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Q&A: Does Weight Watchers Really Work?

By on December 9, 2012

Weight Watchers, like any diet program, is something that needs to be considered in conjunction with your current health condition, your goals, and needs to be worked into your lifestyle according to the appropriate guidelines in order to be effective. There are tons of shakes, supplements, and diets out there that many people use to assist them in achieving weight loss — or weight gain. The one thing to keep in mind is that while these things can be helpful, they aren’t absolutely necessary. Your body is designed to maintain and regulate itself with a proper balance of nutrition and activity.

The idea behind Weight Watchers is to provide information, connections, encouragement, motivation, and support. While you don’t necessarily need the products, all of those things — information, connections, encouragement, motivation, and support — are essential when trying to define and reach fitness goals. Weight Watchers’ points system is one that basically takes nutritional content and turns it into more easily countable units to help you eat healthier and keep from overfueling your body so that you don’t gain weight, but rather to give your body exactly what it needs while burning additional calories so that you begin to see gradual weight loss.

The standard for healthy weight loss is always somewhere around a pound to a pound and a half per week on average. This rate is the magic number for those who want to lose weight to be healthier — and keep that weight off in the end. Losing weight at this rate means that you’re doing things the right way… that you’ve made a commitment to a lifestyle and not a fad… that you have made changes that you are being consistent with over a long period of time. The reason weight stays off when you lose it gradually is because you create habits rather than just depriving your body for a certain period of time and then reaching a certain goal and giving up those changes, which will always result in gaining the weight back and reversing your progress in the end.

In this light, Weight Watchers is just as effective as your body’s natural process but it just presents it in a way that might make it simpler for some people to understand and implement while also providing a platform for connecting with others and developing a system of support and accountability. These things aren’t specifically unique to the Weight Watchers’ program, but perhaps for a lot of people may be more easily attainable by participating in the program. Sometimes, all a person really needs is a little guidance and a push in the right direction and in that respect, programs like Weight Watchers work great.

That being said, there are tons of communities out there that provide these same benefits at no cost. MyFitnessPal does a great job at helping me to keep track of my exercise (calories burned) and meals (calories consumed) and keeping me on track by letting me know every day what my progress would be in 5 weeks if that day was how I lived every day. I’m not advocating for or against any brand or program — especially in this case since I haven’t ever personally used the Weight Watchers program. In the end, the only answer to this question is that any program can work but you will only get out of it according to the level of effort and commitment you put into it. And keep in mind that getting your health on track with whole/clean foods and regular physical activity is always the best way to go in my opinion :)

Have YOU ever tried the Weight Watchers program or participated in something similar? I’d love to hear your experience in the comment section below!

About Kat Robertson

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