What are weight watchers?
How great would it be if you could eat all you wish and still loose weight easily? Imagine not having to fight hunger pangs and cravings as you would be savoring your favorite dishes anyways. Yes, it’s true! Many people continue to eat pasta, ice cream, cheese burger and still lose weight!
Weight Watchers, a renowned diet program allows you to eat as much as you want and lose weight. All you need to do is count the points assigned on each food. The Weight Watch International is a weight loss company based in the United States. It offers various products and services to assist people in weight loss and management. It was founded by Jean Nidetch in 1963. The service now operates in 30 countries around the world.
The diet claims to help you lose 2 pounds weekly. It also promises better health with supervised lifestyle changes. The weekly meetings provide education, guidance and support in keeping the weight off.
The core theory behind this diet program is to help people lose weight by forming healthy eating habits, doing more exercise and providing constant support. Dieting is not just about counting calories. It is about making healthy food choices that fill you up quickly, thereby preventing you from overeating. The Weight Watchers diet program assigns each food a point value, based on the calories, protein, fat, and fiber and how hard the body has to exercise to burn off those calories.
How does the Weight Watchers Diet Work?
The dieters can work with the Weight Watchers via personal meetings and programs. Both the programs use the same materials and computation. The Weight Watchers members encourage the dieters to select a goal weight that can help in reaching the healthy body mass index. In order to join the program, one must weigh at least 5 pounds more than the specified minimum weight for his height.
According to the Weight Watchers diet program, you can eat whatever you want to, provided you stick to the daily PointPlus target. The target is mainly based on parameters like gender, weight, age and height. The Weight Watchers website provides a point value of more than 40,000 foods. Processed foods have the highest point values. This signifies that we should eat them in only small amounts. Fresh fruits and vegetables carry zero points. This means that you can eat them as much as you want to.
There is no fixed membership period for the members. You can stick to the program even after losing the unwanted pounds. Once the member reaches his or her goal weight, he or she should start on the maintenance phase.
Simple Start Plan:
The Weight Watchers have launched a 2 week starter program called the Simple Start plan. This includes more than 30 meal ideas, recommended portion sizes, motivational support and tips for dining out.
You can also follow the diet online by tracking food and exercise chart progress. The studies have found that women who followed the program for 9 months lost 10 to 28 pounds in 9 months, while men lost 12 to 35 pounds.
The participants lose weight by creating a calorie deficit. The PointPlus system provides a framework for creating the caloric deficit. The members are assigned a daily point target in the range of 29 to 71 PointPlus to consume each day. The average is 31 to 33 points daily. Additionally, the members are lowed 49 extra points that they can spend each week.
Points based on body weight:
- Weight 150 lbs – points 18 to 23
- Weight 150 to 174 lbs – points 20 to 25
- Weight 175 to 199 lbs – points 22 to 27
- Weight 200 to 224 lbs – points 24 to 29
- Weight 225 to 249 lbs – points 26 to 31
- Weight 250 to 274 lbs – points 28 to 33
- Weight 275 to 299 lbs – points 29 to 34
- Weight 300 to 324 lbs – points 30 to 35
- Weight 325 to 349 lbs – points 31 to 36
- Weight >350 lbs – points 32 to 37
Earlier, the point system was based on fiber, calories and fat. In 2010, the Weight Watchers announced to change the point system. The new system announced is based on a complex algorithm that takes the specific portions of protein, fiber, carbs and fat into account.
Support is an essential component in the Weight Watchers diet. Weight Watchers eTools is a web based service offered to the members. The service is available for an additional fee and is included in the fees for people opting for the recurring “Monthly Pass” plan.
Additionally, a fully online program is available to assist the members. The Weight Watchers website offers pocket calculator, pocket guide and database iPhone application to check the point value. Even the difficulty levels and user reviews are mentioned on the website. You can also access fitness tips, workout demo and restaurant guides on the website.
The website offers more thousands of recipes, each with a points-plus value. The recipes are complete with the serving size, preparation method and cooking time. This will help you make a healthy food choice. You can easily calculate the points ingredient by ingredient, using the tools mentioned on the website. The packaged Weight Watchers products like cheeseburgers, sandwiches, ice cream and bagels are easily available at the grocery store.
In person meetings:
The proponents of the diet claim that the dieters lose about three times more weight if they attend weekly meeting too. You get to swap the weight loss techniques and recipes with other members, helping you lose more weight.Don’t forget the motivational factor involved in meeting new people too.
Weight Watchers is one of the most effective diets to lose weight. Researchers compared the effectiveness of four commercial weight loss programs, namely- Slim Fast, Atkins, Weight Watchers and Eat Yourself Slim diet plans in obese adults. After 4 weeks, people following the Weight Watchers lost 6 pounds, while the dieters following the other programs lost 7 to 10 pounds a week. After the first month of the study, the dieters continued to lose weight with no significant difference among the groups.
The Weight Watchers diet program is highly effective in promoting heart health. In a random trial, participants following the Weight Watchers Diet noticed a 10% reduction in their low-density lipoprotein. So did the triglyceride levels, thereby keeping heart diseases at bay.
Losing 10 to 15% of the current weight can help you prevent diabetes. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that dieters following the Weight Watchers program achieved a significant low fasting blood sugar after 6 months. Weight gain from the excess caloric intake can increase the risk of insulin resistance, leading to the possibility of type 2 diabetes. Losing weight and keeping it off will also reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases.
Weight Watchers are advised to take a daily multivitamin to ensure that they get enough iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and other essential nutrients.
The diet recommends eating three meals a day and at least two snacks. You are quite unlikely to feel hungry while following the diet. The food choices include pasta, filet mignon and black bean soup. You can also eat cheese and avocado sandwich for the evening snack.
The weight watchers diet plan offers several payment options. The cost of the diet program depends on whether you choose to attend the meeting or are satisfied using the online tools only. The monthly charge for unlimited in person meeting is $39.95. You can also access the eTools in this package. The weekly meeting package price ranges from $12 to $15 a week, along with one time registration fees of $20. The online package for 3 months is $65 and thereafter, you have to pay only $18.95 for every month.
A lifetime member can attend meetings free of charge as long as he or she does not weigh more than 2 pounds of his or her goal weight. If the member weighs more than 2 pounds his or her goal weight, then he will be charged a weekly fee.
Exercise is strongly encouraged in this diet. The Weight watchers are assigned to do a number of activities like cleaning, dancing, swimming and aerobics. The exercises and physical activity count as extra food points. You can spend these points on occasional splurge like a dinner at a restaurant. You also get points for spending the night dancing or doing chores.
What You Can Eat and What You Can’t:
There is no food forbidden on this diet. You have to eat real food assigned by the Weight Watchers website, according to the PointPlus value. You can spend these points on anything you want to as long as you stay within the daily point’s target. Alcohol is not recommended in this diet.
The diet program is flexible enough and easy to adopt in your lifestyle. It is designed to make it easier for you to change your eating habits. The Weight Watchers diet plan is also compatible with other dietary approaches like vegans and vegetarians, provided the dieters use the framework to measure and limit the quantity of the food. You can also customize the diet according to your needs.
There is no health risk associated with the Weight Watchers diet plan. However, this does not mean that it is safe for everyone. According to the website, children aged under 10 are not allowed to sign up and those below 17 years of age should get a written permission from a doctor before joining. Pregnant women should not follow the diet, as low calorie diets are not appropriate for them.
We surely hope that this diet will prove as beneficial to you as we find it. With a little bit of effort, you can also make small changes in the recipes to kill monotony in the long run. All you have to do is be a bit creative. Do share your thoughts and experiences with us.