I know what you’re thinking, it’s not exactly the trendiest, buzziest of diets out there right now.
Your mum or even your gran may have followed it over the years and it’s had its moment being shamed for not having any longevity and addressing psychological issues which may have led to weight gain in the first place.
Nevertheless, there is no denying it’s worked for so many women globally. Ambassadors like Oprah Winfrey and the Weight Watchers faithful will probably always swear by it – whether that’s dipping in and out, or reaching goal weight becoming a gold member, and then trying to maintain that perfect number on weigh day.
But if Weight Watchers is going to continue being successful, it needs to keep up the pace of member recruitment and focussing on what young women want right now – which is not a number on the scales, it’s about wellness, how we feel and becoming strong women both physically and mentally.
We are a more than just numbers, whether that’s a number on the scales, how many pounds we have to lose, what the inside of a pair of jeans says – we deserve to be counted differently.
This is just my view on whether Weight Watchers works for simply weight loss. So read on if you want to know more about the plan…
My Dieting Journey
My history with the D-word has been pretty obsessive over the years.
From being constantly slim as a child and teenager, it was like for most people, at University where I gained weight and is where I discovered Weight Watchers UK for the first time and yes I lost weight.
I won’t go into the details, but I’ve spent my entire adult life since losing and gaining the same stone and half-ish.
I’ve tried Slimming World, calorie counting, macro counting, the cabbage soup diet, listening to my body, cutting out dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol, caffeine – you name it I’ve tried it.
But actually, re-discovering Weight Watchers about seven years after I first walked into a class, was the best thing for my weight loss goals.
Yes, it’s essentially just a way of cutting calories. But it’s a plan. And I need that kind of shit in my life.
I don’t doubt that I should be living my best life, uncontrolled by the scales, and eating what’s right for my body. But if that means I pile on weight and I don’t fit in my clothes and I’m miserable, then it’s an oxymoronic place I find myself in.
Ah, Weight Watchers.
How does Weight Watchers work?
Basically, depending on a person’s weight, a set amount of daily points is given, as well as a set of weekly points which can be spread across the week or save up for treats.
The new Weight Watchers Flex means, just that, it’s flexible.
So foods which previously you had to point are now free. Free foods are white meat, all fruit and veg (except avocado and dried fruit), lentils, legumes and fish.
I find that sugary foods like a standard chocolate bar are around 12 points, so it’s a no-brainer when you only have 23 points a day what is the most sensible choice for lunch.
Chocolate or chicken?
Of course, that’s what your weekly points are for when you want a treat. Which is what chocolate bars should be…a treat, right? (I’ve had time where I’ve gorged on chocolate every day and end up with brain fog and feeling pretty down on myself).
I tend to save my weekly points for the weekends and then rollover between one and four points a day and bank them for the weekend.
This means I am free to go on a night out with my friends, or go for a meal or get a takeaway with my boyfriend – because that’s what life is all about – balance! And Weight Watchers enables you to balance liiiiiife.
You can sign up online which means you can track everything you eat digitally, including on the Weight Watchers app. Which is a god-send in the supermarket when you are considering whether a certain food will ruin your plan, you can just scan the barcode and it’ll tell you how many points it has.
If you would rather have the accountability of going to classes, then you will get that support from a local coach and like-minded Weight Watchers class members.
I’ve recently just joined a class and it’s given me so much more focus and having that official weekly weigh-in, keeps me going from week to week.
Does Weight Watchers work?
In short, it depends.
Yes, if you want to lose weight, absolutely! You must stick to the plan for it to work, especially if you’re like me and you’re within a healthy BMI, but you just want to shift half a stone to a stone.
Still I’ve been back on Weight Watchers for around 4 weeks and I’ve lost 5lbs, and that’s without any exercise (!) – that’s for another post, though.
I’ve also lost a stone on the old plan a few years ago but the weight crept back on.
If you have a little more weight to lose, then this plan could most definitely work for you. It’s restricting all the bad stuff and encouraging you to eat better. However, I find if I eat heavily processed foods, but still within my points, I don’t lose as much as when I’m cooking meals from scratch with lots of nutrients.
You have to be committed to the plan for it to work.
If you’re vegetarian or vegan, there are still plenty of free foods you can eat – legumes, dairy-free yoghurt, fruit, veggies, etc.
The reason why I am unsure whether it works, is because of what happens afterwards? It doesn’t have that longevity, and it is essentially a diet rather than setting you up on a healthy lifestyle.
Like, of course, it’s a great plan to lose weight, but are you going to follow the plan forever?
I don’t want to look at an avocado and think that’s going to make me gain weight if I eat that – it’s a bloody bit of avocado – one of the most nutritious and glowing skin must-haves about. I don’t want to be that girl! Plus I love avocado.
I’m hoping at the end of my journey, I’ll take the elements, that yes eating a load of fruit and veg is great as well as making sure I eat enough protein and limiting sugary foods to a treat – but I don’t want to live my life calculating how many points are in my food once at my goal weight, because I’ll be stuck on Weight Watchers forever.
I’m not sure if it sets you up for life after Weight Watchers and I do have concerns about wellbeing and those dieting issues one may have.
But if it gets me there, I’m all for it right now.
Have you tried Weight Watchers? Would you recommend it? What other diet would you vouch for? And do you think we shouldn’t even be dieting, just aiming for living a healthier lifestyle?