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Feeling Fat? Is Weight Watchers the Solution?

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Weight Watchers 2014

This is the time of year we all do it. We all say, “This year I will lose the weight.”

Yes, I hear you. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my own indulgences over the holidays. Cookies, pudding, egg nog, red wine, champagne cocktails, chocolate, and did I mention cookies?

Do I feel like a tub of lard? Yes, I do. What am I going to do about it?

One choice would be to join Weight Watchers to lose the chub. Recently, a scientific study came out that found that obese adults following Weight Watchers lost significantly more weight than those who tried to lose the weight on their own (10.1 lbs. vs 1.3 lbs at 6 months). Whoa!

Before I go any further, you should know that the study was funded by Weight Watchers. It was published in The American Journal of Medicine so I believe it was peer reviewed but the positive result may have been influenced by the funding source.

I am about to get an e-mail from the Baylor College of Medicine telling me that they are ethical and I am a jerk. Sorry, scientists, when you put an executive at Weight Watchers as a co-author on your paper, I get suspicious.

It is very true that losing weight without a network, community, or support of some type is harder than having a group of people who are in the same boat rowing with you.

Also, it is exciting to see an average of 10 pounds lost in six months because it shows a level of sustainable weight loss. They ended the study here so it is hard to know if the participants that lost the weight kept it off.

I think that Weight Watchers helps people feel accountable. When you walk in the door, you step on a scale (terrifying). They record your weight and you get cheered for losing pounds. There is positive reinforcement for making the important changes that lead to a slimmer you.

Also, you have to pay to be a member. I don’t know about you, but if I am paying for something I pay attention. While I love the free apps and websites devoted to weight loss, having “skin in the game” can be a powerful motivator.

On the other hand, if it doesn't work, you are out some dough and still feeling doughy.

What do you think? Should you join Weight Watchers to lose the weight?


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First 20 Comments: [ see all 80 ]

Yes!!I have tried numerous diets for years and years..they worked for a short time, then I gained it all back! I am now with Weight Watchers and have lost over 45 pounds. Personally, I NEED the reinforcing weigh-in, meeting, and peer support. I have made many friends there also, and looooove my leader, Nancy! I have also learned to eat healthy and eat smaller portions of anything I want! NO restrictions! Personally- I hate restrictions! So, now I can eat anything, I just save the points and enjoy them! I now feel fabulous and have gone down from a size 18 to a 12!! I just cant say enough about Weight Watchers!!!

on January 6, 2014

Weight Watchers is great. I lost 90 pounds on their program and two years later, I have not regained it. Weight Watchers teaches you how to eat within your daily points. The group sessions help attendees to see they are not in this alone, gives them hope, weight loss, encouragement to get to lifetime. I highly recommend Weight Watchers.

on January 6, 2014

Weight Watchers works only if you follow the program. I am a lifetime member that lost 30 pounds and have kept it off for the last 3 years. I go to a few meetings a week, and that's the key for me to help me stay on track. I do indulge and at times overindulge, but I get right back on track and move on. Also do not bring junk food in house or eat fast food anymore.

on January 6, 2014

I lost 40 pounds on Weight Watchers over 5 years ago. In the last two years, I've put 15 of that back on. I am back on WW and am losing it again. I like WW because you can literally eat ANYTHING you want. Once you get in the routine of the "points" they are easy to use. Their mobile app is getting better. It now includes their scanning app (so you can scan labels and instantly know the points). Like other posters said, you have to follow the program but I find it pretty easy to follow.

on January 6, 2014

I lost 36 pounds 9 years ago with Weight Watchers. I hated having to pay and that was a huge motivator for me to lose the weight, but after reaching goal it was free and I have maintained my weight loss (with a few fluctuations though the years) with the tools I've learned there, monthly weigh-ins and meetings. Like any diet - it works when you follow the program. Weight Watchers just makes sense and is very do-able.

on January 6, 2014

It works. But I got tired of the monthly fees and recording everything I put in my mouth. Trying the daniel plan for a healthy lifestyle.

on January 6, 2014

Weight Watchers is a tried and true lifestyle program…not just a diet. Yes, people pay to be in it but you also pay to join health clubs, to go to nutritionists, to join diet groups, etc. At Weight Watchers, you learn to live a healthy active lifestyle, prepare nutritious foods from scratch, to care about yourself, and to eat right. You learn to believe not just in WW but in yourself! Definitely worth it! Believe because it works!

on January 6, 2014

I read that so many love Weight Watchers because of no restrictions. That tells me that they really are not teaching you about good healthy eating. Of course, over the holidays, even the most diligent health conscious person indulges but ....eating healthy is about learning what foods are not good for us and learning to CHANGE what we eat. I think that the support is very good but I don't think WW is the answer.

on January 6, 2014

YES!!! Weight Watchers works! My sister and I joined FEB 2013. I made goal in September and my sister made goal in November! We are now both lifetime members and go for free! We weigh in each week for the accountability and attend meetings for the support! It is really a great program where eat regular food. I lost 5 pant sizes! It is awesome to see great results and eat what my family eats! Weight Watchers gave us our JOY back!!!

on January 6, 2014

I have tried WW twice and the only thing I lost was money. I found that as a chef it was incredibly difficult to assign points to foods prepared without a WW recipe. I switched to counting calories with Spark People and the weight started coming off. It has a HUGE community of supporters if you need them. Oh yeah, it's free!! I don't about the rest of you but I think calories are the building blocks of a healthy diet. Good luck with whatever method you choose!

on January 6, 2014

Yes! I highly recommend WW. I only do online and it works for me. I started it right around the holidays and I knew I would only be able to do a halfway-decent job of sticking to it, but it's still working. Imagine how well it will work when I really try! I do know, from doing WW in the past, that once you get to a certain weight (for me, it's losing about 20 lbs.), losing weight becomes much harder. But luckily for me, I'm pretty happy with where my weight is at that point so I just try for maintenance. I also think that if I hadn't gotten pregnant with my second child, I would have been able to keep the weight off by continuing to follow WW maintenance. I also feel like having the $ involved helps me - even though there are other free online programs, I have always succeeded more with WW online. I find points easier to count than calories, and it encourages me to eat more fruits and veggies. Give it a try for 3 months and you won't be sorry.

on January 6, 2014

There is no perfect way to lose weight. I have been on and off WW several times in my life. My most recent foray into it has helped me lose 30 pounds ( and counting) and adopt a lifestyle that will in fact last a lifetime. The most appealing element to me is the choice. Meetings or no meetings, go on line, do it all on your phone, etc. I would never walk into a meeting, but am active on line with great support and rely on the tracking and scanning features on my phone. I run companies by using the same tool... with equal amounts of success..Accountability ..Every day....It works!

on January 6, 2014

I just joined WW on line for one month to see how it works for me. It appleals to me because it teaches you how to indulge without going overboard . There's something about accountability that helps me to do my best.

on January 6, 2014

WW does work, but I'm 46 years old. I should know what to put into my body, and what not to put in my body. I don't need a cheering squad to say 'yay, you've lost a pound!'. I'm also cheap, I've got the books from WW, but now I do My Fitness Pal. It's free, and I've lost 56 lbs in 273 days.

on January 6, 2014

I lost 50 lbs with WW in 2012, I have since gained 15 back, but only because I let myself fall off the program and was not working out. WW works when you work the program. I am back on board and am looking forward to seeing some results....Easy to follow and realistic.

on January 6, 2014

I love Weight Watchers. I lost 80 lbs with WW. I put about 15 back on, but that's my fault.

If I'm paying for something, I use it and it's more motivating if I have to pay for something to get back to goal. WW has a lot of benefits for Lifetime members. When I gain weight, no one ever makes me feel bad. It's a great support!

on January 6, 2014

I have been on WW didn't enjoy the negative stuff said by group leaders about heavy people or the difficulty people may have sticking to the program. I definitely lost weight with them repeatedly.

I just began the Dukan Diet you can get a copy of his book in its libraries. This is a four stage diet and it keeps weight off permanently by simple methods:no weighing, measuring, portion control etc. I am a newbie now though I know quite a number of people on the diet and who have finished the diet kept the weight off for many years afterward.

If you are interested I can let you know how it goes.

on January 6, 2014

Like Lisa (Snack Girl), I'm suspicious about the study funded by WW. I tried WW 20 years ago and was 5 pounds from reaching my goal when I hit another plateau and could not lose the 5. I was following the plan, exercising, etc. However, when I asked for "support" at a meeting, one of the leaders said "you're not working hard enough", but offered no suggestions on what to do. I left and did not go back. I also tried WW online a couple of years ago and again, did not find support.

On 12/31/13, I started The Daniel Plan and I love it. No studies funded by any person or group. It addresses more than just weight, but instead, helps your body, mind, spirit/soul with faith, focus, food, fitness and friends. I have eliminated all sugar (except for natural - fruits) and all processed/packaged foods and I feel so much better already!

on January 6, 2014

I have been on Weight Watchers for 9 months now - and following their plan has entirely changed the way I eat and make my meal/snack choices. It required willpower, organisation,planning and commitment, but I have lost 65 lbs, and am moving into maintenance now - so we will see if I can keep it off. I agree that the accountability of the plan (and paying for it) adds to this - but for me - I like the way it works - I like the routines and rituals - and it now fits my new lifestyle. And I love the way I feel. My Old Dad used to say to me Sue, Nothing tastes as good as Thin feels! (he had weight issues too)- so in all things edible I now use care thought and moderation! Thank you WW, And Snack Girl too! Your blog and recipes have helped me through many a challenge these past 9 months.

on January 6, 2014

I am a big believer in WW. I have joined many times over the years and it has always helped me to lose....on my own I tend to gain again, but no fault of ww! I always tell people, they have come up with a great program, all you have to do it follow it and it works! I lost 80 lbs on WW in 9 months in 2013 and STILL am doing WW. It isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle, that's the best part about it. It teaches you how to live your life healthy for the long term. I will say that it does get expensive. I joined and stayed for a few months, then decided I could do it on my own, which I did. I had the materials and followed the program, had the points plus calculator, and weighed in each week on the same day. You can do it too! I highly recommend WW!

on January 6, 2014

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