Food fads: What’s good and what’s bad about Weight Watchers?

I’ve been sharing with you my thoughts on food and diet fads and cults—and today I’m tackling Weight Watchers.

“What!!” you say? “Weight Watchers is an American institution!” Sure. Millions have lost weight with Weight Watchers. And I acknowledge the good things about it. But it’s a bit of a revolving door. Let me explain.

If you’re going to lose weight, why not do it adhering to principles that will get you much healthier and lower your disease risk. Would that be better than just calorie-suppressing, which, since the advent of Weight Watchers, has been proven time and time again to be ineffective over the long term?

More on my thoughts in this video! If you’ve lost weight and gained it back, what program did you follow? If you lost weight and kept it off for 5+ years, tell us how!

3 thoughts on “Food fads: What’s good and what’s bad about Weight Watchers?

Leave a Comment
  1. I lost 80 lbs in 2010 on Weight Watchers. I have gained back 15….Not thrilled but my results are better than some. I never reached my goal weight because I think it was unrealistic. WE is a great program….it allows you to be human.I have not gained all my weight back BECAUSE: I am not buying bigger clothes nd out am not going back on meds! Still I need to lose my 15 lbs plus about 10 more….

    1. I lost about 55 pounds with Weight Watchers in 2007. After that I had a baby, moved a couple of times with 2-3 month hotel stays and 5 kids (craziness). Each of those experiences caused me to gain some of the weight back, but I returned to Weight Watchers and got back to my goal weight rather quickly. That sense of community is essential for me and I am certain I wouldn’t be able to find it any other place so easily. The meetings often address the emotional issues behind weight gain which I haven’t found anywhere else. I feel that they also frequently address the quality of the food in the meetings. The point systems I have known have never been based on just calories, but a combination of things. It changes often based on scientific findings. The current system takes into consideration calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein. I have been in multiple meetings where people have talked about cutting sugar out of their diets and adding vegetables into their meals. I have also been in meetings where people rave about processed foods that I won’t eat. I have always leaned away from the “diet foods” that some people use to lose weight and I bought your 12 Steps book in 2010. But I think Weight Watchers helps people address their weight issue in the best way possible at whatever point they are at in their journey.

  2. My problem is that I don’t know what a portion looks like. I’m not being funny. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life. I’m 37 and 30 pounds overweight. I eat very, very little sugar. I joined WW two weeks ago and lost 10 pounds already. But I’m eating the same things every single day for the sake of ease. What advice do you give people needing to lose weight? It would be very easy to overindulge on good warm crusty bread, or vegetarian lasagna, or hummus,avocados…..eating whole foods isn’t enough. People need a lesson in potion sizes these days. What’s your advice for that?

Leave a Reply