Considered the Granddaddy of them all, since 1963, Weight Watchers has built its foundation on group meetings – at which participants share, support, and encourage each other. Leaders who have lost pounds and kept them off, lead the meetings and offer support from the core group. Members learn from - and lean on each other.
A phone app and fitness device that tracks activity are now available. Recipes, customized meals, and online support are also offered. Portion control is emphasized, along with a healthy diet full of vegetables and fruit.
Personalized coaching includes a personal assessment and one -on-one coaching with an experienced coach, who helps keep participants focused and on track.
The PointPlus Plan allows a point budget which is based on the nutritional value of food, and is customized for each person.
At one time, participants were required to purchase pre-packaged meals. But today, participants can purchase their food anywhere they like. Plus, as long as points are counted, eating-out is relatively easy.
WebMD reviewed the Weight Watchers program and reported that participants could expect to lose 1-2 pounds per week with the PointsPlus plan. The system allows the participants to eat whatever they want, as long as they stay within the allotted points.
The program is more of a lifestyle change than a diet. It helps participants learn how to eat healthier and become more active – while creating a lifestyle that is sustainable – long after the weight is lost and the ‘dieting’ is over. Several studies have shown that this diet can help persons lose weight and keep it off.
Participants can choose to follow the diet online, while tracking their own food and exercise and charting their progress. Or, they may attend face-to-face group meetings with regular weigh-ins and find support from other group members. It’s all part of the appeal – the buddy system – dieters learn from each other and encourage one another.
An observational study designed to evaluate Weight Watchers participants was conducted over a two year period in the UK and reported by BioMed Central Public Health in 2011. Researchers concluded that a third of participants achieved at least a 5% reduction in their initial weight.
The article can be retrieved online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145588/
In another study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers compared 11 popular commercial weight loss plans and found that only Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig showed that people lost weight and kept it off for a least a year.
Read more at http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=2214178
Long term weight loss should emphasize lifestyle changes that include making wise food choices and developing healthy habits. Commercial weight loss plans that have been successful promote ways which participants can effectively transition from ‘dieting’ to eating regularly, once weight loss goals are achieved.
An effective weight loss program should also include slow and steady weight loss, with an average loss of 1-2 pounds per week, plus ongoing support and guidance. Developing healthier lifestyle habits should include regular physical activity.
Experts claim the Weight Watchers Diet is safe, nutritious, and easy to follow. And, in terms of commercial weight loss plans, the diet is as good as it gets. It has attained the gold standard for a Top Commercial Diet and is ranked the top choice among U.S. News and World Report's Best Commercial Diet Plan.
I am definitely a fan! I was a 'Weight Watcher' many years ago, but I was impatient then and wanted a quicker method to lose weight.
But, there's no doubt about it - today, I am a huge fan of the Weight Watchers Program; sensible, healthy weight loss, regular weigh-ins, a great support system - and a plan to keep the weight off for a lifetime!
Do you have experience with Weight Watchers or another commercial weight loss plan? Would you share your experience in the space below?
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