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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 2016
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.

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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?
  • Product Name
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  • Weight Watchers
  • 62 /100


> Leave Feedback

User Feedback

(Page 10 of 37, 735 total comments)

Tammy Blunk

+

I joined weight watchers again January and I have lost 30lbs. since I love the points plus I was on the old program and could not stick with was not losing much but this program I'm losing and sticking to it

posted May 30th, 2011 8:59 am


alan bryce

+

Weight watchers is mostly for people who do not have home support or extreme self control. Most of the recipes you can find online. It is however a good program.

posted May 28th, 2011 2:16 am


vera szuch

I AM A LIFETIME MEMBER--39-901847,
HAVE LOST MY POINTS BOOK---HOW DO I GET ANOTHER--- NEED TO GET BACK ON THE PROGRAM.

posted May 27th, 2011 8:00 am


onehipdad

?

Is the online WW program for men appropriate for me? I'm a 59 y/o male, 5'10" 220#. I want to lose 40#. Here's my situation: I travel 45 weeks a year, usually home on weekends. While I'm working, I eat in my room: cereal & banana for breakfast, light lunch out (sandwich or salad), cottage cheese w/fruit, salad or fresh veggies, & Healthy Choice microwave entree. I don't exercise enough (try to walk at least once a week for an hour) and I like cookies. Is the online program appropriate for me?

posted May 25th, 2011 7:18 pm


sockii

-

I liked the old Flex Points program, which worked very well for me when I had a lot of weight to lose. But after regaining about 15 pounds in the years since I've tried repeatedly to get back on the system with little success. WW seems a lot easier to do with a lot to lose than a little - but I don't want to wait until I have 50+ pounds to lose again!

I also found the new PointsPlus system did not work at all for me. With changing the points one did not really have more points to use (as in, more calories to eat in a day) and some of the way the new points were structured is strange. Again, there seems to be a problem with the numbers for people at the "low" end of the scale (with 29 daily points) as explained in the article linked here {LINK REMOVED}

posted May 24th, 2011 3:25 pm


EKerrigan

?

Why doesn't the Weight Watchers web site WORK?? I just signed up for Weight Watchers, and would LOVE to be able to use the Online Tools/Tracker ... but unfortunately the web site is so hideously slow that it's worthless :-( On the rare occasion that I CAN get to the Tracker tool and enter a food, it just spins and spins and spins .... and eventually I get a "timed out" message. Unless/until they upgrade their web site this is completely WORTHLESS! The online access was free with my membership, but I'd be royally peeved if I had actually paid for this!

posted May 22nd, 2011 8:57 am


Laurie Johnson

I have lost 40 lbs in 4 1/2 months on Points Plus. This is a excellent program, not a diet but a life style chnage

posted May 21st, 2011 3:22 pm


Cortney

+

If you stick to is there is no way you won't lose weight. It is nice to be able to eat whatever you want, just watch your portions.

posted May 21st, 2011 11:23 am


Dash

Thanks for sharing

posted May 19th, 2011 3:14 am


Kim

+

I have been on WW for 15 months. I have lost 105 pounds and my BF has lost 126. He has been in maintainence for 8 weeks. We attend weekly meetings and use the online services. It is a livable program that promotes a healthy lifestyle. I feel better than I have in years. I ? WW

posted May 18th, 2011 7:31 pm


Kim

+

I have been on WW for 15 months and have lost 105 pounds. My BF has lost 126 and been in maintainence for 8 weeks. We attend weekly meetings and use online. I ? WW!

posted May 18th, 2011 7:27 pm


Joni

-

I personally could not track all of my food all of the time. When I was tracking my food I lost about 4 lbs in 4 weeks and I was hungry all of the time and I had to completely cut out too many foods I like to eat in order to have enough points to get through the day. Each night I felt like I barely made it through the day and I dreaded trying to figure out the next day.
I didn't use activity points because if I did I wouldn't lose any weight for the week. The meetings never felt supportive and just more like being lectured to. I got to the point where I dreaded going there so I stopped and they continued to charge me despite clearly being able to tell that I had stopped going for weeks. No call, no email, nothing.
This was just a terrible experience for me.

posted May 17th, 2011 2:46 pm


Michelle

I've lost 152 pounds with WW and kept it off. Becoming a Lifetime Member is a HUGE advantage to this program. You weigh in for FREE if you're at goal. If not, keep your butt at the meetings until you get there. This is a LIFETIME of hard work and dedication. Nothing is easy. If weight loss were easy, Oprah would have it. JUST DO IT! It is the BEST weight loss program out there.

posted May 10th, 2011 12:49 pm


Linda

+

Best weight loss program in the world, it's not a quick fix but a way of life. It works.
it took 130# off for me.

posted May 8th, 2011 6:58 pm


Anita

+

I have been doing Weight Watchers online and have seen very good weight loss (13lbs. in 13 weeks). I feel so empowered and unrestricted in my choices of foods that I enjoy eating.

posted May 8th, 2011 4:19 am


Christine

RIP OFF!!!!!! DO NOT USE!!!!! THEY USE YOUR CC INFO TO CHARGE YOU FOR SERVICES NOT USED!!!! DONT GIVE THESE PPL YOUR CC NUMBER FOR ANY REASON!!!!

posted Apr 29th, 2011 11:56 am


Esther Thornton

?

where can i get a copy of the old 1994-1995 weight watcher program, it was so good I will pay for it I am looking for a weight watcher program back in 1995, i lost over 40 lbs, i cannot find it, I have not tried the newest program, but I could not lose the weight on the points program, like I did with the old program of 1995. If anyone has the 1995 program let me know. I do not like the Points program. It just does not work for me. I also exercise 4-6 times a week, I walk, zumba, kick box and body pump. i am almost 80 lbs overweight. please give me feedback on my email

posted Apr 26th, 2011 3:10 pm


Patricia Dean

+

This is an excellent program!

posted Apr 26th, 2011 11:06 am


Diana

?

What is the monthly food cost of Weight Watchers in addition to the $17.95?

posted Apr 25th, 2011 4:02 pm


Deborah

I lost 30lbs on the old ww program and have been able to keep it off, the old program was so easy. I started the new program in Jan 2011 and had so many problems trying to add the points for the day it was to much work for my busy schedule.Please bring the old program back it works. Jennifer Hudson lost weight on the old program . At least let the members decide what program they would like to choose.

posted Apr 25th, 2011 10:14 am



 

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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

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BACKGROUND

It's been 50 years since Weight Watchers came on the scene and started helping people live healthier lives. Weight Watchers helps members create a foundation to introduce healthier choices and physical activity into their lives. Weight Watchers was made popular by the weekly meetings that are still a cornerstone of the program today.

Weight Watchers allows you to eat the foods you like without restriction. Simply stay within your daily range and you can still enjoy the foods you love balanced with nutritious choices like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Unlike many diets, Weight Watchers also encourages an active lifestyle.

It all started in a living room, where women would gather to support one another while losing weight. Then it grew, and became one of the most recognized names in weight loss. They've remained an innovative brand, taking the plan online, and creating a program specifically for men.

Weight Watchers Meetings The original Weight Watchers plan invites members to weekly meetings where they help dieters form a network of support with people sharing similar experiences. Each person checks their weight privately. Meetings are conducted by a trained Meeting Leader who motivates and offers the group support through information about nutrition and fitness.

Weight Watchers at Work The Weight Watchers At Work program wants to make your workplace healthier by offering you and your company all of the success of the Weight Watchers program right from your own office.

Click to get started with this diet

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

PRO
  • Programs to suit adult men and women
  • Choose counseling via meetings or privacy and convenience online
  • Online program is a comprehensive experience
  • Provides exercise guidance
  • Thousands of recipes and meals to choose from
  • Applebee's partnership for more healthful dining
  • Named #1 in the Best Commercial Diets by US News, 2011
  • Reputable and effective for 50 years

CON
  • Online detracts from the traditional social aspect of meetings
  • Not a structured plan, which may be difficult for some to adhere to
  • Not a strong emphasis on fitness
USER REVIEWS

A sampling of feedback and experiences shared by our community.

Most realistic program to maintain long term ... may take longer to lose the weight but it stays off! - Carmelle 8/16/11

I lost close to 40 pounds on Weight Watchers and have kept it off ever since starting almost 10 months ago. I plan to be on this program forever. I'm the healthiest I've ever been. (I'm 26 and am thinner and a smaller size than I was in high school, which I NEVER thought was possible!!) WW WORKS! I have never felt deprived, and I feel like the program is something I can live with. It's literally one of the best things I've EVER done for myself. - Marjie 7/8/11

I've been following the new Points Plus program since the beginning of the year. Today I hit the 10% weight loss goal. Only one week I did not loose weight - but I didn't gain either. Love that the fresh fruits are free so when I just want something - I now reach for fruit rather than chips or cookies. I am a 30 year lifetime member (obviously strayed at times) and find that this is the easiest weight loss for me (and I'm now 59.5 years old). HIGHLY recommend the new Points Plus. The key is still planning and journaling as far as I'm concerned. - Char 4/1/11

The old WW worked. The new one does not. I am one of many lifetime members who have become very disenchanted by this new program. - Elle 6/21/11

I highly suggest playing around with the tools. Eventually most "0 point" foods will develop a point value if you put in a high quantity...especially fruits and starchy veggies like green beans and broccoli. If you eat what the healthy check recommends, drink the water the healthy check recommends and eat your points in proteins and a small amount of carbs and fats then you should not gain weight. It's about eating in moderation. Not going crazy just because you think you can. - Shannon 3/6/11

Leave your own review and rating

DIET and NUTRITION

Weight Watchers emphasizes eating more wholesome food, while allowing you to splurge on cravings in moderation. You'll make balanced food choices that include whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, eggs and dairy. No matter which plan you choose, you'll have access to all of the Weight Watchers recipes that are delicious, satisfying and good-for-you.

Weight Watchers members can enjoy chili, muffins, brownies, burgers, pizza, pasta and so much more - especially when you follow their healthy tips for lightening the recipes.

You're encouraged to make more nutrient-dense food choices, which not only helps you lose weight but also helps keep you feeling satisfied.

The Weight Watchers website features thousands of recipes for all occasions. Weight Watchers Meetings Members can also use the A-Z food list found in the Pocket Guide, or purchase the Complete Food Companion and the Dining Out Companion to help them plan for their night out.

Whether you do the program online or attend meetings, there are several ideas for snacks and meals along with a list of power foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. The program is designed to teach you how to make smarter food choices so that you eat more filling and nutritious meals.

For example, Weight Watchers features two side by side meals that both have a points value of 11. The two meals are reflected below:

  • Meal 1 – Peanut butter and jelly sandwich made on reduced-calorie white bread; chips
  • Meal 2 – Black bean soup; Whole grain wheat pasta with grape tomatoes, small black olives, crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese, shredded basil leaves, olive oil and red wine vinegar; grapes

Just glancing at these two meals it would be hard to think they have the same value because meal two offers more food. Illustrations like this make it easy to see the importance of making healthier choices so that you can eat more while getting good nutrition throughout the day.

EXERCISE

Weight Watchers does promote living an active lifestyle, although exercise is not a requirement of the program.

To calculate the intensity of your workout, you can use your heart beats per minute or some simple physical cues. If you choose to follow the heart beats per minute, the classifications are as follows:

  • Low intensity: 68 to 92 beats per minute
  • Moderate intensity: 93 to 118 beats per minute
  • High intensity: more than 119 beats per minute

Using the physical cues for your activity level follows the rating of perceived exertion or RPE. This is what Weight Watchers uses. This method is easier than monitoring your heart rate while working out. The below chart can be used to help you gauge the intensity of your workout:

  • Light intensity – Fairly easy exercise that does not induce sweating unless it’s a hot, humid day. There is no noticeable change in breathing patterns.
  • Moderate intensity – Somewhat hard exercise that will break a sweat after performing the activity for about 10 minutes. Breathing becomes deeper and more frequent. You can carry on a conversation but not sing.
  • High intensity – Hard exercise that will cause you to break a sweat after three to five minutes. Breathing is deep and rapid. You can only talk in short phrases.

Keep in mind that those who are just starting to exercise, or those that have been inactive for a long period of time tend to overestimate their intensity levels. If you are just starting out it may be more accurate to gauge your intensity through your heart beats until you get an accurate understanding of actual intensity levels. With Weight Watchers you can choose to do any form of exercise that meets your needs. Some recommended forms of exercise available are:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Aerobics
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Bike riding
  • Kickboxing
WEIGHT WATCHERS FAQ

Common questions asked about the Weight Watchers program by our community. Click each to see the full answer.

Can I do Weight Watchers without exercising? - Calcia 8/16/11

How much does Weight Watchers cost? - 7/20/11

Is Weight Watchers safe for kids? - Yoli 8/8/11

Is Weight Watchers good for diabetics? - Jackie 5/12/11

What do you get from weekly meetings? Hongquan 5/23/11

Are Weight Watchers Points confusing to anyone else? - 2/19/11

CONCLUSION

Weight Watchers is a tried and true veteran of the weight loss industry. With a variety of methods to choose from for both men and women, you're almost certain to find the right path for your weight loss journey. Weight Watchers provides guidance from every aspect of weight loss. Food is one of the primary concerns of any dieter and Weight Watchers goes above and beyond most other weight loss programs with thousands of recipes that anyone, dieting or not, will find tempting and delicious. If their style appeals to you, go for it.

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Weight Watchers Contact Information
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