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Is the cost of Weight Watchers worth it?

Updated on October 29, 2013

Weight Troubles

It seems that I've been on one diet or another for at least 20 years. I was always thin as a child and teen and could eat whatever I wanted without gaining an ounce. When I got married, I weighed only 95 pounds.

As I've gotten older, I continued eating what I wanted but my lifestyle and metabolism have slowed and the pounds ballooned. For someone who is five feet tall, that's a real problem. I tried various diets: The Cabbage Soup Diet (disgusting), Atkins (too limited), Sugar Busters (better, but still too limited), The South Beach Diet (but I LOVE bread and pasta) and Weight Watchers. I lost weight on all of them. I had the most success with Weight Watchers about nine years ago when I lost about 25 pounds. I looked good and felt great.

Weight Watchers and Me

I was a very faithful WW member. I attended a weigh-in and meeting every week, befriended the leaders and repeat members and really enjoyed the experience. One of the biggest incentives for me was that I was paying a fee each week. Frugal by nature, I was determined not to waste my money. During that time, to keep from snacking too much, I knitted about four sweaters. I became a lifetime member after reaching my goal weight and maintaining it.

When I moved more than seven years ago, it was very stressful and I found myself back in my old (bad) eating habits. I realized my error and sought out a WW program where I live now. I found one but discovered that the meeting day and location were very inconvenient. I tried to "go it" on my own several times with no success.

Last year the company I work for sponsored a "Winter Weigh Down" program with money for prizes for weight loss. This was more up my alley! By following a low carbohydrate eating plan and exercising regularly, I lost 11 pounds. Yeah, me! However, the pounds have been creeping up again.

I joined Weight Watchers Online for three months. The Points Plus program offered was a bit different than what I was used to on WW. Every food item still had a point value based on fiber, carbohydrate, protein and fat content. I really liked the change that fruit had zero points, as I am a big fruit eater. Based on weight, a person was given a maximum number of points per day (usually around 29) to "spend" on food. Bonus points were given each week and extra activity earned "activity points" that could be traded for food points.

I found the Weight Watchers Online site pretty easy to navigate. My old point calculating materials no longer worked, though, so I had to rely on the online calculator when needed to figure out points for some foods. However, I kept the site on my computer for easy access. There is a phone app for the program but I'm not hooked into all that (yet).

While I didn't attend the meetings I always enjoyed, there were groups on the site that I could join and could contribute to the blogs whenever I pleased. I liked that I had to be accountable to someone (albeit a computer!) for tracking what I ate, how much exercise I could squeeze in and how much weight I lost each week.

Have you ever tried Weight Watchers for weight loss?

See results

My Results

During the three months I participated in WW online, I lost about 11 pounds, which seems to be an average weight loss for me. The weight loss was worth the money I spent.

My problem is that when I went off the program, it was harder to make myself do it alone, and be accountable. The weight crept back on again.

My recommendation: Give Weight Watchers a try. I think I did better when attending meetings than online, but it is a valid, cost-effective program that can provide significant results to those who really put forth the effort.


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