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Weight Watchers

Celebrating 50 years, Weight Watchers is a trusted approach to weight loss for men and women.

QUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • Get started by saving with these Weight Watchers Coupons

  • 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 Online For those whose schedules won't accommodate a weekly meeting, or prefer the anonymity the Internet offers, Weight Watchers Online makes it possible to reap the benefits of the program from the comfort of your own home. Online subscribers can communicate via message boards, monitor progress, manage PointsPlus values, access hundreds of approved recipes and so much more.

Weight Watchers Online for Men This program is tailored to the needs of men seeking an effective approach to weight loss, without the female undertones. The same Weight Watchers program is used with recipes, videos, articles, and guidance that speaks your language.

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.

Weight Watchers Monthly Pass The Weight Watchers Monthly Pass gives you the convenience of using your pass at unlimited meetings throughout the month or access to eTools online. The Monthly Pass is not a different plan, but rather another way to follow Weight Watchers.

DietsInReview.com is an advertising partner of Weight Watchers. This review is strictly our 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
  • Free Weight Watchers Mobile iPhone App

CON
  • Online detracts from the traditional social aspect of meetings
  • Weight Watchers Online for Men is only available online, not in 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. If you're a Weight Watchers Online or Weight Watchers eTools subscriber, you can use the calculator tool to learn the best restaurant foods for your plan. 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.

Weight Watchers Online and Weight Watchers Online for Men do provide workout demonstrations and provides guidance for all skill levels.

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, Weight Watchers Online, Weight Watchers Online for Men, Weight Watchers PointsPlus, Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers She Loses, He Loses


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User Feedback

(Page 1 of 36, 708 total comments)

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


Gigi

What a terrible system. It is filled wilh its own language making up names for different kinds of "points@". Unclear what means what or how to organize the different kinds of foods and meals. Recipes are very complicated and make more mess than meals.

posted Dec 2nd, 2013 7:23 pm


Rita Marsh-Birch

If you follow the program, it really does work.
It is more realistic than other diets because you are eating regular food. The meetings are supportive and informative.

posted Sep 30th, 2013 1:11 am


linda chousky

On Weight Watchers, how do you know what to eat? Also, I have hip problems and cannot exercise.

posted Aug 23rd, 2013 2:06 pm


Lauren

WW online is the worst online tool for dieting. There are minimal meal plans. The search and database stink. I was expecting preloaded meal plans that I could modify and st up shopping lists. I should have read these reviews first. I was on the web tool for one day NDS cancelled. Lot all my money too as thy would not refund it. DO NOT sign up for WW online.

posted Jul 5th, 2013 7:35 pm


Laurie Zaczynski

Lost 87 lbs in 18 months. Great!

posted Jun 7th, 2013 12:55 am


Freida

DO NOT SIGN UP AND PAY FOR THEIR ETOOLS!!! I have so many issues with WW etools I don't know where to begin...o wait their database sucks. the database is very limited, you have to add everything in yourself so everything takes soooooo long to enter. I end up going to myfitnesspal to get the information I need and then have to copy it over into WW to get the points calculated. Very frustrating. Also, also extremely frustrating is their site is slow and cumbersome. Whenever I need to type anything in i have to hit the same key repeatedly before it registers. Not to mention that sometimes the points calculator is wonky. I put in a recipe that had ingredients that totalled 9 points but the calculator at the bottom added it up to 28 points. I do not recommend WW etools. You are better off with a free app like myfitnesspal or Spark People.

posted May 30th, 2013 1:02 am


highsightis2020

I 100% AGREE with others who disliked weightwatcher's customer service, as well as who had troubles with the payment system. TERRIBLE customer service. The guy ended up yelling at me that I had signed up for a subscription and that of course they will continue to charge me for months after my membership ended. WATCH OUT for this!!! They will not have any sympathy for you! Also their program is not super easy to maintain over a long time!

posted May 15th, 2013 1:58 pm


Alicia

I am 18 & started weight watchers about 6 weeks ago & reached my 10% last week which was 17 pounds. This program is great. You don't have to cut out what foods you like you just learn portion control. Seeing how many points certain foods are really make you think WOW do I want to waste this many points on this meal. I couldn't be happier with weight watchers. The food is great & the 0 points for vegetables & fruit really help when I used to be grabbing chips & cookies to snack on. I still have a ways to go but I know weight watchers is the right diet for me.

posted May 8th, 2013 4:51 am


Ken

Does not work. Lost 60 and gained back 80. I have since found a different diet and lost 160 lbs. Weight Watchers works for someone who needs to lose a little weight, but fails for those who have a food addiction.

posted May 1st, 2013 11:02 pm


Scholarship

The Weight Watchers 360 program allows you to eat the foods you like without restriction.

posted Apr 11th, 2013 1:51 am


Luann

I just started the new program this week. Was on the point tracker yrs ago and I think I like that better. this program so far seems a little harder. And no 0 point soup,what's up with that

posted Mar 17th, 2013 1:41 am


allison

billing is horrible!

posted Mar 16th, 2013 4:41 pm



 

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