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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.

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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 37, 732 total comments)

Gail

Oprah has had her days in the sun. Her new ad about eating bread every day is a little much..

posted Feb 17th, 2016 5:31 pm


Susan

This is really a horrible company. I just got charged twice and put on hold for a long time just to be asked if they could 'help' me with anything else after they refused a refund. I never knew paying twice for something was help, maybe they think they prevent me from spending it on food. The program itself is also just a hoax. It is nothing more than calorie control labelled as points. I've been doing this together with a colleague who signed up for a free app and she did it in parallel using good old calorie intake and calories burned. She achieved exactly the same results and also had access to tons of recipes in her free online forum. Especially with the new webpage you are really paying for nothing but packaging and a fancy layout while the app is useless. My colleague was right - save your money and use a free online tool.

posted Jan 18th, 2016 7:46 pm


Peggy Konopik

I was double charged by weight watchers. I was put on hold over half an hour. The total call with wait times was over an hour. Only to find out it was their mistake which I knew but my refund would take 3-5 days. I cancelled my membership and never want to deal with them again. You got too big to care about customer service weight watchers

posted Jan 4th, 2016 10:39 pm


Kat

Good weight loss program for the new year IMO.

posted Jan 1st, 2016 2:27 pm


Cheryl

WW was a great Program But with Oprah Winfrey as the new spokes person I will No longer be associated with it. She is a racist and Snob!!! Good Bye WW!

posted Dec 27th, 2015 1:39 pm


Bmci

We is not good, especially with the new system. It will only encourage starvation and the apps don't work!

posted Dec 13th, 2015 9:18 pm


Michelle H.

I believe it's a good programm, especially with the points system. My friend is using Weight Watchers too, and she loves how she's still able to eat whatever she wants, but on moderate base.

posted Dec 11th, 2015 11:59 pm


linda

Program itself was good but they keep lousy books. It took me 4 mos to get my acct straightened out and lots of time on phone. They do not train their people well.

posted Oct 25th, 2015 7:32 pm


Rhonda

I have been on WW for 26 months and I have lost 65 pounds. I love WW!!! It has changed my life and even though I still need to lose more, I have started focusing on exercising more and just eating more healthy. Making better choices since I realize that I don't need a diet, since they do not work!! I need a lifestyle change!!! That is what WW is giving me, the tools to not just diet but to change my attitude about food.

posted Oct 20th, 2015 4:49 pm


Third Time Is A Charm

I tried WW twice, I didn't "get" the points and I barely exercised. I lost 10 pounds, but then gained back 15! I decided to use my e-tools account and the difference in online tracking is amazing. I also have a Fitbit which syncs with WW online and automatically tracks my activity points. I've lost 17 pounds in 7 weeks and have 50 more to go. I like that the program teaches you the value of foods. I treat my 28 points plus is like money--some of my favorite foods are just not worth spending the points. I exercise every single day, it has become a lifestyle habit. The program works because you learn healthy lifestyle habits like eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking 6-8 glasses of water and exercising regularly. My blood pressure is down, my weight in down and I feel wonderful. I would recommend this program to anyone who needs to lose weight.

posted Jun 10th, 2015 5:21 pm


Priya

It definitely doesnt work, I stuck to the points diligently for 2 weeks and didnt shed even 1 pound! It allocated the lowest possible points for me per day, so I couldnt adjust that. But I dont want to adjust the points allocated. I feel like I'm paying for a system that's been designed to achieve weight loss and that system's points should help me lose weight! I even worked out in those 2 weeks. The plan definitely didnt work for me and it was a complete waste of my time, money and effort. I have experienced better results on good ol calorie counting.

posted Jun 1st, 2015 9:15 pm


heidi

Don't fall for the 'lose ten pounds on us' promo. I lost almost 20lbs and had to fight with the customer service. Never got refund for 2 months as advertised. Did finally get 30 days for free after calling three times.

posted May 18th, 2015 6:24 pm


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



 

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