OOOOKKK! One last diet from me, promise.
Weight Watchers: What they say-
* Promise weight loss while being able to eat whatever you want. They provide guidance through their PointsPlus system. This puts a value on food based on protein, carb, fat and fiber
content. The idea is that if you have an 11 point PB&J white-bread sandwich with chips or an 11 point salad, black bean soup with a piece of fruit, you’ll choose the soup/salad combo.
*Use an integrated approach of helpful habits, eating smarter (I assume through the use of the PointsPlus system), support (via weekly in-person meetings or online) and encouraging exercise.
*Costs $20 registration fee plus $12-15/in person meeting (or $39.95/ month for unlimited meetings) or $65/3-month online support. Does not include the cost of food.
Overall: I think not a bad way to get started on the path to a healthier life. I refrain from saying “weight loss” because that should not be the end goal. Good health is the goal we should be striving for but sometimes we walk the path of weight loss at the same time as good health.
A Few Thoughts:
- I really like the support system that WW employs. Anyone who has a goal should be held accountable. I also like that they try to educate their participants in healthier food choices.
Cook for a woman and she’ll eat for a night, teach her to cook and she’s a force to be reckoned with!
-I don’t agree with their exercise guidance and suggestions. There is plenty of encouragement to move more (walks, bodyweight exercise, daily activities…etc) but NO advice on weight lifting. I saw some articles that suggested “toning” or spot reduction (both are totally bogus…keep your eye out for future posts). I’m sorry, but just walking is not going to build muscle which is key in weight loss and weight management. Pick up something heavy!
-The PointsPlus system does emphasize more veggies and fruit, which is great, though it follows more along the lines of the FDA recommendations, 10-25% protein, 45-55%carbs and >25% fat, for the overall diet. It’s been my experience (and other coaches)that a ratios of 30-30-40 works better for weight loss and maintenance.
-I found quite a few studies about WW. The overall verdict was that it does help folks lose weight, it’s a effective at lowering risk of diabetes and CVD (which is probably due to weight loss and an inclusion of more veggies and fruit) and it while it has a higher percentage of followers after the 1 year mark (compared to Atkins, Zone and Ornish diets) it was still only about 30-40%. I’ve spoken with multiple women who’ve done WW and none of them are still on it and most had regained the weight back.
Is WW for you?… guess what I’m going to say… it depends.
If you feel like you need guidance in your food choices and you could really use the support system provided by weekly meetings, then yeah, WW will work for you. Do you think you can keep up counting all your points every day? If not, maybe not so much with WW.
You know what else I’m going to say? The “secret” to weight loss, muscle building, good health…whatever your goal is:
Eat. Real. Food.
I don’t care how you do it, Paleo, Vegan, Weight watchers, vegetarian, normaltarian… (made that one up). Just find a method that you can follow, that you enjoy and stick to it. Pick a lifestyle not a diet.