is a comprehensive experience
  • Provides exercise guidance
  • Thousands of recipes and meals to choose from
  • Applebee's partnership for more healthful dining
  • Named #1 in the Best Commercial Diets by US News, 2011
  • Reputable and effective for 50 years

CON
  • Online detracts from the traditional social aspect of meetings
  • Not a structured plan, which may be difficult for some to adhere to
  • Not a strong emphasis on fitness
USER REVIEWS

A sampling of feedback and experiences shared by our community.

Most realistic program to maintain long term ... may take longer to lose the weight but it stays off! - Carmelle 8/16/11

I lost close to 40 pounds on Weight Watchers and have kept it off ever since starting almost 10 months ago. I plan to be on this program forever. I'm the healthiest I've ever been. (I'm 26 and am thinner and a smaller size than I was in high school, which I NEVER thought was possible!!) WW WORKS! I have never felt deprived, and I feel like the program is something I can live with. It's literally one of the best things I've EVER done for myself. - Marjie 7/8/11

I've been following the new Points Plus program since the beginning of the year. Today I hit the 10% weight loss goal. Only one week I did not loose weight - but I didn't gain either. Love that the fresh fruits are free so when I just want something - I now reach for fruit rather than chips or cookies. I am a 30 year lifetime member (obviously strayed at times) and find that this is the easiest weight loss for me (and I'm now 59.5 years old). HIGHLY recommend the new Points Plus. The key is still planning and journaling as far as I'm concerned. - Char 4/1/11

The old WW worked. The new one does not. I am one of many lifetime members who have become very disenchanted by this new program. - Elle 6/21/11

I highly suggest playing around with the tools. Eventually most "0 point" foods will develop a point value if you put in a high quantity...especially fruits and starchy veggies like green beans and broccoli. If you eat what the healthy check recommends, drink the water the healthy check recommends and eat your points in proteins and a small amount of carbs and fats then you should not gain weight. It's about eating in moderation. Not going crazy just because you think you can. - Shannon 3/6/11

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DIET and NUTRITION

Weight Watchers emphasizes eating more wholesome food, while allowing you to splurge on cravings in moderation. You'll make balanced food choices that include whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, eggs and dairy. No matter which plan you choose, you'll have access to all of the Weight Watchers recipes that are delicious, satisfying and good-for-you.

Weight Watchers members can enjoy chili, muffins, brownies, burgers, pizza, pasta and so much more - especially when you follow their healthy tips for lightening the recipes.

You're encouraged to make more nutrient-dense food choices, which not only helps you lose weight but also helps keep you feeling satisfied.

The Weight Watchers website features thousands of recipes for all occasions. Weight Watchers Meetings Members can also use the A-Z food list found in the Pocket Guide, or purchase the Complete Food Companion and the Dining Out Companion to help them plan for their night out.

Whether you do the program online or attend meetings, there are several ideas for snacks and meals along with a list of power foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. The program is designed to teach you how to make smarter food choices so that you eat more filling and nutritious meals.

For example, Weight Watchers features two side by side meals that both have a points value of 11. The two meals are reflected below:

  • Meal 1 – Peanut butter and jelly sandwich made on reduced-calorie white bread; chips
  • Meal 2 – Black bean soup; Whole grain wheat pasta with grape tomatoes, small black olives, crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese, shredded basil leaves, olive oil and red wine vinegar; grapes

Just glancing at these two meals it would be hard to think they have the same value because meal two offers more food. Illustrations like this make it easy to see the importance of making healthier choices so that you can eat more while getting good nutrition throughout the day.

EXERCISE

Weight Watchers does promote living an active lifestyle, although exercise is not a requirement of the program.

To calculate the intensity of your workout, you can use your heart beats per minute or some simple physical cues. If you choose to follow the heart beats per minute, the classifications are as follows:

  • Low intensity: 68 to 92 beats per minute
  • Moderate intensity: 93 to 118 beats per minute
  • High intensity: more than 119 beats per minute

Using the physical cues for your activity level follows the rating of perceived exertion or RPE. This is what Weight Watchers uses. This method is easier than monitoring your heart rate while working out. The below chart can be used to help you gauge the intensity of your workout:

  • Light intensity – Fairly easy exercise that does not induce sweating unless it’s a hot, humid day. There is no noticeable change in breathing patterns.
  • Moderate intensity – Somewhat hard exercise that will break a sweat after performing the activity for about 10 minutes. Breathing becomes deeper and more frequent. You can carry on a conversation but not sing.
  • High intensity – Hard exercise that will cause you to break a sweat after three to five minutes. Breathing is deep and rapid. You can only talk in short phrases.

Keep in mind that those who are just starting to exercise, or those that have been inactive for a long period of time tend to overestimate their intensity levels. If you are just starting out it may be more accurate to gauge your intensity through your heart beats until you get an accurate understanding of actual intensity levels. With Weight Watchers you can choose to do any form of exercise that meets your needs. Some recommended forms of exercise available are:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Aerobics
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Bike riding
  • Kickboxing
WEIGHT WATCHERS FAQ

Common questions asked about the Weight Watchers program by our community. Click each to see the full answer.

Can I do Weight Watchers without exercising? - Calcia 8/16/11

How much does Weight Watchers cost? - 7/20/11

Is Weight Watchers safe for kids? - Yoli 8/8/11

Is Weight Watchers good for diabetics? - Jackie 5/12/11

What do you get from weekly meetings? Hongquan 5/23/11

Are Weight Watchers Points confusing to anyone else? - 2/19/11

CONCLUSION

Weight Watchers is a tried and true veteran of the weight loss industry. With a variety of methods to choose from for both men and women, you're almost certain to find the right path for your weight loss journey. Weight Watchers provides guidance from every aspect of weight loss. Food is one of the primary concerns of any dieter and Weight Watchers goes above and beyond most other weight loss programs with thousands of recipes that anyone, dieting or not, will find tempting and delicious. If their style appeals to you, go for it.

WEIGHT WATCHERS SLIDESHOWS

[The Most Popular Diets of 2012[1]

Biggest Celeb Weight Losses of 2010

The Cost of Losing 20 Pounds

WEIGHT WATCHERS RESOURCES

Weight Watchers Testimonial at Prevention Magazine

Weight Watchers Food and Recipes

Weight Watchers at Wikipedia

About the Weight Watchers Lifetime Member Program

Weight Watchers Contact Information
Common Misspellings

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Related Diets: Jillian Michaels, Retrofit, Weight Watchers At Work, Weight Watchers Meetings, Weight Watchers Meetings Monthly Pass, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers She Loses, He Loses


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User Feedback

(Page 1 of 36, 720 total comments)

kristin

BEWARE! if you cancel your account, there's a high chance of them still charging you so be sure to check your bank statements. People have had this problem before.

posted Apr 27th, 2015 1:45 am


Natalie

I lost 24 inches and 10 lbs. In 5 months using Herbalife and I look and feel great. Would not ever use any other weight loss products. I LOVE Herbalife!

posted Mar 18th, 2015 4:28 pm


Monique

It does work! Nothing in life comes without effort. This is NOT a diet but an education in establishing a healthy lifestyle. Yes, that means forever and sounds overwhelming, so look at it as one day at a time. It's an extremely sensible approach.

posted Mar 16th, 2015 1:15 pm


Ceebee1990

There's a reason WW is consistently rated the best weight loss program out there. It teaches you new habits: How to eat healthier, make better choices, exercise more, and eat sensible portions. It allows you to learn from your own mistakes by never forbidding any specific food. As you go, you learn how much food is "worth". You lose weight slowly and healthily. You find yourself eating more fruits and vegetables and less (or no) junk. And you lose weight! No disgusting and expensive frozen meals. No forbidden and required food. No giving up the foods you love. Just moderation. It's a learning experience, and it's totally worth it. If you can commit, and count the points, you're guaranteed to lose weight. And if you stick with it, you can do it for life. WW is the only weight loss program worth committing to. I didn't commit the first time, but I'm determined this time around. I've lost 20 pounds in a month, at a rate of about 5 pounds a week. That will slow down soon, I'm sure, but I won't give up. I feel amazing, I am more energetic. That general feeling of malaise from the extra fat and terrible food is already gone. I'm so happy I tried again. P.S. This is just a rave review. I am a real consumer. This is a true story. I am not a WW employee or anything like that.

posted Mar 9th, 2015 2:22 am


Raquel

Customer service is horrible! They dont care about you at all and will not help and work with you, I am look for a better alternative with a company that isnt so rude

posted Mar 8th, 2015 5:37 pm


Marlene Kelley

I found the point system very difficult to figure out, also there were too many choices. I prefer to know what I can eat and what I can't and how much, exactly. Also, when I told the gals that I can't eat certain foods, such as potatoes and still lose weight, they told me I was wrong. I know my body, and when I did what they suggested, I didn't lose weight. Period. A waste of my time and money.

posted Feb 6th, 2015 4:49 am


DR

Do not sign up for automatic withdrawl for passes. If you cancel before expiration, the application dissappers and you need to download again. They do not allow you to keep the app unless re-register online. It is frustrating and they will not refund. WW continually reroutes to at least 8 different Customer Service reps that reply with the same form letter. They will not refund. I have been a member on and off for 20 years. This is left me extremely disappointed. Search for free apps. There are so many out there. WW is absolete.

posted Jan 29th, 2015 1:00 pm


Loretta

I loved the WW points program, but once it changed to Points Plus I was done. Not able to lose a pound and it just didn't work for me. Not sure why.

posted Jan 23rd, 2015 1:01 am


Lynn

I am very angry. I had been a member since 2008 and paid 16.95 for the online plan. The deal was if I signed up through my insurance, the price would never change. Yet when I looked at my statement this month, it was 19.95. I called them and everyone is really sorry but they added all this stuff so the price had to go up. But that wasn't the deal I signed up for and furthermore, they did not notify me they were changing the price. Just sucked the money out of my account. Its not the $3 its the way they do business. I spend about 45 mins on the phone with those people last week and they were all sorry and understood my concern and said they were going to elevate it and I would hear back within 24-48 hours. Well, I had heard nothing. They told me that to get me off of the phone. So I called back today and spoke to a supervisor to no avail. So on principle, I canceled it today. I will not do business with a company that does stuff like that. Furthermore, I could never stick to it because I was always hungry on it. No loss, there are plenty of plans out there.

posted Jan 15th, 2015 2:10 am


Lowana

Needs more structure..

posted Dec 6th, 2014 2:47 pm


Chrissy

WOW!! Your customer service IS TERRIBLE!! I had 3 family members sign up for an account, and was promised 3 free months. No confirmation on this, had to call you guys and chance you to get it.... now that my paid months are up you screw me and start charging me! So I have to spend another HOUR ON HOLD just for you to tell me that you won't refund me or that I can cancel my account. Really cool guys. I was actually given this ULTIMATUM on the phone by your supervisory representative. After my 3 free months are up (that I so diligently fought for) I'm canceling my account forever. I am also going to assist my 3 family members to cancel their accounts as well. You guys really need to get your priorities straight when it comes to customer service. This is appalling how my account was handled, a customer should not have to chase you for something that you offered as a sign up bonus.

posted Dec 3rd, 2014 11:37 pm


thinnieminnie

Program is a good jumpstart for weight loss but their customer service is TERRIBLE HORRIBLE NO GOOD and I mean it when I say, DO NOT GIVE THEM ACCESS TO YOUR CREDIT CARDS! They essentially don't let you cancel. Give you the run around. So many problems!!! Don't trust the self-funded "diet review" websites they run.

posted Nov 25th, 2014 3:05 am


Brenda

As with all diets, WW is not for everyone but it works well for me. I like that no food is off limits, but when you see how many points that pizza is going to cost you tend to rethink it and eat something healthier (or at least I do). As for the zero points fruit and veggies, you do have to be reasonable and WW does tell you this. Any sensible person knows that if you stuff yourself with large amounts of fruit you will likely gain weight. You have to use good judgment.

posted Oct 25th, 2014 2:30 pm


dionne

it s a TOTALY pain in the to keep track. If you eat out EVERY meal it is a little better but you have to do so much work to keep track! AWEFUL program!!!!!!!

posted Oct 25th, 2014 3:49 am


BJ

I attended meetings at 2 different locations. Two times they closed the locations as they were NOT making enough money. I joined in March and paid for a 6 month membership. They have my money and have been making NO EFFORT to refund it.my 4 months of my money.

posted Jul 9th, 2014 2:08 am


Dawn Mewis

What a scam. I signed up for less than 20 minutes. Saw it was useless for me, and canceled. I get back 16.00 of 65. what a scam

posted Jun 20th, 2014 5:43 am


Jim

I was following the program and doing well until they decided to stop the retail hours of all the area stores. They have made it almost impossible for anyone with a work schedule to make the meetings and therefore I cancelled my membership.

At that time they didn't bother to tell me I was paid in advance 45 days. When I called them two weeks later I was told I should have "mailed in my membership card" and was NOT entitled to any portion of a refund.

posted Apr 25th, 2014 6:31 pm


joan

looks interesting

posted Mar 15th, 2014 4:27 pm


murphy

warning, the 3 month online trial you pay for means they keep billing you after the 3 months unless you stop them. I guess I missed that sentence

posted Mar 7th, 2014 12:58 pm


stacey

well I decided to go on a bit of a diet ,I bought some weight watchers meals.1 of them being beef hot pot,it was discusting.potatoes were hard and there was hardly any beef mince .and I don't know what to say about the gravy ,it looked like watered down dish water ,it was tasteless .I wish I aint bothered ,even dog turned nose up at it,i know were other meal will be goin,,,I wont be buying again

posted Feb 11th, 2014 6:12 pm



 

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