December 31, 2011

Weight Watchers

A recent study shows that Weight Watchers is effective for losing weight but I'm sure that everyone knows someone who has found them effective study or no. I certainly have and this has prompted me to give it a try. So you know it's effective but what's it all about?

The new ProPoints plan is similar to Points, Core, and Satisfaction. Essentially it takes the best from all of these previous plans. All food and drinks are allocated points dependent on their fat, carbohydrate and fibre content. "Healthy and filling" foods are emphasised and you can choose to eat them without counting points (but you only get to eat this classification of food). There is a daily allocation of ProPoints calculated on your gender, age and weight. The minimum number of daily points is 29. You can earn extra ProPoints by exercising. Perhaps the best bit is the 49 weekly ProPoints which you can use for special occasions, allocate throughout the week or just not spend and loose weight more rapidly.

Meetings are held in various venues throughout Wellington. The meeting format is the same as under the previous plans; each meeting starts with paying your weekly fee and getting weighed, then (should you choose to stay) a led discussion on a particular topic related to weight loss. Weight Watchers products are for sale at each meeting; exclusive food, recipe books, gadgets such as calculators and pedometers.

I found the new plan easy to use, much less prescriptive and more flexible than the previous ones. It was easy to fit into my life and only required a few alterations (mostly on portion size) to my regular diet. The weekly ProPoints allowance has been great, it allows me to have blowouts and stay within the plan. Like the Points plan it requires that you track everything you eat but fruit and most vegetables don't have a ProPoints value which makes this task easier. The mixture of freedom and constriction this plan provides can be tweaked to suit your personal needs - if you need to be strict you can track all points diligently each day, if you need a bit more flexibility you can eat more fruit and vegetables, increase exercise and eat meals of which you already know the points value.

I agree that talking with others helps but the people change at each meeting, even if you attend at a regular time. I recommend making friends with someone at your meeting or joining with a friend to help keep each other motivated (and attending meetings). Once you've learnt the plan it can feel a bit ridiculous to pay just to be weighed each week. If you have the discipline you could attend for a few weeks till you thoroughly understand the plan then continue on alone. Having said that, I think that this is probably where most people fall off the wagon. Going to meetings helps to maintain focus. I'm not a fan of Weight Watchers food but some people swear by it, I find it can be expensive and taste funny but it is easy to know the exact point value of what you are eating.

All in all Weight Watchers works if you follow the plan and it's flexible enough to suit anyone.

You can join online, at your local meeting or if you're lucky your work
Price: this varies and may include a joining fee


  1. I kind of hear you on the comment that you're not a fan of Weight Watchers food, but shall we clarify what this means? For me, you wouldnt want to be eating the frozen WW food all the time. It has a time and a place, HOWEVER, the bars available in the meetings are delicious, and the actual recipes that WW provide in their cookbooks, magazine and literaure, are AMAZING!!! I cook from their recipes a huge amount, and they are so delicious I never "tweak" a thing. The family - more importantly, the husband - loves them too!!!