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What Do You Think About Weight Watchers?

Updated on May 9, 2011

For the people who have used this program, has Weight Watchers worked for you?

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From My Perspective

Let me begin by saying that I have no factual information to back up this piece. If you’re looking for someone to either convince you to join or not join Weight Watchers, I am not that person. My piece is more observational, serving more for food for thought than tips on how to lose pounds.

My friend’s parents have been on Weight Watchers for several years. After her dad was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, he and his wife were inspired to live healthier lives. As exercise and a healthy diet were apparently too taxing for them, they decided to join Weight Watchers.

If you’ve seen a commercial for this program, you have a general idea of what it’s about. You’re overweight or just generally seeking a healthier way of life. When you walk in the door, you are weighed. You go to a meeting once a week where you listen to other members’ stories. You are then given a brochure or weight loss packet and sent into the world with a pat on the back and a smile. In this packet, you are given tips on how to eat healthy. You are also given a chart or mini notebook where you are to keep track of what you ate and how many points each item is. You subtract each point from the total number you are allotted per day/week. When you go to your next meeting, you discuss your points and the events from the first meeting are repeated. I’m sure there are more stages to this program, but that’s a general picture of it.

Now I’m positive that somewhere along the line a member must’ve had success in losing weight. (If they didn’t have concrete statistics why would they still be in business?) However, I’ve never really noticed a change in any of the members I’ve personally known. I’ve had family members who joined, stayed in the program for a couple of months, lost nothing and, having run out money, quit the program. They proceeded to eat healthy on their own and to exercise daily. By their own power, they lost weight and have kept it off.

Let’s return to my friend’s parents though. They have gone to Weight Watchers every Saturday morning for many years. They are good friends with many of the members and their instructor. They buy tons and tons of fat free products many of which are from the Weight Watchers’ line. They keep close watch over what they eat to the point that I don’t think they enjoy eating anymore. They eat practically the same thing every day fearing that straying from the norm will hinder their progress.

The deal is, for as long as I have known them, they have looked the same way. Looking at past pictures of them, it is evident that some weight loss has occurred, especially for her father. Yet, her dad’s heart is still questionable. Her mother’s snacking habits have not changed. In my opinion, they have gotten worse. Besides making friends, I don’t know how much good this program has done for them.

As they are senior citizens (He is in his mid-70s. She is in her mid-60s.), I’m glad they have these friends. My friend will not be able to live with them forever. They’ll need people to count on in an emergency if she can’t get to them right away. Yet, money is tight for them. Considering all of the above, I wonder if the money they pay in Weight Watchers fees could be put to better use.

Were it up to me, I would organize a walking group for them and their friends. I would cook for them and show them that vegetables don’t have to come frozen with a Weight Watchers’ seal on them to make them healthy. I would convince them that even though Egg Beaters have no point value, they don’t have to be eaten every morning for breakfast. I would give them back their joy in eating while still giving them only healthy foods. I wouldn’t charge them a fee either.

As I said before, I’m positive that Weight Watchers has done well by some people. However, I’ve never met these people. I wish them well though with a pat on the back and smile.

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    • FrugalGal profile image

      FrugalGal 

      7 years ago

      According to the statistics I found, Weight Watchers isn't any more successful than any other diet plan. At least they do encourage a somewhat balanced diet. But, if you don't lose your taste for "fast food," it's harder to keep it off. The one person I know who tried it would give herself ridiculously small portions of the same foods she always ate. Naturally, she didn't keep the weight off.

      I'm glad it works for some but I think it's just as easy to do most of your shopping in the produce department and refrain from buying anything with more than one or two ingredients on the label. Your tastes do change and the fries just end up tasting salty and greasy. Vegetable flavors pop when your buds aren't saturated with various forms of salt, sugar, and MSG. Instead of "substitutes," I prefer alternatives. When your body receives all the nutrients it requires, your brain sends the "satisfied" signal.

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 

      7 years ago from Northeastern United States

      Truly I believe that Weight Watchers' program is meant to become a lifestyle and lifetime change. I do better when in the weigh loss mode than the maintenance mode. Must need the motivation of accomplishment. But Weight Watchers is a very healthy, sound approach to weight loss and it does work.

    • profile image

      lare 

      7 years ago

      fantastic hub !

    • FirstStepsFitness profile image

      FirstStepsFitness 

      8 years ago

      My response is also not factually based . It is my opinion that various methods work for various people .

      For instance the child who never attended an art class or learned to draw becoming a famous artist .

      Some just need direction , structure and accountability to succeed ! Welcome to HubPages nice post !

    • profile image

      Mary 

      8 years ago

      I know a lot of people who have had great success on this plan. I have also had success, but I do it on my own now. I was a member years ago and the meetings just didn't help. I find keeping track of points helps with staying on track for the day, but have learned how to eat helathy with other plans like South Beach and avoid prepackaged food most of the time. I do find the tracking tedious when life with kids gets busy, so it is harder to maintian progress for me. Basically, eating well and exercise regardless of tracking and weighting is going to help you lose weight. I now just try to mentally keep track of what I age and get in some exercise. I don't think you need to go weekly to succeed.

    • LowellWriter profile imageAUTHOR

      L.A. Walsh 

      8 years ago from Lowell, MA

      Thank you for sharing your story! :)

    • profile image

      Jami 

      8 years ago

      I'm pretty sure that Weight Watchers has some disturbingly low success rates . When I did it to lose weight for my wedding I gained back the majority of my weight on the honeymoon alone. I write about this on my blog http://weightwatchersdropout.com and mine and my husbands new weightloss plan . BTW I paid $10 a pound to lose weight and when I didn't reach my goal and maintain , noone gave me my money back. I also referred some people to weight watchers and they never gave me anything for that..the plan we are starting now is completely different !

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