What Is Weight Watchers?
Read full disclosure here. The Weight Watchers mobile app for smartphones and devices helps dieters to track weight loss progress, manage SmartPoints and FitPoints, shop for and plan meals, and offers social networking with other members. Three are support-only plans that don't require you to buy their food, and five are food-delivery plans. No — for about the same money, other services offer better track records. You can walk, run, jog, row, climb, spin, bike, step, jump, skip, kick—you get the idea. I did my first go-round of Weight Watchers with my sister.
If I want to swap points, how exactly do I do this in my Weight Watchers account? How many FitPoints do different activities earn? FitPoints is Weight Watchers' rating system for physical activity.
The more you move, the more FitPoints you earn, which allows you to eat a little more. Think of FitPoints as activity points , which is what WW used to call them. You earn FitPoints with exercise. It's called "eating your FitPoints" because swapping your FitPoints for SmartPoints increases the amount of food you can eat each day on Weight Watchers.
The choice comes down to this: If you swap your FitPoints for extra SmartPoints, you'll make the WW program easier to live with, as your increased SmartPoints allotment will allow you to eat more. You will have to decide which tactic feels right for you. You'll have to adjust your Weight Watchers account default settings in order to make this happen. Don't worry -- we'll show you exactly how to do this in a moment.
Shake things up with this dietitian-designed plan which requires almost no cooking to jump-start your weight loss. When you've reached your goal weight, then return to Weight Watchers for maintenance.
Works best for singles and empty-nesters who don't have to do a lot of family cooking. You can exchange your daily FitPoints for SmartPoints on a one-for-one basis, which means you can eat a bit more each day if you're active. To swap your FitPoints for increased SmartPoints, you must change the default settings in your Weight Watchers account.
See image below for details. Each member is assigned a numerical FitPoints Goal for the week. Since you earn FitPoints with physical activity of any kind, the concept is that Weight Watchers is trying to encourage you to be more active. Weight Watchers hopes that you will strive to meet this goal. After you meet it consistently, they will raise the goal, a little at a time. When you first sign up, you'll be asked a number of questions. The good folks at Weight Watchers decide your initial weekly FitPoints Goal number, based on your age, gender, weight, and activity level.
You could be doing aerobics, or you could just be walking to work, waging war against bathroom soap scum, or dancing your heart out at a party. You just have to keep track of the amount of time you engaged in the activity, and the intensity level low, moderate, or high of the activity. You're not sweating from the activity, or breathing more rapidly than normal. You're breathing more rapidly than normal, but not out of breath not winded.
You are able to converse but not able to sing while performing the activity. You can't converse normally while performing this activity, but can only utter short phrases. Weight Watchers Research Dept. You can either enter it manually in the activity section of your account, or you can use a tracking device or app, such as Fitbit, which connects directly to your Weight Watchers account. In a UC San Diego clinical trial of dieters funded by Jenny Craig , Jenny Craig clients lost 11 percent of their initial weight after 12 months, compared with 3 percent weight loss by those who were dieting on their own.
Shipping is free the first week. The price is a cut above the competition, too. The plan tries to help you avoid a weight-loss stall out by varying the daily calorie intake between 1, and 1, While no university studies support the theory that varying caloric intake aids weight loss, the high quality of the food and the relatively large portion sizes have been praised by Health magazine, Dr.
Phil and The New York Times. Some plan users have complained of a lack of choices and menu flexibility compared to other plans, but a company spokesman says they offer more than entrees and can make substitutions to accommodate allergies and food preferences.
This meal-delivery service, endorsed by Marie Osmond and Dan Marino, emphasizes foods with a low glycemic index. The underlying premise is that controlling blood sugar levels leads to weight loss. Support is available through phone counseling, weekly e-classes with a dietician and tracking tools.
For example, a study by the Obesity Research Center at St. For a meal-delivery diet system, Nutrisystem is more economical than Jenny Craig. The 70 meal replacement choices include shakes, bars, soups, pudding, oatmeal, chili, pretzel sticks, cheese puffs, and scrambled eggs.
If you can stick with it, a diet of 1, calories a day can certainly induce rapid weight loss. Cost of losing 20 pounds: Choose this more extreme plan only if quick weight loss is your priority.
A decade after the Great Recession, the U. The top-paying jobs tend to cluster in two industries -- and may prove less vulnerable automation. Share Tweet Reddit Flipboard Email. Last Updated Jan 7, 4: This article was updated on January 7, Up to 2 pounds per week Cost to lose 20 pounds: Featured in MoneyWatch How much did the financial crisis cost you in dollars?
End of the road for the VW Beetle. Weight Watchers meetings the first one was in a NYC pizzeria! The idea was simple yet inspired. A community, a fellowship, an alliance of weight-watchers in solidarity: In my first experience with Weight Watchers, I lost 23 pounds in three months; I still feel proud of that today.
I did my first go-round of Weight Watchers with my sister. She and I—with around twenty other women and the occasional man —met in a church basement on Saturday mornings. The Points system had recently been introduced, and for me it worked. Nidetch had done something revolutionary but uncomplicated: Over the years, I have attended meetings with three different cheerleading leaders; two were great, and one was just too much for me.
Weight Watchers implemented a points system in the s, where foods were given a numerical value based on nutritional profile. So then, how does Weight Watchers work?
Starting from the beginning, the program included a very specific eating system and over the years there have been a number of iterations. But the introduction of the original Weight Watchers Points system —currently referred to as SmartPoints—kicked the specifics into super-user-friendly. It came into being from Weight Watchers Limited in the United Kingdom, where two women invented, developed, and patented the Points system calculator.
Using an algorithm that calculated calories, fats, proteins, and carbs, it would have a couple of iterations, too, as more was learned about nutrition and exercise science. But the underlying system, of counting foods as values based on nutrition, was genius then and it remains the cornerstone today. The newest program, launched in , is dubbed Beyond the Scale. Weight Watchers says it wants people to not diet per se, but adopt a Weight Watchers lifestyle:.
Our proven program is not a diet. Yes, you will lose weight. The current program is pretty simple, in that every food has a value. SmartPoints are calculated based on calories, saturated fat, sugar, and protein. You simply adhere to your allotted points. There are no forbidden foods. And that phrase alone is for some the ah-ha!
Weight Watchers explains that it takes the complex nutritional information of a food and gives it a single number—the SmartPoints value—so people can make smarter food choices while eating the stuff they like to eat.
Well, some of it anyway. And, each week you get bonus points—which, when I did Weight Watchers in my last go-round, I banked and then pigged out on Friday nights. Just Ben, Jerry, and me. Anyway, the idea of points is smart, easy, and doable.
And I mean not just parking further away from the store entrance. Get your heart rate up and keep it up with fat-burning, good-for-your-heart exercise. I swim albeit not enough. You can walk, run, jog, row, climb, spin, bike, step, jump, skip, kick—you get the idea.
And do it at least 30 minutes every day—or at least most days of the week—as best as you can fit in your already ridiculously hectic life. Actually, make it your time; take 30 minutes, put headphones on, and do it. And, it turns out, even during the most seemingly mundane of tasks, you earn FitPoints which you add to your total points for the day.
FitPoints is also a smart idea. Weight Watchers explains it this way:. FIT is about getting back in touch with your body. Weight Watchers has several dozen videos, workouts, demos, fitness plans, and challenges.
And all of this can be managed on a handy, popular app. The Weight Watchers mobile app for smartphones and devices helps dieters to track weight loss progress, manage SmartPoints and FitPoints, shop for and plan meals, and offers social networking with other members. Every step you take, every bite you eat, kept track of. The mobile app for Android has almost , reviews on Google Play with an overall rating of 4. Reviewers find it easy to use, convenient, and it helps dieters stay on track.
Similarly, on iTunes, more than 2, real people reviewed the current iteration of the app and gave it a close to 5 stars. Even the previous versions of the app—with 12, reviews—agreed it was effective, easy to use, and helped Weight Watchers dieters keep track. On the Weight Watchers app you can live chat with a coach and—for a lot of people who are focused on the fitness in the program and want a fuller health-tech experience—toggle to the Activity tab to your track activeness.
And if you have an Apple Watch, wireless scales, and an activity tracker—like Up by Jawbone or Apple Health, for example—you can connect them to your Weight Watchers account. Along with Weight Watchers online, a virtual and brick-and-mortar support network yes, there are still meetings, absolutely! W hat does Weight Watchers cost? A little secret from me: Once you have done Weight Watchers, you know how to do Weight Watchers—so as some say, you can do it without paying.
Remember I said that accountability, motivation, community, and support are the secrets to Weight Watchers?
In fact, Weight Watchers itself—even in this day and age where everything is online—recommends the plan you go with is the one with meetings: But, as of fall of , there are three plans:.