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Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers Diet Review: Does it Work?

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

Top Rated Diets of 2017
What is it?

Weight Watchers Diet is a diet plan based off a point system, where each food has a value, and you’re allowed only a certain amount of points a day. You can eat any foods you want, as long as you don’t pass the allowed points for the day.

The points offered are called SmartPoints, and the amount allowed is based off one one’s own body and individual weight loss goals. Healthy and low calorie foods have much less value, so it naturally steers people into eating more wholesome foods instead of eating high amounts of junk food.  In this review you’ll hear customer reviews, the science behind Weight Watchers, and whether or not it can promote weight loss. The highest rated diet plan of 2016 was found to be the 18 Shake Diet. It’s a combination of a natural metabolism booster and high protein meal replacement. Learn more about the 18Shake diet plan by following the link provided here.

Do You Know the Best Diets of 2017?

Weight Watchers Diet Ingredients and Side Effects

No pre-packaged foods are required, it’s advised to cook one’s own meals at home. An app and guide is offered with over 287,000 different foods which have a stated number value.

High fiber, non-processed, and sugar free foods have a much lower point number.  Processed foods and highly saturated foods tend to be the highest in points. So the diet focuses on introducing more healthy foods, which is already known as a practical way to lose weight.

There are also 4,000 recipes offered as well as optional support for meetings, online coaching, and dietary tips. Mobile apps are also offered to help people calculate their total points.

There isn’t much information provided by the company to showcase exactly how their approach is scientific, or how they choose specific foods to have higher points than others.  The top 10 list found here offers the best diet plans that our experts have reviewed.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this diet with a proven meal replacement such as 18 Shake for better results.

Weight Watchers Diet Quality of Ingredients

 The quality of the ingredients can vary on what’s purchased, since no foods are off limits, what one purchases will determine the overall quality. The high points that processed foods have will force people to be more conservative in their food options.

No proof is provided by the makers of Weight Watchers to show why this diet has been formulated in the point system it offers.

It’s clear that by eating less processed foods and focusing on quality meats, high fiber, and filling foods that naturally weight loss is possible. However, no evidence is provided as to why their coaching system would be any better than not paying for this system and simply eating healthier,

One study by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that:

“Weight Watchers participants achieved at last 2.6% greater weight loss than those assigned to control/education”

This was in a 12 month period, and there were only slight increases in weight loss in comparison to people who were allowed to diet without control.

2.6% for someone weighing 200 pounds would be 5.2 additional pounds. This means that every month, a person can expect an additional 0.43 extra pounds of weight loss more than those who dieted on their own and made their own decisions without a points system.

This is a very poor amount of weight loss considering the amount it costs to pay for the online support. A list of the very best diet plans has bene reviewed by our experts.

Another major issue with the plan was that no official information is provided to show the points system before one buys into the plan. This makes it impossible to calculate if one is even capable of keeping up with this plan. Certain foods are not preferential for people, and it might require extreme changes in dieting in some.

Even with online support, there’s no guarantee that the advice offered will help one lose weight safely and effectively.

The Price and Quality of Weight Watchers Diet

There are different plans offered such as:

OnlinePlus: $4.30 per week when a 3 month long plan is offered. This amounts to $64.50 for the total 3 months.

Meetings + OnlinePlus: A 3 month plan is offered for $8.30 a week. This amounts to $124.50 for the full 3 months. 

Coaching + OnlinePlus: Like the other plans, if 3 months is selected, the full price is $10.15. A full 3 months is $152.25.

These prices can vary, as it depends on what one chooses as their meals and how much support they want. No information is provided on what kind of background the people who give advice are, and whether or not they are certified diet or nutrition experts.  Since they fail to mention this, it’s important to be cautious of the support offered.

A $20 fee is mandatory for every first time member.  Web MD discusses the pricing of this diet by stating:

“Be prepared to spend some cash to get the full benefits”

Many customers also agree it’s incredibly pricy to keep the online support available. As you’ll see in the “Customer Opinions of Weight Watchers Diet”, many felt it wasn’t worth the price.

The top 10 list featured in the link here has the best diet plans.

Business of Weight Watchers Diet

Weight Watchers International is the official company name. Their contact information is as follows:

Phone Number: (800) 651-6000

Further contact information is provided to those who subscribe to the online system. There are currently 339 negative reviews on their Consumer Affairs page. Here are some direct quotes from customers:

“thought I was signing with a reputable company… Weight Watchers continued to withdraw money from my bank account for 3 months”

“I have been requesting my account to be closed for the past 3 months”

“No one is ever there when you need them”

“Weight watchers are total thieves. I cancelled my account 3 years ago and they have billed my credit card”

Hundreds of people claim that they continue to be charged by the company even after they’ve cancelled the online support, and no longer logging into to their profiles.

There are also 279 complaints on their Better Business Bureau site, mostly for the same reasons. People complained often about being constantly billed even after months or even years of no longer using their accounts. Customers were frustrated since they were told their account was cancelled, only to see billing from Weight Watchers appearing on their credit card statements.

People also said that when their accounts were active, that there wasn’t much support offered. To see a list of the top 10 diet plans click on the link offered here.  

EDITOR’S TIP: The top 10 list of the best diets is available here.

Customer Opinions of Weight Watchers Diet

Here is what some users had to say:

“just got de-motivated as I could see this wouldn’t work for me anymore”

“I tried it, but I didn’t have too much luck”

“helped me at first but I failed later on”

“it did not work… felt the meetings were very one sided, and it was like a chat”

People said that the offered meetings and support weren’t really helpful, and that it didn’t cater to people’s needs. It was more just general advice people were given such as obvious weight loss advice.  

Another major issue was that people often said that they couldn’t keep up with the diet, and that many common foods had too many high points where they couldn’t eat comfortably.

Users had issues as well with the foods with fewer points, as its common sense what foods are allowed and which aren’t. The top 10 list features the best diet plans out now, click on this link to learn more.

Conclusion - Does Weight Watchers Diet Work?

When making a decision on a diet plan like Weight Watchers, it’s important to examine customer reviews, what’s offered, and whether or not weight loss is likely. The plan offers a point system which is meant to make dieting easier. However, hundreds of people have complained about a lack of food options, as well as being forced to limit many common foods. There were also hundreds that complained the company continues to charge them long after they’ve cancelled. Both on Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau people mention they continue to be billed.

The 2016 diet plan of the year was found to be the 18Shake Diet. It offers a high protein, appetite suppression meal replacement alongside a metabolism booster made with natural extracts with no added stimulants. There are no artificial additives, colors, binders, fillers, or harsh ingredients. Many customers have left testimonials and review showcasing their own weight loss results. People have said that the meal replacement can help suppress appetite for hours, and that it mixes well and has a pleasant taste.

The 18Shake Diet offers a diet pill and meal replacement that are both backed by full 30 day money back guarantee. Returns are offered with no questions asked, risk free. To discover more information about the 18Shake Diet, click on the link provided here.

How Does Weight Watchers Compare?
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> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 4 of 37, 735 total comments)

Sarah

+

I love WW I have lost 26lbs so far. My doc suggested it and im glad he did.

posted Jan 18th, 2013 11:57 pm


Pat

-

I joined WW in 2010 and in 9 months I lost 75 lbs. I looked and felt great, however, I was ALWAYS hungry! Then they changed the plan and it took me 5 months to lose 5 lbs. After a year of meetings and $500. I ended up gaining it all back. There's too much carb + not enough protein.

posted Jan 18th, 2013 3:21 am


Beth Herndon

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I liked the old way of counting points better than the Points Plus version

posted Jan 11th, 2013 11:36 pm


Kim

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The diet itself works. The 'e-tools' are never available. The web site sucks as does the Droid app. Don't do the Active Link. It doesn't work very well. You are better off spending the money on a good heart rate monitor and calculating points yourself. Diet = good, WW technology is POOR.

posted Jan 8th, 2013 1:39 am


back again

+

I am back again after failing last time i tried WW. I lost 75 pounds over 10 years ago now and finally after two kids and illness it has all come back. I tried the new points program last year and i found it wasn't working for me. This time around I put everything into the recipe builder. I love bananas and strawberry and orange salad. That should be 0 points right? Well when you put it into the recipe builder it comes to 4. So I count 4 points and when i started to put eveything into the recipe builder (even fruit) I started to loose. My first week on the plan was 4 pounds lost, then for 3 weeks it was lucky to even it a pound if that, once I put everything in the recipe builder I was losing 4 pounds on average per week again. Yes everything counts, well at least for me, my leader said fruits and veggies are not free they are zero points but don't freeforall them. So by doing this I am back to losing and I love the program again. Everyone needs to find what works for them.

posted Jan 7th, 2013 6:53 pm


Mike LoCascio

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With all the brouhaha of the 2010 released program and the need to buy new books etc., it seems to be more of a con for WW to make more money.
With all the years of research and supposedly learned doctors helping in development of the 2010 program, there has not been any real breakthroughs.
Can anyone tell me the success of WW after one year, two years and 3 years or more?

posted Dec 31st, 2012 2:56 pm


TereH

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Weight Watchers didn't work for me. i gained weight. All those free fruits are full of carbohydrate and sugar, and i do better on a moderate-carb diet. I joined eDiets once and the recipes were full of carbs and I started gaining weight. When I asked about it, I was told I just needed to comply. There's no one at Weight Watchers to ask! A simple cup of peaches in water got tons of points, even without fat, because of the carbs, but a banana or an apple or an orange is 0 points? It didn't make sense. I moved to http://www.myfitnesspal.com so I could see the carbs and fats and proteins I was eating. Dieting is like anything else - if you let someone do the work for you (the calculating of nutrients), some corners are going to be cut. I wanted to see the totality of what I was eating. NOW I'm losing weight!

posted Dec 30th, 2012 4:17 pm


Dan Kelemen

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I signed up for 3 months, and found that Weightwatchers continued to bill my credit card, even though I had stopped using their service. I requested a refund for the unused months, but their response was that they have a no-refund policy.

I think you can lose just as much weigt by avoiding carbohydrates, which is mostly what their diet recommends.

posted Dec 29th, 2012 1:47 pm


Jodie

+

I didn't have much weight to lose, but I have been yo-yoing between 20 pounds for the last 4 or 5 years. I'm now 30, and wanted to be at my age's ideal weight. Since I've started the program 3 months ago, I've reached my 10% goal and am only 7 lbs away from my goal weight. Once I figured out how the points worked, I've thrived on WW and think this will be a lifelong change, resulting in me being able to maintain my current weight. I suggest WW to everyone I know who is trying to lose weight!

posted Dec 28th, 2012 10:54 pm


arlene

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I ate what I was supposed to, lost 7 lbs. the first week but no more after that, even when increasing my walking. The ladies talked to me less and less, after 3 months of not loosing anything they would barely even look at me. They didn't want anything to do with me...
I also like the 80s program much better...it really worked, I kept the weight (40lbs) off for over 15 years when life and illness issues did me in.

posted Dec 27th, 2012 9:13 pm


susan

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I liked the old points plan. I tried the new points plus and found that it just wasn't as easy for me to follow. I joined on line and quit before my 3 months were up. Totally confusing.

posted Dec 27th, 2012 2:48 pm


cindy

+

I don't think the points program is as good as the program they had in the 80s, as it's confusing and does not promote healthy living. But it works still. I am older now, but I remember feeling GREAT on the old program. I find I get hungrier on this one with no required breads.

posted Dec 19th, 2012 3:04 am


Jane

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WW service is TERRIBLE and their Android App does not work. I would not recommned wasting your money with this company.

posted Nov 12th, 2012 10:08 pm


Annice

+

This is the most balanced program; I do not have to worry about the latest diet reviews. This program allows me to make choices about what I eat. It lets me experience what choices actually cost in nutrition. Tracking my points is a headache when I want to eat what I want to eat without consequences. The program is not a quick fix but a life style change.

posted Nov 12th, 2012 8:30 pm


Sharon

+

Easy to follow and you do not feel deprived!

posted Oct 23rd, 2012 7:21 pm


Shawn Schwindt

I like WW, since August of last year I have lost 65 pounds and got off my blood pressure meds. I like that I can eat anything I just plan ahead with my points

posted Jul 24th, 2012 8:23 pm


margaret

+

It is working for me. I feel great. I have lost 17 pouns in 8 weeks

posted Jun 30th, 2012 11:10 pm


Jacqueline

Hi my name is Jacqui. I was involved in a bad accident in 1993 and lost my wonderful husband in 1996. The reason I am writing is that I have spinal injuries and on a lot of medication hence can any of the foods help me. It took me over 8 years to get out of the wheelchair but am on very strong drugs. Could you please help me. thank you in anticipation. The reason I told you about my husband is that I do not want any sympathy or a sob story. We loved one another very much we were soul mates. Thank you again

posted Jun 29th, 2012 10:38 am



cobauer

+

I love this program. I absolutely swear by it. If you stick to it, you will lose weight. Plain & simple.
Now obviously you can't go eating junk food for all your points. But if you adjust your eating habits to fit your points allotment and occasionally indulge, you'll be good to go.
Self control and moderation are key. You have to be disciplined for this program to work.

posted Jun 19th, 2012 4:18 am


SR

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I have been on WW since mid Jan of this year..I have counted and kept track of my daily points, I'm at the gym 3 days a week doing 45 min cardio and 30 nautilus, and I take Latin salsa dancing once a week for an hour..but I have only lost 7lbs in WW ..and it's been 5 months...I could see if I was a couch potato, or my diet was horrendous, but I'm far from it... WW has not helped me to loose the additional weight I wanted..so I'm thinking of dropping it and just keep doing what I've been doing

posted Jun 15th, 2012 12:19 am



 

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QUICK FACTSQUICK 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

Do You Know the Best Diet Pills of 2017?

BACKGROUNDBACKGROUND

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.

Click to get started with this diet

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

PROPRO
  • 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

CONCON
  • 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 REVIEWSUSER 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

Leave your own review and rating

DIET and NUTRITIONDIET 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.

EXERCISEEXERCISE

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 FAQWEIGHT 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

CONCLUSIONCONCLUSION

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.

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WEIGHT WATCHERS RESOURCESWEIGHT WATCHERS RESOURCES

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Weight Watchers at Wikipedia

About the Weight Watchers Lifetime Member Program

Weight Watchers Contact InformationWeight Watchers Contact Information
Common MisspellingsCommon Misspellings

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

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