Weight Watchers: yes or no?



  • 150poundsofme
    150poundsofme Posts: 523 Member
    For me, I do not care for WW's food allowances - with all their "free" foods, you can eat too much of them. I would rather have had a plan that said "eat two fruits, 3 veggies etc. Better guidelines. I do not really care for the leaders that I have had. They do not understand or accept that some people have an eating disorder and they have one set discussion each week with no help for the binger etc. They can be pushy with you buying their snacks (which I do not deem healthy). When you weigh in - if you think you gained and want a free pass, they will give it to you and then hand you another one. Then I feel you are not being honest or accountable with yourself. Oh, and be careful, if you want to quit, you need to do so I believe at least a month before you want to quit because otherwise they will just keep charging you your monthly bill. Ok, so I am not a fan.
    On the plus side, the last time I joined it was just so I could get weighed weekly. So depends what you want out of it. You get weighed, a plan, maybe make some friends in a similar boat. It may be just the think you need for motivation. Oh and sometimes there are specials but they don't share this - like if you already know someone in WW, they can invite you on their phone - they would get a free month and so would you.
    Even with all my negative points, I would still say to you to give it a try. For you, it would be new, exciting and motivating. You can give yourself a month or two. Sometimes they have a 3 month sign up special.
    Good luck
  • thelandkraken
    thelandkraken Posts: 91 Member
    I tried it for a while a year or two ago, and I didn't get along with it.

    I hated how two things similar in calories (e.g. chicken breast, and skinless chicken thigh) were vastly different in points for the same amount (something like 0 for breast and 5 for thigh). Also, having 0 points foods really screwed with me, because I can easily overeat all of those things. So I could theoretically have 4 plates of plain chicken breast with veggies and it would cost me no points - but it would sure as hell cost me in calories.

    I followed it rigidly, ate within my points or free foods, and I put on weight with WW. Shifted to MFP and I'm slowly losing weight now, because everything has a value so everything has to fit in my goal.
  • megamom
    megamom Posts: 920 Member
    edited July 2019
    I do WW and MFP and have for almost a year. I had never done WW before so can't say if this program is better but I hear they are more focused on healthy eating habits. I did on line only the first 9 months and just joined so I could do the meetings about 3 weeks ago since I am about 5 pounds to goal and when you make goal you get lifetime and free. I find the meetings have helped since I know I will have to go weigh in, accountability helps since getting this last 5 pounds off has been a bear. I had to tweak WW a little because I found I was working out so much but had zero energy when I was strictly on plan. I had to add some carbs and fats in to get my energy back. For me it is working doing both. I seriously think I would slowly go back to old habits without WW since it keeps me so aware. When I do reach lifetime I will probably do it for the rest of my life where as here I have quit and started several times over the years because really, who knew and who cared, right!. Do what works for you.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,951 Member
    edited July 2019
    JeBeBu wrote: »
    Suuzanne37 wrote: »
    I was with WW for a couple of years; I lost 40lbs and learnt a lot about logging and proper nutrition and received support from the meetings.

    If you can afford the membership and like meetings, then go for it. If the option is online; it’s better to stick to MyFitnessPal.

    I am not being "judgy", honestly questioning why this would be flagged? I want to make sure that I am understanding the rules!

    @JeBeBu per https://myfitnesspal.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1697770-how-do-i-report-inappropriate-forum-posts-or-spam- it shouldn't have been flagged for Spam as that flag is only for bots and that was clearly written by a human.

    Per https://www.myfitnesspal.com/community-guidelines it's not Advertising either.

    If whoever misflagged reads this they can unflag by reflagging.

    If anyone wants the flag cleared, they can Flag > Report > Other and note that it was "Misflagged for Spam."
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,951 Member
    I’m about 60lbs overweight and considering WW (formerly weight watchers.) But I’m concerned it may not be practical or sustainable. Anyone have an argument for or against the program? I could really use some advice. Thank you

    I did WW back in the 90's. I had an in-person meeting at my workplace, and a nice discount from my employer. I liked all that, plus the public accountability. I found the psychological/behavioral parts helpful.

    In 2012 I thought I would sign up again, and when complaining to my sister about how expensive it was, she told me about MFP, which I vastly prefer. It's free and no one is making value judgments about what I eat (arbitrarily awarding foods higher or lower points based on whatever the current point scheme happens to be).

    I think WW had its place before there were free tools like MFP, and now, in the hope of staying relevant, they need to continually change their program, which would annoy the heck out of me.
  • walkingfit2016
    walkingfit2016 Posts: 5 Member
    Freestyle the current program works if you have a lot of weight to lose and you are willing to pay attention to portion sizes even on the 0 point foods.If a person thinks of them as all you can eat foods it's not going to work.
  • idioblast
    idioblast Posts: 114 Member
    I did WW back in 2005 and it worked for me. I didn't really know anything about calories at the time and as I learned more going through the program, I switched over to MFP because it was free and I liked seeing the actual calories versus points. I did WW a few times over the last 5 years through work (although I still logged in MFP for the accuracy), but quit altogether when the new WW plan was announced. I'm pretty moderate carb and most of my normal snack choices (which I can eat and lose weight fine when logging in MFP) now have a crazy point value on WW because they really penalize carb heavy foods.

    For example, the other day my co-worker (who is currently doing WW) was hungry and I offered her a Larabar. She scanned it for WW and it was 8 points. EIGHT POINTS and her daily allowance is 24 points. She is the same height and about the same weight as me (maybe a little more). If I was doing WW and I ate 3 Larabars in one day (which I sometimes do because I like them), it would be my entire point allowance but only about 660 calories. Craziness!

    So yeah, I guess I'm no longer a fan of WW or think it is helpful in any way.
  • amusedmonkey
    amusedmonkey Posts: 10,330 Member
    edited July 2019
    No for me, possibly yes for someone who wants some structure and accountability and likes the kind of structure WW provides. I'm known to overdo "free" foods, and I dislike the high point cost of some foods that I can easily fit into my diet when I'm calorie counting. I also don't like that the same point count can vary in calories so there is a lot of uncertainty. I like numbers and accurate data, and I like that calories are easy to calculate. No convoluted point conversions.
  • chavala24
    chavala24 Posts: 2 Member
    edited July 2019
    Hi, I wanted to comment from a slightly different perspective, as someone who isn't actively using MFP but is currently using WW. I like to track data, but found calorie counting to be stressful, time consuming, and obsessive. It was depressing to only get 1,200 calories every day, and I struggled to accurately track calories. When I set out lose weight this time, I knew I wouldn't stick with counting calories, but I also knew that tracking helped me, so I gave WW a try. It's working for me for exactly the reasons that calorie counting didn't -- it's less exacting so I can stay on track by making a reasonable estimate when needed. It's forgiving, so if I have the pizza and beer I can track it and know the point system will provide the guide rails for making up for it over the next few days. It lets me eat anything but steers me toward vegetables and fish and reminds me to cut back on cheese and sugar. I don't have a problem with the zero point foods system because I know that I can't gorge on healthy foods and expect to lose weight. Instead, I find it a helpful prod to snack on vegetables if I'm hungry between meals. I find it easier to remember how many points my favorite foods have than calories, so I can quickly estimate how much of something I can eat and stay within my points. And while a free program sounds better than one you pay for, I'm actually more likely to be committed and accountable if I have to pay (I pay ~$13/month). I don't go to meetings or eat WW foods, just use the app.

    As a couple of others have said here, I think it just depends on what works best for you, which is why I wanted to share why WW works for me when MFP didn't. In general, I find the types of programs where you keep track of what you eat (WW, MFP) to be more effective for me than the kind where you eliminate food categories from your diet (low carb, keto, etc). So, in comparing WW or MFP it seems to simply boil down to how precise you like to be in tracking your food intake.
  • New_Heavens_Earth
    New_Heavens_Earth Posts: 610 Member
    My mom used to be an instructor for Weight Watchers. My mom is also obese and has yo yo dieted her entire life.

    I have two issues with Weight Watchers: first, the food selection and diet plan is very silly. If you like fish and fruit you can easily become obese eating “free” food. Not to mention, if you are diabetic, it can very nearly kill you - as happened to a diabetic member here who found his blood sugar shot way up from following their diet of “free” fruits and vegetables.

    And second, there’s the social aspect of it. It sounds great to have accountability buddies and support, but what you are getting is actually the input of other fat people and their bad habits. One of the strongest predictors of whether someone will become obese is whether or not their friends are obese. You don’t need the comfort and support of people who think it’s normal to be obese, you need the comfort and support of people who think it’s normal to run 5k, or go rock climbing, or play tennis. I’m probably going to get dissed for this opinion, but it’s based on watching my mother and her friends the entire time I was growing up, all telling each other it was “hard” to lose weight and “normal” to backslide. It’s not that hard to lose weight and it isn’t inevitable to gain it back. And I say that having lost 125 lbs and kept it off for two years so far.

    There are plenty of people in WW community who are rock climbing, playing tennis, running marathons, Crossfiting, dancing etc. Plenty have realized that obesity is not normal, acceptable, and is reversible. Plus they know backsliding is a real problem and act fast to reverse it. Those are the members who have lost weight on WW and kept it off for decades (I follow a power lifter who has kept her weight off for almost 25 years). Those are the members who I take advice and comfort from, as well as those who aren't at goal yet but are doing the dang thing despite adversity. Any bad habits you pick up are truly your fault. Not because you listened to someone less than thin.
  • Danp
    Danp Posts: 1,561 Member

    I've said it before and I'll say it again. WW is a scam designed to milk people of their money.

    First they hook you.
    They obscure simple calorie counting behind their WW plan and foods. This way you only know the WW plan and foods rather than how to do it yourself. So, in order to continue to lose weight you have keep paying them money to use their WW plan and foods.

    Then they ensure repeat business
    Since they only teach you the WW plan and foods as soon as you stop paying them and stop using the WW plan and foods you no longer have the tools to continue with losing weight (since you were never taught anything other than the WW plan and foods) and will gain it back again. Then then you think "Oh I need to lose weight and WW worked last time. I'll do that" and you start paying them money again.

    They're a business that makes money from people 'weight loss progress' not weight loss success and the longer they can keep you on the weight loss cycle the longer they can keep making money.
  • cleatusk
    cleatusk Posts: 1 Member
    I had lost 30 lbs here 2 yrs ago. Recently I joined WW online. The only difference between this program and WW is the monthly fee. One is pts one is calories. Both are good.
  • melanie_589
    melanie_589 Posts: 2 Member
    I did WW for a few months earlier this year. Why I quit, and what I did not like, was one day I had a stomach virus and had half a ginger ale, some crackers and some chicken noodle soup. My calories came to 500ish, but I was over my points. They over inflate points to compensate for the free foods.
  • chavala24
    chavala24 Posts: 2 Member
    Danp, I think your perceptions are based on an ancient version of WW, maybe? There is no need to eat WW foods and as an online user I have no idea where I would even find such foods. I do pay for their online program, but as I mentioned above, that works for me. I have no intention of paying for it forever, only as long as it takes to internalize the habits their program teaches, which for me is much easier and more sustainable than tracking calories. It's not hard to continue tracking on your own without access to the program once you have experience using their point system. A lot of people benefit from the social aspect and are willing to pay for it. More power to them if that's what works.

    Melanie, if you had a stomach virus, why not cut yourself slack that day and not track? The point is to encourage and habituate healthy eating, and there is plenty of flexibility to take a break if you're sick for a few days. Personally, when I'm sick I don't give a *** what an app on my phone thinks about my food choices that day.

    The programs are different strokes for different strokes, but I'm surprised by some of the funny misconceptions in this thread. Shouldn't someone who's diabetic be getting advice from a doctor about their diet? If someone is nearly killing themselves by eating too much fruit, is that the program's fault?
  • phred_52
    phred_52 Posts: 189 Member
    For me, I would say No. Maybe I should read about it, but I do see one must pay to join.

    I only say no because why pay for something one can do for free.

    As some have said, MFP is free, and Lots of support is available here for those needing such.