Weight Watchers is an international company that offers various dieting products and services to assist weight loss and maintenance. Founded in 1963 by Brooklyn homemaker Jean Nidetch, it now operates in about 30 countries around the world, generally under names that are local translations of “Weight Watchers”. The core philosophy behind Weight Watchers programs is to use a science-driven approach to help participants lose weight by forming helpful habits, eating smarter, getting more exercise and providing support. Weight Watchers Diet is a balanced diet specially designed for weight loss. It is claimed that you can drop up to 2 Lbs weekly. If you make healthy choices that fill you up, you’ll eat less. Weight Watchers ’ Points plus Program, started in November 2010, allocates every food a point’s value, based on its protein, carbohydrate, fat, fiber, calories, and how hard your body has to work to burn it off. Choices that fill you up the longest “cost” the least, and nutritionally intense foods cost less than empty calories. So if you’re wavering between a 200-calorie fruit smoothie and a 200-calorie iced coffee, the smoothie is the smarter choice.
Weight Watchers Diet Methodology
There’s no fixed membership period; many people who join Weight Watchers stick with it even after they’ve shed unwanted pounds. You can eat whatever you want—provided you stick to your daily Points Plus target, a number based on your gender, weight, height, and age. You can find the points values of more than 40,000 foods on Weight Watchers’ website. Processed choices like bologna usually have the highest point values (meaning they should be eaten in small amounts or less often) while fresh fruits and vegetables carry zero points, so you can eat as many as you’d like. That’s because they’re high in fiber and are more filling than, say, a candy bar. (Fruit juice, dried fruit, and starchy vegetables don’t count as freebies, since they’re higher in calories.) Weight Watchers also pushes specially- designated Power Foods, or the best choices among similar foods. If you’re mulling 10 types of canned soup, for example, you can quickly see which has the least sugar and sodium, the most fiber, and the healthiest types and amounts of fat.
Most studies suggest Weight Watchers is effective. None have evaluated the new Points Plus program, which replaced the Points program that preceded it. But the new system is not different enough from the old to negate previous findings.
- Weight Watchers appears to promote heart health.
- No good evidence suggests Weight Watchers can prevent or control diabetes, but by promoting weight loss, the program should help.
No indications of serious risks or side effects have surfaced.
Weight Watchers Diet Balancing
- Dietary Guidelines recommend that 20 to 30 percent of daily calories come from Fat. Weight Watchers is within that range.
- It’s within the acceptable range for Protein Consumption.
- It’s within the acceptable range for Carbohydrate consumption.
- The government’s suggested sodium cap of 2,300 milligrams a day, or 1,500 mg. daily if you’re 51 or older, or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. Exactly how much salt you consume depends on which foods you select.
- About 20 to 35 grams of Fiber a day are vital. While Weight Watchers dieters outline their menus, company offer guidance on how to reach a healthy amount. For example, an orange, which has 3 grams of fiber, is better than a glass of orange juice, which has less than half a gram.
- The recommended daily Potassium intake from food is 4,700 mg. exactly how much you get on Weight Watchers depends on what you choose to eat. But the company recommends adding “potassium powerhouses” to your meals, such as layering avocado on sandwiches, adding dried apricots to rice salads, or blending orange juice into smoothies.
- To build and maintain bones and to make blood vessels and muscles function properly Calcium is essential. Women and anyone older than 50 should try especially hard to meet the recommended of 1,000 mg. to 1,300 mg. per day. You should be able to meet the goal with low-fat dairy products and calcium-fortified juices and cereals.
- Adults should get 2.4 micrograms per day of Vitamin B-12, which helps make DNA. Meeting the standard is achievable. Make sure your grocery additions include yogurt, which is a good source of the vitamin.
- You’ll get enough Vitamin D on Weight Watchers. Eating just 3 ounces of sockeye salmon, which packs about 20 micrograms of vitamin D, will satisfy the daily requirement.
Weight Watchers suggests taking a daily multivitamin to ensure you’re getting enough calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron, vitamin B-12, and other important nutrients.
Hunger shouldn’t be a problem on Weight Watchers, since the program emphasizes fiber-packed Power Foods, which will keep you feeling fuller, longer. (Think whole-grain bread and spelt pasta.) Plus, you’re allowed a weekly cushion of 49 extra points on top of your individualized target, so if you’re feeling particularly ravenous one day, you have some leeway to eat more than usual.
A monthly pass to unlimited in-person meetings is $39.95, which also includes access to eTools. Or you can pay as you go; meetings are $12 to $15 per week, with a one-time $20 registration fee. To follow online only, a 3-month plan is $65. None of the costs include food.