If you didn’t know about Weight Watchers before, you certainly know about it now with Jennifer Hudson on practically every TV station as their spokesperson. But just like with all diet programs, we always ask, “Is this just money and advertising, or does this really work?”
I’m a fan of Weight Watchers simply because of how it started. A lady found it really difficult to lose weight, and she thought she’d gather all her friends struggling with weight loss to meet up periodically and just support each other. No judgment, no instructions, no superiority. It was all just a way to share experiences, cheer each other on, see how much progress they were all making, and support each other. Now, wouldn’t we all like that?
Now, even as Weight Watchers has grown into this amazingly successful company, they have not abandoned the premise of the system, which is meet, share experiences, give advice, and weigh in. It’s important to say that the weighing in is in private at the same time every week.
If you had questions about if Weight Watchers is worth it, check out the details of the program. I guess I look at it from a different perspective focusing on the community aspect, but there may be other reasons you’d like to try it:
Community: As I said before, this is the highest point for me. You can form a bond with people with the same goals as you, and meet them once a week to share your experiences. Rather than put your health goal on the bottom of your list somewhere, it moves to the top because you have the accountability factor to think about.
Internet: You can find so much information on the internet (I mean, I’m on the internet), but having one single point of contact for most of your weight loss questions is great. It’s like WebMD for medicine. Professionals write articles, and you can ask questions anonymously.
Eat Anything: The main premise of Weight Watchers is that there is no restriction on what specific kind of food you can eat, just how much. Everything you eat is assigned a certain number of points. For your weight loss goals, you have a pre-determined number of points you want to eat in a day. If you decide to spend all your points on cheesecake, that’s on you. But rather than tell you you cannot eat cheesecake, they just tell you cheesecake has 20 points and you’re allowed 50 points in a day (just an example). This is great news for those of us who have cravings. You won’t feel incredibly guilty afterwards because you know what choices you have to make for the rest of the day. No guilt? That’s awesome!
PointsPlus System: The way the PointsPlus system works is a little strange. Some things are easy to understand, but some are not. For example, if something is a fruit or vegetable, even if it has high calories, it may have lower points that something that has lower calories, but is refined. This is because most adults don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables and they want to encourage that we should. So don’t try to figure out the point system yourself because it may hurt your brain. But just know that a meal with higher points means you have less points for the rest of the day. And eat more vegetables… Not too much because they still have calories… Just more than you’re eating now… Unless you’re already eating a lot… Okay, moving on.
Activity points: Ha, you hoped I forgot about physical activity, didn’t you? Well, of course Weight Watchers encourages exercise. But the great part is how they incorporate physical activity into the whole program. Any exercise you do reduces your daily points so you have more to work with. So if you’re the type that doesn’t mind exercising like crazy as long as you get to eat more, it works well for you. Or if you find that you are getting close to your allowable point total for the day, you can just go work out so you have more to work with. Now, on the negative, it’s not always easy to figure out how the exercise you’re about to do translates into points, especially if you’re not good at math. But I found a good explanation on ehow about how to do the conversion. Check it out here: Calculating Exercise Points.
Reading my overall tone, you can probably tell that I’m a fan of the system. Especially since I already said it. However, it doesn’t always work for everyone. If you like to figure out how health and fitness goals alone, and not be part of some ‘group’, then this won’t really work because it’s all about community. Also, if you like to compartmentalize your life (like separate your diet from your exercise plans), it might not work for you either. The points system is great, but it might make you sluggish in the gym on the day that you find you didn’t eat too much.
In summary, I still think anyone trying to lose weight should definitely try it. It just seems to make logical sense unlike most of the diet programs we see today. Check it out at www.weightwatchers.com.
What’s your take on the Weight Watchers program?
Cheers Eights & Weights!
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