Weight Watchers, now known as WW, is one of the most popular weight-loss programs in the world.
Even celebrities like Oprah Winfrey found some great success following the weight watchers program.
You may have many questions like are weight watchers healthy? Are the frozen meals healthy? What about their recipes? Or even how does it work and why is it so popular?
Don’t worry we answer all these questions in this post.
Weight Watchers (WW) program overview
Weight Watchers recently changed their name to WW and launched ‘myWW’ program. The promise of this program is that no food is off limits, you get to enjoy eating what you love and watch your weight shed.
When you sign up, you receive a personalised smart points budget which takes into consideration your height, weight, age and gender. This budget helps to steer you in the direction of healthier options because every food will have a number of points. There are foods that are categorised under the zero point foods which you do not need to track.
The system assigns points alongside foods based on calories, saturated fats, sugars and protein. Foods that are higher in saturated fats or sugars are assigned higher smart points. Similarly to foods that are high in protein will be assigned lower smart points.
Let’s take a look at the different plans that the WW offer.
Weight Watchers: how it works?
The green Plan
The green plan is their reintroduction to the smart points beyond the scale plan.
With this plan, you receive the biggest smart points budget but least number of free foods. Fruits and non-starchy vegetables are still zero points but chicken, eggs or beans which were free in the smart points beyond the scale plan are no longer free and need to be tracked.
This plan is great for anyone who wants to take responsibility for their food but still have some freedom to enjoy themselves.
The Blue plan
The blue plan, previously known as the freestyle plan includes over 200 zero points foods including chicken, eggs, beans and Greek yoghurt.
This is good for anyone looking to have more freedom with eating and cooking as well as tracking less foods as there are more free foods than in the green plan.
The Purple Plan
This plan is previously known as the ‘Simply Filling’ program which has been modified. With this plan you will be able to take advantage of over 300 zero points foods but you will receive a much lower smart points budget.
In regards to zero points foods, you’ll be able to eat fruit, non-starchy vegetables as well as grains, whole-wheat pasta and oatmeal.
This plan is perfect for anyone looking to eat healthy with whole and fibre-rich foods but also be able to eat small snacks. (no whole-wheat bread allowed).
How many points on weight watchers plan?
So, the smart budget points are calculated based on your body composition, and this includes your height, weight, gender and age. However, each plan has a minimum number of points that must be assigned to you:
- Green plan includes minimum of 30 smart points and over 100 zero points foods.
- Blue plan includes minimum of 23 points and over 200 zero points foods
- Purple plan includes minimum of 16 points and over 300 zero points foods
Can the Weight watchers help you lose weight?
The weight watchers program uses a science-based approach with great emphasis on portion control as well as food choices. Unlike any other FAD diet like the keto diet or intermittent fasting, weight watchers promise a steady and healthy weight loss of 0.5 – 2lbs per week.
How effective is it?
There are many success stories to the weight watchers program, and we are about to take a look at some clinical studies.
One of the biggest studies on their program took place in 2017. The study reviewed 39 controlled studies with participants on the WW program. The studies show an average 2.6% more weight loss than persons who performed different diet plans.
Another study with 1,200 overweight or obese participants who followed the WW program for approximately 1 year lost significantly more weight than those who received other means of support.
The WW is one of the most successful and well researched approaches to weight loss that has been proven to work if a participant manages to perform the plan according to rules and restrictions.
Foods you can eat
|Non-starchy vegetables||Broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, green veggies and peppers|
|Proteins||Lean meats, shellfish, fish, tofu and eggs|
|Carbohydrates||sweet potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal and beans|
|Fats||avocado, olive oil and nuts|
Foods you need to avoid
|Sugary and fizzy drinks||Processed Meats like sausages|
|Potato chips||candy (anything high in sugars)|
|Cakes and cookies|
Weight Watchers vs Slimming World
Slimming world works very similarly to weight watchers with a few differences. You can eat anything in moderation, you have ‘free foods’ as well as ‘sinful’ foods. You are given between 5-15 sins per day. The foods you are encouraged to eat are low calorie but nutrient-dense which means you eat less calories but you stay satiated for much longer.
Members of the slimming world can enjoy free foods like lean meat, fish, fruit and veg, eggs, pasta, rice and potatoes. These are foods that are not restricted and you can eat as much of these as you like.
Foods that contain high calories like wine, chocolate or alcohol are classed as sinful. The more calories or unhealthy it is, the more sins it will have. You only have up to 15 sins per day which limits what or how much you eat.
This is a great way of limiting calories and helping you lose weight. Instead of counting calories (the usual strategy) you are counting sins.
Weight watchers and slimming world have very similar approaches to dieting. Weight watchers provide a point system to reduce your calorie intake and slimming world offers ‘sins’ instead of points as restrictions. Both weight loss companies educate members on portion sizes and healthier choices.
Weight Watchers vs Noom
Noom is a fairly new weight loss program that also focuses on portion control, eating habits and food choices.
Similarly to Weight watchers, no food is off limits and you can eat whatever you like in moderation.
Instead, Noom colour codes foods according to its nutrients and calories. The colour codes include:
- Green code which is for fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and foods low in saturated fats
- Yellow code is for lean meats, eggs and avocados
- Red code is mostly used for unhealthy foods which are high in saturated fats, sugars, salty and high in calories like nuts
You are educated and your progress is monitored with a health coach every week and your weight is taken every day to show weight fluctuations for a more accurate read. You can eat anything you like from each colour code but you are encouraged to eat certain foods in moderation through coaching and education.
How effective is Noom for weight loss?
Many people report successful weight loss with both weight watchers and Noom.
A study with 35,000 Noom members found that 78% of them successfully lost weight.
Another study with over 7,000 overweight men reported a significant reduction in weight over a period of three months.
In summary, weight watchers is a well-evidenced successful weight loss program that has been proven to work for many by encouraging better and healthier choices.
For more support on dieting and losing weight, check out our personalised diet plans which also feature balanced meals and are flexible. You will receive regular check-ins and 1-1 coaching from your nutritionist.
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