Weight Watchers: Does It Really Work?

If you’re someone who is looking to get serious about losing weight once and for all, one program that you very likely may be considering is Weight Watchers.  Weight Watchers has received plenty of acclaim in the media for all the success it has brought people all over the world and now you might have decided that you want just a little bit of that success for yourself.

But will it really work for you? That’s the question.  Is Weight Watchers a plan that can help anyone? Or are certain people better suited to it than others?

Let’s have a closer look at what Weight Watchers is all about in the first place so that you can effectively evaluate whether this is a smart approach for you to be utilizing.

What Is Weight Watchers

First things first, let’s go over what Weight Watchers is.  This plan is all based around portion control.  While there are general recommendations on the types of foods you should be eating, as long as you stay within your recommended points allotment for the day, you should lose weight – or so the company claims.

You’re given a points value target for each day based around factors such as your body weight, height, age, and activity level. The more active you are, the more points you will receive.

It should be noticed that this points system works very similar to counting calories, so it all is about the same thing – energy in versus energy out.

The concept is simple: take in less energy than you burn off and weight loss will be yours.

Why Weight Watchers Works

So why does this plan work?

Simply stated, flexibility.  One of the things that most people love the best about Weight Watchers is that they can eat anything they want on their diet as long as it fits in with that points range.

Chocolate cake? Go for it.

Pizza – that you can eat too.

For anyone who hates feeling restricted, Weight Watchers is a perfect solution.

Weight watchers is also more of a moderate based plan, so provided you are making some healthier food choices, hunger should be too extreme on it either.

For anyone who’s ever been on a very low calorie diet before, you likely know that hunger is one of the biggest reasons you’ve likely fallen off the bandwagon.

Weight Watchers can help to control this, so that’s a big plus about this plan.

Who Weight Watchers Is Best For

So who is this program going to be best suited for?  As we mentioned above, this plan is great for those who do want some flexibility.

The ideal user will be good at counting points and keeping within their daily limit.  Someone who sees the points but eats anyway if they are hungry is not going to succeed since the success of this program essentially hinges on meeting your points value.

This plan works for vegetarians or those who participate in athletic events, so it really is safe for almost anyone to utilize.  With such a wide variety of food options included in the Weight Watchers program, you won’t find you struggle with creating a meal plan at all.

And, for those who prefer a more regimented diet, they do have Weight Watchers meals as well as bars and other desserts that you can purchase to stick with the plan without having to tally you points after you prepare a meal.

This makes things a little more ‘done-for-you’ so to speak, so can take any guesswork out of the approach.

Who Weight Watchers Isn’t Ideal For

Now that you see who this plan is great for, is there anyone it won’t be ideal for?

The person who may not excel as much on the Weight Watchers program is the person who needs some rigid rules and structure to their diet.

If you need to be told to eat X food at X time, this plan doesn’t provide that on its own. Of course you can sit down and plan your weekly eating schedule based around your points ahead of time, but the diet itself doesn’t provide specific meal plans for everyone.

It’s up to you to pick and choose your foods that fit into your points range.

The second type of individual who may struggle with Weight Watchers is the person who is training for intense athletic competition.  These individuals tend to have advanced needs as far as their protein and carb requirements go, so more exact measurements will be required.

While you can achieve this within the structure of Weight Watchers, if you simply monitor points, you may miss out on getting sufficient protein or carbs as you should.

For that reason, a more defined meal plan will likely be a better choice for you so that you can ensure that you do get 100% of what you need to perform optimally.

So there you have the basic information that you need to know about the Weight Watchers approach.  It definitely can work if it’s used properly and by the right person.  The nice thing about the diet is that it can teach you healthy eating strategies that last a lifetime, so after you have reached your goal weight and come off the plan, you’re more likely to keep that weight off over the long term.

Weight Watchers is also a plan that is fairly realistic to follow for the very long term, so if you have a hundred or more pounds to lose, you can easily use this approach to reach your goal weight.  There is no real need to cycle on and off the plan as the calorie intake prescribed is very reasonable and shouldn’t cause any issues with your metabolism slowing down due to lack of food intake.

If you’re tired of yo-yoing off strict diets and feeling miserable that you can’t find success, give Weight Watchers a try. It might just be the plan to change things for you.

[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology.  In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 8 years now.[/stextbox]

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  1. Robert Davis March 23, 2012
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