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Weight Watchers

Celebrating 50 years, Weight Watchers is 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 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 10 of 36, 705 total comments)

Sarah

For all of you gaining weight, there's a simple reason why. The new points system is focusing more on protein and less on carbs. This is a HEALTHIER thing, because now instead of just losing fat you are gaining leaner muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat. Once you get over the initial (omg I am gaining weight because I'm being MORE ACTIVE and EATING MORE PROTEIN) you'll find yourself slimming down and losing more weight. Because of this gaining of muscle you're going to burn more calories while in a resting position (so let's say sitting and watching tv). So after you've been active during the day and are relaxing you're still going to be burning calories! This is why measuring is a better way of tracking loss than weight.

I actually have not done weight watchers and have been calculating calories, fiber, etc. and it's starting to wrack my brain. I essentially was DOING weight watchers but not using their actual point system. I initially started to gain a little weight, but then I lost 20 pounds in three months. I am excited to get started with a program that essentially does what I was doing, with less math taking place on my part, and continuing my weight loss.

posted Mar 29th, 2011 8:35 pm


joolestoronto

I joined WW at the end of January and to date I have lost 21 pounds. Loving it! This is not a diet, it is a complete lifestyle change. I plan nutritious and balance menus the day before, drink my water and get my activity points (I walk each night, rain, sun or snow). I splurge in moderation and only when craving a certain food. I want to lose the weight and WW has really helped.

posted Mar 29th, 2011 3:05 pm


Lisa

I had the most successful weight loss when I followed this program. It educates you how to eat and how to make sensible food choices.

posted Mar 28th, 2011 8:35 pm


leesa

gender
female non breastfeeding = 7
female breastfeeding = 14
mal= e 14
age
16-20= 5
21-35 = 4
36-50/= 3
51-65 =2
over 65 =1
weight
your weight is 2 digits your score will be the first digit (ie you weight 86 kgs, the score is 8)
if your weight is 3 digits your score will be the first TWO digits
height
under 160cm =1
over 160cm= 2
how active are you?
sitting down mostly= 0
ocassionally sitting mainly standing= 2
ocassionally standing mainly walking =4
doing hard work most of the time= 6

hope this helps
you just add up the number next to each criteria that responds to you.
mine is 21. if that all makes sense.

posted Mar 27th, 2011 5:53 am


s.winter

i have been using online program for 6 weeks and lift weights and walk 3km daily and am 4 lb heaver than I started..

posted Mar 26th, 2011 7:50 pm


karen

I just want to say that the verdict is still out for Points Plus. I lost 46 pounds, hit a plateau, which lasted nearly 1 year and then experienced a slight weight gain. Since February I've been focusing on tracking, eating my healthy guidelines and exercising 4 x a week. Guess what? Net weight loss of 4 pounds. While I am glad for the 4 pounds, this has caused me to wonder whether points plus is for me. Like several other postings here I wish they would bring back the old program. AND by old I mean pre Momentum. I had my best success on the Turnaround plan (2008)

posted Mar 23rd, 2011 2:29 pm


hongquan

What do you get from the weekly meetings?Hi WW members, can you guys let me know what you get from the weekly meetings? How often do you go to the meetings? Do you stay with the program after reaching your weight target? I am thinking about joining in the program but I wonder how the weekly meetings help.

posted Mar 23rd, 2011 12:24 am


Kara

I dont understand this pro points and why there is so much negative response to it?
I have been doing slimming world and this new point system and whole plan has been swiped form slimming world appart from it's crap if your all putting weight on.
Slimming world tells you to eat lots of fruit and veg (free foods)
set amount of dairy
set amount of fiber
but pasta potatoes and rice
meat and fish are all free foods to
then you have an allowance of 10 syns per day for treats (sweets, wine , crisps etc..)
this is a healthy stuctured way of eating and very flexible i dont see why any of you should be putting weight on?
Am confused i was looking at changing just to try it out and i am thinking i am better doing slimming world.
So why is ww better than slimming world if there new plan is so pants?

posted Mar 22nd, 2011 4:35 pm


mks

I lost 28 pounds easily and steadily on the OLD program. I loved it! I have been on the New program now for 3 months and I have now gained 15 pounds back! I follow it exactly just like I did the old program and I don't use the extra points and I also do 150 minutes of cardio a week and lift weights! BRING BACK THE OLD PROGRAM!

posted Mar 22nd, 2011 12:48 pm


Virginia

I lost 75 pounds on the old system. I can??t get myself to fit in the points on the new plan. I just wish I had the old plan??s worksheet for figuring out how many points I??m allowed each day. I relied on the website for that so I never kept a hard copy. I have my old points calculator so if I just knew how many points I could have, I??d stick with the old plan.

posted Mar 22nd, 2011 7:14 am


Buffie

I started Weight Watcher's Point Plus Program in January 2011 and in 9 weeks I have hit my 10% goal and have lost 21 pounds. I love it. I don't know why I never joined WW before. It is the best weight loss program I have ever been on, and I have tried quite a few. People don't like change, but the truth of the matter is the points plus program does work.

posted Mar 21st, 2011 6:36 pm


Olive Reece

Weight Watchers has changed for the worse! Tools needed to be successful on the program are not available-even after paying for the tools. Also, I have found weight loss with the new program to be much slower than previous program. Therefore, one must be a paying member LONGER to reach goals. I have been totally disappointed.

posted Mar 19th, 2011 11:58 am


Peggy

I signed up 3 weeks ago for the new PP plan on WW. The new PP plan (for me) is definitely easy to follow and I find myself not wanting to use all my points, but I do. On week one, I lost 4 lbs.! How exciting, right? Well, week 2, I gained almost 2 lbs. back, week three, another 1/2 gain!!! So to my brain....I am almost forcing myself to eat all my points and yes I am eating healthy, good nutrient foods, and then gaining weight!!! I am exercising and following the plan....why am I gaining weight? Needless to say, when I got off the scales this morning I had to find the tissues, I was so distraught! At this point, I don't think the new PP system works as well as the old system and quite frankly, I'm done. I can go back to normal and maintain my current weight, why do I want to pay for a plan that is causing me to count and record everything I eat, exercise and gain weight! REALLY???

posted Mar 18th, 2011 9:53 am


daphne

Having been a WW life time member for thirty-some years, I joined the online Points Plus program in January to lose a bit of weight for my daughter's June wedding. After a tiny initial loss I find myself gaining every week, despite stepping up activity and exercising. Needless to say, I've cancelled my subscription and will go back to doing what I know works. A great disappointment. And I feel as though I've been had! But I did want to send out a word of warning!

posted Mar 17th, 2011 6:13 pm


Crystal

I lost almost 40 pounds from September to January on WW before my weight loss stalled out and I lost not only focus but the means to pay for the monthly plan. I HAVE however kept the weight off and the WW plan really changed my attitute towards weight loss from being a diet to being a lifestyle. I have multiple friends who have used WW over the years an none of them have a bad thing to say about how well the plan works and how it really changes your life and your outlook on food.
This isn't a starvation diet, it's not a gimmick, it's a tried and true lifestyle that if you really want to make that change and lose the weight for good, then you'll stop playing games with other plans and learn how to prepare and eat real everyday food in moderation.

Lastly I must say that I've known for years I needed to excersize more and this program kicked me into high gear and I am loving working out and keeping fit.

As they say at WW, "Work the plan and the plan works"

posted Mar 17th, 2011 1:27 pm


TENS Unit

Hi,
Good work?unique site and interesting too? keep it up?looking forward for more updates.
Thanks.......!!

posted Mar 17th, 2011 8:55 am


Genevieve

If you try the free trial, be SURE to cancel within the 7 days. If not, there is a minimul refund or be charged the minimum of 3 months, no exceptions even if it is one minute past the 7 days. Also, no way to contact the company by phone. I lost all respect for Weight Watchers after getting the rude customer service message about cancellations after sending an email 6 hours after the 7 day trial.

posted Mar 14th, 2011 2:22 am


erin

New points plus plan I lost 6 lbs in week 1 and 1.5 lbs in week 2. It does work!!! I feel satisfied with less food now. The recipes are amazing!

posted Mar 14th, 2011 12:57 am


naureen

This is the easiest plan to live the rest of your life on. You eat everyday foods, no prepackaged foods, or crazy plans where you eat only certain foods. You can eat what you want in portion controlled amounts. Nothing is off limits NOTHING!!!!!

posted Mar 12th, 2011 11:27 am


kcliff01

I was on WW years ago when they first introduced the whole points concept. Lost 30 pounds and really enjoyed the program. A few life events since then, I gained back the weight and recently joined the Points Plus program. My knee-jerk response was: Too many points and fruits being zero points will lead to my failure. Mind you: this was before my first meeting even started! Over the last 3+ weeks, I have lost 15 pounds.

I read these folks stating that they -- or a friend -- gained weight, but not a single person in my meetings (and there are 50 of us in there... all different weights) has shared a story of weight gain on the new program. Further, the removing of points for fruit has only been met with positive responses.

The WW Leader addressed the fruit concern by stating: "no one in this room is here because they ate too many apples or too much watermelon."

I have been borderline diabetic for the last three years so I reviewed the program with my doctor before I started and he supported it 100%. No concerns over the fruit either. His comments were that the GI values for fruit is not a concern, but empty carbs, such as white bread, white rice and sugar are.

Loving the program.

posted Mar 8th, 2011 2:06 pm



 

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