Home Diets and Weight Loss Weight Watchers – that’s behind it

Weight Watchers – that’s behind it

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 254 views

The Weight Watchers credo is: “Weight loss is easier together”. Those who want to lose weight therefore meet regularly in a group to support each other in the fight against the excess kilos. A special list of food items will help to lose weight in the long term. Read here how the program is structured and whether it really helps you lose weight.

Was ist Weight Watchers?

The idea for Weight Watchers came about in 1963. The American Jean Nidetch wanted to lose weight together with her friends. They met regularly to exchange experiences and to motivate each other to persevere. The Weight Watchers program, which now exists in over 30 countries, developed from these meetings.

The points with which food is weighted play an important role in this weight loss concept. These are allocated according to the composition of the nutrients. examples

Every person who wants to lose weight has a certain number of Weight Watchers points available per day. How many there are depends on factors such as weight, height, gender and age. The individual budget is regularly adjusted. How the participants divide this up is up to them. There are no foods that are banned in the program.

For support, participants have the opportunity to meet other like-minded people. At these events, they receive information about nutritional connections and can motivate each other.

There are materials such as brochures, recipe suggestions, a points diary or the appropriate app to help you change your diet in everyday life. In addition, Weight Watchers products such as groceries, ready meals or cookbooks can be purchased.

Points system and group meetings: This is how Weight Watchers works

In the Weight Watchers program, each food gets a so-called “SmartPoints” value (formerly ProPoints). The Weight Watchers points are calculated according to the protein, fat, carbohydrate and fiber content as well as the glycemic index of the respective food.

There are also over 200 so-called zero-point foods that do not have to be counted. Recipes and a special barcode scanner that helps with shopping also support the change in diet .

Flexibility also enables an individual weekly bonus of points that you can also use for small food sins – such as a glass of red wine or a meal with friends where you eat more. Sports and exercise bring additional ActivPoints that you can redeem for groceries.

Once a week there is a public Weight Watchers meeting. They are usually led by people who have already successfully lost weight themselves with Weight Watchers and have been maintaining their weight ever since.

Here’s what you need to watch out for with Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers is not a classic diet , but a long-term change in diet that helps you eat more consciously and, above all, healthier. Keep these cornerstones in mind.

You can eat these foods

You can eat anything as long as you stay within the individual points budget. This is calculated based on personal factors such as weight, age and gender.

Despite the principle of “freedom from food”, the Weight Watchers points table should still control the choice of food, since healthy foods with a low energy density have fewer points and can therefore be eaten more.

Protein-rich, low-fat products and high-fiber products are right at the top of the Weight Watchers list of recommendations. Fillers like these are intended to prevent food cravings.

In addition, there are foods that do not affect the points account at all. The so-called zero-point foods include, for example:

Sport as an important element

In addition, an active lifestyle and more exercise are encouraged. For example, there are additional points for sports and housework such as vacuum cleaning that you can squander. Weight Watchers also have the option of connecting the online personal program to an activity tracker.

Weight Watchers during pregnancy and lactation

Basically, the Weight Watchers program is not designed for pregnancy or breastfeeding. During this time, the focus is on providing mother and child with sufficient nutrients.

That brings Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers is comparatively simple and suitable for everyday use. This increases the likelihood of sticking to the diet. The regular group meetings and instructions for changing behavior are also motivating and therefore positive.

The Weight Watchers points system makes the composition and control of the daily amount of food easy to understand, even for non-professionals. Since the distribution of the points favors low-calorie, “healthy” foods, a certain learning effect occurs. Changing behavior can provide guidance and motivation to exercise more.

Since no foods are forbidden, but high-protein, low-fat and high-fiber products are recommended, there is no need to worry about any deficiency symptoms in the long term if you choose the right foods.

Studies show an average weight loss of three to five kilograms per year with Weight Watchers.

Risks of Weight Watchers

There are no health risks with Weight Watchers. Costs for membership fees, for the weekly meetings and possibly for the special foods from Weight Watchers are a small disadvantage of this program.

The points table is rather problematic. Weight Watchers is oversimplifying here. Because no calculated system can correctly map the complex processes in the body that are necessary for absorbing, utilizing and digesting food.

Likewise, the consideration of the glycemic index when awarding points – and generally for the selection of foods for weight loss – is controversial. There is no conclusive scientific evidence that a low GI diet actually reduces the risk of obesity.

Read more about the glycemic index here .

The study situation is also not clear as to whether you lose weight more quickly and more with Weight Watchers than with other diets. Studies are cited on the Weight Watchers Germany website that are intended to prove the success of the program. However, their independence is at least partially in question. One of the demonstrably independent studies certifies Weight Watchers’ success in losing weight – but not greater in terms of number of kilos or dropout rate than with other concepts.

Weight Watchers: Fazit

Losing weight and keeping it off is always a question of fundamental changes in diet and an active lifestyle. Both are implemented at Weight Watchers.

In addition, the risk of a yo-yo effect is minimized because you can go to the meetings as long as you like. The frustration factor is low due to the lack of prohibitions, the motivation due to the group dynamic is high. Weight Watchers isn’t a miracle cure, but it is a nutritionally sensible way to lose weight – slowly, but over the long term.

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