Different diets explained: Weight Watchers
The Weight watchers diet. Different diets explained is a series where you find all the popular diets out there. You’ll see what their goal is, how it works and my thoughts on this diet. This time the Weight Watchers diet!
The general idea behind Weight Watchers
So what is the idea behind this diet? The weight watchers diet is a diet based on a SmartPoint system. You have a set amount of SmartPoints based on your current body and weight goals. These points are the base of this diet.
The diet does not restrict any foods and you can eat whatever you want as long as you stay in your SmartPoint target. The program has an online option where you track your own foods and exercise. Every food has its own value of points.
There is also the option for one-to-one consultations and group meetings. The SmartPoint system has nothing to do with the number of calories your food contains.
However, the foods that are more nutritious (like vegetables, lean protein, and starchy carbs) contain fewer points than those foods that are highly processed. This way the Weight Watchers diet forces you to make smart choices.
On your own with an app
It is possible to follow this program on your own with the Weight Watchers app. The app works as follows. You start with filling in your personal information like your height, weight, gender, and age. The app also keeps track of your activity.
With this information Weight Watchers gives you your set amount of SmartPoints that you can consume per day to achieve your goals. The app has a scanner where you can scan foods you want to eat and see how many SmartPoints they contain.
Next, to your daily SmartPoints, you get extra week points. You can divide these over the week or consume them all at once when you go eat out for example. This way you can have a bit more flexibility in your diet.
Weight Watchers International
Along with memberships and one-to-one consultations, Weight Watchers also sells other products. Packaged foods, DVDs and exercise equipment.
Buying these products is not necessary to follow the diet, but it’s is highly advertised on their site. The costs of a Weight Watchers diet are pretty high in comparison to other diets.
Purchasing 3 months on the diet will cost you 55 euros (about 64 dollars). This is more expensive than other diets that you can try out. It promises that you will lose 8 times more weight than doing it alone.
However, when you look at this study it does not have a great difference from other popular diets. A diet that operates in a somewhat similar way is the IIFYM diet. This gives you a set of macros that you can consume throughout the day, the diet is free and you can track the foods you eat with apps like MyFitnessPal.
Pros and cons of the diet
Weight Watchers is a diet that does not limit the food that you want to eat. It makes you conscious of what you eat. It doesn’t feel like you are actually dieting.
And you don’t have to buy certain products like shakes, bars or powders to follow the diet. These are all great things and make the diet sustainable for a longer time. Because there are no limits but it forces you to think about your food choices.
There are a few cons to this diet as well. Some products that contain low to no points may contain a lot of salt. This is not really bad but for some people it might be if you have pre-existing health conditions, this is something to keep in mind. Low points does not always equal healthy.
With your SmartPoints, it’s sometimes impossible to eat a healthy well-rounded diet. For example, one serving of unsalted nuts are high in points, but it is good to eat them regularly.
The Weight Watchers diet can be a solution if you have a hard time following strict diets. However, the main goal of this diet is to make money, so there will be products advertised to you.
You can find a lot of support in the diet if you join a community. However, there are other ways that work similarly as this diet that are cost-free. So it is up to you to decide which diet fits you best.
I am not the biggest fan of this diet, since it can make you think that certain foods are good or bad for you based on the points they have. Which do not always fall in line with their nutritional value.
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