There are very few weight loss programs out there that have been around as long as Weight Watchers has. For over 45 years they have been helping countless individuals lose weight and begin a healthy lifelong journey.
One of the reasons why this program has been so popular and successful over the decades is their sensible approach to weight loss. Their program is simple and easy to follow. Portion control is highly promoted, and foods are assigned point values based on their fat, carbohydrate, calorie, and fiber content.
In 2010, Weight Watchers introduced the PointsPlus program, which takes into consideration how your body processes foods. Dieters are given the freedom to make the proper choices while on the diet, as long as they stay within the proper ranges.
There is no strict list of foods that are forbidden, and no required foods either – you can still enjoy all the foods you love without having to give them up, as long as you stick to the allotted point range per day. It really is that easy!
The PointsPlus program emphasizes smarter food choices by choosing more nutrient-dense foods to give your body proper nutrition and help you feel fuller for longer. This program also features ‘Power Foods’, which are both healthy and help to keep you feeling satisfied.
Group meetings are highly emphasized in order for dieters to gain support from other dieters and counselors. This really is one of the biggest strengths of the program, which is part of the reason for the incredible success of the Weight Watchers program.
Weight Watchers now offers an online weight loss program, which allows dieters to have a little more flexibility and privacy. Subscribers to the online program are given access to eTools, such as articles, checklists, recipes, weekly newsletters, special offers, exercise plans and weight loss tips. Dieters are able to track their food, exercise and progress, all in the comfort of their own home.
The diet plan on the Weight Watchers 2017 program is based on the PointsPlus plan, which encompasses healthy nutrition, calorie control, and flexibility. Dieters on this program are not dictated exactly what to eat or not eat. Instead, they are guided with the necessary tools, information, support and motivation to help make healthy eating choices.
Dieters are encouraged to eat nutrient-dense foods, while allowing the occasional splurge on a favourite treat. There are thousands of recipes and meal ideas offered to members of the program to help make meal planning easy and efficient.
PointsPlus values for foods are calculated according to their carbohydrates, fat, protein and fiber content from the nutrition label. For example, foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein from the ‘power foods’ list have lower values than high fat foods.
The PointsPlus program is more about living rather than dieting. Dieters on the program will learn to:
- Conquer temptation
- Handle their hunger
- Choose Power Foods to stay full longer
- Make healthy food choices
Instead of counting calories or following a rigid structured diet, participants of the PointsPlus system with Weight Watchers will simply keep track of the foods they have eaten according to a points system. A sample of some of the foods and their associated points include:
- 1 large apple: 2 points
- 1 cup of cooked carrots: 1 point
- 1 cup of 2% milk: 3 points
- 3 oz. of pork tenderloin: 3 points
- 14 chips: 4 points
Although exercise is not a requirement of the Weight Watchers diet plan, it does promote an active lifestyle through a variety of exercise programs. The website provides a variety of demonstrations and instructions on different exercises that can be incorporated into your schedule.
Additional PointsPlus points can be awarded to spend during the day, depending on the intensity and duration of the workout. If you choose to use these extra points, they must be used the same day that the workout was performed.
Calculating the intensity of exercise is done by using heart beats per minute. For example, 68-92 beats per minute would be considered light intensity, 93-118 beats per minute would be considered moderate intensity, and over 119 beats per minute would be considered high intensity.
Some of the exercises encouraged and explained on the website include walking, jogging, pilates, swimming, biking, hiking and kickboxing.
Costs and Expenses
The cost to be on the Weight Watchers program varies from one location to another. On average, you can expect to pay about $39.95 for a registration and sign-up fee, as well as about $42.95 per month for face-to-face meetings.
The standard monthly plan for the online program is about $48.90 for the first month, and $18.95 for each additional month. The first week is offered for free on the online program, after which you will be billed monthly.
- Reputable – Weight Watchers has been around for more than 45 years
- Programs for both men and women
- Counseling can be done through face-to-face meetings or online
- Provides a lot of exercise guidance
- PointsPlus program makes it easy to determine the nutritional value of food
- Many recipes to choose from
- Dining guide provided to help make smart choices when eating out
- No strict restrictions
- Easy to follow
- Ranked #1 Best Weight-Loss Diet by U.S. News and World Report
No specific structure in the plan might be difficult for some to follow
Weight Watchers has stood the test of time, and has helped thousands of people lose weight. Even after trying fad diets, many dieters return to Weight Watchers simply because it works and is easy to follow.
Dieters on the Weight Watchers program can expect to lose an average of about 2 pounds per week, which is a sensible and healthy rate of weight loss. Losing weight at this rate will maximize the fat loss, and minimize the amount of muscle mass lost.
Weight Watchers is most definitely one of the best choices for weight loss programs available. Their track record speaks for itself.