For the first two weeks, you eat three extremely low-carb meals a day plus two snacks. Coaching and networking, weighing in and showing up, online or in person—like I did back in the day in a church basement with a couple of dozens other folks fingers-crossed on the scale, chatting together, sharing recipes, and listening to a motivational leader. If a squad of scientists had come up with the concept, it may not have caught on. You eat three Jenny Craig meals plus a snack per day, and supplement with fruit, vegetables and dairy. But it can work for you.
Weight Watchers Review
Weight Watchers has been ranked the top commercial diet for seven years in a row by U. The 7th annual list includes nine sets of Best Diets rankings, and Weight Watchers was first—or tied for first place—in almost half the categories and was a runner-up in the rest.
Anyone who has ever been on a diet to lose weight, and been successful, has been on Weight Watchers. The beauty of Weight Watchers was, and is, that it works, and therein lies the irony: Weight Watchers was created by Jean Nidetch, a s overweight housewife who was mistakenly taken for pregnant ouch! But right off the bat, millions could relate as a working woman, mother, and wife; trust was built-in, in my opinion. If a squad of scientists had come up with the concept, it may not have caught on.
Like we all do every day to keep our lives on track plans, budgets, schedules, management; the CEO of the family. She lost and gained, lost and gained. Then after being on a diet recommended by health officials, Jean had an epiphany and figured out what would work. Her idea was to encourage women to combine then-relevant nutritional science with exercise, and that meant moving your body beyond the routine daily activities of a working mother working is working, people.
Most women have two, or more, jobs! But there was one more Nidetch ingredient, the one that made Weight Watchers what it became: Weight Watchers meetings the first one was in a NYC pizzeria! The idea was simple yet inspired. A community, a fellowship, an alliance of weight-watchers in solidarity: In my first experience with Weight Watchers, I lost 23 pounds in three months; I still feel proud of that today.
I did my first go-round of Weight Watchers with my sister. She and I—with around twenty other women and the occasional man —met in a church basement on Saturday mornings. The Points system had recently been introduced, and for me it worked.
Nidetch had done something revolutionary but uncomplicated: Over the years, I have attended meetings with three different cheerleading leaders; two were great, and one was just too much for me. Weight Watchers implemented a points system in the s, where foods were given a numerical value based on nutritional profile.
So then, how does Weight Watchers work? Starting from the beginning, the program included a very specific eating system and over the years there have been a number of iterations. But the introduction of the original Weight Watchers Points system —currently referred to as SmartPoints—kicked the specifics into super-user-friendly.
It came into being from Weight Watchers Limited in the United Kingdom, where two women invented, developed, and patented the Points system calculator.
Using an algorithm that calculated calories, fats, proteins, and carbs, it would have a couple of iterations, too, as more was learned about nutrition and exercise science. But the underlying system, of counting foods as values based on nutrition, was genius then and it remains the cornerstone today. The newest program, launched in , is dubbed Beyond the Scale. Weight Watchers says it wants people to not diet per se, but adopt a Weight Watchers lifestyle:.
Our proven program is not a diet. Yes, you will lose weight. The current program is pretty simple, in that every food has a value. SmartPoints are calculated based on calories, saturated fat, sugar, and protein. You simply adhere to your allotted points. There are no forbidden foods. And that phrase alone is for some the ah-ha! Weight Watchers explains that it takes the complex nutritional information of a food and gives it a single number—the SmartPoints value—so people can make smarter food choices while eating the stuff they like to eat.
Well, some of it anyway. And, each week you get bonus points—which, when I did Weight Watchers in my last go-round, I banked and then pigged out on Friday nights. Just Ben, Jerry, and me. Anyway, the idea of points is smart, easy, and doable.
And I mean not just parking further away from the store entrance. Get your heart rate up and keep it up with fat-burning, good-for-your-heart exercise. I swim albeit not enough. You can walk, run, jog, row, climb, spin, bike, step, jump, skip, kick—you get the idea.
And do it at least 30 minutes every day—or at least most days of the week—as best as you can fit in your already ridiculously hectic life.
Actually, make it your time; take 30 minutes, put headphones on, and do it. And, it turns out, even during the most seemingly mundane of tasks, you earn FitPoints which you add to your total points for the day.
FitPoints is also a smart idea. Weight Watchers explains it this way:. FIT is about getting back in touch with your body. Weight Watchers has several dozen videos, workouts, demos, fitness plans, and challenges.
And all of this can be managed on a handy, popular app. The Weight Watchers mobile app for smartphones and devices helps dieters to track weight loss progress, manage SmartPoints and FitPoints, shop for and plan meals, and offers social networking with other members. Every step you take, every bite you eat, kept track of.
The mobile app for Android has almost , reviews on Google Play with an overall rating of 4. Reviewers find it easy to use, convenient, and it helps dieters stay on track. Similarly, on iTunes, more than 2, real people reviewed the current iteration of the app and gave it a close to 5 stars. Even the previous versions of the app—with 12, reviews—agreed it was effective, easy to use, and helped Weight Watchers dieters keep track. On the Weight Watchers app you can live chat with a coach and—for a lot of people who are focused on the fitness in the program and want a fuller health-tech experience—toggle to the Activity tab to your track activeness.
And if you have an Apple Watch, wireless scales, and an activity tracker—like Up by Jawbone or Apple Health, for example—you can connect them to your Weight Watchers account. Along with Weight Watchers online, a virtual and brick-and-mortar support network yes, there are still meetings, absolutely! W hat does Weight Watchers cost? A little secret from me: Once you have done Weight Watchers, you know how to do Weight Watchers—so as some say, you can do it without paying.
Remember I said that accountability, motivation, community, and support are the secrets to Weight Watchers? In fact, Weight Watchers itself—even in this day and age where everything is online—recommends the plan you go with is the one with meetings: But, as of fall of , there are three plans:. Just read the fine print. If you follow it.
If you fall off the tracks, you just get back on. When I did my first round with Weight Watchers, I lost 4 pounds the first week and I have to tell you, I remember that day like it was yesterday.
I stuck with it for 11 more weeks and ended up dropping 23 pounds. But it can work for you. We chubbies will do anything, try anything , to lose weight! I can say that: Just the facts, and the facts are that Weight Watchers ticks most of the good boxes— most being the operative word there. The study found that. Further, high usage of 3 access modes was associated with greater weight loss results. In other words, the meetings, the online support, the App, all make a big difference.
British journal The Lancet published a study which followed several hundred people for a year; half on a diet recommended by their doctor and the other half on Weight Watchers.
The majority of the participants on Weight Watchers stuck to the diet and lost twice as much weight as the doctor-diet group. Finally, the American Diabetes Association has studied Weight Watchers and found that meeting attendance combined with an emphasis on healthy eating—including veggies, fruit and high-fiber, low trans-fat foods—makes it a good commercial diet choice with better, and healthier, results. How about Weight Watchers reviews?
Previously, with Activity Points, you would just calculate the points to earn using a more generalized, clumsier online tool. The actual FitPoints you earn that are exchangeable for SmartPoints doesn't really vary much based on your weight and gender.
The number of points you earn is overwhelmingly based on the time and intensity of the activity. FitPoints are easier to earn as well.
Plain and simple, you get points as soon as you start moving. With the old Activity Points, you had to reach a baseline before you could score — for example, you might have had to walk 3, steps to get points. Now, you could walk just a third of that and already earn as many as 2 FitPoints.
What is FitBreak from Weight Watchers? FitBreak is an app that shows you very brief videos a few seconds long , and encourages you to then mimic that activity for exactly one minute. If you do this 20 times over the course of the day a total of 20 minutes , you will receive 2 FitPoints. You must be logged into your regular Weight Watchers mobile app while using FitBreak, in order to automatically receive the points. When you start on Weight Watchers, you take an assessment where WW looks at your lifestyle and determines your first FitPoints goal.
As mentioned, this goal is based on your personal factors. For instance, if you currently spend a lot of time sitting at your desk, WW will start you off with a fairly low points goal.
One is by wearing an activity tracker, such as the highly popular Fitbit, which integrates with your Weight Watchers account. The advantage of wearing an activity tracker is that you'll earn the most FitPoints this way.
Just make sure that your tracking app is synced to your Weight Watchers account so that your tracked activities are automatically converted and credited as FitPoints.
Just log in to your My Day online dashboard, go to "Activity," and there you'll see where to input your activity. Even if you don't want to shell out for an expensive tracker, you can download a free pedometer app on your phone to count your steps for you. Once you get the hang of reaching your weekly FitPoints goals and for some people, WW is right in saying that this can be addictive , your goal will likely be changed to match your new lifestyle.
If you reach your goal for two weeks straight, Weight Watchers will automatically recommend a higher goal for you. And if you keep racking up those points, you get more bragging rights — and other perks, like say, a leaner, healthier body. Plus, you can exchange those FitPoints for more SmartPoints, which means that you can eat a little more if you want to. FitPoints is a goal system, so you want to earn more points here to achieve your target.
In fact, 1 FitPoint is equal to 1 SmartPoint. The question now is, should you eat your FitPoints? In a way, this makes sense. And, as we all know, getting a treat every now and then makes dieting a little more enjoyable. A similar thing may happen with tracking apps, especially if more than one app is synced to your WW account.
Overestimated FitPoints means that you could then be swapping for more food than you worked for, and that completely throws the diet. The equivalent FitPoints for each activity depends a lot on its intensity and duration, and your weight also factors into it.
A basic "average" approximation would be 1, walking steps equals 1 FitPoint, but this could increase or decrease for you, depending on your weight, etc. It does take a bit of meticulous fine-tuning to figure out FitPoints for your particular weight. The Weight Watchers Pocket Guide provides a comparison:. A pound person earns 1 FitPoint after 10 minutes of low- to moderate intensity movements.
Meanwhile, a pound person earns 1 FitPoint after 10 minutes of low-intensity, but 2 FitPoints after 10 minutes of moderate-intensity activity. The pound person would get 6 FitPoints while her pound friend would get And since FitPoints are meant to encourage us to move, maybe Weight Watchers wants to give more encouraging pats on the back i. But will the FitPoints system really help you on your weight loss?
We think it can, as long as you track diligently, swap wisely, and eat accordingly. Too busy to prepare your own low calorie meals?
This affordable dietitian-designed program will save you time and money. You'll eat specially-chosen frozen meals from popular brands that you'll buy in your supermarket. When you're not in the mood for a frozen entree, you'll eat salads and low calorie recipes. Exactly How Do They Work? Should I eat my FitPoints or not? What is the purpose of the weekly FitPoints "Goal" that each member is given?
Exactly what kind of activity counts towards FitPoints Just about anything!