Weight Watchers is among the most practiced weight loss programs on the market today. The beauty of this program lies in the fact that it relies on participants’ integrity and ability to eat in moderation, depending on one’s weight, gender, age and height. This is done through specified portions unlike similar programs; no foods are forbidden in this diet. Instead, it focuses on controlling food intake.
Originating in Brooklyn, NY, Weight Watchers has been around for over 50 years. According to their official website, the program has helped millions of people in over 30 countries, many of whom still follow it religiously.
- It focuses on healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables that guarantee a feeling of fullness to ensure that a healthy body is maintained. It customizes meals depending on participants’ beliefs, and supports diets such as vegan, gluten-free, kosher and halal. A program for diabetics has recently been incorporated.
- It encourages its followers to accurately track and record their points through portion control. Eating whatever you want is encouraged, as long as you reach your PointsPlus target.
- The program focuses on groups of people with similar goals who can attend weekly or monthly meetings to discuss their progress. You can also opt to have a coach to guide you through the process of losing weight to further your agenda.
- Exercise plays a major role in this program and includes activities like dancing, swimming, running etc. Participants can monitor each activity they undertake through applications like Jawbone and Fitbit.
- Weight loss goals are achieved slowly but surely, and the excess weight stays away. There is a very low chance of relapsing because there are no stringent rules, allowing for flexibility.
- Education on nutritional values is provided to members through group leaders in order for them to stay ahead of their weight watching goals.
- The cost of attending a meeting every week is about $13 and the registration fee is about $30, which could be too costly for some.
- Weight has to be recorded on a weekly basis and progress is expected; some might “win” and some might “lose,” depending on the week’s activities and diet undertaken. This could be stressful to some people.
- The lack of a structured diet can prove difficult to follow, as some get too tempted by the flexibility and overindulge.
The success of Weight Watchers is attributed to its values, which are mainly motivation and support. There is an option to do it online for people who don’t have the time to attend meetings. Even after attaining their weight loss goals, most people don’t stop following the program as they find it helpful and fulfilling.
(Photo Credit: Mike Mozart)