Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Does Weight Watchers really work?

A few months ago, I asked if any of my readers could share their experiences with Weight Watchers. I'd been plateaued with my own weight loss for several months and was thinking of switching from counting calories, to counting points.

I'm pleased to announce that I have been a member of Weight Watchers and have lost 8 pounds in 2 months.

I'd like to give my critique of the program, and why I think it's been working for me.

Instead of counting calories, people on WW count points. A point number is given to you during the registration process -- depending on your weight, height, age, and gender. I have 28 points to consume each day. In addition to your daily points limit, WW'ers are also given 49 "anytime" points each week to use for special cheats and splurges. It's also possible to earn "activity" points by exercising.

I have 28 points a day. Every food's given point value is based on its macro nutrient values -- specifically the protein to carb to fiber to fat ratio. 

As a previous calorie counter, It was a shift in thinking when I switched to counting points. I find that I care less about calories -- and more about the quality of food that I'm putting in my body. 

I do have two critiques though. First, because exercise is counted in points, I don't think you get as "much" back when you work out. For instance, 50 minutes on the elliptical could easily burn around 550 calories, right? That's the caloric equivalent of a Big Mac from McDonald's. That same intense 50 minute elliptical workout is only going to get me about 4 activity points -- which is the equivalent of just ONE of the following: 2 slices wheat bread, 4 oz chicken, 2 eggs, or a glass of wine. That being said, I never feel unsatisfied, because I do have my anytime points that I can dip into if I choose to.

The other critique is the alcohol factor. I'm a big wine drinker, so when I was counting calories, I'd make sure that I had about 300 calories left for two glasses of wine if I went out on a date or out with girlfriends. 300 calories is not that much of a sacrifice - when I was counting calories, I'd simply plan ahead and go to the gym to put in a half an hour of cardio. However, Alcohol in WW tends to be rated much higher because it lacks protein or fiber...... so a glass of wine is 4 points. 2 glasses is 8 -- that's how many I get for lunch! 

The bottom line is I really do like and support the program. I think it's easy to follow, and really forces you to say, "Do I really want that," and "Is it worth it" -- you know? I also believe the program encourages you to think of weight loss and healthy eating on both the daily and weekly platforms, because you do have to plan ahead. Also the meetings are an amazing support. 


  1. I possibly need to start WW then. My huge problem would be the alcohol.