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6. It’s the end of binge eating.
The lack of restrictions makes the plan easy to work. You can literally eat anything you want on Weight Watchers, so long as you account for it—and structure the rest of your intake around it accordingly.
Weight Watchers offers a lot of options. You can go to a weekly meeting, weigh in, and talk with others on the same path. You can do everything from the comfort of your own home (or phone) instead. You can even IM with a diet coach if you want, share pictures from your journey with others online, and more.
That day that I had a Manhattan and beers? It didn’t set me back mentally, emotionally, or physically. Instead, I just accounted for it and moved on. No guilt, none of that «since I already failed I might as well keep on eating.
By tracking everything I eat over the course of a day and a week, I learned to just just say no. It’s like there’s an invisible boundary there. Sure, I can fit tortilla chips (12 chips, 4 points) and salsa into my diet, but not the entire basket.
Now, I know what that basket will cost me—not just on the scale but in my food plan for the day or the week. Subconsciously, I can decide that I’d rather stop at a handful of chips than sacrifice say, dinner.
See the scale: Nearly five pounds in four weeks? That’s not so bad.
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When you join WW, you’ll be given a personalised SmartPoints Budget which takes into consideration your current weight, height, gender, and age.
It’s made up of a Daily Budget, plus a weekly allowance (also known as your weeklies) to spend on splurges, bigger portions or going out. Find out more about your SmartPoints Budget.
SmartPoints vs. calorie counting
3. There’s no hunger or deprivation.
If I was ever hungry on Weight Watchers, it was my own fault. If, for example, I chose to drink a 12 oz. coke that would take up nine of my daily points, without slaying hunger. For the same nine points I could have had two chicken fajitas, or 3 oz.
4. Cheaters win.
You know those diets where you’re not allowed to eat anything with, say, sugar? Or carbs? This isn’t one of them. When you want potato chips, you eat potato chips. You just build them into your diet plan, account for them in your point spending, and compensate for them with other healthy eating choices the rest of the day and week.
Old Points Calculator (U.S.)
Weight Watchers, founded in 1963, uses an approach to weight loss that emphasizes eating healthy foods in moderate amounts. No particular food group is off limits, but the program is based on counting assigned «points» in food to allow you a set limit of calorie consumption each day. While the program also encourages physical activity, successful weight loss can be achieved when the points are calculated correctly and consistently. Your point allowance is usually determined when you initially begin the Weight Watchers program, but the following instructions can help you work out your personal points allowance.
It seems like every Weight Watchers commercial features people — namely Oprah, these days — bragging about how many pounds they’ve lost.
But the calculation at the heart of the company’s lauded new program, Beyond the Scale, doesn’t actually take members’ weight loss goals into account.
The company started Beyond the Scale at the end of 2015. It assigns foods points based on their nutritional values, giving members a set number of SmartPoints they can eat per day (and week).
Weight Watcher’s Chief Scientific Officer Gary Foster said the calculation that determines how many SmartPoints members get only considers their height, weight, age, and gender.
The company’s calculation plugs these attributes into a widely cited scientific equation to determine members’ resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories their bodies burn per day carrying out basic living functions.
Once Weight Watchers has that number, the company uses it to determine how many calories members should be eating per day in order to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
Even if members want to lose more weight faster, Foster said, the company doesn’t support those goals because they’re often not safe.
«Losing more has some safety issues with it,» he told Business Insider. «We take these things very seriously. We will not prescribe an intake that we do not think is nutritionally adequate.»
As members lose weight on the plan, Foster said, they’ll get fewer and fewer SmartPoints to eat per day, gradually decreasing the amount of food they’re eating to foster weight loss.
Research on Weight Watchers has come to overwhelmingly positive conclusions about the company’s sensible rules, and the new program is even more in line with what nutritionists recommend.
Participants in a clinical trial on the original plan for a year lost nearly 7 pounds, and an analysis from the company following hundreds of thousands of members found they had 15% greater weight loss with the new program compared to the old one.
Some studies have even found that losing 1-2 pounds per week can be the most effective rate for maintaining weight loss.
Other studies have found Weight Watchers members also tend to lower their heart disease risk and blood pressure, as exercising and losing weight in general have also been shown to do. An interesting analysis (by a researcher who has been a paid consultant for Weight Watchers) found that participants on the plan for a year typically paid $70 per pound lost, but gained $54,130 in quality of life improvement.
So while it may be surprising that Weight Watchers doesn’t take into account how much weight members want to lose on the plan, scientifically, it’s actually a pretty good thing.
Used between November 2010 and December 2015 in the U.S.
Used before November 2010.