Weight Watchers Meetings
By Jackie Wicks PEERtrainer Founder
Weight Watchers Meetings: An Overview
Weight Watchers meetings are a unique and valuable tool to help people lose weight. They are held in schools, offices, shopping malls, churches and community centers, and have been around for close to 40 years. These in person meetings are probably the most proven weight loss tool in the industry, and are unique to Weight Watchers.
The Benefit of Weight Watchers Meetings
The main benefit that one gets from the Weight Watchers meeting ideally is support that leads to lasting behavior change. One is supported by the meeting leader, and one is supported by the other members of the meeting. When these conditions are in place, change can take place.
What are Some of The Drawbacks of Weight Watchers Meetings?
The meeting leaders famously vary in quality. Weight Watchers pays very little to their meeting leaders, which helps the profitability of the company tremendously. As a result you get leaders who want to be there for their own benefit. Most meeting leaders have been through the Weight Watchers program themselves, and often use their role as meeting leader as their own accountability mechanism.
What Are The Best Days To Go To A Weight Watchers Meeting?
This is one of most often asked questions. Some people like to go to a Weight Watchers meeting on the weekend to help them stay on track during what is often one of the hardest periods of the week for most people. Other people like to go to meetings on Monday or Tuesday because they want to weigh in AFTER a long weekend. This can serve as a powerful incentive to stay on track during the weekend, knowing that there is a scheduled weigh in coming up.
Weight Watchers Meetings: A PEERtrainer Community Review:
We recently surveyed the PEERtrainer community and asked how Weight Watchers Meetings have helped them and what advice they would give to people considering attending the meetings. This is a sample of some of the more interesting comments, that we feel paints a pretty accurate picture of how different people respond to the meetings.
Paying Weekly Meeting Dues Is A Drawback For Some
This is an interesting response from a member who found the Weight Watchers meetings impersonal, and not helpful with their emotional eating issues.
"I went to Weight Watchers for 2 years, lost weight but did not make my goal weight, quit, and gained it all back and then some. Weight Watchers is a very good program and I hear that they have improved it. I just got really tired of paying weekly dues and not really losing weight very quickly. I spent over $1000 over two years time. I have done much better with PEERtrainer but am stuck at a plateau just like I did with Weight Watchers. PEERtrainer gave me better tools and accountability and dealt with the emotional aspect better. It was more personal. I belonged to a big WW group and it was really hard to get personal help. I can always count on a group or team to advise or encourage me right away. The PONR program was a huge help to me and with it I lost 29 lbs. I have gained 2 lbs. so I have a total of 13 lbs. to go to reach my goal."
Feeling Judged In A Weight Watchers Meeting
This is an interesting comment because it does show the peer pressure that a Weight Watchers meeting can provide. This pressure can cut both ways, and for this person it was not helpful because they were not addressing their "obsessive behavior."
"I have attended WW, but my last meeting was about 4 years ago. I felt very judged, b/c I was having trouble losing, even though I had already lost 50 lbs. All I could think about was points, & I just couldn't handle my obsessive behavior. I don't see myself ever going back, or recommending it."
Hard Time Finding A Weight Watchers Meeting
This person really enjoyed the meetings, but no longer has access to them:
"I enjoyed the meetings but we don't have Weight Watchers here any more so that is why I don't go."
Good Example Of Success
This next comment is interesting because it shows the power of finding a really good meeting leader. In this case the instructor had the skills to motivate and also some genuine compassion. And it resulted in success.
"It resulted in me losing weight because of the sense of accountability it created for me. The instructor's warmth, compassion for attendees and ability to motivate was key to my success."
Question: Have You Attended A Weight Watchers Meeting In The Past 5 Years? How has it helped you and what advice would you give to people considering attending a meeting?
Complete List Of Responses:
1. "I went back to WW in Nov 2009 and lost 2 stone 8.5lbs in approx 6 months. Hit my goal weight but struggling to maintain it! I have just started attending WW meetings here in Geneva Switzerland where I live; the meetings have been very inspiring and have made me feel less isolated, more "normal" about a very common problem. The WW facilitator here is very open, positive, and totally inspiring. Waited too long to give it a shot."
2. "Find a group of like minded people. If you aren't comfortable with the people you won't share or attend or benefit. Go to several different meetings at different times/days until you find one that "feels right." You'll be glad you took the time in the beginning. It will keep you on track."
3. Yes. It helps because it give you a weekly reboot to stay focused and motivated. It's external and helps you shake off the bad week or build the good weeks up.
4.No, but I try and count points. I had great success with using peertrainer but not with ww.
5. I have attended Weight Watcher meetings, maybe just over 5 years age. Had a hard time connecting with the folks running the meeting.
6. No, but I did Weight Watchers in the past (2002 and in the 90's) successfully. But I found the public weigh-ins stimulated a shame response in me. I also found that the points system wasn't geared enough (for me) toward eating healthfully. I understand from PEERtrainer that all that has changed.
7. Helped briefly, but I found that I was eating a lot of junk while staying within my points.
8.Around 5 years ago Because of pending knee surgery I went to the only meeting which was 25 minutes away and at night. I managed to lose 10# and quit because of the hour. I would very much recommend WW as they are very supportive, have a doable diet and exercise plan and gives you enough flexibility with food choices to be able to really enjoy food while loosing.
9. I have been going to Weight Watchers for the last 5 weeks. I don't know why I am staying on the plan except that I use weight as a suit of armor and I am not needing some of if now. I don't know how long this will last. My advice for anyone--- go to the meetings especially if you don't want to- track your food especially when you don't want to and finally stay on the plan when you least want to stay on the plan is when your body is shifting and losing weight
11.I went to two meetings. I didn't feel comfortable. No one was talking and the person who led it wasn't interesting.
12. It has helped me learn portion control. I learn a lot from the meeting members and the leader. I really like the accountability and support I get.
13. I've been attending this past year and would HIGHLY recommend it. I would not recommend any of their "food" products because they are processed junk, but their concept of filling foods, 35 extra points for the week and earning points from exercise has completely changed my way of eating.
14. Yes, the meetings are very good but depend on how good the leader is. WW gives you the tools to eat correctly emphasizing portion control.
15. Love the support and the people. Also love the fact you can bring you questions there and get information. There is a lot of variability among leaders and the communities that form around various meetings. When it's possible to find a leader that speaks to your needs (I found two) and meeting members you find fun to relate to, that is invaluable.
16. Attended meetings at work. Helped me focus on my weight, but i didn't like sharing this kind of personal experience with my co-workers.
17. It is helpful in giving you confidence that you can really eat anything as long as you control your portions throughout the day. The fresh start of each week's weigh in helps me "recommit" each week.
18. Not designed for my dietary requirements. Always cook from "scratch"; fresh, preferably natural, whenever possible. Very salt restricted - 1000 mg/day - MD ordered. Do not eat out.
19. Weight Watchers is an excellent program but not all people lose weight with WW. I would say, give it a try and if you can lose weight then it's worth the money you would have invested in it.
22. Yes. It provides me with structure and accountability.
23. It was helpful to have ideas and support from others. I would advise others to make going to meetings regularly a priority.
24. Yes I have... I did WW about 8yrs ago successfully- but after keeping it off for 3 years it crept back on then I tried it again twice only going to 2 or 3 meetings each time and not really getting very far.
25. Looking back on my first experience WW really taught me the importance of portion control- but I was eating really unhealthy food... Since then I developed an eating disorder and unfortunately added a lot of emotional baggage to food. Therefore, I think WW is great for people who don't have a ""complicated"" relationship with food, people who need guidelines and help with portion control-for them I think WW is great!
26. I joined a month ago. It's helped me.
27. Yes, if you follow the program you will lose weight
28. It worked for me years and years ago but now has too many choices
29. Get on a version of Medifast. So much more effective.
30. I have been lifetime for 20 years and have been attending meetings regularly over the last 20 months (losing 15 pounds in the first 6 and keeping off @12 since then). The weekly meetings are extremely helpful and the program is very healthy and fairly easy to follow.
31. I am a Life Member....several times! Excellent general advice and strategies, not just the "eating plan"....BUT, and this is a big BUT it nearly all depends on your leader and whether she suits your personality. It is worthwhile visiting several different meetings if you have the choice. it also depends whether you can make some good friendships amongst the members attending...as with Peertrainer!
32. Yes -- several times. Most recently 7/09 to 12/09. Currently I use WW points counting without attending meetings or joining online. I would advise those thinking of attending to definitely do so. The program works and it is nice to be around other people going through the same thing as you. You get great tips on how to manage things -- from the leader and from the other members. For the money, I think it's the best program out there.
33. Yes, many. I think I might even join more meetings for extra support.
34. I used to attend every meeting for the weigh in, and sometimes stay for the session, sometimes not. I personally, work in health care, specifically in a fitness related profession, so I was already very familiar with nutrition and exercise recommendations. That was not useful to me, but I could see how it would be very useful for others. For me the biggest part of attending the meeting was about the accountability of showing up and having to acknowledge what I had done for the week and how I did on the scale.
35. Yes, I wish there was a way to skip the weigh-in and just attend the meeting. There is too much emphasis on the scale.
36. No, I do Weight Watchers online exclusively. The meetings are held at times that are not convenient for me.
37. I have been attending for past five months and having success. attend for sure, the support is terrific. advice would be make fruit and veggies 50% to 80% of every meal, and plenty of water
38. Yes, my husband and I did. I would tell anyone who really wants to lose weight and can be happy doing it "a day at a time" Weight Watchers is great. It is a really good program.
39. I have attended, but have dropped off the wagon and gained back almost all of the 50 lbs I lost. I know the program works.
40. I've lost on weight watchers. Great program!
41. I could see how this would work, just wasn't in the right frame of mind to succeed.
42. I attend regularly. I love Weight Watchers and would recommend it to anyone. I have changed my eating habits, how I think of food and so much more in my life, and I learned that at weight watchers.
43. I didn't find it helpful at all. I found that the leaders were not nearly as up to speed as the coaches on Peer Trainer. They were outdated, with Momentum Program being the newest thinking. With all we know now about plant based eating etc. It seemed totally lacking.
44. it did help. it got me enthusiastic - depending on the leader, it can be very energizing. Never just go and weigh in and leave. That just does not even make sense. Why bother to pay for just that??
45. I have attended. I have gone to scores of weight watcher meetings and they are the same thing over and over and over.
46. No, but about 10 years ago I did. It motivated me to see the other people weighing in and being successful, and also motivated me when they were nto successful, because it made me want to work harder to lose more.
47. Yes- made my goal. Great to learn what works for others. It forced me to have to plan a time for myself so I would achieve success. Weight Watchers is a good concept if you are able to keep a keep up with counting points. That was my downfall.
48. Yes. It helped focus and have something measurable to go by. took out the guesswork. Advice- give it a try. did think there was too much emphasis on the little snack things instead of real food.
49. Yes Lost 14 pounds in 12 weeks. Follow the momentum plan. Don't over estimate you workout points.
50. Never considered attending because I am not obese and I feel others would look at me and wonder why I am there.
51. It helped me to have to be accountable for what I ate.
52. No - but I am definitely toying with the idea of joining.
53. I have never attended, but have considered it lately
54. There is a wide variation in leaders. If someone goes and does not like the leader, try a different place/time/leader. The most effective leaders are the ones who you mesh with....and who are clearly doing it because they believe in the program.
55. It helped to hear others' experiences, and get guidance in things like portion control, etc.
56. Yes, enjoy the accountability, sharing tips, timely reinforcement & encouragement.
57. I love Weight Watcher meetings, they keep you accountable. i need to go back.
58. As long as I attended the meetings it was helpful. when I stopped going to the weigh -ins I started over eating again.
59. Yes. I've been a WW off & on since the early 70's when I quickly reached my goal wt of 138 to become a lifetime member. The meetings are about 30 min long, taught by a WW who has succeeded on the WW program, maintained their goal wt, and learned to teach others to succeed as well. You weigh in privately prior to the start of the 30 minute mtgs, and I never found the structure conducive to networking to connect with others looking for an exercise partner or someone to work the program with. The groups have seemed large & impersonal. Although you wear name tags, the leaders, and the other WW's don't know you - so it always felt very impersonal to me.
60. Yes. found it to be too lenient. able to eat anything just counting points.
61. I have attended in the past 5 years. when i first signed up in 2001 I was very motivated, attended meetings regularly, and religiously wrote down my every meal - even 48 point days! This is what makes WW successful but... it works best when all 3 of those components are in place. I love WW but have not been successful as of late and I'm not sure why.
62. Yes; good info, but there is lots of other stuff you can incorporate to see what works for you--especially if you already generally eat healthily. Also: go with a friend, if you can.
63. Yes I quit two years ago but I attended regularly for a year... Great advice, very little I didn't know... I don't like strangers clapping for me. I don't like trinkets or stickers so it wasn't for me... However I loved the accountability of weighing in in front of people.
64. I have but I hated it. If anyone is helped then it helped. Consider something else.
65. Yes. I don't feel it worked for me
66. Weight Watchers is the real deal. It is the only diet I have ever lost weight on. I am a Lifetime Member, and have maintained my weight for over 6 years. Still counting those points religiously.
67. Yes, I went for about 5 months from Nov 2008 to May 2009. I was there while they transitioned from the Core and Flex programs to Momentum. The support was helpful but I really didn't like the fact that it tended to be more "lecture" by the leader than participation by the group. I'm sure leaders vary in their styles...shop around different leaders/classes if your schedule permits.
68. It has given me strategies for dealing with holidays, ideas for recipes and general support through my weight loss effort.
69. attended a 'weight watchers at work' series. It was helpful, but not really the right program for me.
70. A lifetime WW member, I found their earlier weight guidelines too unrealistically low and their dependence on their own lactose-rich foods too painful. I am severely lactose intolerant.
71. yes. Did not help. Instructor was not motivating.
72. yes, they have a lot of good ideas..and recipes..I did find that they were not that friendly, and didn't make you feel welcomed
73.I have but it really turned out to be too expensive. There is an organization called TOPS that is a lot cheaper. As a matter of fact he founder of Weight Watchers was one of the first members of TOPS
74. Yes - keeps me accountable and encouraged. Go to a meeting- it's likely to be helpful.
75. Yes. I like being with other people that are trying to lose weight. Meetings are good because you want to have good weigh-ins.
76. yes. they did help, but i found the recommended "fake foods" and comments at weigh-in ("you didn't do as well this week, try harder" etc. sometimes your body is adjusting) were what made me quit.
77. If they had a slimming world club where I lived I´m sure I would have attended these. WW is something I´m thinking about IF I don´t get myself back on track in the next two weeks. A last resort sort of thing. I´m thinking that maybe having to account to a live group of people may help although diet wise I prefer the Slimming World or Montignac."
78. I did about 5 years ago and lost 9 pounds. The weight crept back and when I went to try it again, it failed. I think because I was then hypothyroid and postmenopausal. I also did not like the vibe from the online boards the second time around. I felt they didn't believe me what I was eating.
79. I attended WW for almost a year. As soon as I stopped going, I regained all the weight. I realize that being accountable for weighing in kept me on track. I only stopped going because of increased work hours. Its hard to start back up, don't know what's stopping me.
80. "I have joined up with Weight watches, it really did help me lose the weight, the constant accountability was what really nailed it for me.
81. There programs are really sensible, and work if you stick to it."
82. yes, but I felt like it wasn't going to help even though it used to help in the past, so I stopped going. not attended one.
83. yes,I attend weekly; I am a former lifetime member
84. Yes. Joined at the very end of April (April 30) for the $120 summer season pass. Lost the weight I had hoped to lose by following the plan. Made Lifetime the last meeting of the season. Missed only one meeting so far., and I find that the combination of tracking, the accountability of the weekly weigh-ins, and the mutual support of the WW meetings is what keeps me motivated and successful.
85. Not in the past 5, but in the past 15. It's the accountability thing and in the meetings you meet people that have tips for foods with lower "points" or ways to stay on the program when you are feeling the urge to cheat etc.
86. yes, I attended as a physician and specialist in nutrition. Sure it is helpful to share experience. you must be conscious about what you eat and do.
87. Yes I currently attend now. I find the meetings helpful in their information, support and accountability. Even though weigh-ins are private, knowing that I have to go do it, is enough to keep me on track!
88. Yes I have. I think it's a good plan but I became impatient with the meetings because some of the discussions I found to be tedious. (Ex: which butter spray tastes the best)
89. I am at goal with WW. I had my stomach stapled in 1988 when it was major surgery. Lost my weight then gained half of it back when I joined WW and got to goal weight in 2005 and have kept it off since. This is the longest I've ever been a normal weight in my life. I am 61 years old. WW is the only program that is free when you reach and maintain goal. They want their members to be healthy, they aren't looking for lifetime 'cash cows'.
90. I have attended and it's not for me. Kind of flaky really.. some good tools for sure but the meetings with the tokens for 5lb etc don't cut it for me.
91. Yes, I have attended. I lost over 10% of my body weight over the course of 3-4 months. The meetings were helpful only in that I was held accountable for the weigh-in portion. The meeting itself wasn't that helpful to me. I know what I need to do. Plus, I'm not sure that their eating plan, pushing the WW brand, is that healthy...a lot of ingredients rather than simple food.
92. Yes, two years ago. I was on the plan for 20 weeks.I think its a good plan but expensive. I didn't like attending the meetings. The people in the group were a bit negative, too stressed out about the weight ins and stressed about losing the weight. I had a hard time shielding myself from their emotions.
93. Yes, it helps if you can find a leader that knows how to keep the group actively engaged. Don't stop if you are not impressed with the group try a different meeting. Accountabilty and support helped me.
94. I feel that it program is flawed because it says you can eat whatever you want within your points--- NOT including SALT OR added SUGAR R(ADDED CANCER)
95. Yes I did weight watcher the point system really does work. Smaller portions. When eating out only get a box to go right away and only eat half.
96. Yes, I attend WW now. I'm a life time member for 34 yrs. It is the safest way to lose weight. You have to make wise choices. Monday meetings have been my most successful. Thursday and Friday, I binge all weekend
97. "Yes, I have attended Weight Watchers. I am a 50 yr old female. Their program is a real eye opener. I had no idea how much food I was consuming before I started logging and tracking points. The key to sticking with it is to find foods that fit into your daily points allowance that you really enjoy. I have the mindset that if I want to cheat all the time, then this will not be the lifestyle change that I'm searching for. So change it up when you get sick of it....more protein, less carbs....more carbs, less protein. Start counting points at the evening meal and use what you have left for breakfast and lunch the next day AND eat all the veggies you can! Eat an entire bag of 1 pt popcorn. Cook up a whole bag of spinach. There are tons of things you can eat and stay within your daily points."
98. I have. No program works until someone is really ready mentally to follow it.
99. Yes. The Plan works and the tips received at meetings is very helpful
100. Yes. The first time around was fabulous, and I was inspired by leader. The second time I joined, after the birth of my second child, I found the leader totally uninspiring and it didn't help at all. Now. I'm trying again, in a new city, and hopefully with a more inspirational leader. I like the points, but I don't like the 'you can eat anything' philosophy. Often WW recipes have "fake" food in them, which I think is really unhealthy.
101. Not in the last 5 yrs but did in the past. You have an incentive as you meet every week. Yes...it helps
102. Seems that there are more "very overweight" people attending those meetings (for the most part) and are talking about help with not eating an entire cake or bag of chips, etc. There seems to be less advice geared towards the athletes or advanced fitness people who are struggling with the last 10-15 lbs.
103. Yes. I have attended weight watchers on and off for 40 years. They are on much healthier track. The support is great. My problem with it, it takes time to focus on any structured diet. When you have a stressful job. Food is a soothed for me. That is why weight watchers is unsuccessful For me.
104. It has helped reinforce good eating habits, especially the tip about making half your plate fruits or veggies. yes i did not have money for this
105. The information about appropriate portion sizes and nutrition was informative. As a result, I read food labels to understand what's in a product, and that determines whether or not I buy it."
106. Yes. The "group" working together with the same goal is helpful. Also, the program is solid and so flexible that it's pretty easy to follow. I've been going for 5 months, and it's almost like a therapy group for me now. I look forward to meetings to help keep me on track.
107. Yes. I lost 40 pounds and kept it off for a year. I stopped going to meetings and hav gained back 7 pounds. I learned how to make better eating choices
108. Yes it helps - I find I do better when I track and when I actually attend meetings. I have been a member at least 6 times in the past. I have currently been a member for the past year and have lost 26 pounds this time. I'm down 54 pounds since the end of 2000. I still have about 45 more pounds to go
109. Yes. . .I recently joined and I quit. I have had success with the program in the past; however, I am older now and I just didn't find what I needed from WW.
110. "I am a WW Lifetime member; having achieved my goal 9 years ago. When I joined, I weighed 222 lbs., I now weigh 135. I continue to weigh-in, monthly, but I no longer go to the meetings. When I did attend them, it was the weekly weigh-in that kept me accountable, not the meetings,"
111. Yes; Helpful once lose weight. After that, maintaining...NOT helpful!
112. Yes. The key is to stay for the meetings and not skip as it is easy to fall off the wagon.
113. Yes. I am actually a lifetime member, but consistently 10-12 lbs over my goal weight. I like the social support, but I stopped going because it made me focus too much on food--I don't like counting points and I don't like using "fake foods" with artificial sweeteners, etc. I preferred the old Core program (very healthy foods and no counting), and never really connected with the Momentum /Simply Filling method that replaced Core a couple years ago.
114. "Yes. The Weight Watchers program has helped me to make better food choices to help combat hunger while at the same time remaining within the plan guidelines. Although my weight loss has been minimal, it's my own fault for not consistently following the plan and not exercising on a consistent basis.
115. The meetings help provide focus and support. Getting weighted in by another person is the key point to meetings. When I did attended meetings (about 1 year ago), I lost the most amount of weight in a short time (2 months).
116. The best advice I would give someone about Weight Watcher's meetings is to attend every week and stick with it for more than a couple of months. Don't expect to lose weight every week; you will more than likely gain a few pounds from time to time for no apparent reason, but still stick with it."
117. I have. It didn't really help me because there was so much "fat talk" about how "bad" people were that week, and advice to eat fake food like fat free hot dogs and fat free Cool Whip.
118. WW was helpful in that it reinforced portion sizes, because my portion distortion was way out of whack! However, I never, ever lost more than 5 pounds on WW. I would tell others to give it an honest effort... but it is not for everyone and it didn't work for me... but hopefully they will have different results!"
119. Yes , I have been successful at weight watchers, twice. I am just SO reluctant to start again. I know just what they're going to say.....
120. I did it 10 years ago, and it was humiliating. I confessed to some bad habits and was mocked by the leader. However, I have bought and used their most recent cookbook which is very good.
121. I haven't within 5 years, though I did before that. I would highly recommend WW to anyone.
122. I used to be a WW member but unfortunately they ceased operations in my country many years ago. It used to help me and if anyone has meetings nearby I would urge them to attend.
123. Yes. F/36 It made me food obsessive counting all those points and did not work for me.
124. Yes, I went to one. It was nice, but a pain in the rear to get to. I showed up several times for another meeting and could never seem to get times right.
125. I have never attended a weight watcher meeting, but I was am member online for one year. I did not loose any weight on their program so I do not buy those little red box meals any more.
126.Yes. It reinforces why I'm doing what I'm doing and reminds me that others have the same struggles. There is no stigma - there are people of all sizes and I've found the meetings to be nothing but supportive and encouraging.
127. Yes, I love the meetings because it helps me to stay accountable. When I hear that someone lost weight it makes me jealous and it helps me stay motivated.
128. Yes many, it really helps to hear what others are struggling with. It also is nice to feel like you are not alone in this. Its also really helpful when the leaders give you information.
I did not gain much from the few meetings that I went to. The person running the meeting and myself did not see eye to eye on several things. The main one was that she kept saying that WW wasn't a "diet" but then would refer to sticking with our "diet" during her talks. She would also ask questions such as: Is it ok for your friends or family to have an ice cream sunday every night after dinner. When I answered no she argued that we shouldn't push our "diets" onto our friends and family and that it should be ok for them to have their ice cream if they wanted it. My argument was that this wasn't a diet, it was a lifestyle change and if the people you are around are eating ice cream every day then something needs to change. Log story short we didn't see eye to eye so I stopped going because I felt that all that I wasn't gaining anything from her except experience with debating.
Yes. My leader rewarded us with a ringing of a bell if at weigh in if we lost. Ridiculous, but it was motivating.
I think the WW booklet'advice is very good, but not as much help as on the PEERtrainer audio messages; also, getting to meetings is difficult to schedule -- but once you commit, I think it's a good program. I like the anonymity of PT
Yes. I lost 58 pounds from November, 2008 to December, 2009. I have kept the weight off to date and don't plan on getting it back! I love the flexibility of the WW program and the fact that I can still cook. The support from both my leader and the members of my meeting made a huge difference for me. For example, many of us started doing 5K's during the summer and that was so much fun. When one of us was feeling a little down, everyone worked hard to prop that person up. One of our members lost over 150 pounds on the Weight Watchers program.
Yes. I am (as of 2 months ago) a lifetime member and go at least every other week. It has helped me lose 20 pounds (with exercize). As far as advice I would say by all means attend a meeting, and if you find yourself not comfortable try another meeting with a different leader. Each location has multiple leaders and I find there will be one fit for every person. If after trying 2-3 meetings you still are not comfortable, try WW online instead. The meetings are truly helpful and insightful though.
If You Are Interested In The Weight Watchers Points System, You May Be Interested In The Following Articles:
1. The Seven Steps To Make Weight Loss Permanent
2. How To Train The Mind For Permanent Weight Loss Using Hypnosis
3. The #1 Thing You Need To Do When You Want To Lose Weight For Good
4. Weight Loss Motivation 101
The Weight Watchers Momentum Program
This is a brand new offering from Weight Watchers that is designed to address one of the key criticisms of the program, that people often feel hungry on it a lot. The Momentum Program helps dieters identify specific foods that are healthy and also help them feel full. There are different programs for men and women. Combining the quality food focus of the new Momentum program plus counting points will definitely help you get started on your diet. If you want more detail on the Weight Watchers Momentum Program click here.
The Filling Foods List
This is a new part of the Weight Watchers Momentum Program that helps to identify foods that will help you feel full and lose weight. Foods like hummus and avocado are emphasized for example, and foods like dairy and meat are de-emphasized. The key is finding foods that you personally like, and their program helps you focus on that right away. The only way you will stick to the program is if you enjoy that- and they focus a great deal on that.
Is It Hard To Get Started or Get Back On Track?
At PEERtrainer, we understand the specific challenges people face in their quest to lose weight. You might be doing great on Weight Watchers for three weeks and then you are "ambushed" by a social event. Maybe you find yourself eating at night and know that is the one thing that trips you up. Or your friends and family might not have the same commitment to overall fitness and health, and you find your self constantly tripped up. In situations like these, you know exactly what you need to do, but you find yourself continually back at the same place.
PEERtrainer has put together The Point Of No Return Program to deal with situations like these, and help you develop the skills you need to get you to the "point of no return", where you feel empowered to deal with daily challenges. If you feel like you are not ready to start Weight Watchers, this program will help you get there. And if you are having a hard time sticking to the program or going to your meetings, this program will help.
Weight Watchers Meetings-- Group Support and Behavior Modification
One of the reasons Weight Watchers is so successful is that their system and formula is based on proven, scientific principles. Key to this is the idea of "behavior modification." One can diet and reduce their calorie intake on a temporary basis, but it is only through changing one's behavior and habits long term can you lose weight on a more permanent basis. But change is difficult, as most of us know well, and key to fostering long term behavior change is group support. When one is engaged in a difficult task like losing weight, you need others to help you. And most often your friends and family are not up to the task. And you would not want to put that burden on them. That is where Weight Watchers Meetings come in. You go once a week, weigh in, and get the support and advice you need to keep following through. The meetings are extremely popular.
Understand that there is no magic weight loss bullet, and think of Weight Watchers as an excellent tool among many tools that you can fuse together. This approach is called Diet Fusion, where you might do Weight Watchers and another diet like Fat Smash or Dr. Fuhrman at the same time. eDiets is another company that has evolved their offering in a positive way. They now offer fresh meal delivery to your home.
The Three Most Important Things About The New Weight Watchers Momentum Plan and System:
1) Excellent Recipes and Food Ideas. longtime WW members are saying that the company has done a TON in this area. There is much more choice and quality.
2) Much More Focus On Healthy Foods. They used to focus simply on low calorie and point foods. Now they place a high priority on healthy foods and they do this through great recipes that people want to do.
3) More focus on the psychology of weight loss. You can see an example here with this weight loss readiness assessment. Basically you have to want to lose weight, and this test helps you find out how much you really want it.
How Long To Do Weight Watchers?
Once you know the Points System, and understand what your daily targets are, you will have a good grasp on the basics of the system. You can go to their weekly meetings, which cost roughly $13 per week, and get support from their leaders. Some leaders are very helpful and motivating, other leaders are less so. Many people swear by their weekly meeting, and go for years. But the key point of the meetings is support. And there are many lower cost alternatives to Weight Watchers and different ways to get the support you need to follow the Points system.
What are Some of The Drawbacks of the Weight Watchers System?
Many people argue that Weight Watchers encourages or enables the continued eating of junk food. Weight Watchers works because of its focus on portion control, and high fiber low fat approach. But recent scientific work is pointing to this being an incomplete approach to losing weight. It is only through a nutrient rich approach to eating can one lose weight permanently, and Weight Watchers has no way of incentivizing people to choose whole foods over processed foods. Weight Watchers also sells a line of processed foods that really do not provide optimal nutrition. ***August 20th, 2009 update- Weight Watchers appears to be working to steer people away from these processed foods and towards healthier foods. We will update this page as we get more data points on this important issue.
The Cost of Weight Watchers Meetings
The costs vary through out different parts of the country, but I think they only vary by a few dollars:
Joining fee-$35 (online$25)
seniors-62 years and students 22 years old-$20
weekly fee-traditional fee-$13
seniors and students-$11
How Many Weight Watchers Points Per Day Am I Allotted?
You'll need to sign up to get your exact daily points target that meets your own needs and profile. It costs roughly $50 for the first month with all the sign up costs. If you are looking for a structured weight loss program, PEERtrainer offers something that is only $1 for the first month. This page (click here) includes a 15 minute video where we explain how this program works and what you really get for $1.
The Importance of Social Support and Self-Monitoring
Group and peer support is a highly proven method for losing weight and getting healthy. It is one thing to learn how to lose weight and eat more healthy, it is another thing to put this into practice on a consistent basis. Friends and family are of limited use because there is only so much burden they can bear. Getting the support of an anonymous group of people each day can make the critical difference. Self-monitoring is the other method, backed by volumes of research, that is highly correlated with weight loss success. You keep a log of your food, exercise, goals and thoughts. When you do this each day it keeps you accountable to yourself, and brings this aspect of your life to the top of your mental agenda. When you are writing each day, you are thinking about the things you write about. This begins to change how you think and facilitates better decision making. When you make better decisions, and have a broad support network, you are very likely to lose weight for the long term. When you do both these things, the odds of success increase dramatically.
A free, online resource that facilities both social support and self-monitoring in an easy to use (and anonymous format) is PEERtrainer. You sign up, start or join small groups and teams. You log your food each day, and the others in your group see your log and provide support, motivation and accountability each day. It is like a virtual support group available on the internet whenever you need it. It is highly effective and has been featured in The New York Times, Fitness Magazine, Womens World and Business Week.
Click Here To Learn More
What Is A Good Way Of Getting The Support I Need For Free?
PEERtrainer has some fundamental similarities to Weight Watchers- both approaches view group and peer support as the most important factor to long term weight loss success. Some people on PEERtrainer go to weekly meetings and log every day on PEERtrainer. Others only count their Points on PEERtrainer. Still others find new approaches that build upon the Points system. The key is finding what works for you, and being in an environment that encourages you to explore all your options.
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