November 2nd, 2010
12:06 PM ET

Changes coming to Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers in the United Kingdom has unveiled a new points system and American users can expect changes too.

Under the new U.K. program, the participants reportedly get "real living" points to treat themselves to occasional fast food treats or alcohol.  All fruits and most vegetables will carry zero points and dieters will be allowed 29 ProPoints, compared with the previous 18 points, according to the Grocer, a British news outlet that covers food, drink and the grocery retailing market.  The points have been rethought to consider protein, carbohydrate, fiber and fat content in the food, the industry website reported.

Weight Watchers in the U.K. "said it had decided to make the switch because 'science had moved on' and the previous style of calorie-counting had been proven inaccurate and 'outdated,'" the Grocer reported.  The British rethinking of the traditional point system will be called "ProPoints" launching in time for the new year, according to the Grocer.

Donna Fontana, a Weight Watchers spokeswoman, said  a new launch is planned in the United States, but the company is not ready to discuss it yet.The U.S. version will not be called ProPoints, Fontana said.

“As you can imagine, food is going to be different (for various countries),” she said.  “Our research is based on consumers based in the U.S.”

She declined to elaborate.

Weight Watchers assigns “points” to every food, based on its calories, fat and fiber. The points are on display in a  blue  logo on the packaging of  manufactured foods that partner with Weight Watchers. Dieters lose weight by limiting themselves to a specific number of total points consumed per day.

soundoff (242 Responses)
  1. Jani

    I lost 60 pounds on WW at Work about 11 years ago. After having moving, having a baby and changing jobs, I regained the weight. On another attempt at WW at Work, I lost another 30, but my work life changed again. I now know that I succeeded at the Work version because the meetings were right where I was, and that there was no freaking crying in front of my work colleagues. I've tried to go to the center and community meetings and, as soon as someone bursts into tears about her weight issues, I cannot bear that kind of public display of despair and leave. It is NOT encouraging, and I do not need that kind of anxiety in the room with me and my fat.
    A blogger friend of mine who also had great success with WW in the past agrees with me: we don't think we can do it again. There's something about coming back to it and seeing the program changes, retrying to engage with the steps, that is just missing now. I don't think it's a bad program at all, but I am curious if others feel the same way we do, that it feels like a less personal journey.

    November 2, 2010 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte

      @Jani, so don't go to the meetings. Do it online. Track your progress and your points online. If you gained back the weight it's because you stopped paying attention to what and how much you were eating and exercising, it has nothing to do with the meetings.

      November 3, 2010 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
  2. 2Shakes a Day

    It's much easier than counting. I'm on the program that is the hottest in the wellness industy. Nutrition Clubs. It's so easy and way ahead of ww. 2 shakes, 1-2 snacks, and a full meal. Dropped 28 pounds in 4 weeks and have kept it off for over 10 years. As you can see, I have never had to count over 2!

    November 2, 2010 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte

      If you like their shakes then by all means buy them instead of something else, but they aren't required for WW, and the WW program has proven to be the most successful for the most people (without making you buy their stuff)

      November 3, 2010 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
  3. Oscar

    I guess I'm another one that tried WW about 5 different times in my life and wasn't overwhelmed with the results. It would work for the "fast start" part, then it stopped because after that it was too complicated – until they came up with the points system, which I'll admit was a great move. But the meetings were not that informative, I resented paying for nothing when I couldn't attend (felt like I wasn't being respected, but treated from a punitive standpoint) so lost more on other systems, mainly just journaling for myself and emphasizing exercise.

    November 2, 2010 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte

      You don't have to attend meetings. I haven't gone to a single meeting – I do it all online. But, yes, it is about journaling and exercising. WW wouldn't tell you anything different. The meetings are for those who want the community support and who know themselves to benefit from the group thing. But it isn't required unless you want a free lifetime membership (since, logically, they cannot tell when you do it online whether you are lying about sticking to the plan or lying about your weight). My own personal results have been spectacular – I've gone from size 14 to size 4 on a 5' 8" body and my knees are happy, my horse is happy, my blood pressure is ecstatic. If you don't cheat, it works, although of course the weight loss slows after the first 2 weeks (most of which are water weight). It isn't healthy to lose faster than 1.5 to 2 lbs a week and WW doesn't want you to lose any faster than that. My first week was 7 lbs, the second was 4 but then it settled in at a steady 1.5 to 3, now of course it's much slower but then I only have 1 lb to go.

      November 3, 2010 at 15:35 | Report abuse |
  4. Life Time Member

    I lost weight a long time ago on the WW exchange program (2 starches, 3 fruits, 2 milks, 6 oz. proteins, 1 tbsp. oil/day). That worked, and I kept it off until menopause. I call 18 points/day the "starve and binge diet". That's why it doesn't work for me. People who weigh more than I do and/or are younger get more points – maybe that helps them not get so hungry.

    November 2, 2010 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte

      18 pts a day is NOT 'starve' – it's what I'm currently eating and I get plenty of food. And no, I do not binge. Nor do I understand the mentality (or lack thereof) of those who DO binge. It doesn't make any sense. Why would you do such a stupid thing if you are trying to lose weight.

      November 3, 2010 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
  5. AM

    The point thing is a gimmick. Just count calories. Calories in vs. calories expended. That's what it's always been about, and what it always will be about. As long as you eat enough calories, but not too many, most people can lose and maintain their weight. Every successful diet iends up being lower in calories, even if they wrap some gimmick around it to sell it to you (e.g., carbs, protein, points, color, etc., etc.).

    November 2, 2010 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte

      @AM, the Points thing is NOT a gimmick. Yes, in the end it is mostly about calories, but the points are also weighted according to the nutritional value of the food (aside from its caloric content). And counting points is a darn sight easier than counting calories, although yeah, it's just arithmetic. But WW is more than just daily points allowance. It's a process of changing habits, learning about better choices, and working with a community of people who are supportive of one's decision to become healthier. Sometimes the friendships one builds are crucial to the process, as plenty of WW participants have been through the inevitable plateaux and backsliding and angst and have remarkably helpful experience to offer for those who are new at the whole eating-healthy-and-exercising paradigm. It's not for everyone but it's definitely not a gimmick. Although I think the fake, low-cal foods they peddle are worthless, along with the nutrisystem foods and SmartOnes foods and all that stuff. Don't just keep eating the same way but using 'diet' stuff. Change your habits.

      November 3, 2010 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
  6. Belle

    I started WW 1-1/2 months ago and have lost 6 lbs so far. Not drastic, but real (not water weight), and more to the point, not that tough either! I am a "foodie," meaning I love to cook, love trying new restaurants, reading about food, wine, watching cooking shows, etc. I am also fairly educated about nutrition as well as vegetarianism, have been a vegetarian, and even ate only macrobiotic for quite a while. But I also get regular cravings for a super-sized McDonald's fries! In short, I come at food from all different perspectives, and after years of trying every blessed diet approach in the world, I feel that WW is the only real answer FOR ME. It allows me to continue loving cuisine and throwing myself into cooking and experiencing all kinds of foods, but provides the knowledge of how to keep it within healthy parameters that let me really "live," without going overboard. And yes, I agree completely the WW processed foods are too, well, processed for me. But its not like they are forcing you to eat them! That's the point of WW - you have the choice to use your points as you see fit, and in the real world, you are faced with those choices every day. But there's unquestionably a strong emphasis on fresh, wholesome and healthy foods. (in fact my group leader has asserted that we should not rely on WW frozen meals but use them as an occasional back-up). And if you are availing yourself of all the WW tools and recipes (such as e-tools), you can find recipes for virtually anything you can think of. In a nutshell, I was not going to give up risotto and beef bourguignon, and the occasional glass of a beautiful red wine, so I had to find an approach to eating that didn't require me to. WW is the only one that fits that bill.

    November 2, 2010 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • notmyrealname

      Wow, meathead, you surely are a a f8cktard.

      November 3, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse |
  7. Biff Sixpack

    Man up and push your fat selves away from the table. That's the best diet plan, and it's free.

    You WILL starve yourself silly, it WILL be extremely tough, you WON'T lose more than about a couple of pounds a week if you do it right, it WILL take months of drudgery, and years of compliance after that.

    Quit deluding yourselves that anything else will be the case, and you've conquered Step 1.

    You get: 50 grams of fats, 50 grams of protein, and 50 grams of carbs per day. That's it. Don't waste your time in the middle section of the grocery store on processed foods, and definitely don't waste your money on silly junk like Weight Watchers. In the end, it's a battle between you...and you.

    Sugar is sugar, whether it's in an orange or a piece of candy. Don't fall for that "I'm gonna eat a bunch of fruit and lose weight" bit. Leave the fruits in the bin. You don't need Weight Watchers to teach you how to read nutrition labels. If it says 50 grams of carbs, guess what – that's it for the day.

    November 2, 2010 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • eeyore

      WW has worked for many people. Why do you care if some people choose to use it instead of your brand of "tough love"? People go to WW because they get support from others at group meetings and because they weigh in each week and feel more accountable for the results because of that. What's your problem? You sound extremely hostile to those who have weight problems and not in the least empathetic. Why would anyone care to listen to a nasty sh*t like you?

      November 2, 2010 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm, berries!

      Some fruits, like fresh raspberries, are low in carbs. Others, like apples, are high in fiber. Most fruits have fiber and antioxidants, which are important for health. People are most successful losing weight by finding a way of eating that they can stick with FOR LIFE. It doesn't have to be "drudgery," and fruit (especially organically grown) is VERY healthy. (Diabetics should consult a nutritionist regarding how much they can eat per day.) Telling people to follow a random plan that isn't necessarily healthy and can't be kept up for life is not good advice.

      November 3, 2010 at 04:35 | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      Wrong-o, el-Biffo. Sugar is not sugar. A piece of candy (sucrose) is a different sugar from a section of orange (which is fructose) and the sucrose is far likelier to trigger a blood-sugar swing that will encourage you to want more of it. That having been said, you clearly know nothing about weight watchers. The plan DOES include having people push their fat selves away from the table, but it isn't some brutal bootcamp approach that you seem to prefer. It's a method of educating people who previously did not understand healthy eating habits and choices so that they can eat happily and healthfully and attain an appropriate weight – and actually enjoy the process and their new, better eating and exercise habits. You cannot cut back to a spartan, minimalist diet all of a sudden without risking dire health consequences – not the least of which is that most people will rightfully find it hard and objectionable and probably can't stick with it.....so they become yo-yo dieters, which will kill you faster than a few extra pounds will. WW prefers people to approach the whole healthy living thing with some brains. If you knew anything about the plan, you would know this. So, yeah – pushing ourselves away from the table, but not to eat miniature meals. We eat normal (note: not restaurant-sized) portions of any darn thing we want, and we keep track of what we are eating and how much we are exercising. It's easy to stick with and has proven results for most people who stick with it.

      November 3, 2010 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
  8. Kim

    I lost 28 lbs in 4 mos on WW at work. I learned to eat better, to plan and shop better. I've kept the weight off for 6 mos and feel fantastic. No purchasing prepaid meals, etc. I never felt deprived of a thing, because I wasn't!

    November 2, 2010 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Smc

    I've lost 32 pounds on WW and now my husband and I are spoiled in regard to the quality of the food we cook at home. Now we resent paying a fortune for foods at restaurants that aren't nearly as well prepared (and some are even half prepared from processed ingredients). We've learned to prepare some great, great stuff from WW cookbooks. WW makes some packaged foods and I use a few of them–WW crackers to replace saltines, those come in very handy for me. But mostly we just eat fresh ingredients. I've done other "diets" and lost lots of weight, but this program teaches you how to eat for life. Unlike Atkins, there are no foods on WW that are off limits. You want birthday cake for a special occasion? You build it into your plan for the week. You want pizza? You can have pizza–you just can't have the whole doggone thing!!! I can't stick with a diet where some of my favorite foods are off limits. With WW, I have ice cream, chocolate, pizza, cake–I just don't have a tubful of it. The first bite or two is always the absolute best anyway. I plan my points around it for those occasions where I know I will have opportunities to eat one of my faves. I drink a glass of wine instead of a margarita at a happy hour (2 pts versus 5 pts), etc. There are all kinds of work-arounds. And we're eating the kinds of foods we used to eat only at fine restaurants–we've just learned to cook it ourselves from fresh ingredients so we can afford it every day. Like I said, we're spoiled now. I'm curious to see the new point system.

    November 2, 2010 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Comet

    I've been doing WW online for 6 months. I've not lost a ton of weight -only 20 pounds, but in my year of working out 5x a week, I've lost 22 inches and 6% body fat. WW is to me – a part of my healthy life. It taught me about WHAT I was eating, and allows me to eat practically anything and still maintain. I'm over 6 feet tall and weight doesn't come easily off my frame, but the combo of eating better and working out has really paid dividends for me. Bonus points of going for a physical and finding that my numbers were all improved and I am in the healthy range. My doctor was thrilled. I am thrilled.

    I think it's great that so many of you never struggle with your weight, but a lot of us do. I'm a very tall woman, and while I might not 'look' fat, and while I certainly don't feel 'fat', my weight indicates that I am, in fact, overweight. I won't give up great food but with WW, I don't have to. I just have less of it.

    That being said, 18 points seems low, for anyone. I get 29 and it's plenty. I get 35 more to use throughout the week, and exercise points, that I never seem to 'use' though I certainly attain them. I'm glad WW is tweaking their program. And I'm super glad they are focusing on protein more. It can only benefit their members.

    And I, for one, am very happy about that.

    November 2, 2010 at 20:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte

      Comet – I'm one pound from goal on WW – have lost 71 lbs in 9 months – and I am only allowed 18 points per day. When I switch onto maintenance that goes all the way up to 21 (whee). Plus of course the weekly 35 flex points, which I try never to use all of , but at 18 daily points I now have to use some. When I started – 200 lbs and technically obese – I got 24 points and found it hard to eat that much in a given day, largely because I do not eat or like sweets and although I'm not vegetarian, I normally eat that way. 29 would be a lot of food! But at six feet maybe you need that. I'm only 5 ' 8 "

      November 3, 2010 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
  11. Willow

    The only problem I have with WW is that it discourages people from eating healthy fats. Nuts are extremely high in points, yet we are told constantly that we should at least include a serving or two of nuts a week, like almonds, because they contain healthy fat. Pumpkin seeds, which if you Google them, are said to be highly nutritious. Yet because they have fat content, they're also extremely high in points per serving, which discourages people from eating them. Salmon also. It's healthier to eat salmon than red beef, yet on WW a small hamburger is like 5 points (without the bun) and a filet of salmon is over 5 points.

    Healthy eating isn't just about avoiding fat all-together. It's about choosing the right kind of fat (and also the right kinds of carbs, etc).

    November 2, 2010 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Gail

    Since January I have lost 52 pounds on Weight Watchers, I am eating healthy, I walk 5-6 days a week, my cholesterol level, blood pressure and glucose level are lower, I feel great and I can still have my cosmopolitans once a week. It's a great food plan and the points system is so much better than when I did this over 30 years ago. Each new plan with Weight Watchers is only better and I anticipate the next one will be also.

    November 2, 2010 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. operadiva

    i have to put in my 2 cents...ww has always been based on science – the latest science that is available. this new points system is taking into account the new information that we have available. 10 years ago (when the points system rolled out) we were using bigger cell phones, a computer, and an organizer and we thought that was cutting edge technology, and it was...then. now all of those can be found in one smaller device. the same it true of what we know about nutrition as compared to what it was 10 years ago. the new points system will push us even further towards making even better decisions, keep us feeling satisfied longer and be able to not only lose weight but keep that weight off. i have been a ww member for 9 years and i can tell you i'm not on a "diet", i'm at a healthy weight, i eat what i want and am happy. for all of you who have lost weight with ww – congratulations! for those who haven't i'm sorry to hear that and i hope you find what works for you. for those who want to trash this company and system, i hope you like your ivory tower.

    November 2, 2010 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Meat Mallet

      Wow fatty, you got a lot to say! Keeps your mind off eating I guess. What's your favorite soup, chocolate?

      November 3, 2010 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
  14. notmyrealname

    I agree with operdiva. No program works for everyone, everywhere, all the time. WW has been successful for many people and at least it's a healthy, sensible program. The group meetings are helpful for many people. That not every person has found WW to be the right choice for her or him doesn't mean it's a "gimmick" or fraudulent. It surely beats some idiot telling people to "man up and push your fat selves away from the table" and that one must "starve" oneself to lose weight.

    November 2, 2010 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte

      part of it IS DEFINITELY pushing one's fat self away from the table, insofar as you don't eat beyond your points allowance. This is also the same thing said by adopting healthy eating habits and moving the old lardbutt a bit to burn some calories. It works.

      November 3, 2010 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
    • notmyrealname

      Oh, can it, Charlotte. Nice name change, by the way.

      November 3, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
  15. pastorinMD

    Gotta agree with those who have tried WW and failed. I've done it twice. In both cases, I lost a few pounds initially, but soon stopped losing anything at all, even when I cut down on my recommended number of points. I'm glad it works for some people – maybe with the new system, it will work for more.

    November 2, 2010 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. larry

    i lost 55 lbs on weight watchers 11 years ago and have kept it off. the program is great

    November 2, 2010 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. matt

    The main problem with the old points system is that it still uses the "fat = bad" thinking from the 80s, which has been proven totally invalid. Hopefully the new system takes care of this.

    November 2, 2010 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Laura

    I liked Weight Watchers when it used calories and not the point system for its program. I just couldn't navigate keeping up with all the points, which made very little sense to me. Calories, on the other hand, made sense. I also didn't get much from the meetings. I too, however, am glad it works for some folks, even if it didn't work for me.

    November 2, 2010 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Beezer

    Well Weight Watchers worked for me ten years ago but not now .. I cut tthe daily points in half and still gained weight. I also took Nutrisystemn and gained weight. Nothing works when you are over 65. You need to go on a water-only diet. I'm not up to that yet

    November 3, 2010 at 02:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Beezer

      You cannot get the average physician to help (I guarantee that) .. they say "stop eating" and throw you out of the office. The average MD does not want old geezers in their office. Different with specialists. But G.P.s are only interested in giving flu shots and telling you how long they went to college and how much it cost them.

      November 3, 2010 at 02:36 | Report abuse |
    • I

      Maybe making an appointment with an nutritionist to come up with an eating plan would help? Be sure they have a Master's in Nutrition from a valid University. Another idea is joining a gym and having some sessions with a personal trainer, so you can learn how to use the equipment and how much to do each week. I'm sure it is very difficult to maintain a healthy weight beyond age 65 (especially for women), and my heart goes out to you. All you can is your best.

      November 3, 2010 at 04:45 | Report abuse |
    • CalTek

      You can't cut the daily points in half! It is important to try to stay right around the daily allowance of points. If you stray too far below that number your body will go into starvation mode and store the fat. If you want to lower your daily points try shaving off 5 points from it and use that number.

      November 3, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
    • hannah01

      I've been to several nutritionist...they are still in the dark ages. Just like doctors, they know nothing about nutrition in today's environment. Most will give you a copy of a food program that looks like it's been run off a million times on the copier and just send you off on your way.

      November 3, 2010 at 11:24 | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      Beezer, sounds like you have no muscles. If you would exercise and build some muscle mass then you could eat plenty – both because you are burning it off and because you have more muscles, which makes a higher metabolism. WW also asks you to earn "activity points" you can't just 'go on a diet.'

      November 3, 2010 at 15:09 | Report abuse |
  20. Cee

    all these comments and no one can see MARKETING SCAM new sales tactics so they can sell NEW points books tools calculaters and whatever else we make them rich buying. wake up ppl nothing has changed about counting calories..

    November 3, 2010 at 07:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte

      @Cee – obviously you don't know much about WW. I won't be buying anything new, either points books or calculators or anything like that. I do the program online and just track my points on my own personal page as a member. I won't have to buy anything new, but I wouldn't switch systems anyway. Why on earth would I want to start eating junk food just because they've changed their points calculation on it? It still tastes like warmed over cr@p and is disgusting. I haven't eaten MacD's or Wendy's or KFC in 20 years and am not about to start just because some people think it's more acceptable.

      November 3, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
  21. Karon D

    I joined weight watchers 12/13/09, have lost 60 lbs and still motivated to loose 25 more to get me down to my ideal weight of 135. I know I could not have done it without ww

    November 3, 2010 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CalTek

      Congrats Karon D – you must feel great! Keep it up and good luck on reaching your goal.

      November 3, 2010 at 08:58 | Report abuse |
  22. CalTek

    I have been on Weight Watchers in Canada for just over 1 month and have managed to drop 13 lbs. I am finally out of the 200's for the first time in over 10 years and I feel great. I think I will be sticking to the current points system as it is working for me.

    I even have the odd fast food meal on the plan (usually bacon cheesburger meal at McDonalds – 15 pts) and still maintain my daily pts allowance. I also tend to save my weekly bonus points for the weekend when I am more likely to have some beers.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    BTW I didn't pay to be on it my mom just had the materials from when she was one it and I just borrowed them and adapted the lifestyle change. Mix in exercise at the gym and you are laughing.

    Remember the slower you lose the weight the less likely you are to put it back on quickly.

    November 3, 2010 at 08:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Carol

    I think they should stick to their original program. Why cater to people who want excuses to eat exactly how they want. People need to eat healthier not for large companies to give them permission to eat the foods that are bad for them!

    November 3, 2010 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • operadiva

      because the old points system is outdated since the information we have about nutrition is more advanced. ww is not catering to people so they can eat what they want. they are making it easier to make healthier choices. when the ceo of ww asked the head research scientist at ww "if you would have known in 1997 what you know now about nutrition, would you have formulated the points system the way?" and she said "no". ww needed to change based on the latest scientic nutritional research, just like it always has. i've been following the new program for a month now and i love it!

      November 3, 2010 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  24. hannah01

    WW is the only progam that has ever worked for me. I know enough to avoid foods that are not good for me. Just because I can give it a point value, doesn't mean I should eat it. I find that preparing my own meals from scratch and calculating the points value is best for me...it really does work.

    November 3, 2010 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. MovingForward

    I began ww in Jan. 2008 weighing in at 289. (5'7) Following the point system and hitting the treadmill daily and swimming weekly I have managed to shed 90 pounds. Learned how to eat right and cook right. I had my moments and set backs. I am all for the program. Nothing negative about it. Anyone can do it. I still use their guidelines in my everyday life. So to all of you who need the encouragement..it is possible and do not let the nay sayers drag you down. To all the nay-sayers...walk a mile in all of our shoes when you battle the weight and meet the obstacles.

    November 3, 2010 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte

      Good for you, @MovingForward! I went from 200 lbs to 129 lbs in just over 9 months on WW (I'm 5 foot 8 inches tall). You are correct – the people who claim that the plan does not work have either not tried it for long enough to know, or have cheated by not tracking, lying about their intake or otherwise self-sabotaging. It definitely works and there is nothing wrong with weighing in once a week and tracking your food intake. Many, many 'naturally thin' people do this, it's why they haven't turned into lardbutts.

      November 3, 2010 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  26. Teri

    I was on weight watchers for a month and following the program religiously. I felt like I was force-feeding myself the entire time to get in my daily 24 points (because you are not supposed to eat less than the require points either). After a month, I had gained 10 pounds despite working out (walking) 5 days per week. I finally went back to eating the way I was before, walked 1 mile per day, 5 days per week (same as I was doing while on WW), and lost 30 pounds in 6 months. Not grand, but not shabby, either. WW did not work for me. They allow entirely too much food.

    November 3, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charlotte

      They only allow 24 points if you are fat. As you drop in weight, the allowance decreases. If you actually gained weight then you were cheating either on your portion sizes (maybe trying to eyeball it so instead of one teaspoon of oil you were using a couple of tablespoons) or you were claiming more Activity Points than you actually earned. Or only tracking when you thought you were staying within the points and lying about it the rest of the time. If you actually stay on the plan, you will not gain weight.

      November 3, 2010 at 15:00 | Report abuse |
  27. Gonzodon

    When will people realize that weight is not all about food? If you exercise, you can pretty much eat what you want, assuming it's healthy food. If you don't exercise, then you'll constantly be measuring portions, avoiding treats, searching for the latest diet fad, etc. Get off your fat butt and EXERCISE! You'll feel better, you'll look better, your heart will love you, your cholesterol will decrease, and you won't have to follow the latest diet fads.

    November 3, 2010 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • operadiva

      so weight loss in it's most basic form is: you must burn more calories than you consume. and your advice is to eat what you want but exercise. fabulous advice. so for the average american who eats at least 3x's what is normal because that is what they are served in restaurants and don't know any better, who weight at least 100 lbs more than they should and probably can't walk more than 1/2 mile without passing out, your wisdom dictates they continue to eat what they want but burn off all those calories daily. how? ww helps people lose weight by eating less and moving more. once people get used to eating what is appropriate and moving the weight will come off. i'm just curious how much YOU eat daily and how much exercise you get. because in order for an obese person to lose more calories than they consume without watching how and what they eat, they would not be able to hold down an average job because when they weren't eating, they would be working out. you're a genius.

      November 3, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
    • Charlotte

      Not true, Gonzodon. You can only keep the weight off if you exercise ENOUGH to counterbalance your intake. As the other responder points out, the food industry has gotten so grotesque with their pandering to 'more is better' that few people who eat in restaurants could have any clue what constitutes a NORMAL portion of anything. If you ate the obscenely large portions on a regular basis, you couldn't ever get enough exercise to maintain a healthy weight (and too many people have an absurdly inflated notion of what THAT is as well). There is nothing wrong with measuring portions. It's easy and important as a reality check in this culture of out-of-control portion sizes, "obese is normal" body image and – here's the real catch with your fantasy – a full-time job that doesn't allow heavy cardio workouts 24-7.

      November 3, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
  28. tina

    I have been a WW Life time member and kept the weight off for for 27 yrs. Don't eat the frozen WW meals they are not good for you. Just learn to cook healthy and portion control. It does work and has a great support system!

    November 3, 2010 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Charlotte

    Weight Watchers has never forbidden fast foods nor alcohol. I personally do not eat fast foods – I haven't been to a MacDonalds' in about 20 years and have no intention of starting, whether WW is going to start encouraging it or not. And I have wine every evening and still manage to stay within my daily points allowance and was able to drop 70 lbs in nine months. I agree the frozen WW meals – just like ALL frozen meals – are unhealthy. People who rely on 'diet' versions of their normal junk intake are destined to fail at weight loss because they are not learning proper eating habits, just using a crutch for temporary short-term weight loss. These dolts just need to learn the most important exercise their is – pushing yourself AWAY from the table.

    November 3, 2010 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Karen

    As someone said earlier, what works for some may not work for all or even be good for all. As a diabetic, food that is considered healthy for some is not healthy for me. I have learned to avoid almost all carbs, including fruit, because any carb raises my blood sugar. I eat whole foods; full-fat cheese, cream (no milk), butter, etc. because low-fat in foods means higher carbs. It takes work but it has been beneficial both in my A1C number and my cholesterol. I've been able to give up some of my medication because my numbers have improved so much and as an added bonus I've lost 20 lbs. over the last two months. I'm glad to see WW updating itself due to science. I only hope groups like the American Diabetes Association will update their diet recommendations as well.

    November 3, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. operadiva

    you sad sad little person.

    November 3, 2010 at 16:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Fast-Eddie-7403

    I've been reading these comments and can understand what the misconception of some are. I've only been on WW for about 4 months and have lost 40 pounds. I find it comforting that WW produces a scale to base points on containing Fiber, Calories and fat content for any foods. Being that the scale does not take into consideration sodium or carbs, the direction that is being taken by the program is not for someone to go into with blinders on – you need to judge for yourself based upon your needs. This goes for carb watchers (although WW is not a proponent of carb watching – diebetics are) or sodium watchers (although water based weight leaves with bodily wastes). All in all, I look forward to any changes and am willing to see if they are as good as the current program.

    November 3, 2010 at 16:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Fast-Eddie-7403

    By the way, I've tried about 15 recipes during my four month-40 pound loss and have only found one to be not absolutely delicious as well as nutritional

    November 3, 2010 at 16:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. notmyrealname

    You know, meaty, fat people can diet and lose weight, but stupid can't be fixed. Maybe you could ask your momma to tell you the difference between "aisle" and "isle", ya jughead.

    November 3, 2010 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Lady4JC

    Weight Watchers works IF you follow the program. It's all about healthy eating and exercise. If you eat healthily and exercise, you're going to lose weight (provided you don't have a medical condition preventing it). Weight Watchers is big on group support. If you are disciplined enough, you could do it on your own. I've been very successful on the program. However, I am also realistic enough to know that Weight Watchers doesn't really care about their members losing weight. They are a business and are in business to make money. They make money by people spending a ridiculous amount per week to sit in a meeting for 1/2 hour and get a 4 page handout that is supposed to help justify the weekly fee plus the joining fee. I am in the U.S., and the "new" program begins here on 11/29. One problem with the new program that is being heatedly discussed at WW leader/employee meetings is that members are going to have to pay extra for a points calculator because without it, it will be difficult (although possible, I'm told) to calculate points. Of course, the price for the calculator has not been disclosed, but you can bet WW is going to make a nice chunk of profit on it over and above the $13.00/week meeting fee (which will probably increase with the new program).

    November 4, 2010 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Paula

    I'm a lifetime member of WW. We all know what to do and what not to do (or we should). I had a dr. tell me stay away from Nutrisystem but he thought WW was the way to go. Why do I want someone to tell me what to eat, like Jenny Craig or NS. You have to learn to eat right. Look at the Biggest Losers and how they show them its not all about excisiting, you have to learn to eat right also. I'm excited to see the new program and what it has to offer. For those of you that "don't" have to diet good for you. But their are some of us that have to watch what we eat. Thank God for people like Jean Nidetch, the founder of WW. WW is the one for me. Let's give a try shall we?

    November 9, 2010 at 09:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. TXPatriot

    WW pushes the dietary guidelines of low fat and high carbs in the form of grains. Ever wonder why Americans have complied with the guidelines of lowering fat below 30% daily intake of calories, yet CHD and diabetes has soared since compliance? Maybe fat is not the enemy. Maybe carbs are. Read Good Calories, Bad Calories if you want to see some truth. We are killing ourselves with Ancel Keyes' incorrect hypothesis.

    November 9, 2010 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. TXPatriot

    And before you criticize me for not knowing about WW, I do indeed know about it. I can even tell you the formula to calculate your points. Calories/100+Fat/12-Fiber (not greater than 4)/5. I have done WW and was constantly hungry from the insulin spikes.

    November 9, 2010 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Jen

    Weight Watchers is a great system, which I've had great success with. Sure, you *can* eat Big Macs and other unhealthy foods in the plan, but you learn *very* quickly that making bad choices will leave you starving for most of the day as you try to remain within your Points range. You learn to moderate yourself through trial and error, discovering that whole wheat toast with fresh bruchetta will give you the same thrill as a slice of pizza...and still allow you to eat moderately for the rest of the day. It's that open-ended system that allows members to teach themselves how to eat healthy and make good choices for themselves, so that you can incorporate those changes into real life for many years.

    November 17, 2010 at 06:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Nina K

    When I was younger and able to walk W.W.hands down was the best program out there.I lost 135lbs in 2000 and gained it backover the next 10 years as my health declined and I was unable to do much more than walk upatairs once a day
    .The points they give you is perhaps fine for a person with mobility but with my disease and lack of mobility I am not able to lose but a couple of lbs.before I plateau. Since my disease involves my heart and lungs even arm curls with weight sitting is limited
    .I would like to see W.W. come up with a program that takes into consideration not all peoplke can be active.
    I was greatly motivated By a lady I saw on Oprah who wrote a book "703 How I lost a quarter of a Ton and Gained a Life."
    ()Nancy Makin.)She is on facebook and lets you read her thoughts and writings free.So I haven't given up but I do believe there are people doing 100 percent program and not losing because I have been in both sets of shoes.

    November 30, 2010 at 16:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Athena

    I appreciate that folks have had successes and weight loss is a struggle, but Weight Watchers is not an altruistic organizaiton. They are a money-making "BUSINESS". The change only slows down your weight loss helping to prolong recurring revenue. Think about it - they assign a 270 calorie meal different points depending what is compromises. They encourage you to eat fruits and veggies without counting for them but don't tell you you could be adding another 500 calories per day if you had an avocado and a banana alone. Even if it takes you one extra week to lose a pound, that's another week's revenue by milllions of clients. Your body treats every calorie the same and you need to decrease your intake by 3500 from your BMR to lose a pound. Call it a point if that's easier to track, but this WW change is just another business model change to get you to pay more, stay on the plan longer and buy all new counters, books and the like.

    December 3, 2010 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Patty

      Thank you, Athena. You said it well.

      December 8, 2010 at 22:40 | Report abuse |
  42. moonshadow

    I applied Atkins/South Beach/Paleo principles to WW portions right from the beginning and have not ever felt deprived!

    December 3, 2010 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Patty

    I have been a WW follower since 1986. It was good to me, and I did lose weight through my own perseverance and my own native brain. I firmly believe it is the support and belonging that got me to where I am today. I had legitimate complaints about WW during my last membership (about two years ago). I complained to their main office on Long Island; they told me I could find another weight loss company if I didn't like it. I was astonished at their response.

    It would take a lot of paper for me to write about all the negative stuff going on at WW. They are a business, and that is what this change is all about. When they should have been counting more points for a higher points value item, they weren't. The new plan is all about that, and let me say it is quite confusing for the members at WW. WW probably believes this change will bring former members running back to learn the plan. They are also charge for this new calculator. I seen a woman in the supermarket doing contortions using her calculator in order to find out the points value of her favorite pumpkin pie (hahaha). I also believe WW should now change their name. They are NOT the original WW. When I first joined in 1986, it was the best plan. They told you to eat two proteins a day, nor more than a total of 6 ounces a day, 3 carbs (either bread or potato) a day, no more than three fruits a day, one oil/fat, milk. This is the diet everyone should listen to, only now it is gone. I could write and write on this topic for a very long time. I guess I know too much. They don't want someone in their program who knows too much. Contact me if you need to know more.

    Every point at WW is 50 calories. If that is so how can WW say 100 calories is 1 point. They don't want you to lose weight (only real slow). In plan just replaced they never counted all the fiber, and a lot of other stuff. They need to keep their business rich and to get you coming back.

    Most people know how to lose weigh. What they really need is a lot of will power and perseverance.

    To all those ice cream companies using the WW points: I won't make anymore purchases with the WW name on it.

    WW does not come clean and honest with their members.

    December 8, 2010 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. catlover

    I've lost faith in WW since the adoption of the new points system. I just feel like I am being nickled and dimed constantly for more money. Now it costs to calculate the points. What a brilliant idea to bring in more revenue. The old point system worked just as well and was free to calculate. It used to be a good program geared to the members success. Now its just about making more money.

    March 19, 2012 at 07:03 | Report abuse | Reply
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