Does Weight Watchers Really Work?

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Weight Watchers uses a point system to eat a healthful, low-fat diet that is customized to fit your nutrition needs. The diet plan does not restrict food groups or certain types of foods. The goal of Weight Watchers is teaching you to eat without deprivation. Exercise is a major part of this plan as well as weekly meeting or online support. Weight Watchers, like many diets, works if you follow the plan's mandates.

Point System

Weight Watchers' point system assigns points to foods based on their serving size, calories, grams of fiber and amount of fat. High-fat foods have more points. Most fruits and vegetables have few points because they are low in fat and high in fiber. Weight Watchers counselors determine the amount of points you consume based on your body weight and the amount of weight you need to lose. You receive a book that provides points of foods at restaurant chains and prepackaged foods at the grocery store. The point system works because you are conscience of the food you eat. Weight Watchers' website provides you with cheat sheets and recipes.

Meetings

Support is a key component to your weight loss journey with Weight Watchers. Members of this program are encouraged to go to group discussions and talk to counselors who will help as you change your diet and lifestyle. You also get weekly weigh-ins at centers. You can join the online community at the Weight Watchers website either exclusively or in conjunction with centers. Weight Watchers provides different avenues to stay connected with people who will motivate you to lose weight. Researchers at Columbia University Health Sciences found that people in a structured program such as Weight Watchers maintained weight loss more than people without support.

Weight Loss Journal

Weight Watchers participants are encouraged to keep a journal, tracking the food they eat, at what time of day, pounds lost and exercise done. This program makes it easy because you no longer have to carry a paper journal. You can keep an online weight loss journal on the Weight Watchers website. Dr. Edward F. Group III of the Weight Loss and Obesity Resource Center says it helps you applaud your success and record your frustrations and challenges.

Exercise

Weight Watchers does not work without exercise, and it provides general exercise programs. The program recommends moderate exercise, especially if you are more than 40 pounds overweight. Warm up five minutes, and do a 30-minute walk. Cool down and stretch after the workout is over. You can also do water aerobics or swim, ride bikes or do low-impact aerobics. Weight Watchers' website has weight-loss tools and demo workouts. Perform aerobics at least five days a week and strength train two or three days a week. Talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise routine.

Cons of Diet

Weight Watchers has all the requirements for a successful weight loss plan: structured eating plans, group support and exercise. It won’t work if you don’t apply the tools learned to everyday life once you lose weight. Weight Watchers won’t work if you can’t translate the point system to calories once you reach your goal or if you get frustrated with points.

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