How to use Weight Watchers weight loss systems by yourself for free (or almost free)
So you think you want to follow the Weight Watchers points
plus system, but don’t feel you can afford it. You are not alone. Can you do Weight Watchers for free?
There are sign up costs. There are weekly and monthly costs. There are costs getting the accessories that help a dieter find weight loss with WW. With the faltering economy adding more stress on tight family budgets, any new expense can seem impossible to handle.
In order to lose weight a person has to do some necessary things and do them properly. Many of these necessary things are more easily done with better tools, and typically those tools involve spending cash:
$ Attending WW meetings helps you stay focused and committed. Many dieters thrive on the weekly weigh in and sharing ideas and motivation with other members.
$$ Prepackaged WW points friendly meals and snacks are an easy fall back menu option, especially for those who don't want to spend the time planning and cooking.
$$$ Accessories like calculators, cook books, scales, etc. can be a big help in navigating the grocery aisles and the kitchen cupboards.
$$$$ Exercise is necessary. It can be easier to get that exercise in a well equipped gym with a personal trainer.
Many dieters claim to be following the Weight Watchers plan successfully on their own rather than go to meetings or use the online program. Does it work for them? How can they do it? How can you do it?
Why Weight Watchers?
In two words - it works.
There is a reason that Weight Watchers is the leading weight loss program. Weight Watchers plan helps dieters lose weight. No question.
It also helps dieters stay on track. When WW users fall off the wagon, they go back to the Weight Watchers plan to bounce back.
Of course, the dieter actually loses the weight. The dieter has to have the commitment to start and stay on any plan.
Weight Watchers has created a plan that gives the dieter a sound structure, great support infrastructure, and leads to a maintenance plan.
Do many dieters use WW alone? (no meetings, no online)
The idea for this article came from the results of an ongoing, online, informal poll running in an article about Weight Watchers new program, Points Plus. The readers were asked what kind of Weight Watcher they were and offered five choices:
- I go to WW meetings.
- I do the Weight Watchers Online Program.
- I follow the WW program but do it alone now – no meetings, no online.
- I’m thinking about WW, but haven’t committed.
- I’m no Weight Watcher!
The leading choice has been the third option, “I follow the WW program but do it alone now…” Anybody who has attended WW meetings knows that members come and go from meeting to meeting. The meetings are a touchstone, to get on track, and keep on track. Some who skip meetings are falling off-track; some are continuing the program on their own and saving the weekly fee costs.
Why does the Weight Watchers weight loss program work?
There are several keys to WW success and to the success of plan followers:
The WW points system works for many dieters. Dieting is a challenge, no matter the plan; the WW plan has proven itself with countless success stories.
- It’s very accessible. There is a meeting in most neighborhoods.
- If you can’t attend meetings, they have a great online program.
- There is an enormous wealth of recipes that are tailored to the WW points system.
- There are many convenience foods that offer nutritious meals, are quick and easy to prepare, and show points totals.
- The WW program makes each member accountable for their actions and encourage tracking.
But wait, don’t these things cost money?
Weight Watchers for free or almost free? Getting started.
In order to follow any plan you have to understand that plan. Then you have to figure out how to fit the plan to your lifestyle, or adjust your lifestyle to fit the plan.
The best way to do this is to join WW and attend some meetings. That carries a cost that is hard to avoid. To avoid the basic start-up costs you need a proxy member. A proxy member would be family member or a friend that can attend the meetings and train you in the plan.
Of course, If you have previously learned the plan, you can re-start yourself without going to any meetings. Make no mistake, using a proxy or relying on you memory are poorer substitutes to joining and attending for a while.
Free substitutes for the other WW plan elements
It's harder, but a dieter can follow the WW plan on their own by replacing other costly diet support items with free alternatives.
Substitute for attending meetings
You need to replace the social support of the meeting with an alternative support and motivation structure. Do the plan with a friend, or better yet, with several friends or family members.
The other benefit of attending meetings is the educational component. The meeting leader is trained and supported by Weight Watchers International. You will have to work harder to get good information on your own, but the Internet offers thousands of pages of WW information.
There are also free weight loss tracking sites, like SparkPeople, that have active forums where you can find support and information.
Substitute for WW accessories
You don’t need a lot of WW branded items, but there are two accessories that you really want to have:
- Weight Watch Points Plus calculator – if you are doing a weight watchers points system, you need to be able to calculate points! Tip – attend a meeting, or have a friend pick up a weight watchers points calculator. You will generally get the calculator at a very good price there.
- WW Recipe book – there are lots of WW recipes on the Internet. A good WW cookbook will offer you a great base of recipes, points information, and much more. Tip – Amazon generally has very good prices on the latest WW points plus cook book.
Substitute for WW Online
The WW online program is the perfect resource. If that isn't in your budget, there are several great online weight loss sites. These sites provide you with a great support community, a weight loss tracking process, that is essential, recipes, tips, ...
Substitute for WW pre-packaged food items
For a lot of dieters, filling the grocery cart with SmartOnes, and other pre-made entrees and snacks is an easy way out. If these convenience foods stretch your budget too much, then the best solution is to cook! Plan out your menu for a week in advance, watch for coupons and specials. Spend part of one day or evening prepping a few meals. Then cook yourself and your family some great, nutritious meals.
After all is said and done, it isn't Weight Watchers that takes off the pounds. The credit goes to the dieter for: picking a healthy plan, committing to the plan, persevering as inevitable obstacles arise, and enjoying the results!
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