Weight Watchers

In 1963 weight watchers meetings started in Brooklyn, with the founder Jean Nidetch decided to get her friends together to talk about how best to lose weight.  The structure and organization has changed and grown over the years, but the theory is still very much the same.  Getting people together to discuss the problems and to give support is a better way to approach weight loss than alone.  Information and motivation is the main purpose of these meetings.

The Weight Watchers Theory

Weight watchers is a guide on how to initially lose weight and also how to maintain a good weight in the long term.  Weight watchers uses four key focuses to help you to achieve this:

  • Food
  • Exercise
  • Behaviour
  • Support

Weight watchers uses a points system to plan your diet, certain foods are awarded different points and you can calculate your intake using this. The diet encouraged by weight watchers is that of low fat and low calorie foods, generally people are allowed 20 points per week, although exercise gains you additional points.

Instead of the points system you can opt to undertake a program based on core foods.  This enables you to eat as many core foods as you wish with no limit, however you ought to eat three meals per day and not until you are stuffed!  These foods include skimmed milk, chicken, fish, fruit, vegetables, wholemeal cereals as well as other nutritious foods.  You are then given a certain amount of points which you can use for snacks or treats.

Weight watchers doesn’t just look at food, but also looks at the rest of your life in order to help you to lose weight.  Exercise and lifestyle is also taken into account and put towards your weight loss program. Using the program effectively ought to allow you to lose 2lbs per week, this is their target weight loss.

How to Join Weight Watchers

You can either join online or through your weight watchers leader.  To get information on this either visit the weight watchers website or find out where your local group is.

Getting Started with Weight Watchers

When you join you will be given information on the weekly meetings as well as a starter pack after your first meeting.  This helps to explain the food plans and the theory behind the meetings.  You will also have an amount of time with the leader to ask any questions that you might have. You will decide on an ideal weight for you to achieve and an amount of weight to lose in the next few weeks. 

What happens during Weight Watchers Meetings

Each week you will have a meeting with a group of others and a team leader.  These meetings allow you to ask questions and to share experiences or good ideas on how to lose weight. 

At the beginning of the meeting you will be weighed individually, no one other than you and the leader will know your weight.  This allows you to keep an eye on how much you are losing and to set a target for your weight loss.

Things covered in the meetings:

  • How to stop stress eating
  • Good, healthy recipes
  • How to best manage when eating out
  • Your favourite foods

Each meeting will be different and everyone has different ideas to put forward and topics that they wish to discuss.

At the end of a meeting you will be presented with literature on the topics covered in the meeting as well as information on other products that you can obtain through weight watchers, such as books, videos or exercise plans

Weight Watchers Long Term

Once you have lost your target weight, you will have a six week period of monitoring in order to make certain that you know how to maintain your weight.  If you stay within 2 lbs of this weight then you will be declared a life member, and no longer have to pay for meetings provided that you do not put on any more weight and you weigh in once an month.  If you do put on over 5lbs, again you will have to start paying to attend meetings once again. 

Weight Watchers Online

Weight watchers has a good website that you can use to help support your weight loss.  In fact, if you don’t want to or can’t attend the meetings you can go through the program online.  You need to pay to join, but can access recipes, nutritional information, exercise ideas, hints and tips and can plan your own weight loss targets at home and using your computer.  You use the website to document your eating habits and learn how much weight you are losing through graphs and using the points system. 

Eligiblity for Weight Watchers

Weight watchers is not always suitable for all.  You are not advised to follow weight watchers if:

  • Pregnant
  • You have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems or gall stones
  • You suffer from eating disorders
  • Children under 10 years old
  • Online anyone under 18 years old

You may restart weight watchers 6 weeks after having a baby subject to a doctors examination.  You also need to be over 5lbs heavier than your ideal body weight in order to join weight watchers.

Cost of Weight Watchers

Online the weight watchers program costs £40.50 for the first month, and then an additional £10.95 for each month afterwards. 

When joining the meetings the program costs £5.50 per week, payable at the meeting. 

There are some cost saving packages available online, these are just a general guide as to the normal prices.

Advantages of Weight Watchers

  • No food is completely out of bounds.  As long as you balance your diet you can eat anything you like in moderation.
  • The weekly meetings offer you support and goals.
  • You gain valuable advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle.
  • Focus is not only on food but also on other aspects of your life.

Results with Weight Watchers

Weight watchers is a known and very respected plan for losing weight.  Unlike a diet it helps you to change your lifestyle in order to allow easier weight loss.  The majority of women find that weight watchers is a very useful tool in helping them to keep healthy.