Weight Watchers is one of the most successful and popular weight-loss programs on the market. But that doesn't mean it's for everybody. It's important that you consider all of the major factors involved in any diet or weight-loss program before signing up. Here are a few pros and cons of the Weight Watchers program:
- No foods are forbidden. Weight Watchers teaches an all-things-in-moderation approach where you can continue to enjoy your favorite foods in controlled portions. There is no list of foods to be eliminated or avoided on Weight Watchers.
- Some education on nutrition is provided. Your leader will share good nutritional advice with the group, such as the importance of eating plenty of vegetables, healthy fats, low-fat dairy and drinking enough water.
- You may be able to bring your kids. Some Weight Watchers locations offer special meetings to which parents can bring their children.
- Slow and steady weight loss is achieved. You can expect to lose one to two pounds a week after the first week on the program. This is a very healthy rate at which to lose weight. Weight lost at this steady rate is more likely to be maintained (diets that lead to quicker loss make re-gain likely).
- Encourages portion control. To accurately track and record your Points values, you will need to measure your portions and serving sizes. This skill is valuable and will serve you well even if you go off the plan.
- The cost may be prohibitive. Meetings are approximately $13 per week (varies by location). There may be a registration fee, which is due upon sign-up, of around $30. If you have a lot of weight to lose and you plan to stay in the program until you meet your goal weight, you may want to do the math: For example, assuming it takes an average of at least one year to lose 100 pounds, your minimum total cost would be $676. (Note: You can cancel your membership at any time.)
- The group atmosphere isn't for everyone. If you don't enjoy group meetings, you may prefer to do Weight Watchers online.
- Weekly weigh-ins are required. You will probably receive a "free pass" card upon joining, which allows that you to not weigh in at one meeting. Other than that one instance, you must be weighed once a week in order to attend a meeting. Keep in mind that the only person who sees your weight is the person weighing you (she or he records the weight).
- Weekly progress may discourage you. Some people prefer to measure weight-loss success on a monthly basis rather than weekly, but you will receive your weight weekly. Be prepared: Some weeks you will lose little or no weight, even if you're doing everything right. It's only natural, so don't let this cause you to give up.
- There is no set diet on Weight Watchers. If you are looking for a structured diet that tells you exactly what types of foods to eat, how much, and when, Weight Watchers might not work for you. The ability to choose anything you want to eat may prove too tempting for some. It is completely possible to use all your Points on less-than-nutritious foods unless you consciously commit to making healthier decisions. Weight Watchers can help you learn how to do so, but in the end, it's all up to you.
To learn more about Weight Watchers, visit Weight Watchers.com.