Weight Watchers does not count calories but points. In addition, there are always new ideas to make it easier for participants to lose weight. The current program is called “Feel Good”.
Everything started with a simple idea. The American Jean Nidetch had found that a diet together with her friends easier than alone, so in 1963 she founded the company Weight Watchers. To date, the weekly group meetings are the best known and probably most promising element of this diet concept. But who does scare off: the meetings are no longer a prerequisite. Weight Watchers can also be used alone and online.
The Weight Watchers method is suitable for healthy overweight people . Children under the age of 13, pregnant women and people with eating disorders (such as anorexia ) or being overweight can not attend a Weight Watchers meeting.
The nutrition concept
Instead of counting calories, weight watchers points list is based on a points system: Participants count so-called “SmartPoints”, which were once called “Points” or “ProPoints”. Each food or dish has a fixed score, which is calculated from the calories it contains and its protein , sugar, and saturated fat content . Foods with a lot of protein correspond to a few points. Foods high in sugar and saturated fathave many points. Part of the nutritional concept is to log all consumed foods and drinks with the corresponding SmartPoints values. This is intended to help participants recognize healthy and light meals and integrate them into their everyday lives. If one believes the information provided by the company, it should be possible to lose up to a kilo of weight per week.
The program is updated continuously. At the end of December 2015, Weight Watchers presented the latest innovation: “Feel Good” is the name of the program that focuses on the participant himself and aims to give him a new body sensation. It is based on the three pillars “Food”, “Fit” and “Feel”.
The scoring system continues to exist in the area of nutrition (“food”), it forms the basis. A coach determines individually how many SmartPoints the participant may consume per day when he / she wants to lose weight based on factors such as weight, height, gender and age. This budget will be adjusted regularly.
The points balance is valid for one day each. In addition, there is a week extra, which the participant can redeem, for example, when he goes to the restaurant or celebrates a celebration. The weekly extra can be redeemed as you like for the SmartPoints. These again only apply to the current week and can not be carried over to the next week.
At will the participant can assemble his meal plan. Nothing is forbidden, as long as he does not exceed his personal point budget. In addition to the new recipes, participants can use the Meals Coach to customize each dish to suit their tastes and individual point budgets, or to develop new meals. In the app and in the online program are now points-values for 60,000 foods, including discounters, and more than 5,000 other recipes. Retailers also sell convenience foods sold under the Weight Watchers label, including delicatessen salads, rice pans and soups. This range is constantly being supplemented with new products: In the meantime, there are also sauces, snacks and sweets of the own brand Weight Watchers.
The so-called cooking box has also been added: people who want to lose weight can have a box of food delivered to their homes weekly. The cooking box contains three dishes for two persons and costs 39.90 euros. According to Weight Watchers, the recipes are marked with the respective Smart Points.
Recently, Weight Watchers also offers a barcode scanner that can be used to determine the points of individual foods in the supermarket. This is how the topic of nutrition should become conscious.
Not only is the food recorded, but also the area of sport (“Fit”) plays an important role in the diet. Those who want to lose weight should incorporate movement into their everyday lives and make a note of it. That way they can collect “ActivPoints”. Participants have the option to synchronize activity trackers like Fitbit with the app or online program. The tracker measures each step and then charges it with the individual fitness goals. Videos with fitness tips and workouts should support the participants on the way to the desired weight.
The group meetings are an important element
In addition to the elements of nutrition and exercise, the weekly group meetings are probably the most important element of the Weight Watchers method. True to the motto “Together you are strong”, the participants discuss and analyze nutrition and movement behavior together with a coach – hence the name Weight Watchers. The coaches explain nutritional contexts and give tips to persevere.
But that is no longer a requirement. Those who do not like losing weight in the group, but the scoring is already, has the ability to track Weight Watchers online. There is also a remote program and individual coaching or Weight Watchers Center, a point of contact for those interested. Subscribers also have access to a free app to quickly get all the information they need, such as recipes or grocery lists, in their everyday lives. Recently, participants can also exchange ideas via the app, send pictures and motivate each other.
To lose weight according to the Weight Watchers concept means to lose weight in small steps. First, ten percent of the initial weight is provided – and up to one kilogram per week. The goal is to keep the feel-good weight longer term. The participants should learn to eat more consciously. There is also the option of staying in the group for aftercare. This should help to keep the desired weight in the long run.
The method is based on own information on scientific knowledge and is constantly evolving. Since it is a commercial company that markets its diet concept all over the world, participation is not free. For the monthly pass subscribers regularly pay 42.95 euros. This so-called combi package includes group meetings and the use of app and online offers.