Eating Your Way to a Healthier Weight with Weight Watchers
Program Developer: Jean Nidetch
Price: $29.95, monthly fee of $12
Delivery Method: Weekly Meetings
About the Program Developer
Weight Watchers has been around for a long time, considering it was conceptualized back in the ‘60s. Jean Nidetch was your average woman with a guilty pleasure- eating cookies. Her habit made her gain weight which she finally intended to lose. She looked around for fad diets and everything that she found always bore no fruit and was unworthy of the investment. But finally she found a regimen that had been advised by a diet clinic in New York. It worked perfectly, and once she had lost 20 pounds, she discovered the world of possibilities her success created. She assembled a group of friends who were struggling with weight as well. What started out as a support group transformed to weekly classes, and then went corporate barely two years later. Jean Nidetch wanted more and more people to enjoy the success she did, and that’s how Weight Watchers came to be.
An overview of Weight Watchers
The Weight Watchers program works on a simple yet effective scientific fact- that of understanding how many calories your body uses up in a day, and working to reduce them so that you lose weight. The program allows you to still eat the foods you love (in moderation of course), and still lose weight. It works around a points system where each food is awarded some points- the higher the number of points given, the higher the calorific value of the food. By staying below or at the number of points allowed, you can eat whatever type of food you want without being afraid of packing it all in your midsection. Weight Watchers online provides you with hundreds upon hundreds of meal plans and exercise regimes that can help you reach your goal. So long as you keep below the number of calories allowed each day, or points, you can literally eat whatever you want! There are also support meetings where you get to interact with other people following the program, and relate to their shortcomings and successes. There’s a very important thing that every person determined to lose weight needs- a person who has walked a mile in their shoes, which is essentially what these support meetings provide.
Weight Watcher’s Exercise Regime
Let’s establish it early on that Weight Watchers is not a program for those looking to bulk up and build muscle. Granted, it might help you in the process of reducing fat so that your lean muscles can be seen, but it does not really focus in increasing your muscle strength or endurance. Essentially it helps you lose fat so that you can maintain a comfortable weight that you are happy with. Regardless, there are some exercise regimes offered which can help you in your quest of getting a slimmer waist. The reason for this is that if you maintain an active life- whether you do a lot of cardio or aerobics, or simply weight train- the number of points you are allowed daily goes up, which essentially means that you can eat more of what you love to eat. That’s because your calorie burning power increases when you stay active, and this is what allows you more calorie intake, without necessarily increasing your weight.
So, about the points system
Admittedly, knowing exactly how many points a food has is relatively difficult, especially for the packaged foods which don’t indicate the number of calories per ingredient that you get from eating them. This is where the support groups help- you are able to get information on different foods and fats, and how many points each of them contain. Besides, Weight Watchers Online offers you a huge database of tens of thousands of foods so you can get precise figures to work with. A point’s calculator is also offered. The program gives you a Core Plan and a Flex Points plan. Basically, you get a limitation of the number of points to eat which increases if you are active, as well as a chance to eat something you like either daily, or you can save these points up and choose just one day of the week to use them up. Three standard meals a day are recommended. Fruits, vegetables and healthier options have fewer points, meaning you can eat more of them. These are advised for those who eat 5-6 meals a day to reap the benefits of a high metabolism.
Advantages of Weight Watchers
- You get to eat any food you want. No kinds of foods are restricted whatsoever.
- You gain total control of what you eat, and how much of it. The program allows flexibility and choice.
- Allows you to lose as much as 2 pounds a week.
- A good proportion of foods have Weight Watchers Points, making it easier for you to calculate them.
- Support groups give you the psychological support you need to stick through until you reach your desired weight.
- It’s tedious- counting the points, attending the weekly meetings, etc.
- It’s pricey- especially if you attend the regular meetings.
- The program restricts the amount of food you eat, and this might not befit some people.
What you get
Unlike other weight loss solutions that come in a package, Weight Watchers is slightly different. You get to join either a meeting near your geographical location, or you can do everything online. Weight Watchers Online provides many information resources, some interactive, and these help you get started on the program fast. Weekly or monthly subscriptions apply.
With $39.95 you get a monthly pass that allows you to get access to the eTools and resources, and attend the meetings as well. A weekly pass is available, and its cost is around $12. There are discounts when you go for the 3-month savings plan.
If you have a problem with portion control, or determining how much of what you eat is adding extra pounds, this program is exactly what you need.