Weight Watchers is one of the most practiced programs for weight loss. Its success is dependent on followers’ integrity and ability to consume their food in moderation, and is based on weight, gender, age and height. Unlike other programs, this one is based on specified portions using a point system – there are not any foods that are forbidden.
Weight Watchers originated in Brooklyn, NY over 50 years ago and has helped millions of people in more than 30 countries. Many still follow the program religiously, despite reaching their goals.
Like many diets, there are both pros and cons:
· Based on healthy fats, fruits and vegetables that will help one feel full. Meals are customized depending on followers’ beliefs, and it supports diets like vegan, gluten-free, kosher and halal. Recently, a program for diabetics was added.
· Followers are encouraged to track and record their points to abide by the portion control agenda. They are encouraged to eat whatever they want, as long as their PointsPlus target is achieved.
· Groups of people with similar goals have the option to attend weekly and/or monthly meetings to review their progress and discuss any struggles. Coaches are available to guide participants through the weight loss process.
· Exercise is very much encouraged, with suggested activities including dancing, swimming, and running. Each activity can be monitored with applications such as Jawbone and Fitbit.
· Weight loss goals are accomplished in a slow and safe manner to ensure that the excess weight doesn’t come back. The fact that there aren’t any stringent rules results in a decreased chance of relapse.
· Group leaders teach members about nutritional values.
· There is an online option if participants can’t it make meetings.
· There are costs associated with the program: about $13 a meeting and about $30 for registration.
· Weight tracking may be discouraging if participants do not see regular progress.
· It could be difficult adhere to new eating habits without the enforcement of a structured diet. The flexibility may lead to overindulgence.
Weight Watchers has been successful because of the program’s values, including motivation and support. Many people do not stop following the program after achieving their weight loss goals because it is fulfilling and helpful.