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64%

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based on 42 reviews

Weight Watchers Online

This reputable healthy weight loss plan is conveniently available entirely online.

QUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • 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

You've heard about Weight Watchers. It's the weight loss program that started 50 years ago. The idea was to gather a group of women, educate them about eating and nutrition, provide counseling, and hold them accountable with weekly weigh-ins. The Weight Watchers 360 program assigns a value to a food based on its nutritional content, making it easier for dieters to identify healthy food options against unhealthy. You are encouraged to make more nutrient-dense food choices, which not only help you lose weight but also helps to keep you feeling satisfied.

Weight Watchers Online subscribers can log in to a secure online account and access all of the education still found in meetings. It doesn't interfere with schedules, provides privacy and anonymity, and grants access to your Weight Watchers program from anywhere.

You'll still follow the Weight Watchers 360 program, and if abide by their proven approach, you should see the positive weight loss you've been working for.

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

PRO
  • Allows for privacy and anonymity
  • Convenient
  • Access to a wealth of tools and resources, many not available to meeting attendees
  • Available for men
  • Communicate with other dieters via message boards
  • Access fitness resources
  • Use the online recipes library
  • Teaches moderation and balance
  • Named #1 in the Best Commercial Diets by US News, 2011
  • Makes it possible to sustain lifelong weight loss
  • Free Weight Watchers Mobile iPhone App

CON
  • Removes the social and counselor relationships found at meetings
  • Counting Points values can be time consuming
DIET and NUTRITION

In this regard, Weight Watchers Online is identical to its meeting counterpart. You'll use the online resources and learn to use the Weight Watchers 360 program. The more nutritionally dense a food is, the lower a food's PointsPlus value. So baby carrots, low-fat cheese sticks, whole grain bread and fish are all low values, whereas fast-food burgers, potato chips, ice cream and soda are all higher values. You'll learn proper portions and how to create balanced, wholesome meals.

One thing that makes Weight Watchers so popular is its flexibility. When you keep your point values in range, and continue to eat healthy foods, you'll be able to satisfy cravings with foods that might be restricted on other diets.

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 find the values of restaurant foods, and you can also consult the Eating Out Guide. 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.

On the Weight Watchers 360 program you can eat anything you like as long as you stick to a daily point goal, and there's plenty of room for treats and extras.

EXERCISE

Weight Watchers supports the benefits of exercise, but doesn't require a regimen. As an online subscriber you'll have access to fitness guidance through videos and articles.

CONCLUSION

For men and women who want the education and success that comes from Weight Watchers, but lack the time or interest in attending meetings, Weight Watchers Online is the program for you. In fact, there are many resources available to online subscribers that aren't for meeting attendees. You'll be able to log-in to your Weight Watchers account anytime and anywhere you have Internet access. Weight Watchers is often touted as one of the most successful names in weight loss, and their online program makes it even more accessible for our increasingly busy population.

See Weight Watchers Online - the Official Web Site

Common Misspellings

Weight Watchers, WeightWatchers.com, Online Weight Watchers, Wieght Watchers Online, Weight Watchers On-Line, Weight Watchers On Line, Weight Watchers Diet

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Related Diets: Curves Complete, Spark People, The Biggest Loser At Home Program, WebMD Weight Loss Clinic, Weight Watchers, Weight Watchers Meetings, Weight Watchers Online for Men, Jenny Craig at Home, Weight Watchers She Loses, He Loses


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User Feedback

(Page 3 of 3, 60 total comments)

rebecca baer

I have been looking on the web site at somewhere that I could leave my success story.How I lost 105 lbs on smart ones.I have a very unique story on my road to losing this weight but I have no idea how to contact ya'll.

posted Jul 16th, 2010 6:12 pm


CJS

Joined Weight Watchers Online 2/24/10. As of today, 7/14, I've lost over 27 pounds.

Love having access to all the information on the web site [not a fan of meetings]. In addition, the message boards are very helpful. I can participate as much or as little as I choose, but the information is always there.

Really enjoying the flexibility of the plan, and do not feel deprived since no food is off limits.

Definitely recommend.

posted Jul 14th, 2010 10:31 am


Cornelia Stoltz

Is there a Weight Watchers in Botswana, Gaborone

posted Jun 21st, 2010 9:42 am


Antonia

I just signed up for the program, I am hoping that it will be a great experience for me.

posted Jun 2nd, 2010 12:21 pm


Swirlybird

Signed up for free week online - still loading the food tracker thing (10mins???) so I can enter first day of food... ITS SO SLOW!!! - In fact, its so slow I googled this feedback site and am typing and still waiting for pgaes to load...I have high speed cable internet and I feel like this is worse than dial up... Glad I didnt pay to sign up for this right away... Off to the meetings - the stress of this website would make me want to eat more...

posted Mar 1st, 2010 3:34 pm


margaret kennedy

i am fivefoot one inch in height and nine and half stone would like to be eight stone ten pounds

posted Jan 20th, 2010 6:27 pm


LarryBo

2 weeks in, down 10 pounds. This plan forces you to eat 'mindfully' and document and therefore take responsiblity for everything that goes into your mouth.
Weight loss is simple.. burn more calories than you take in, right? haha We all know its tougher than it sounds, but the website was easy to follow, easy to use, mine loaded and responded quickly. (not sure what type of connection Dlynn had below) and I really enjoyed the charts to track your progress.
recipes are easy. I did purchase a WW meals in minutes book off of Amazon that is really nice. But even the online 'recipe' database is vast and easy to search.
motivation... yeah, with no meetings, that part is a little tough, but the results I have seen has served as my motivation.
Good Luck !!

posted Jan 11th, 2010 11:11 am


Cassidy P

Super convenient and easy. Loved the privacy and all the recipes online. Plus I found it easier to manage my points online.

posted Dec 21st, 2009 11:36 am


DLYNN

I want to urge those who are reading this site not to sign up for sole use of the Weight Watchers website. This is the most comprehensive review you are likely to read about Weight Watchers online, and I highly recommend those who are contemplating signing up for the Weight Watchers website-only plan to read this carefully ‚?? and to reconsider.

After what I've gone through using the WW website, I recommend the Monthly Pass option, which gives members access to the traditional Weight Watchers meetings and here's why:

While many of us don't feel we have the time or desire to go to weekly meetings, studies in support of the Weight Watchers method are positive because the reinforcement that the meetings provide. The positive results many people experience are in response to the accountability the meetings provide. You don't get that level of interaction from a website. I also know from having used the WW website that if you go this route there are some unanticipated problems.

1) Weight Watchers has VERY heavy site encoding to "generate" their points tracker, weight tracker and activity tracker. They don't just design an application that you can download onto your computer where it will be faster or more portable and accessible. You can buy their calculator but ultimately the site is your go-to interface. And it leaves a lot to be desired. Even on a high-speed connection the FLASH/JAVA on Weight Watchers loads extremely slowly. In fact, the ENTIRE SITE was down for most of the day on Monday, August 18 and I was up very late trying to log in all my points after it finally came back online. It's bad enough that it is so slow, but if I were on dial-up I would not recommend joining the Weight Watchers website program at all. It's also pretty tacky that the Weight Watchers corporate offices don't send out an email apologizing for such protracted outages. A few months ago the site was also down because someone tried to hack it. There's a lot of personal information there so that could be the reason. Again, for the sake of users' sanity and the massive server load, the WW site administrators should consider offering the tracking app not on server side but client side (meaning you download it).

2) Equally frustrating, from the point of view of someone who managed a website for a magazine for several years, is that WeightWatchers.com is using a third-party Java Applet to serve up even such basic functions as adding a photo to your community profile (for the discussion boards and blog features of the site). The Applet script is slow, the security certificate is expired and it opens the site to hacking, regardless. Again, the site administrators should do what most other sites, including your basic Hotmail and GMail does to attach photos and such to email: Let you browse your computer and upload avatars and such in the same way they are done on most discussion forums. To think that unlike the "DailyPlate.com", the Lance Armstrong website sponsored by the "Living Strong" foundation and others that offer so many free access features, you would think Weight Watchers would have the most intelligently designed site but they don't. Visually it looks okay but it is top heavy bogged down.

3) The server-side interface that allows you to track your food, activity and weight is not optimized for ease of use. For instance, if you want to add a new food you MUST search for it first. The search takes time, but the script doesn't let you bypass it to Add your own food items to your alphabetically arranged "favorites" list (and by the way, if you put in long names that start off with brand names, that Favorites list becomes very difficult to read because it cuts off the food item/title). But never mind, you have a food to Create. So how do you do it?

Let's say that food item you wish to add to your Daily Points Tracker consists of some fresh figs. You search for "Figs" and the outcome is that you only see dried figs. At this point it becomes necessary to look the information up in one of the WW books, elsewhere on the web or by directly weighing the items in question on a home dietary scale that includes nutrition data. Once you obtain the necessary serving size, caloric content, fat grams and fiber ‚?? which are all that are necessary for the Weight Watchers system to calculate points ‚?? you click the bottom right corner button at the bottom of your failed attempt to look up the food item you had in mind to add to your Food Tracking Journal and click "Create Food".

4) If that doesn't sound so bad, with the Script as slow as it is, it can be. That's because you can't bypass the search in the event that you want to ensure your Points are calculated on the basis of your own entries for, say, a brand of BBQ sauce and not that of some other "close-but-not-quite" product that may be an entirely different Points value. The way the current Tracker is designed you MUST search first, add or "create" your food item later. As soon as you click the "Create Food" button after a failed search, your search term disappears and then you are presented with a blank field where you have to type the name of the food AGAIN. Then you have to use a nutrition label, search for it on the web or pull out a nutrition scale ‚?? the kind that track calories, fat grams, protein and fiber ‚?? to fill in the data the WW system requires to calculate the Points value. Remember, with Weight Watchers counting Points is the WHOLE program. If you don't bother to be accurate, you won't lose weight. If I want to add, say, "cranberry juice" the point value could vary considerably depending on whether it is a fruit cocktail, an apple, grape, cranberry blend like Oceanspray or a Cranberry-Raspberry blend like Costco's Kirlkland Signature brand produces. So it pays to be accurate. And if you're going to be accurate get ready to read every label and enter it in manually because a lot of it won't be in the WW online food database.

5) This brings me to a problem with the way in which WW requires users to "Create" a food item: If you want that food item to be easily available to you in the future, you must remember to "Add to favorites" at the time you create it. Here again is where it gets quirky. The form asks you to describe whether the food item is a "morning", "afternoon", "evening" or "anytime" item. Instead of "none" or "Anytime", the default setting is "Morning". If you forget to change the drop-down menu before you Add to Favorites, all your subsequent entries will land under the Morning segment of your daily food journal list (aka Tracker). You then must edit it or drag and drop the entry to get it to sort correctly. And this isn't easy either because the Flash window in which your food/points are tracked doesn't scroll. If you choose the drag-and-drop method of moving a misplaced entry, it will only go so far up and down as the limited window space permits. You then have to let go of the entry, use your mouse to scroll up, grab the entry and start moving it again. Eventually you learn not to drag-and-drop but to edit the entry itself. However, everything about the "Edit Entry" window is pokey. God forbid if you have more than 20lbs to lose or you'll be stuck with this horrid scripted interface for what will seem like forever.

All of the aforementioned could be easily solved if for the price of membership Weight Watchers would allow clients to download an actual application and run it off their own computers rather than a busy, shared website. But apparently, WW doesn't want to do this because that would involve paying actual software developers instead of website gurus who have oversold the value of FLASH (a scripting program that can do amazing things but for which most website administrators have learned ‚?? and somebody please tell this to WW ‚?? to use in moderation because it isn't friendly to dial-up, older browsers/computer systems that don't have the processing power and servers that can't handle the client-side load). The other objection WW probably has to allowing us to download a computer run one ‚?? not to be confused with something that runs on a blackberry or iPhone, which not all of us own ‚?? is that they would have to encode it with some manner of "killing" the app if the user fails to maintain an active membership. You see, WW doesn't want their proprietary program to fall into the hands of non-paying users. Sure, you can find the points values on many packaged foods and websites, but the formula for calculating those points is based on your specific weight/height (BMI). As you shed pounds your daily point allotment will change over time. Without the ability to calculate your Points target, forget about using the Points values.

6) One of the biggest surprises for me now that I am using the WW Daily Points/Activity/Weight tracker via their website is that many things you expect to be in the list are not, yet some of the items that are not included in the online database, such as Fresh Figs, are included in the Weight Watchers reference books! This suggests that within WW corporate the Right Hand has little knowledge of what the Left Hand (site administrators) are doing. I've found a lot of the calorie, fat and fiber counts that WW requires for Points calculations on the Internet through entirely free sites. Worse, if I enter the actual title of a product ‚?? say a brand specific to the big club stores like Costco or Sam's Club ‚?? the food database, more often than not, does not return any results. Well, that's not entirely correct. Sometimes the search result will come back with a query: "Did you mean Chris & Piiitas BBQ"? (Somebody's mistyped entry for "Chris' & Pitt's Bar ‚?Ę B ‚?Ę Q Sauce" to type it exactly from the label on the bottle.) Yes, that misspelling is an actual example. Whereas I typed the name with the correct spelling of the "Chris & Pitt's" brand, the system is so riddled with typos that unless you hit on the specific way someone entered the food into the database you won't see a match. Like Google, the Script will return an attempt to interpret your search terms, as in "Did you mean‚?¶'X,Y,Z'?" But unlike Google, more often than not to click the "did you mean" phrase wastes time. You might expect to see the item you were searching for pop up, but instead it will say "No results found" (even for it's own suggestions/spellings!).

As you can see by now, using the most critical part of the WW site requires a considerable amount of patience. You can type in something very broad like a brand name or a restaurant chain, and then and only then might you have a chance of finding THEIR PARTICULAR way of spelling or describing the item in the WW database (at which point you'll have dozens, if not hundreds, of results to sift through). If you type in the full and complete name without a single typo straight off the label in the exact same order of wording the label provides, however, that same item will not pull up because the database doesn't match. WW would be better of subcontracting Yahoo! or Google! to teach them how to return relevant search results using both the correct and incorrect variants on the names.

7) Another aspect of Weight Watchers that I must mention is that if you don't use the Weight Watchers recipes, cookbooks or pre-packed products that offer point values, prepare to spend quite a bit of time figuring things out. Dinnertime meals, by the nature of how many more ingredients tend to go into them, are particularly tricky in my experience. While it is possible to use a nutrition sheet from a restaurant, if you are home cooking a meal that you didn't get off the WW website or out of a WW cookbook it turns into the same calorie/portion/fat/fiber hassle of any other diet plan AFTER which you must convert those values to Points. Here's an example from my week that illustrates the point: This year I discovered my first-ever crop of figs from a self-planted tree in my backyard. Not only were fresh figs missing from the WW online database, but calculating the points of the meal I prepared with them ‚?? boneless pork loin with red wine fig sauce ‚?? turned out to be a huge undertaking. There was a tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet, a 1/2 cup of wine, 1 cup of mashed figs and the whole thing was reduced into a sauce in which the pork loin chops cooked (a recipe off a foodie's blog that I highly recommend). Of the four pork loins in the pan I ate 1, so after calculating the calories, fat and fiber of the individual ingredients in the meal, I then had to combine all of those into a "meal" on the Tracker, accounting for the fact that the recipe made 4 servings of which I only ate 1 (dividing the calorie/fat/fiber count by 4). Then and ONLY THEN did I have the values to enter into the Weight Watchers Daily Points tracker, which in turn converted the calories, fat and fiber grams into Points. So what I am saying is that if your food is not a single-ingredient item like an apple or a glass of milk ‚?? if you like to cook recipes at home instead of eating everything out or out of a box ‚?? plan on spending a lot of time counting calories, measuring portions and using not an ordinary kitchen scale but one akin to the Chefmate brand from Target that is capable of calculating the nutritional value of just about everything that the Weight Watchers own online database fails to include.

So here's the reality: Not only will you be tracking points on Weight Watchers but you will STILL be calculating all the other things dieters on other programs do. Only twice over. And that wasn't the reason you signed up for WW, was it? How many of us are drawn to the program because the Points system makes it seem, well, more Idiot Proof for those of us who don't like doing mathematical summersaults before each meal? If nothing more, prepare to flex that mathematical muscle!


CONCLUSION

All of the above is to say that the site is slow and the most critical part of the site for day-to-day use ‚?? the Tracker ‚?? is not at all intuitively designed. The software you should be able to download doesn't exist ‚?? unless you own a Blackberry or iPhone ‚?? and the online database is incomplete, sadly, even when compared to the freebie diet & health sites. That being said, the Weight Watchers Plan itself is probably one of the better ones out there. The caveat, however, is the TRADITIONAL Weight Watchers plan. Those who are interested in the meetings and the separately sold Points Calculator or paper-based Food Tracking Journals will probably have more success and less frustration than those who "go it alone" with only the crash-prone website as their guide.

Bottom line: If you intend to work exclusively off the Weight Watchers website, be prepared for some headaches. The surprising part is, you'll be PAYING for the privilege of your frustration. My suggestion is to sign up for the option that allows you to attend meetings. That's where you'll also have the extra motivation of going in to weigh yourself each week and checking out whose trimming down and whose not. Unfortunately the support ‚?? truth be told, the competition ‚?? is an integral part of the Weight Watchers success formula. The website-only option may be good for those with little weight to lose or those who are in maintenance phase, but it's too frustrating and too anonymous to provide the traditional Weight Watchers benefits.

posted Aug 19th, 2009 1:03 am


Joanna

WW Online has been great for me - I've lost 70 pounds and counting!

posted Jun 7th, 2009 7:08 pm


Karen

Sounds great to me!

posted May 27th, 2009 7:10 am


Camille

I'm trying to decide whether to join on line or go to the meetings. Don't know which would be best for me.

posted May 26th, 2009 12:18 pm


hoolahay

I lost my motivation after about a week.

posted Apr 6th, 2009 12:00 am


lisakepner

I really like being able to check off my water, vegetables, milk, etc. I especially like seeing my activity points add up. It is very motivating to "see" my accomplishments online. It also helps that I have friends who are also using the online version of the diet and even some who attend meetings.

posted Mar 28th, 2009 10:43 am


Anna Bockis

I don't like the fact that you are asking me to shut down my firewall each time I log on therefore I will not as I fear it will put my computer at risk. Now really....WW is bigger than that...get it together people. Also, on line should be free if you are a participating member going to meetings. Come on, end the greed.

posted Mar 18th, 2009 2:59 pm


veryberry1

I lost 30 pounds on WW. I don't like diets that tell me exactly what to eat each day. One reason is that 'm on the go a lot and can't cook or heat anything up when I'm not at home. The other reason is that those diets' shopping lists tend to get expensive. WW lets me pick the food. It is the only thing that ever worked for me.

posted Feb 18th, 2009 6:44 am


Terri Fuqua

It does take determination, especially with no monitor, but the loss of weight is what keeps me inspired. Not to mention, I no longer suffer from GERD on this program.

posted Feb 6th, 2009 12:17 pm


nancyelswick

i love weight watchers especially the core plan.i wish i could stay on it until i lose all my fat

posted Feb 6th, 2009 12:42 am


whitney

Everyone always says that this is such a great plan- however I lost motivation after 1-2 weeks on the points system. While it is a good program, it offers no personal one on one support for sticking with it and keeping motivated.

posted Jan 22nd, 2009 7:57 pm


Lisa Caulder

this give very good information on weight watcher

posted Jan 22nd, 2009 1:03 pm



 

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