Feeling Fat? Is Weight Watchers the Solution?

January 6, 2014   81 Comments

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

Weight Watchers 2014

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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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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!!!

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!

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

Well, I didn't feel TOO fat until I realized the girl in the picture has a 24" waist. That was kind of a bummer... but I highly recommend WW. :)

@Dee This was the BEST of many photos of waist measuring. Most had ripped abs of steel. You can't find one of a regular person. argh! Thanks for the comment!

Over the years - mostly in my late teens/early twenties - I did just about every diet there was to do, but I've never done WW or Jenny Craig. I've never really been overweight - just more issues with certain problem areas that were a bit pudgy. So last February, I changed my eating habits by following along with a program put on here in Toronto by a local nutrionist, Dr. Joey Shulman. She doesn't do any gimicks - just commmon sense healthy eating. Basic principles of whole grains, lots of veggies, fruit, fibre, healthy fats, protein, water and portion control. You have 3 meals a day plus a mid morning snack and a mid afternoon snack. Each meal should include protein, fat and fiber.Dr. Joey encourages the occasional indulgence. I followed her weight loss program (it was televised and online) for 10 weeks and lost 10 lbs/8 inches. That was last February. Now, 10 months later, I still follow the basic healthy eating principles for maintenance, and have kept the weight off - even through vacations, business trips/conventions (you know what THAT means!) and the xmas holidays. It's just the way I eat now.

Yes! I've lost 88 lbs. with Weight Watchers. This is my 4th time on the program, and for me, I finally get that I need to stay in forever. I need the outside accountability, and the support. I have learned so much about nutrition and how to eat. I have always lost with ww, but this time I will get to goal, almost there, and maintain! Just stick with it!

Like many of the other commenters, I'm a fan of WW. It is a realistic, healthy way of changing your lifestyle, but you have to stay with it (forever). I am a lifetime member (which means free meetings if you are at goal), but have gained some weight back.

However, I know enough to make sure I get back to WW before gaining too much weight. It's also important to find a leader you like. It's a lifelong journey, and it's as much about being healthy as looking good. Good luck everyone!

February will mark two years of me being a Lifetime member of WW. I lost 35 pounds over the course of 3-ish months and went down many clothing sizes too. I think it's a GREAT program - and I still go to my required meeting every month to stay on track while taking advantage of the free tools that Lifetime members get. (I also have and pay for an ActiveLink that has helped me stay moving, but there are other tools that can do that.) The in-person stuff is what kept me accountable - no app, no pep talk, no food diary could do that for me. I had to go to the same place once a week with the same people surrounding me with positivity and support for it to click. And learning *how* to eat was important too - I eat so much healthier now and yet I still have a place in my life for treats..sugar..gluten...carbs... ;) I love WW!

I went to Weight Watchers years ago and lost 46 lbs. then I stopped watching what and how much I ate and gained it all back plus a lot more. This time my husband and I joined together and so far I've dropped 32 lbs. and my hubby dropped 39. I love the meetings even though my weight may go up a bit, I still go. The key is to go especially when you don't feel like going. The support you get at those meetings is incredible! I know this time I will keep it off because I plan on being healthy for the rest of my life and not just lose the extra pounds.

WW totally rocks! I lost 46 pounds and became a Lifetime member thirty one years ago. I still go to meetings at least monthly, as the plan has changed and evolved through the years. I love the fact that you can choose what you want to eat- as long as you stay accountable. WW DOES teach healthy eating, and has basic healthy guidelines to follow to ensure a balanced program of food choices. WW has continually been chosen as a top weight loss/ diet choice, year after year, and with good reason. It works!!

I always find these articles interesting. Anyone can "review" or comment on a program. I have been a Weight Watcher for over 20 years (I am only 44 years old) and have been at a healthy BMI for ALL of those 20 years. I attribute this success to the support and knowledge I get from Weight Watchers. I am a Weight Watchers leader and help motivate others to live a healthy lifestyle. So if you are one of the critics and I know there are many out there, don't be critical before you truly understand the entire the program. Anyone can lose weight with ANY program. It is those who are able to embrace ALL of what Weight Watchers has to offer will truly live that healthy lifestyle--for a LIFETIME!!

WW is very good for me....the meetings, being accountable to go to weigh in, being with other people each week and hearing of their struggles and accomplishments, seeing people come when they gain and when they lose, being able to eat all foods and not being held to NOT allowed to eat carbs or fats, etc. The empowerment is in your hands. WW teaches you portion control and teaches you that you can eat out and you can make choices. I have done every diet possible and have joined WW probably six times and it always works, I always think I can do it on my own, I then fail and gain weight back and have to go back to Yes WW does work, at least for ME!

Oh! And for your non-believers, I just had two members make LIFETIME the week before Christmas--one with 60lbs lost and one with 25lbs lost. They have clearly found a health balance--even with holidays!

I am a ww member made lifetime. In the past 10 years I lost 95 pounds 60 of it was doing Atkins for 3 years. I didn't like having to restrict myself from foods I loved. I joined Weight Watchers and lost the 35 that brought me to my doctor's goal not weight watchers. The only thing I don't like is the goals they set feeling like you can never achieve unless I starved myself. I don't like the push of processed foods their brand. I know I need to exercise and eat healthy. I will be 50 next month and I am in the best shape I have ever been. Overweight as a child and teen and half my adult life. I will continue to go as I like the accountability and when I get back to goal it will be free again. I like the support meetings too.

I have fought weight problems for many years, I'm 67, and the only way I have ever been able to help myself was to join WW. Yes, you are paying, but you get a good bit for your buck IF you take advantage of the support system it offers. I have found that WW is a sensible diet, leads to changing my habits and is as good as what you put into it.

Did WW, lost lots...gained it and more back. I am now a member of OA (Overeaters Anonymous). It is a 12 step program that teaches you how to deal with the mental, physical and spiritual aspects of the disease of overeating. It works where most have not.

I actually gained weight on the weight watchers diet. No I didn't cheat. I stayed on it for a month and gained 4lbs. I am now going it alone and hoping for the best.

I've done WW about 100 times in my lifetime. This last time I finally forces myself to stay with it until finally reaching lifetime.

I have to say it's the most realistic plan I've ever been on; however, I wouldn't say it was the best. Everybody is different, their dietary needs change based the individuals activity level and body sensitivities. I think the best thing anyone could do is to find a realistic plan that fits for their lifestyle, and compliment that with an fitness plan.

WW works. Period. Of course any good eating plan works if DONE. WW is the best out there. The best support. The best ideas. The best studies on weight loss. Leaders that have been in your shoes. And not least the best food. Your own!

Why in the world would anyone ever knock it? If you really want to lose this is the program

Lisa, the one thing you don't really reference in your posting about WW is peer support. For me (and I think for many)the meetings are the biggest key. You can buy the accountability factor from any commercial weight loss company, usually at ridiculous prices. Pound for pound, literally, I believe Weight Watchers is the best deal out there. If you have a leader who demeans you, complain - that's unacceptable. PS: 75% of research and clinical trials are funded by private companies, but are subject to rigorous standards and review prior to publication. Institutions that perform research risk everything if they try to change results. The private companies can certainly try to skew results, but they can't change them. Private funding gave us Lipitor, Prozac, etc. It's just a reality that research is not free.

I lost nothing but money at Weight Watchers.they couldn't help me at critical times (to eat something or not) and I knew what was healthy or fattening already. Eat vegetables, fruit, little or no grains. Skip the sugar. Period.

I became a W.W. lifetime member over 5 years ago. When I joined, I counted points, followed the program to the T and paid the weekly fee. I still go the weekly meetings, step on the scale at the center, and try to watch what goes into my mouth. Because I am not a tracker, I learned to eyeball the portions, weight myself at home, and it's working. I refuse to pay their fee, should I go over my goal. Therefore, I am cautious what I put in my mouth. If I gain a it, I go back to basics!

As with everything, there are positives and (sort of) negatives about WW. I've been on it since July and have lost coming up on 30 pounds. That's a tad slow compared to some, but I'm not in a race so have been pleased with that so far. It's a good, solid program and pretty much common sense stuff: watch your portions, eat healthy foods that fill you up, etc. They do address a lot of the emotional and social issues of weight loss. There are thousands of recipes and ideas on their website for members. And the support and encouragement is nice, the main reason I went there in the first place...I needed help to get started. The money is an issue though, as about $43 a month is a chunk for me. I detest tracking as it makes me obsess about food as much as when I'm just eating everything that I come across, and it brought me to tears when I first started trying to figure it out. And I've been continually reminded lately that it's a business after all, as they keep closing meetings around here due to low membership (less than 15 or 18 a week on average, I think, and that's asking a lot in a less populated area) and are threatening to close more. Quit draining your business by paying big bucks to the celebrity endorsers, people. Nobody joins WW because they're a fan of the latest star that's pushing it. I'd say if you're strong enough to lose weight on your own and have support of family and friends to help, go for it. If you need a more structured approach and that ol' accountability as well (and can afford it) join WW.

I have done WW and lost weight with it (30 lbs) several years ago. I think it works if you follow it, HOWEVER...I think "dieting" is not a healthy way to approach weight loss. I think that the WW way of counting points, etc is not teaching people how to change their lifestyle of eating for the long-haul. I don't think it is healthy for people to save of their points so they can pig out on crap on a special occasion. I think understanding that food is not a number (i.e. calorie, point, gram, etc.) but should be viewed as medicine, fuel, energy, health for you life and why certain foods and ingredients are toxic and what foods a WHOLE and nutritious is better for the long-run. Years of following the WW way caused me to have a warped view of food and their points don't take into account what ingredients are in foods. So I would make a dish that was no "points" or very low "points" but it was all processed, empty calories. You can't live your life calculating points. I have lost more weight over a longer period of time but learned how to change my "normal" eating habits into WHOLE, REAL foods that I don't have to think about calories, grams, points. Of course this is my opinion, and I think if people are losing weight than great, but we shouldn't have to live our lives always "dieting" and saving up points for the next binge. It should be a lifestyle change of going back to eating REAL foods and not over eating. Plus, all those WW foods are highly processed and not good for you! Again, my opinion, to each their own.

I cannot imagine my WW lead NOT helping me with anything WW related. It amazes me that so many of you state that you got little or no help from your leader! FIND ANOTHER MEETING! I've joined WW several times in the past (just now rejoined). I always lose weight while on the program.

The fact is . . . MOST programs will work for just about anybody if WORKING the program. Once no longer working the program, you will gain it back! EVERYONE just needs to find a "life style change" that works with your life! I have a husband and kids at home. I can't buy prepackaged food! I gotta feed three other people. With WW, I can do that!

Good luck to all - whatever road you choose!

I've heard mixed things about weight watchers, the few people I know who have done it have lost but quickly put the weight back on once they stopped. A few years ago I took a different approach and hired a fitness pro to help me get the most out of my workout and evaluate my eating habits. My big bad is sugar, and while I Have lost and regained since working with my pro my weight never feels out of control like it did before that, I may not be my ideal weight, but I know what I can do to head back in that direction, and while i am not always happy with myself I no longer feel like my weight rules me, I think everyone needs to feel in control and use whatever method helps you feel that way if it's WW and it works for you so be it, I have also used the food trackers at Spark People over the years and i find their site helpful also and it is free, but find what works for you and then admit your human and you will have ups and downs, personally I'm gearing up for an upswing.

I have fluctuated between 330lbs and 146lbs(5'8"). I joined WW several times and did not stay long enough to learn anything. After a gastric bypass in 2005 I lost the weight and thought I was in the clear. After a while the weight began to come back and I reverted back to past bulimic behavior. I joined WW again 8-9 months ago to stop the yo-yo-ing.

My problem has been that I had never learned healthy eating practices. WW has been incredible for me. At the time of this last membership I only had 10, or so, lbs to lose, and my greatest need was to learn how to eat without all the anxiety that came with me trying to manage my weight and bulimia by myself.

I feel so free now. I have healthy guidelines that I have been able to make into habits and even though I don't have to attend meetings I still do, because I've made friends and the support that we provide for each other is priceless. My weight as been stable and healthy.

No I don't work for them; WW works for me.

I have lost weight on Weight Watchers many times however, I much more prefer the old exchange program to the points because I am not one who makes healthy choices on my own. The key to weight loss is deciding you are going to take control of your eating and for many having a community of like minded people is important. I think WW works for those who work it, I personally am enjoying going to TOPS meetings as it is less expensive. The only thing I do not like about WW is that the meetings have become more of a product sales pitch but for those who belong to it and find it works, they should stick with it. I like the fact they allow you to belong to their online communities without paying fees. Best of luck to all who are finding the solution to healthy eating that works for them.

I am a lifetime member of WW. In my opinion the best "diet"/lifestyle change out there. I have since fallen off the wagon and will probably rejoin when the New Years lines subside! I do not have to pay to rejoin nor do I pay for missed meetings - the reward for being a lifer. Not always a good thing really. I do pay the weekly fee when I go and until I reach goal . . . again. The time I did make the lifetime level, I NEVER missed a meeting. You may think they are corny or that YOU know what to put in your body but there is something about the meetings that kept me on track. Good luck everyone!

WW works so well, and it isn't a diet - it helps get you on the right track for healthy eating. Joined 3 months ago (for the 3rd time in my life), and actually continued to lose weight over the Christmas holiday, and reached my goal without ever feeling deprived. The hard work is in the first 3 weeks or so, after that you are in the groove!

I have been on WW several times and have done well, last time I lost 40 lbs. After that, my 12 week program had expired when they switched to the Points Plus program. I couldn't afford to stay with the program so naturally when I didn't have to report in to a scale, I gained back almost all of my weight. Since then I have tried several programs and out of those I liked the Flat Belly diet the best, which incorporates 400 calorie meals(Health Prevention magazine). I am the type of person that needs a "gimmic" to get excited about loosing weight, so after reading everyone's comments I'm back on the hunt for a new diet, knowing only too well that if I just cut back on portions, ate more fruits & veggies and worked out, I would not need a gimmic at all!! Best of luck to my fellow dieters!

I do think weight watchers works. I joined & lost over 30 lbs. I have since gained some back but do think I have the tools to lose it. I did learn a lot. However, I do think they fall short on teaching about nutrious eating - and really making better food choices. Their packaged food is loaded with sodium & bad carbs & very little protein & good carbs. I really want to know how to make those better choices, remaking "bad" recipes. Weight Watches does not go far enough- I felt like every meeting was about deserts....I am now working on learning about really eating better for my body.

WW Rocks!! I lost over 80 pounds and have kept it off for 3 years. I was a Leader and it felt wonderful to help people just like me lose weight and find out "you CAN do it!!" Accountability is a key and the support at meetings cannot be beat!! Lots of ways out there to try but YOU got to want to do it!! WW is a great lifestyle change and it works if you do!!

Yes! I have lost 75 lbs using the information from Weight Watchers Points Plus Plan. I have not been to 1 meeting and did not pay for their "plan". I gathered all the information online, it's out there if you look. I've kept the weight off for way over 6 months it's been over a year! Good Luck to everyone!!!

Hi Ruth,

I read your comment and noticed you mentioned you can find everything on line. Can you please tell me where you found the points calculator?


I love Weight Watchers. I lost 35 pounds in 1999/2000 and went on maintenance as a lifetime member. I have kept it off by staying on the program which is flexible enough to do for a lifetime. I weigh in each month and usually attend a meeting every week (which is free if you are at goal as a lifetime member). Without WW I would be much heavier and not as healthy. I need the accountability and the focus I get from their meetings.

I lost 60 pounds with WW, worked for them, left and gained 50 back. I think WW helped open my eyes about what I was doing, it taught me to pay attention, but it didn't teach me nutrition. You can lose weight, and still eat things that are bad for you. I'd recommend it for people who do not know where to begin, but it was lacking a lot and I won't return to get the 50 back off.

Try the diabetic diet. It works and is a lifestyle change. : )

I did weight watchers before my wedding in 2012, I lost the 20 pounds I was looking to lose. After my wedding I gained it all back within 1.5 years. I stayed on the plan for a few months after my wedding but it costs so much to go to meetings so I thought I could go it alone. I stayed on track for a while, the moment a got off track all the pounds crept back on. I think you truly want to lose weight permanently you really have to be ready for it and by that I mean fully commit, change your eating habits and exercise, I know this is what WW promotes (at least the eating habits part) but I felt I couldn't and DIDN'T want to live counting points the rest of my life. I had a friend who joined lost a bunch and gained it back, now she's following her own will and eating right and exercising... That's just my 2 cents. WW works for some and it doesn't for some.

Weight Watchers works if you follow the plan. It's that simple. I have lost weight following their plan and I recommend it!


I have successfully used Weight Watchers in the past and am trying it again (baby #3 weight and post-holidays). They really reinforce the concept of making lifestyle changes.

That actually wasn't why I posted though. I am posting as a scientist in response to your comment about citing an author of your study being from WW. It is a professional courtesy. If you are going to use data provided to you from an organization you MUST cite either their contribution in the acknowledgments or them as an author if they reviewed the work prior to publishing. It is not at all suspicious to me (being in the field) and if they did not do this they would be very remiss and thus the quality of the peer reviewed article would be called into question by the reviewers. And yes, it is a peer reviewed journal.

I joined WW a bit over 18 months ago and I've lost 127 pounds so far, about 25 to go. To say it changed my life is a bit of an understatement. For me, it's been a whole lifestyle change, one day at a time (which I learned in a 12 step program). My main reason for joining WW was because I had never made a good faith effort at losing weight and I needed help. I honestly didn't know how to eat (and I was a fifty-year-old woman, go ahead an judge me now). I love food and I love eating and I love feeling full. What I've learned is moderation and patience. And being full of vegetables. I get lots of activity now - when I started WW I couldn't even walk a quarter-mile. I'm off my blood pressure medication and all my blood stuff -- cholesterol, ldl hdl, blood sugar -- is brilliant. For me, and only for me, WW provided me with structure that I need to be successful. Other people don't need that, and good for them. I just know that I've worked hard to take this weight off and I want to do everything I can to keep it off. If that means going to WW forever, then that's okay with me. As it stands, I'm a lot more likely to live to 90 now.

I'm not on a board or a co-author of anything. I am a middle aged lady that was over weight since adolescence. This month I will celebrate 1 year of maintaining a 117 pound weight loss! needless to say I'm a believer!

I have not had major weight problems but have maintained my same weight within a pound or two for many years as I did a nutritional class and learned lots of good information about what to eat and what to stay away from. Weight watchers still allows you to have some of these ingredients in any products you use and just count points. You can change your lifestyle of eating and it takes not eating prepackaged have to get back to knowing what you put in your mouth by controlling the artificial and bad ingredients. The one thing I did seven years ago was to get off sweets which takes a couple weeks to detox from your system and today I can taste the white sugar if I put it in my mouth so now I just stay away from it and never cook with white sugar. Find yourself a good nutritional plan (not medical) as they don't teach you the things you need to know about food. You will lose weight and if on medications you will come off of those too. Weight watchers is not what I would recommend people to do.

I joined weight watchers back in the 80's. I am only 5'0" and was told that for my height I should weigh 105lb. I am big boned & have never weighed 105lb in my life for more than an hour! I weighed 125lb when I got married. I would be happy between 135 & 150lb. I use snack girls tips , thank you Lisa for all the good ideas and help, go to a gym every day and was walking 8 miles a day, before my diagnosis in Aug. When I finish radiation and get my strength back I plan to pick up where I left off. My sister who has never weighed more than 140 and is 5'5" swears weight watchers is the only way to go. I guess we all have different opinions.

Be very careful and read the small print with Weight Watchers....when you quit Weight Watchers make sure you do it the proper way or they will continue to charge your credit card.........

I have been with WW for the past year and a half and have lose 46 pounds and kept it off. I am now working on the last 24 pounds. It has been fantastic!! But like anything else, if you are not ready or willing to commit to the plan, it simply will not work. WW has truly changed my life for the better!

I was WW many years ago & lost all my weight but found it easier to have two simple meal replacement shakes a day(no thought:))And look forward to a normal meal with my family. I also have a Free Website to record what I eat, my exercise etc.

I've done WW several times and while I'm pro on their message of moderation and I lost weight to a point I soon found myself frustrated because I was paying to weigh-in and not getting anything real out of the meetings. I didn't like the exaggerations of this last one about expectations either for the group and worse was in my meetings she knew the canned lectures but couldn't really get too far off the script. She knew nothing much about foods or cooking and so I ended up often as not being the one before long 'she' referred to for those questions.

I am age 62 and just completed a total weight loss of 72.6 pounds and reached my lifetime goal using Weight Watchers. AND Yes it does teach you about healthy eating/nutrition. I know because I am a retired nurse and while it is true that you make your own choices as to what food you will put in your mouth and you can eat an unending variety of foods it still is up to the individual to open themselves up to the learning opportunities provided. I definitely got my moneys' worth and now I can keep participating for FREE. Everyone has their own ideas of what venue works for them. Over the years I have seen more success with the Weight Watchers plan. It's just like any other reputable nutritious weight loss plan based on lower fat, good carbs, high fiber and daily protein needs. I had a co-worker who used a pre-packaged weight loss food company (well-known name) and she lost an enormous amount of weight. However, once she stopped using their pre-packaged foods she gained the weight back and then some. That's why I like Snack Girl for the great ideas and recipes.

Unfortunately, in today's economy Weight Watchers' registration fees and then weekly "dues" are just too hefty! The weight of paying their pricey costs makes it too much for many of the folks who really need the help. Free groups at churches and community centers need to get the word out or people need to start their own support groups and share free. Supporting each other really helps. There are many free helps on line. Personally, I enjoy the community of information you have created.

I lost 75lbs on the old system but I never attended a meeting. Online paid membership worked the best. But then I gained it back when i became non ambulatory for almost 2 years. On the new I couldn't lose more than 5. I may try again we'll see.

What do you think? Should you join Weight Watchers to lose the weight? You may if you want, however if it is support, empathy, and friendship, plus lifetime motivation try TOPS. Take off pounds sensibly. I have been a member for 14 years, I am at my goal weight, and have friends I would never trade in, plus it did not cost me an arm and a leg.

I did WW as well was successful for awhile but got so tired of tracking, scanning, and measuring. Now doing Forks over Knifes plan. How awesome I feel. Weight loss, no allergies, arthritic pains gone, tons of invigorating!!! Watch the video!

I have never heard of forks over knives. Please tell me where I can learn about it. Thanks.

I cannot recommend WW enough. I resisted joining for years because I didn't want to spend the money. I thought why should I have to spend money to lose weight? Why can't I do it on my own. I had friends who belonged and gave me the information to do the plan on my own. Never worked. When I finally took the plunge and joined I actually felt instantly better and because I had to spend money I was totally committed. I loved the control I now had in my life and actually found it fun attending meetings, making new friends, exchanging ideas. It is true that it only works if you actually follow it and I did religiously. But duh, if you do it half assed, it will work half assed. Only join if you are serious about losing weight. I lost far more than I ever intended, I had a rough goal of maybe 50 lbs in a year, but I lost 70 lbs in about 10 months. I have kept if off for a year and a half now. I absolutely love it and you can definitely splurge on the plan and still occasionally have fattening foods. It has taught me to eat things I never did -- such as fruit as a snack -- and actually enjoy it and look forward to eating it. Again, it WILL work if you REALLY do it.

I think knowing that you are paying and also that you have to face the scale every week is an important motivation. I actually lost every single week, never had a gain that entire year.

Is there a meal plan with TOPS?

In full disclosure I must tell you I am a WW leader. I'm proud of that but even prouder that I've been a member of WW for 29 years! Yes having "skin in the game" gives value & urgency to the mission - to lose weight. Why would you publish your book & sell it rather than give it away for free? The time you spent to write it represents your life & your mission.

As for the comment about no restriction = unhealthy changes that's just not true. We constantly reinforce our good health guidelines. Whether or not a member chooses to follow them is up to him or her. Change takes time & a strategy. WW provides the strategy. The member has to be committed to giving herself the time & some folks embrace change more quickly than others.

TO MARIA you can watch the film "Forks Over Knives" at

I am a cardiac RN, and we often recommend this eating model for lowering cholesterol, weight, blood sugar, and heart disease risk factors.

I lost 70 pounds on WW ten years ago ... it was a great program. Unfortunately I went back to my old habits (my fault) and the weight has come back :(

WW is amazing. I have never been able to lose weight on any other plan. The comments about there being no restrictions so they don't teach you about healthy eating are not accurate. They teach you a lot of healthy eating tips, and encourage eating fruits and veggies as they are "free". The unrestricted part is so that you can enjoy your favorite indulgences (within reason), fit them into the plan so that you never feel deprived, and still lose weight! I have lost 75 pounds over the last years and a half, and plan to stick to it for life!

I have been on Weight Watchers and I'm 1 pound shy of a 60 lb weight loss, so the plan works for me.I can eat whatever I want and don't have to think of it as a "diet", it's a lifestyle change. I might try the new program "Simple Start" but if I don't I know PointsPlus works for me. Our class instructor is fantastic but I know I have to go to the meetings and step on the scale for accountability and the group atmosphere works for me. But until YOU realize you have to motivate yourself and that you CAN do it, you may not be successful no matter what program or plan you try. PS. My doctors love the weight loss too!

I love Weight Watchers; I hate the website.

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