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Weight Watchers Diet Review

Weight Watchers Diet

Weight Watchers is a support based weight loss program that helps its members lose weight by teaching them healthy new eating and lifestyle habits using a range weight loss tools, including one-on-one and group support, program material, web-based tools, phone apps and of course, their trademarked ProPoints™ system.

Weight Watchers employs the calorie deficit model for weight loss. Unlike the currently popular fad diets, like Paleo, Atkins and the 5:2 diet, Weight Watchers doesn’t exclude foods or food groups from their eating plans.

Like almost all other professional weight loss programs, Weight Watchers use a person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) to assess their degree of obesity, set their starting point and help calculate their goal weight on the program.

Basically, Weight Watchers is about counting, budgeting and planning calories that have been cleverly converted into points. In addition to converting everyday foods into ProPoints™, Weight Watchers licence their brand to food manufacturers who sell Weight Watchers cereals, biscuits, ice cream, chocolate bars and other common food items through supermarkets, which members and others can use in their everyday diets. Weight Watchers also sell cookbooks and magazines.

Once members achieve their goal weight, they commence a six week maintenance phase which involves adjusting their daily points intake until they find one that helps them maintain rather than lose weight. At the end of the maintenance program, if members are within 2kgs of their goal weight, they qualify for lifetime membership. This membership entitles them to things like free registration fees, free meetings (provided they remain within 2kg of their goal weight) and discounts on products available for sale during Weight Watchers meetings.

Lifetime memberships are not available to Weight Watchers online subscribers.

Weight Watchers say that members can lose up to 1kg per week, which is at the top end of what is generally considered to be a healthy rate of weight loss, which is between 0.5kg – 1.0kg per week.

Because weight loss stories are highly motivating to many people, Weight Watchers uses it’s Slimmer of the Year Awards to get publicity for its program.

The ProPoints™ System

The Weight Watchers weight loss program is a support based program that converts foods into ProPoints™ to help members plan and track their energy consumption each day.

Effectively, the ProPoints™ system is an easier way to count and track calories. The theory is that it’s easier to count and track 20 “points” than it is to count and track 2000 calories. Converting 100 calories into 1 point, helps overcome this problem.

As this is too easy a concept to sell to the public, and is subject to being easily copied, the clever people at Weight Watchers have tried to make it appear more complicated by adding in other ‘secret’ variables, which are fat, fibre, protein and carbohydrate. But at its core, it’s dropping a couple of zeroes off your calorie intake per day to make it easier for you to count.

Weight Watchers Program Options

There are three types of program options with Weight Watchers, not including their quick start program, which is a two week plan designed to introduce Weight Watchers to new people.

  • One-on-One Consultations
  • With a Group
  • Online

One-on-One Consultations Plans

With one-on-one consultations, members have two choices:

  • Visit a Weight Watchers Centres
  • Have consultations over the phone

Included when you visit a Weight Watchers centre are:

  • Weekly weigh-in and consultation
  • Program Materials

The cost of the one-on-one consultation membership is around $20 - $30 per week plus joining fee, depending upon the options you choose.

Included in over the phone consultation memberships are:

  • Weekly phone consultations
  • Program Materials
  • Online Tools
  • Mobile Phone Apps

The cost of this membership is around $20 - $25 per week.

With a Group Plans

With group memberships you have three options:

  • Meetings
  • Unlimited
  • At Work

Including with the Meetings Plan is:

  • Weekly weigh-in and meeting
  • Program Materials

The cost of this plan is around $20 - $25 per week plus joining fee depending upon the options you choose.

Included in the Unlimited Plan is:

  • Weekly weigh-in and meeting
  • Program Materials
  • Online Tools
  • Mobile Phone Apps

The cost of this plan is around $15 - $20 per week depending upon the options you choose.

Included in the At Work Plan is:

  • Weekly weigh-in and meeting
  • Program Materials
  • Online Tools
  • Mobile Phone Apps

The cost of this plan is dependent upon a number of factors and calculated on an individual basis.

Online Plan

Included in the Weight Watchers Online Plan is:

  • Online Tools
  • Mobile Phone Apps

The cost of this plan is around $5 - $10 per week plus joining fee depending upon the options you choose.

The online tools include food and exercise trackers, weight loss progress charts, ProPoints™ Calculator and online recipes and weight loss articles. The mobile phone app allows members to use the online tools on the go.

Pricing – All Plans

Please note, Weight Watchers prices change often and they are always offering special deals. As a result, all prices listed above are correct at time of publication and are subject to change. For accurate pricing, visit weightwatchers.com.au.

Conclusion

Weight Watchers is one of the oldest weight loss programs around.

Personally, we find all the options very complicated and oversold. We’ve also heard and read stories of people who felt pressured to join Weight Watchers when enquiring for information.

Some people value the support offered during group and one-on-one consultations and Weight Watchers may be a good option for these people. As for the value of ProPoints™, you can make counting calories easier yourself if you just count every 100 calories as one point and drop a few zeroes from your total daily calorie intake, e.g. 1700 calories equals 17 points.

For those that want DIY weight loss, there are plenty of free weight loss tools to access, including weight trackers, plenty of support forums to join, and tonnes of free healthy recipes online.

The choice is yours.

Weight Watchers and ProPoints are registered trademarks of are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc.

This article was written by Scott Haywood.

Scott is the editor of weightloss.com.au. Scott has developed an expertise in fitness and nutrition, and their roles in weight loss, which led him to launch weightloss.com.au in 2005. Today, weightloss.com.au provides weight loss and fitness information, including hundreds of healthy recipes, weight loss tools and tips, articles, and more, to millions of people around the world, helping them to lead happier, healthier, lives.

You can follow Scott on Google+ for more interesting articles.

Copyright Ultimate Weightloss.

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