Weight Watchers updated: 08/15/2019

back to healthread     WW 360 tools for living      diet page               obesity information

Weight Watchers, a change of the name to WW and a new program!

Some of us are er..mature enough (ha ha) to remember Weight Watchers from the Jean Nidetch days. I read Jean Nidetch's book in 1971 and was intrigued! The first WW meetings were just a group of friends that Jean Nidetch invited over to support her weight loss! I first joined in 1972 just after they had dropped parts of the original "New York Obesity diet" which had helped the founder to lose a lot of weight.  The original Weight Watchers diet included liver once a week, fish 3-5 times a week, all the veggies you could eat (as long as they were not on the forbidden list), fruits and a longer list of foods you COULDN'T eat than those foods you could eat.  Offering accountability as well as support in meetings, it remained state of the art for the 1970's as it went.

 Weight Watchers has not stood still.  It is a multi million dollar corporation today, which, until the early 1990's was owned by the Heinz companies but then, became an international corporation separate from the Heinz companies and owned by stockholders. In 2015, possibly the most famous dieter, Oprah Winfrey, bought a 10 percent interest in Weight Watchers.  Weight Watchers has a scientific advisory committee which includes some respected authorities in dieting and obesity.

I lost my weight and became a lifetime member on the Momentum program which was basically calorie based but points were easier to count.

A Study in 2012 found that people lose more weight on the Weight Watchers program and tend to stay with the program longer than other programs, but that was before the latest Weight Watchers program which changed the name and more.  

I also liked the "Tools for Living" which is no longer offered on program - if you click on the link, you will find 5 of them. 

Weight Watchers has changed their name to WW which stands for "Way to Wellness".

The newest program appears to be a revamp of the old Susan Powter or Dean Ornish, low fat diet.  The zero point foods are all low fat, probably below 15% or 20% fat content.  This is a very healthy way to eat and combined with cardio exercise which the new WW program highly recommends, WILL likely delay or prevent heart disease, as well as vascular disease.  But it still is sold as primarily, a weight loss program. The idea of this is that it is assumed that most people will not overeat healthy low fat foods.  That might work for some folks but I assure you, *I* can easily overeat and gain weight on healthy foods, even though I exercise 6 days a week, at least 30 minutes a day and do resistance exercise also (I combine it with cardio)

This is why, on the WW re-imagined website, they say you do not have to measure or weight the 200 zero point foods.  I can only speak for myself.  I have been on the low fat diet since 1994 but until I started counting calories, I gained 50 lbs... yes all on low fat, healthy foods.

I asked our WW leader and he suggested to weigh and/or measure the 200 zero points foods... for example 3 oz of lean chicken white meat as a portion or 1/2 cup of beans as a portion.  I have to count everything I eat or I gain weight very easily so I count calories on "My Fitness Pal".

When I eat my Daily food allotment, I don't have any GERD or reflux (I have a hiatal hernia and have suffered with this all my life. Even on a low fat diet, I would be awakened several times a night with a throatful of stomach acid.).  Although I didn't do too well the first three times around, this time, journaling my food intake, I ended up losing 110 lbs to the lowest weight I'd been in 35 years - and by continuing to journal my food, I've managed to keep off 87 lbs... I hit lifetime in 2009, and kept off all the weight for a while but started gaining again - that's why I now count calories.

         "If it goes internal, it must go in the journal!"  "If you bite it, you write it!" :)

Because Weight Watchers has a very strong support system and offers a healthy program, many medical providers feel Weight Watchers is the best way to go.  When a person is a lifetime member, at or below goal, s/he doesn't have to pay for meetings! 

You should always meet with your medical provider before starting any weight loss program).

Although Weight Watchers encourages folks to give away their "fat" clothing, this time, I decided to save mine, just in case I might need it.  I actually did need a couple of articles of my "fat" clothing when I gained some weight. (I'm 10 lbs over goal right now).

One leader told me "if Weight Watchers really worked for most people, they would go out of business" (i.e. everyone would be at goal and a lifetime member and not paying for meetings). 

Staying on any program, even an excellent one, takes diligence on a daily basis  and basically depends on how much you need it.  WW solves many health issues including diabetes.

You can join Weight Watchers on line but I suggest, especially since the new program is complex, attending meetings is the best idea to learn it and follow it.  The bottom line is, the new WW reimagined is their healthiest program to date and even if you don't weigh and measure zero point foods, you might not lose weight as well as you'd like but guaranteed, you will likely stay healthy and prevent heart disease, vascular disease, control diabetes - and that is the most important thing! At the age of 74, and having followed something similar to the new WW program for years, I do not have heart disease, nor vascular disease, nor diabetes.... cardio exercise which WW reimagined emphasizes as important, is a necessary part!  My hubby did not follow this program and now at the same age as I am, has diabetes, vascular disease (clogged arteries and veins) and heart disease... he has had 9 surgeries including quadruple coronary bypass... he lives in a skilled nursing facility, has lost control of his bowels and bladder and is mostly bedfast. I still live independently at home.

My favorite saying? "Nothing tastes as good as health feels!"

Below is my before and after photos, but the after was taken in 2009 when I was granted lifetime membership when I weighed about 10 lbs less than I do now.