Newest Review: ... have days where you just eat un-measured amounts of these good foods. You can follow Weight Watchers either online through the website... more
Great, but only if you have the willpower!
Member Name: poonam82
Advantages: It really does work!
Disadvantages: Cost of metings and some WW products really aren't cheap
I first joined weightwatchers about 5 years ago and have since gone back and forth with joining and rejoining since.
The long and short version, if I had to summarise the article in a line, is that it does work, if you can stick to it.
I joined weightwatchers to obviously lose weight - I didn't have huge amounts to lose compared to the stories of people needing to lose 10+ stones, in fact, mine was 3 stone but I still felt that it was a chunk of weight to lose.
The way weightwatchers works is that all food has a point's allowance. Point are calculated based on calories and saturated fat. So for example, bean shoots, onions, red peppers and tomatoes have no points. So you may eat as much of these as possible (there is a huge variety of zero point food but these are just a few examples off the top of my head) and there are foods which have points, such as a potato is ½ point per 50g, a whole mango is about 1 ½ points, a packet of marks and spencers jelly beans is 3 ½ points, 2 slice of bread is 2 ½ points....etc. You are given a food list so you can calculate these and you're also given a slide chart to calculate points in food that isn't in the list.
You are given a points allowance and this is calculated using your current weight, gender, how active you are in the day, your age...etc
The idea is that you stick within your daily point allowance. You can earn extra points (bonus points) through exercise - so if you're headed out to eat, you can earn some extra points so you can still be naughty but good.
On average, you're meant to lose between 1lb-2lb a week, this is after the initial first few weeks of weight loss which can be anything from 1lb - 7lb!!
At the meetings, there are a variety of aides to get you through the programme such as cook books, treat bars, crisps, measuring spoons, weight watchers weighing scales - of both the person and the food!, pedometers...etc.
The idea is that you are weighed in every week by your leader and it is strongly recommended to stay for the meeting - to get advice from other members, hear their stories, hear suggestions for foods they have tried and liked/disliked...etc and a leader is there to help you out if you get stuck.
Pros of weight watchers:
Once you've read the paperwork, it actually isn't difficult to stick to.
Lots of support on hand through the meetings and through community forums online.
A huge variety of products out there - weightwatchers have their brand, the M&S count on us range has points values on it as does Tesco Healthy Living brands.
(Of the WW brands, the cereal bars at meetings are brilliant and their deserts, particularly chocolate éclairs, you can't tell its ww!)
If you want to eat out, the vast majority of restaurants are included in the eating out guide so you can still keep on track.
If you sign up to the direct debit method of payment, it works out cheaper than paying every week and plus you get free online access to the weight watcher forum where you can track your weight, take part in the recipe swop, get extra motivation...etc
Cons of weightwatchers
It's expensive - you pay roughly £17.99 a month for the meetings - then whatever you pay on top of that for the products
If you haven't got a British diet (i.e. Asian, Mediterranean, African heritage, it can be difficult to get used to and point as a lot of specialised foods are simply difficult to point)
If you don't get a good inspirational leader, you can lose interest
It does require discipline, if you don't go for one week, you think "it's ok, I can be naughty, and I'll make up for it next week" and you can slip into not going.
Of weightwatcher food - if you happen to be a vegetarian and don't eat fish, you are limited with the WW endorsed brand of ready meals
Around Easter/Christmas...etc - It is a nightmare to follow!
It doesn't take into consideration that when people bring food to work for you to try...etc - if you have an office baking culture, its hard to resist and also if you keep saying no all the time....!
You have to be organised - in getting the food that you need for the week, having meals prepared so you don't binge eat as soon as you get home, a low fat cereal bar in your handbag if you get the munchies out and about...etc
It has worked for me in the past but I have stopped and started weightwatchers for the following reasons:
Whilst I was studying, I was hungry all the time - working through the night, so was running out of points and there is only so much zero point soup a girl can eat!
I was working three jobs and physically had no time to do the prep work of getting food ready.
I lost interest in the programme - the leader wasn't hugely inspirational.
So I'd recommend going with a friend as that's a good way to stick to this and find a meeting with a really enthusiastic leader and stay for meetings. If you do this, you are definitely more likely to stick to it.
Even if you don't do WW, switching to some of their food just to be a bit healthier isn't such a bad thing - deserts are great, weight watcher chips I cant tell the difference, the weight watcher mature cheese - ick, don't but it, if you like cheese on toast, you'll be highly disappointed as it doesn't even melt!! The WW yoghurts are good, rich, creamy and again, taste just like the full fat version.
WW wine - definitely worth having a glass of the real stuff instead of this! A friend of mine politely described it as gnats pee!
So there you have it!
Summary: It is a good plan, if you have the motivation to stick with it, you can lose loads.
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