Weight Watchers Diet Program: Is it worth a try?
The program steers you towards healthier options without restricting you any food that you might want to eat from time to time, which will potentially lead you to a new healthy lifestyle and will help you keep the lost pounds off in the long term.
Weight Watchers is one of the longest running weight loss programs, dating since 1960, and now, with the new version WW Freestyle, it becomes the most flexible weight loss program there is.
The company constantly makes new updates on the program based on new behavior techniques and other science backed strategies that have been proven to work.
What is the Weight Watchers diet?
The WW program takes into consideration your personality traits and gives you the option to choose between several support programs. The most popular option is the Meetings subscription. By joining you get access to an online database and in person group meetings. If you don’t prefer group meetings you can only follow it online and you will still get 24/7 online support, tools, and access to apps. There is also a one-on-one option in which case you get a personal coach while still having access to the online database.
The Weight Watchers community is so strong that a number of studies showed that people who were on a Weight Watchers program lost twice as much weight than the ones who received professional help from a doctor. What’s more, another controlled study showed that people who followed a Weight Watchers program were much more successful at maintaining their weight in the long run than the other participants who followed other weight programs.
How does the Weight Watchers program work?
The Weight Watchers Freestyle is based on a SmartPoints system which helps you make healthier food decisions while still letting you enjoy your favorite foods. The program also has over two hundred ZeroPoint foods that are the foundation of healthy eating as they are less likely to be overeaten and don’t cause an addiction, unlike foods that contain sugar and unhealthy fats. With this unique approach it’s no wonder that this is the best recommended weight loss program in the world.
The SmartPoints system
The Weight Watchers program is concentrating on point count instead of calorie counting, and that’s a great plus.
Every food has a different point value based on the calories, fat, protein and sugar it contains. Healthier foods are lower in points and that is supposed to guide you in eating healthier which will ultimately lay the foundation of your healthy eating habits.
With the subscription you get a personalized daily and weekly SmartPoints budget based on your weight loss goals, age, height and gender.
The weekly points make this program more flexible and you won’t have to stress out if you go a little over the daily points. There is another option for the times you won’t use all of the points that are given to you for the day. You can simply roll up to 4 points per day in the weekly points and use them throughout the week.
You can easily check the point value of almost everything you eat on their website or mobile app and there is also a pocket version of the calculator. You also get access to thousands of free recipes, with a “Nearly No Cook” option as well. They even have a “Shopping and Dining Out Guide” which has hundreds of restaurant dishes and their nutritional value.
So, they basically thought and figured out everything you will possibly need instead of you – another reason it is considered the best recommended weight loss program in the world.
The ZeroPoint Food
In the new, updated version, there is a new ZeroPoint food list, with the main groups being veggies, skinless chicken breast, skinless turkey breast, sea food, fruit, eggs, corn, peas, tofu and a lot more.
This update is a huge plus because you won’t have to weight and track any of those two hundred zero point foods, additionally encouraging you to eat even more healthy. This is what makes this program the most flexible weight loss program yet.
The support, inspiration and motivation of your fellow members are one of the most valuable things you’ll get from this program.
You can join the community through your WW app and post photos, videos, comments, likes, and start a discussion on different topics with other members.
You are probably wondering how much should you exercise while on a WW diet and the answer is: how much you want to and in whichever way you enjoy it. It’s only important to stay active!
Of course, Weight Watchers encourage physical activity and they provide videos and workout routines along with the diet plan through the FitPoint system.
But one size doesn’t fit all, that’s why based on your fitness levels and age, besides the normal physical activities, you can count cleaning, walking, and dancing in your app.
The Do’s and Don’ts of the Weight Watchers diet program
Even though you can do whatever suits you best and no foods are off-limits, here are the things Weight Watchers advise you to limit or load up on.
Do’s: Fruits, veggies, eggs, skinless chicken and turkey breasts, fish, sea food, corn, beans, and peas.
Don’ts: Butter, alcohol, non-diet soda, pizza, cake, ice cream, pie, hamburger, cheeseburger and any other fast food.
The benefits VS. The Drawbacks of the WW Freestyle diet
Even though experts say the Weight Watchers diet is a safe and balanced diet for long term weight loss, and no serious risks or side effects are noticed, some people might consider certain things a benefit while for others the same things might be a drawback.
These are the things you need to know about this program before you join, and it’s up to you to determine if they are advantages or disadvantages.
Nutrition: Almost every expert that reviewed the diet concluded that people who follow the Weight Watchers diet plan will get sufficient amounts of nutrients for a safe weight loss. The nutritional breakdown of a typical day of WW meals complies with the dietary guidelines recommended by the US government.
Children and pregnant women: Pregnant women and children under the age of 13 aren’t allowed to subscribe to this program, while those under 18 will need a written approval from a doctor to join.
However, there are still a number of other healthy ways to lose weight that can help you or your child.
Gluten: There are plenty delicious gluten-free recipes to choose from if you are watching your intake of gluten.
Salt intake: They provide a list of low-salt products and warn of foods that pack lots of sodium, which can be very helpful when making a decision in the grocery store.
High cholesterol and Diabetes: Overweight people can lower their cholesterol levels and avoid certain diseases by lowering 5 to 10 percent of their body fat. The program promotes nutritious and low-calorie foods so there is no reason why it wouldn’t be suitable for people with high cholesterol or diabetes.
The company even offers specially designed programs called “Weight Watchers for Diabetes” and “Weight Watchers for Prediabetes”.
But, it’s still important to consult your doctor before changing your diet so he can check your progress and adjust your medicine.
Eating disorders: The WW company says that their program might not be suitable or safe for those who have an eating disorder or lack of self-control.
Vegetarians and vegans
The Weight Watchers program provides a lot of plant-based recipes suitable for vegetarians and vegans. Among the most popular are the vegan chocolate chip cookies and the lemon pound cake.
The WW company realized that each individual needs a different form of support and developed virtual one-on-one coaching, as well as in-person meetings and weigh-ins.
What’s more important, regardless of the plan you choose, you still get access to the large online community where you can inspire others or get inspired.
That’s why this program has one of the largest support systems among all other weight loss programs.
Joining the best recommended weight loss program comes with a cost. Depending on the type of subscription, monthly costs may vary. Still, every new member has to pay a $20 starter fee. Then, when choosing the package, you additionally pay from $20 to $70 per month.
When you take into consideration that none of these costs include food, not everyone can afford it.
And the verdict on the weight watchers program is…
Even though the Weight Watchers program has several potential downfalls, its science-based program with a flexible system and the promotion of living a healthy lifestyle makes it worth the try.
If you are willing to keep track of everything you eat and don’t struggle with self-control, then this program might be the perfect choice for you.
As a lot of specialists, nutritionists and other experts that put the Weight Watchers Freestyle program among the top ranked diets, we also give it a high rank: 4.5 stars out of 5. It’s easy to follow, the benefits largely outweigh the disadvantages, and most importantly it is extra safe. So for many it is the best recommended weight loss program in the world, but at the end of the day it comes down to you as an individual and what works well for you.