What is the Weight Watchers Program

Weight Watchers - that's behind it

What is Weight Watchers?

The idea for Weight Watchers came up in 1963. The American Jean Nidetch wanted to lose weight and since her friends wanted that too, they met regularly to exchange experiences and to motivate each other to persevere. This resulted in the Weight Watchers program, which is now available in over 30 countries.

Points play an important role in this weight loss concept. Weight Watchers assigns a certain point value to all foods depending on their composition. Everyone who wants to lose weight has a certain number of Weight Watchers points available per day. How he divides these is up to him. There are no forbidden foods.

You can attend one of the Weight Watchers' public meetings once a week. They are usually led by people who have already successfully lost weight with Weight Watchers and have kept their weight since then.

The participants also receive various materials to support them, such as information brochures, recipe suggestions, a points diary or the appropriate app. In addition, Weight Watchers products such as groceries, ready meals or cookbooks can be purchased.

This is how Weight Watchers works

How exactly does Weight Watchers work? According to his own statement, the program should help to keep the so-called "lust hunger" in check. That is the hunger, which actually isn't, just the desire for the omnipresent fattening food.

In the Weight Watchers program, every food item is given a “SmartPoints” value (formerly ProPoints). The Weight Watchers points are calculated according to the protein, fat, carbohydrate and fiber content of the respective food.

In addition, there is WW Freestyle in an app with over 200 ZeroPoint foods that do not have to be counted. Also prescriptions and a SmartPoints barcode scanner to help with shopping.

Anything can be eaten as long as you stay within the individual points budget. This is calculated based on personal factors such as weight, age and gender. Despite the fact that it is fundamentally “food-free”, the Weight Watchers point table should nevertheless gently control the choice of food, since healthy foods with a low energy density have fewer points, so you can eat more of them. Protein-rich, low-fat products and high-fiber products are high on the Weight Watchers recommendation list. Feelers like this are supposed to avoid food cravings.

In addition, an active lifestyle and more exercise are encouraged. For example, for sports (but also for housework such as vacuuming) there are additional points that you can eat. Weight Watchers also have the option of connecting their personal Weight Watchers online program to an activity tracker.

That brings Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers is comparatively simple and suitable for everyday use. This increases the likelihood of sticking to the diet. The regular group meetings and instructions for changing behavior are also motivating and therefore positive.

The Weight Watchers table makes the compilation and control of the daily amount of food easy to understand, even for laypeople. Since low-calorie, “healthy” foods are preferred through the distribution of the points, a certain learning effect occurs. A change in behavior can mean instruction and motivation to exercise more (at least temporarily).

Since no food is forbidden, but protein-rich, low-fat and fiber-containing products are recommended, there are no long-term deficiencies to fear with the appropriate food choices.

Studies attest an average weight loss with the Weight Watchers of three to five kilograms per year.

Weight Watchers Risks

There are no real risks with Weight Watchers. Membership fee and weekly meeting costs are, if any, minor drawbacks to this program.

The point table is rather problematic. Weight Watchers greatly simplifies this. Because no calculated system can correctly map the complex processes in the body that are necessary to break down the food.

The consideration of the glycemic index (GI, effect of a carbohydrate-containing food on the blood sugar level) in the awarding of points - and in general for the selection of foods for weight loss - is also controversial. There is no strong scientific evidence that a diet with a focus on low GI actually reduces the risk of obesity.

The study situation is also unclear as to whether one is more likely to lose weight with Weight Watchers than with other diets. Studies are cited on the website of Weight Watchers Germany that are supposed to prove the success of the program. However, their independence is (at least partially) in question. One of the verifiably independent studies confirms Weight Watchers' success in weight loss - but no greater in terms of kilograms or abandonment rate than with other concepts.

Weight Watchers: Conclusion

Losing weight and maintaining your weight in the long term is always a question of a basic diet and an active lifestyle. Both are implemented at Weight Watchers. In addition, the risk of a yo-yo effect is minimized, as you can go to the meetings as long as you want. The frustration factor is low due to the lack of prohibitions, the motivation due to the group dynamics is high. A miracle cure is Weight Watchers not, but a nutritionally sensible way to lose weight - slowly but over the long term.

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