Why Does Weight Watchers Work?

August 31, 2017   33 Comments

Why does Weight Watchers work? I know there are many opinions on this program.

Why Does Weight Watchers Work?

What I find interesting after years of observing Weight Watchers change and become more profitable is that their focus is no longer on “losing weight” or a “diet”.

I have posted a lot about Weight Watchers and Snack Girl has a ton of comments on the program see Weight Watchers Review: Does it Work? and Weight Watchers New for 2017?.

Their program – Beyond the Scale – talks about how you are not a number (my guess is not your weight and definitely not your Social Security number) and that you can “live life fully”.

I think Weight Watchers has always emphasized a lifestyle change that (hopefully) will be manageable for the longer term as opposed to a quick solution to drop 10 pounds.

The problem is that their success rate really isn’t that great when you look at studies of the program. People lose weight (hurray!) but then they gain on average a third of it back after 2 years. It works and then it doesn’t work.

Do I think it is worth trying? Absolutely! The program is evidence based (based on research) and when you find a great meeting with a supportive leader it can be life changing. There are a bunch of others struggling with weight loss and it can be liberating and fun to come together once a week to support each other.

Weight Watchers other option has been to employ coaches that you can call to help you with the program. I haven’t tried this option but I think more help the better!

We all have different reasons for wanting to lose weight. I think the ones that truly motivate us our intrinsic. Want to run after grandchildren without your knees hurting? Want to change your diagnosis of pre-diabetes? Want to walk up stairs without breathing so hard? Losing weight will help with all of these.

Of course, if you need to look good at your sister-in-laws wedding – that can be a good reason to lose a few pounds. I wonder, though, after the wedding if you will be as motivated to stay away from the bakery section of the grocery store.

What do you think of Weight Watchers? Is it working for you?

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I attend weekly Weight Watchers at my local YMCA, and have maintained my goal weight for three years. At the meetings, I have friends and a leader who are tops. I am healthy and happy. I believe that, if one continues to follow the program, it will continue to work.

For me WW works because I can eat what I want, not follow "rules" of what to eat when. Most times I eat clean, but when I want pasta, chips, ice cream, etc I just have to find a way to make it fit in my points.

I've been a member of WW for 10 years. I've had my ups and downs but overall have kept off 45 pounds - I feel that's a success...because as I get older it gets more difficult to lose weight. However, with that being said, I believe that the reason a lot of people lose, then gain is because THEY QUIT coming to the meeting. A lot of people feel like they KNOW what they're supposed to do and will be able to do it on their own. Unfortunately, without the continual support and yes, getting on that scale at least once a month - being accountable - you will regain the weight.

The reason people go to WW in the first place is because they have a WEIGHT MANAGEMENT PROBLEM. That weight management problem never goes away. It doesn't go away once you lose any amount of weight that you had set as your goal...that WM problem is going to be with you the rest of your life. I came to terms with that realization several years ago - and still make poor choices from time to time...but overall, I try to make better choices...and it's still a test for me. Life is full of ups and downs...sometimes I'm on my game, sometimes I am influenced by other things going on around me - and it causes me to think about eating things that I know aren't going to help me keep and achieve my weight loss goals...

So I try to think about my weigh in - that coming Saturday - and try to make a better choice. So far, it's worked. But WW requires that we stick with it. For me, I'll be attending WW meetings until I can't drive anymore. It's a healthier choice! :)

I have been a WW member since 2010 have lost 100+ lbs. I just had my 3 year anniversary of keeping off 100 lbs. Yes the WW approach is not a "diet" and you will have to make some forever changes to keep the weight off. It is worth trying embrace the support from the meeting and OL community if you can.

As a Lifetime member for 34 years- I can honestly say WW works! Even going once a month to check in (maintenance) is enough to keep me on track and cutting back if necessary. Beyond the scale is without a doubt, the best focus WW has had in many years.

I'm a Lifetime member of WW. I' also a yo-yo dieter. I've been affiliated with WW for more than 10 years. At the ripe old age of 69, I think I've FINALLY gotten it through my head that I need to stay with WW, as a motivation and accountability partner.

Losing 20 this time has been agony. I've followed the WW Smart Points program and have faithfully tracked everything that goes into my mouth...mostly - lol!

My big mistake has been not continuing with the weekly meetings. I believe THAT is what is a huge factor in maintaining weight. If I need to face my leader AND the scales, I'm more apt to be compliant.

This is a lifestyle change; a different way of looking at food. I firmly believe that this is the last time I'll have to start over.


I have no comment as the other Sue said it so well.

I love Ww like everyone is saying meetings r very important n if u have a great leader it matters also. I have lost 50 pounds have kept it off for 4 years yes I do fall off n have my cheat time. But I get right back on the program. It is a life time adjustment not a diet.

I went on vacation and didn't gain weight because WW was on my brain. I need to keep a food journal and go to meetings or I go astray.

Like most weight loss programs, WW works but you are imprisoned for life on their products. God forbid you decide to normalize your food choices with healthy mainstream food.

Most people gain all the weight back plus a couple more because this program doesn't teach you to retrain your brain that in moderation, you can eat any food that exists.

Your friends and family are victimized by your lack of comaraderie at dinners and social gatherings. To succeed, you must always be the outlier.

The Weight Watchers Wallace describes does not resemble the one I know. Sounds like one or more others.

Don't know what Wallace is describing, but it sure isn't WW!

In response to Wallace, I would say that I am not at all "imprisoned" by their (WW)products. In fact, the only WW products I use are for the occasional sweet snacks, which I could well do without - lol! Everyday food is my mainstay. I have wonderful dinners with friends and family, whether at home or at a restaurant. Planning points beforehand and knowledge of which foods are better or healthier to choose, make dinner with friends much easier. And if the choices are less than optimal, I eat some of each and adjust my meals afterward. It's very doable!

Wallace, I am not imprisoned by their food, in fact I never buy it. I am a 13 year lifetime member and if you do the work, you get the rewards. I also agree that meetings are a must, it's a social hour for me and I love being able to help new members.

I have said it before and I will say it again, Weight Watchers WORKS if you WORK the program. I am living proof of that. When I first joined (about 7 years ago, I lost 44 lbs). My leader became ill, I hated the new leader, I thought "I had this" and left. I was gone 14 months and gained back 51 of the 44 I had lost. Then, about 2 yrs ago a new leader came (who is FABULOUS).......I lost 30 lbs. Then, WW changed to their current program. I was rebellious for a LONG time because I resented that a brownie was no longer approx 7 points, but jumped to approx 15 pts. I resented that my bonus points went from 49 to 30. So, I played around, rebelled against the program and gained back 15 of the 30 I lost. Now, a few weeks ago, my leader (who has become a dear and cherished friend) was tired of watching me play around. She said she was going to start weighing me. That put the fear of God into me lol and I started working the program again. I have now lost approx 5 of the 15 I had gained back.........I am FINALLY on my way again. If one sticks with the program, is honest about tracking.......IT WORKS.

Just read Wallace's comment too, he couldn't be more wrong. I don't use the majority of the weight watchers products. I don't know what program he is talking about (maybe Jenny Craig?) but it sure isn't Weight Watchers!

I have a love/hate thing with WW. I lose weight but get annoyed with whatever version of "tracking" they make me do. So I stop and the weight comes back. The lifestyle/maintenance part just doesn't "click" for me...

On top of using WW as a basis for my eating, I also eat according to the Heart and Stroke recommendations. Low fat (watching all the time the saturated fats), NO trans fats at all, low sodium (I do not use additional salt, no processed meats, etc.) and no additional sugar (I do eat fruit but noting like squares, cookies etc.) This becomes a way of life - not a diet and you can get used to it very easily.

I don't know what Wallace Lane is talking about maybe he is getting WW mixed up with some other program....You do not have to buy their products (I don't) I eat mainstream food and cook the same for my whole family...I have lost 20 lbs so far and intend on following the program for the rest of my life because it is a lifestyle change.

I changed where I go to the meetings because I didn't care for the leader. A plus also was I now get weighted in the morning. It's worth getting up early on a Saturday morning. 😃

I used to love WW and it really worked for me. I am on the short size with about 15 pounds to lose and the new program is just way too much food for me. I did well on one of the older programs- maybe smart points where I was allowed 18 points and some weekly extra points. I would like to try the new program again but bc I did not succeed with it once already hard to try again. I am not sure what to do and I really frustrated.

WW had a huge problem, I think. As of 5yrs ago I was a member and I reached my goal, I continued to go to meetings for quite awhile. There should have been separate mtgs for people at goal, in my opinion.

I agree with everyone but Wallace. Go to meetings and work the plan. Lost 40, kept it off, and always need my meeting peeps to give Nee ideas, support and pump me up!

I have done WW in the past and yes I do believe it works. Once I had enough (I have battled my weight since High School) and decided to try something else, I went with good old fashioned calorie counting via an on my phone (can easily log on via the internet too). Even better - it is free... I can look at a food item that has a label on it and see how many calories it has or scan the bar code with my phone. No buying WW materials to figure out how many points I need, and spending money that way. I have lost close to 60 pounds using this app. This is what works for me. Everybody needs to do what works for them. :-)

Yes it's worked for me - I think this is the best WW journey I have been on. I have been at goal for over a year now. I'm very happy and have recommended many friends to try it. I help at my weekly meeting as I feel I'm giving something back to help others.

I love WW ! It makes you feel so good and really works if you....track, attend meetings, walk and drink plenty of water. I agree with the others who say it's important to keep going to the meetings. I thought I didn't need meetings either, but they really help keep you accountable !

MKL - what's the app you're referring to?

MyFitnessPal is the app I use. Great website too. Lots of good info. All free... :)

are there options on ww for people on a vegetarian diet?

Thanks, MKL.

Sorry Wallace but as others have said I really think you missed the entire point of Weight Watchers. I have lost over 100 pounds and have had it off for 4 years. I live a very normal social life. My husband and I have friends and go out regularly and enjoy social gatherings. I eat all "normal" foods. I buy very few Weight Watcher foods because they are too expensive. We eat out and I have learned to choose wisely. You really didn't learn anything at your meetings. Perhaps you should give it another go at a different meeting with a different leader because you seem clueless as to what the program is really about! Sorry, don't mean to be cruel but am trying to be honest with you. It has really changed my life. 100 pounds later, I feel like I can live!!! I don't want to ever go back to who I was before Weight Watchers and I will always attend meetings.I am totally hooked and love it!!

I am happy @ the meetings. I find inspiration from the other members, lots new ideas. There is a lot of support to loose

weight. Many share on their weight loss. One wood never know

just to look at them they lost 100lbs, 80lbs 76lbs etc. & they

are proud of it. Encourage you to keep coming back. if your down they lift you up. The meetings are your gift to yourself.

Good Luck To All Anneippi

WW is a plan that works as long as you work the plan.

I lost 77.4 lbs and then WW, the organization that supposedly cared that its members lost weight, closed 3 meeting places in my area after the restructuring when Oprah bought into WW and a Smart Points was introduced, leaving the nearest mtg place 70 miles round trip. Pair the cost of gas and mtg fees together and it is a ridiculous amount per month.

Yes, I tried on-line but it did not work for me.

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