Many people look for a good diet program that can enhance their quality of life. One such program is called the Weight Watchers Diet. In this article, we’ll explore more about the Weight Watchers Diet, how it works, its benefits, and its effectiveness to weight loss.
Weight Watchers Diet: A Brief Backgrounder
As one of the best-known diet and weight loss program around the world, the Weight Watchers Diet is claimed to have helped millions of people lose significant amounts of weight. Last 2017, the Weight Watchers program got around 600,000 new enrollees to the program and the number of those individuals joining the said diet program seems to be growing in numbers with each passing year. Well-known stars and celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey experienced success in losing weight with the Weight Watchers program.
How Does Weight Watchers Diet Program Work?
Jean Nidetch authored the Weight Watchers Diet Program in the year 1963 from her home in Queens, New York. It started out as a weight program for her friends, which was done on a weekly basis. It eventually grew into one of the most well-known diet programs around the world. At first, the Weight Watchers Diet program started out like the diabetes exchange program where the counting of food items was conducted based on the number and volume of servings.
The Weight Watchers Diet program introduced a system of assigning points for various food items in the 1990s where food and beverages were scored or rated based on total content in terms of calories. The said diet program has continuously revised and improved its point system throughout the years. Its more recent change is a point system called the SmartPoints System.
What Is the SmartPoints System?
The SmartPoints system of the Weight Watchers Diet Program gave different food items a specific point or score based on the food’s fat content, calorie count, sugar levels, and protein. At the start of the Weight Watchers Program, dieters are given a certain amount of points depending on the dieter’s profile. This includes age, gender, height, and goals for weight loss.
There are no prohibited food items for the said diet program but the dieters are expected to stay below their assigned points if they wish to reach their weight loss goals. Naturally, foods that are healthier will have lower points or scores than processed and unhealthy foods such as soda and potato chips. One example of such a point difference is the point discrepancy between a glazed donut and yogurt. A glazed donut will rack up around 10 SmartPoints while yogurt will only get 2 SmartPoints despite both food items having a total of at least 230 Calories.
In 2017, another modification of the points system was implemented to make the Weight Watchers Diet program more user-friendly and flexible. To reflect this new system’s flexibility and dieter convenience, the points system was renamed as WW Freestyle. The WW freestyle system was similar to the Smartpoints system but with the added 200 Food items which had scored zero.
Based on the website of the Weight Watchers Dieters Program, the new WW Freestyle system is expected to make the life of dieters much more simple and convenient. This is because food items that were rated with a score of zero (0) did not have to be measured, weighed or monitored which can give dieters more freedom and flexibility when snacks and meals are prepared. Foods that have been rated as zero (0) include non-fat plain yogurt, tofu, beans, fish, skinless chicken, and eggs. Prior to the modification of the SmartPoints System, only starchy vegetables and fruit have a zero score. With the introduction of the WW freestyle system, foods that have a higher protein content were given lower points or scores while foods that are high in saturated fat and sugars were given higher points or scores.
In short, the Weight Watchers Diet program encouraged people to go for highly nutritious foods and healthier food items instead of simply basing their diet, health and wellness on numbers or points.
Can the Weight Watchers Diet Program Help People for Weight Loss?
Due to the fact that Weight Watchers uses a scientific approach to dieting, the said diet program focuses on healthy food choices, food portion control, and weight loss consistency. In addition, unlike other diets that are considered as a “fad” due to promises of weight loss in a short period of time. Weight Watchers Diet program teaches members that they will experience weekly and realistic weight loss if they follow the program as structured.
The Weight Watchers program also focuses on the modification of the dieter’s lifestyle and provides support to members through health and diet counseling. With all of these, evidence suggests that the Weight Watchers Diet program can indeed help people with their weight loss goals.
One study showed that people who were recommended by their doctors to lose weight did lose twice as much as the unwanted body weight through the Weight Watchers Diet program compared to just regular counseling from a dietician. Another study showed 1,200 adults who were obese lost significantly more weight with the Weight Watchers Diet program than patients who simply got advice for weight loss and information from self-help materials. In addition, the study also discovered that those who lost weight with the Weight Watchers Diet program was able to keep the unwanted weight off for almost two (2) years compared to those who lost weight through other methods.