Updated: 10/10/2017
By Summer Banks Sep 07, 2017
75comments

Weight Watchers helps millions of dieters lose weight over the course of four decades. We wanted to know more so we can pass along the details to you. First, we picked through relevant ingredients, potential side effects and scientific research. It’s helped millions, so we took into account their positive and negative experiences. Then, we put the facts together, giving you everything you need – minus the hype.

Weight Watchers Readers: Click here to find out why we're giving away samples of our product, Burn HD.

What is Weight Watchers?

How does Weight Watchers work? Firstly, WW is a weight-loss program. The meal plans involve a point system, where there are specific points assigned to foods and meals. Each day, you’ll have a specific point total and you’ll track what you eat. The goal of the majority of the plan is reducing caloric intake and possibly losing weight. One of the benefits is that the official website provides recipes and meal ideas. You’ll notice that Weight Watchers offers online and in-office support from success coaches.

Jean Nidetch founded Weight Watchers in the early 1960’s, but now it reaches people in 30 countries worldwide. Although centered on adults, there are programs for teens and those over ten years old. Millions of people benefit from the meal plans and community support. We like that you have access to the website, where you’ll find products and services. We know it works, but let’s dig a bit deeper…

Cost of Weight Watchers is Less Than You Think

We’ll take a closer look at the cost of Weight Watchers. “The cost of Weight Watchers varies,” said our Research Editor. “There’s the price of food and possible meetings to factor in. But the lessons learned are priceless.”

Lucy said, “Visualize yourself at your goal. What does it look like to you?’ I found an old photo of myself and I started picturing myself after my goal—and I started to believe.”

Another mentioned, “Every person in the room has been in your shoes and has you back.”

Kristina said, “Focus on the change and the results will come.”

Dieters Know If Weight Watcher Works or Not

Some dieters have concerns with results from Weight Watchers. What we found were hundreds of testimonials and personal experiences telling a different story. Amanda said,”Why do I want to keep going…because I’m worth it.” I feel like a different person now, and I feel better than ever.

Sarah mentioned,”I look pretty good.” And those are the moments when I feel most beautiful when I don’t have makeup on, when I’m tired when I’m worn out. Yesterday, I survived. Today, I am thriving.”

“I needed to be healthy and happy. So I joined Weight Watchers,” added Kimberly.

Rosy stated, “I have more energy to keep up with my daughter now. It’s fun – not tiring – to play together.”

The Science – “Research Backs This Diet Plan”

Let’s look at the research supporting the Weight Watchers diet. It does involve eating fewer calories. Fewer calories could easily translate to weight loss. There are several studies showing individuals following a Weight Watchers meal plan lost nearly 3% more weight than the control group.

The Bottom Line – Does the Weight Watchers Diet Work?

Can decades of helping millions lose weight be a good thing? Absolutely. There’s research backing the benefits of Weight Watchers. There’s also solid science showing weight loss when dieters replace meals. There are concerns. Some did not follow the program, so they didn’t lose weight as fast as expected.

If you’d like to continue to lose weight, there’s a supplement out containing ingredients; plus connected to positive user reviews.

Among the best products we’ve seen this year is one called Dietspotlight Burn. It contains just four ingredients. What does research show? It helps accelerate metabolism, curb appetite and ignite fat loss. Customers tell us that when combined with healthy eating and exercise, they lose weight.

The makers of Dietspotlight Burn offer customers a Special Trial Offer, which is a good sign.

Previous Weight Watchers Review (Updated February 25, 2014):

Weight Watchers Diet - What You Should Know

One of the more commonly heard about weight loss programs is Weight Watchers. This system has been around for more than 40 years now, and the official website boasts how they've already helped millions of people lose weight. It's important to understand this program does not involve appetite suppression supplements or fat burning pills. The Weight Watchers diet plan has more to do with watching what you eat on a daily basis. Although individuals that choose this weight reduction plan can continue to eat the foods they love, there is a point system to follow, called SmartPoints, which keeps track of your daily caloric intake. At this point, the Weight Watchers program offers several online tools such as recipe guides that provide over 1500 different meal plans, workout regimens, and interactive tools to assist users with dropping excess body fat. One of the major aspects of Weight Watchers is the point system. Users can purchase a book that reveals how many points are in certain food or beverage items. Once you figure out how many points you're allowed to have each day, then you can eat according, but without exceeding the calories you need. In conjunction with regular exercise and healthy amounts of water, users will ideally shed excess body fat. In 2017, the big change is the Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale option. Weight Watchers Beyond the Scale claims to work better than every other program they've released.

Product Features

There are Weight Watchers diet plans for women and men to take advantage of. It is important to remember that this program is not merely about taking supplements and going about your daily eating routines. With Weight Watchers you will need to change your lifestyle accordingly. Fortunately, there is online assistance involved with this program. Recipes and workout routines are all included, along with a way to keep track of your daily points. A membership costs $46.90 for the first month, but then $16.95 for each month after that. There are also Weight Watchers meetings, which are held in local locations. You can use the official website to learn more and see if one is near you.

Advantages of the Weight Watchers Diet Plan

  • Weight Watchers is a weight loss program that's been around for over 40 years.
  • There are no potentially harmful drugs involved with this plan.
  • Users are still able to consume the foods they need.

Disadvantages of the Weight Watchers Diet Plan

  • Weight Watchers classes require a more drastic lifestyle change than many other diet supplements available these days, which may deter some dieters.
  • There are no convenient fat burner pills or appetite suppressants involved with Weight Watchers.
  • There doesn't appear to be a refund guarantee offered with this weight loss program.
  • Weight Watchers restricts the amount of food you can consume each day, and may not be suitable for everyone.
  • Individuals experienced mixed success. (See reader comments.)

Conclusion

Without a doubt, Weight Watchers diet is one of those weight reduction programs that has been around for quite some time. This may encourage some men and women to try it. On the up side, there are no supplements and pills to worry about with Weight Watchers. However, users do have to pay an initial fee of $46.90, and then proceed with a monthly membership fee from then on. You might find it helpful to really scrutinize the official Weight Watchers website before actually signing up.
Learn More About Burn HD »
Summer Banks Dietspotlight Author
About the Author:

Summer Banks, Director of Content at Dietspotlight, has researched over 5000 weight-loss programs, pills, shakes and diet plans. Previously, she managed 15 supplement brands, worked with doctors specializing in weight loss and completed coursework in nutrition at Stanford University. full bio.

Rating: 3.5. From 24 votes.
Please wait...

Weight Watchers Customers Also Bought:

Weight Watchers Reviews

Leave a comment or review

  It worked for me.
Kim (Verified User)

You will see better results with exercise of course but you can lose the weight by just following the plan. Everyone has time for exercise, you just have to make time, doesn’t even have to be a lot of time, but heck you can take a nightly walk even with your baby and your husband, even just a half hour every other day helps ! I’m a single mom with kids so I understand it’s hard- but it can be done ! Also you can look into a women’s gym, that offers free daycare w/membership ? Good luck !

  Is there an age limit?
anon

Hey, I’m a 14 year old, can I join weight watchers? I’m about 5ft7 and weigh 10 stone something.

random person

Yes you can

cole

I am also 14, I am 5ft 8 1/2in and am 18 stone I have the same question

Victoria (Editor)

Hello Cole. While Weight Watchers is suitable for adults, not every location accommodates those under 18. However, there are plans that focus on teens ans children over 10.

  weight watchers work for me
Zara

Im 18, I weigh 220 and my goal weight is 150. I know this will take time and Im willing to give that time to better my health while I still have the chance. My question is, I am constantly at school or working would weight watchers work for me? Is it easy to follow as far as making the meals? On average how much do you sepnd a month between the program and the food? And lastly does it take long to cook the meals or can I make them in about 30mins? Comments appreciated. Thank you!

Richard (Editor)

Hi Zara. Weight Watchers could be ideal for you. May people with hectic schedules benefit from WW. They offer shakes, snacks and convenience meals allowing you to eat healthy while following a busy schedule.

The cost per month depends on your program and what foods you purchase.

Several of the meals can be prepared and cooked within 30 minutes.

Kim

There’s no special food that you eat on Weight Watchers, you get to eat what you want so for someone at school or work (as I am all the time)- it’s all about packing a lunch and being good at it ! I pack hard boiled eggs, fruits, sandwiches, chips, snacks, cheese sticks, etc and never have a problem eating at work or school. And if I am in a time crunch I just grab a frozen entree from ww line, or lean cuisine and that works too ! Even dinners are like 15 mins, grilled chx, bag of steamed veggies- how simple is that ? The only thing I pay for is the weekly meeting fee which is $12 but can be $39 for the month if you pay in advance. Good luck ! I’ve been on the plan for 2 months and lost 19 lbs, you can do it !

liza

anyone can purchase ww materials and products at weight watchers with out being a member.

  WW is NOT a diet - it is a way of life.
Vaughan (Verified User)

I have been on WW since May, 2012 – I started out at 175 pounds and size 14 dresses were a bit snug on my 5’3″ frame. Today I weigh 115 pounds and wear a size 4! WW is NOT a diet – it is a way of life. WW taught me portion control and to make wise choices about what and how much I eat. But every meal, every day is MY choice. WW is not a quick fix or a pill or some pre-packaged food. They teach you how to live your life in the real world and still lose/maintain! The motivation for staying on maintenance? The mirror! And the fact that I got rid of all of the clothes I shrunk out of!!

Pat

Work for Weight Watchers do you? No need to resort to name calling,,,

  Am I being overcharged?
Sherry (Verified User)

I’m wondering about the price? I was charged the same amount EVERY month. About 29.99 as I remember. Was I being overcharged?

Anonymous

I pay 58.18 monthly. I have access to the e-tools and I go to one meeting per week.

Victoria (Editor)

Hi Sherry. It just depends on the plan you signed up for.

  Love this. Changed my life.
ksonna (Verified User)

I am doing Weight Watchers at Work . I love it. You get whatever you put into it. I lost 14 lbs in 2months but did not follow the plan completely. It is a lifestyle change. Too much or too little of anything is bad. Read the WW info. Do your homework and make a commitment to yourself . People at my job are shrinking!!

  This the best way to change lifestyle!
Wendy (Verified User)

It is nice to see people so motivated! With all the low carb diets out there, it is easy to be fooled….seriously, what is unhealthy about oranges…WW is the best way to change your lifestyle habits!

  Did not work and changed something
stacey (Verified User)

what do you think about the new program? i personnaly don’t like it. how can you loose weight without taking into consideration the calories and how is fruit zero points when it contains lots of natural sugars. i did weight watchers last year and lost 18lbs on the old program. i gained most of it back in the past 6 months so i started the new program jan 1. in 5 weeks i gained 2 lbs. i don’t beleave this new program works. i think it is just a way for weight watchers to make more money by making everyone buy new books and calculators. if something worked so well over the past 40 years why did they change it?

Wompa Magnet

Joined mid-Feb of this year. I have lost 28 pounds sticking to my plan. Noticed that one week I ate an abundant amount of apples and bananas and didnt lose. You have to eat the fruit in moderation as well. Basically I have half a banana for breakfast. Once you get into a routine it wont be a diet and you’ll eat always like you are on WW. The new points for me is excellent.

Liz

What I don’t understand and never have about WW’s is if the program is so good, then why every 2 yrs, maybe even every year do they change the program?
I guess it was last year, the AMA rated WW’s the best and healthiest diet. So, again, why change something that is supposedly the best out there?

Sam

They have to change the plan every so often due to changes in technology, and new research. This time they made veggies and fruit 0 points after studying that it was safe to those all the time. 2 years ago this was not known.

  Trying to figure out about the product
mary

Joined WW this winter, have 60 lbs. to lose, am Type 2 diabetic. Asked for help figuring out menus 2 times, lecturer didn’t have time…..I left after 4 meetings. Website was no help either. Not everyone can eat all the fruit they want.

Anonymous

I agree with you..weight watchers just take your money and you have to do all the meal planning…ww does not provide sample meal plans…you have to figure out the points…I could pay a chef and let him plan meals and come out far better than ww fees

  I am continuing on my weight loss journey
Jen (Verified User)

I have been on Weight Watchers for 6 weeks and have lost exactly 10 pounds. I am meticulous about tracking what I eat, and don’t use my flex points. Based on what I’ve read online, I was hoping for a bigger loss, but I realize that the weight didn’t come on overnight; it won’t be lost overnight either. I am continuing on my weight loss journey. There are many victories not reflected on the scale. 🙂

  PLEASE HELP
Heidi

im thinking of joining WW im 92 kgs and want to be about 75 maybe 70kgs as my goal weight> the problem is as many other woman i have tried all those no carb diets and the minute i eat a slice of bread etc i gain weight??? PLEASE HELP!!! im desperate to make a permenant healthy but effective change to my life. im only 23 for heavens sake!!

  Weight Watchers
Danny (Verified User)

I am 53 years old. I started gaining weight about 6 years ago. When I started I was 210 pounds. Not bad 4 being 6 foot 4 inches tall. December 14th 2010 I weighed 272 pounds. I’ve visited a friend in california who was always huge. I’m talking 360 pounds plus. When I saw him I noticed he had lost over 100 pounds in the last year. I ask him how did he do it. He said he joined weight watchers. He explain to me the formula for calculating daily intake allowance. I figured if you can’t do it I could do it. I downloaded an application to my android phone Called weight watchers diary. I started using it Religiously every day since. 2 day is january 27th 2011 About 45 days since I started and I’ve played in this morning at 254 pounds. I have lost 18 pounds in 45 days. That is an average of 2.8 pounds per week. This is gonna sleep working I can’t believe it. Yes I am doing without some food that I love and eating less of other food but basically just not being a glutton anymore. All it takes is discipline and determination. I still have about 40 pounds to go and by the middle of may I should reach my target weight I love about 210 pounds. I cannot tell you how much better I feel. I cannot tell you how well this formula works. Except that it does. I am down to about 1800 calories per day 4 about 36 weight watcher points per day. I did not join weight watchers because of all the applications for smart phones better out there. This is crazy because it really really does work. I have pounds melting off of me just because I’m watching what I eat. I have not increased exercise at all.

  it is a great plan
Paula (Verified User)

I put my son who weigh in at 267 pounds 17 year old, who desperately wanted to lose weight. I cooked all of his meals, and he lost in 6 months 67 pounds following the lifestyle change. I know that his metabolism is high, being young and a male but I think that it is a great plan. I love the new plan where you don’t have to track your fruit and vegetables. Awesome!

pat

Hello Paula,
Had the same storry with my 18 years son. Have you try EASy-2 kit? My son did not change his diet only by wering this kit his appertised decrised ….
Want to help everybody. i know how important is to feel good in your body. I am trying this SAME kit to myself alredy lost 2 kg in a week !!!

Good Luck x

  Doesn't work for everyone
Not4Me (Verified User)

I have done WW several different times over the years, with all the different changes that have been made.
The weight loss was very slow, I lost and gained the same 10 lbs. over and over on the plan. The classes were fun, but didn’t help me. It just doesn’t work for everyone, and 40.00 a month is alot when you only lose 2/10 of a lb. a week. It seems the heavier you are, the faster you lose. I can follow the plan at home if I want, and not feel pressured at that scale. I need to hold my self accountable for myself and not feel like I have failed once again, with a leader weighing me in. When I didn’t lose, I just felt more disappointed. It works great for some, and I am happy for them, just doesn’t work for everyone, myself included.

   Tremendously
NO Name (Verified User)

I just joined weight watchers this month, and alreayd I feel great. The plan is really easy to follow. Tracking your points is made easy with an app for different smart phones now too. I would say that anyone who is interested in losing weight should definitly give this a shot. It makes sense, its healthy, and you will learn how to eat. Portions were always a huge issue with me, but being on weight watchers has helped me tremendously with this, it is insane what someone thinks an ounce looks like and what it really looks like. Also with the new program 1 point is = to 35-45 calories, so figuring out points for some of those mystery items is easier.

  Weight watchers
sandra cohen (Verified User)

i have been on weight watchers since april 17,2010 . i attend the meetings where i am basically mostly quiet, I am encouraged i lost 40 pounds.
I am hopeing to lose alot more.
its great but slow you have to stick to it. This teaches you a whole new way of eating.
The basic key is to be active and stick to your points. The new program is a blessing and very easy to follow.

  Promotes healthy
karen (Verified User)

I have done weight watchers on and off for years, it does not work. This diet promotes healthy whole foods, but also processed foods. The fat free, low fat food is what messes up your hormones and makes you hungry. The perfect 10 diet is the way to go.

Joe

Karen- yes, yes it does work. Its not a diet, its a life style change. You clearly weren’t following it, or fell off the wagon.

Chrissy

I agree with Joe,it does work. You have to commit to the points for your daily intake. The fatty foods will not mess you up if you stay within your points. Say you have 27 points a day, you can spread them among breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner or blow it all on a burger from McDonald’s. Clearly following the plan and using it wisely will help you prosper. It’s all about commitment.

  Gastric bypass surgery
Autumn Hayes

I had the gastric bypass surgery back in 2000 so I was recommended a low carb diet. Has anyone used this diet to lose the weight that you’ve gained back from the surgery? I want to make sure this diet is for me and if I’d be able to lose weight since I already cannot eat a huge amount of food. I obviously will lose a few pounds if I cut out my chocolate and chips.

Phil L

People who have lost the weight they wanted to, quit Weight Watchers and gained back the weight can hardly blame the program for the fact that they couldn’t continue a program they knew worked for them.

  If you follow the program, you will lose weight.
Natasha Harhold (Verified User)

Been a WW’s member since March 16, 2010. In 29 weeks, I’ve lost 62 pounds. If you follow the program, you will lose weight. If you add exercise, you’ll lose more.

  I highly recommend WW.
Lois (Verified User)

I went on WW about 7 years ago, followed it exactly, and lost over 45 pounds in about 1-1/2 years. From a size 20 to a size 10. Fabulous! But I have never exercised and have a very sedentary job. So after I stopped going to meetings and tracking my food intake, I gradually put the lbs. back on. Started back to WW in June and have lost almost 15 lbs already. But I am not following guidelines as closely as I should, or I would be down even more. It is a great program! I can eat whatever I want as long as I keep track of my points and stay within my point limit, which takes into account calories, fat content, and fiber content. If I actually manage to squeeze in some exercise, the lbs. drop off faster. The cost is minimal, compared to plans that require expensive diet supplements or special “food.” I put that in quotes, b/c it hardly qualifies as edible & certainly doesn’t satisfy my Louisiana-trained taste buds. On WW, I can go out to eat and have really great food and wine. As long as I maintain a modicum of discipline and follow the program, I will lose weight. I highly recommend WW.

  Can anyone tell me how I can keep being motivated even without the help of WW meetings.
MAB (Verified User)

I have tried WW a few times and each time I quit. Every class that I have attended was just not interested to me, nor do I feel that it helped me gain additional information or support than not attending. I really would like to try again, but there only two locations for me to choose from and neither have provided me the support I thought I would get. Can anyone tell me how I can keep being motivated even without the help of WW meetings.

ally

Try TOPS; a program that is self-run and cheaper than WW. The members run the program and support each other. There are tons of meetings all over north america.

  WW has some short comings.
stacie (Verified User)

I’ve been on weight watchers for over a year. The part I thought I would absolutely hate about WW is the best part of all. I’m not outgoing and really don’t like groups of strangers but after a few different groups and finding a WW leader that I enjoyed listening too and talking with each week, I really enjoy spending 45 minutes each week with my group. I did not expect this. But the group has help encourage me to work towards my goals and I’m excited to hear their stories and share my stories each week. As for the actual plan, it has its short comings. I have low iron levels and not eating a lot of meat is really a problem. Thus, I’ve adjusted my diet as necessary. The other short coming of WW is the lack of physical activity support. Those who lose weight are really physically active. Those who don’t excerise every day really don’t get anywhere. It is a one step at a time but after so many months one should reach their nutitional and fitness goals. I’ve lost 70 lbs. on WW. I really like the meetings. If you don’t like the first group you attend. Try another. Just remember if you get a good WW leader make sure you buy the stuff. They are rated on how much they sell. If they don’t sell they are replaced! Just because they sell a lot doesn’t mean they are any fun to listen to each week.

Anonymous

How long didit take you to loose those 70
Lbs???

   WW makes it easy for me not to backslide.
neener (Verified User)

I have been on the WW program (this time) for 4 years and have lost 61 lbs. I have about 20 lbs to go before reaching goal but have never felt in a hurry to do so. Yes, I have to pay every week to go to my meeting, but to me, it is worth it. I haven’t gained the weight back and feel that persistence and having the right mind set this time around has made all the difference. I never want to go back to the way I used to be and WW makes it easy for me not to backslide.

  I am so excited of its result.
Yolanda Flowers (Verified User)

I just started weight watchers early this month and man I’m soooo excited about it… Already I’ve lost 8 pounds. At this point I really don’t care what anyone has to say about the program. I’ve tried everything and for the fist time I finally feel I’ve found something that I can realistically do long term. WW is the way to go, if you’re looking to change your life for the long term.

Dina

Hi i was thinking abotu trying it. How often did you work out to lose the 8 lbs. I’m skeptical to spend money. i need to lose about 10-15 lbs

  There is nothing customized for couples
Jenni

There is nothing customized for couples … because there doesn’t need to be. You can both go to meetings together. For us, I go to the meetings and my husband stays home and watches our son … but we do the actual program together. We both track our points and hold each other accountable.

  I lost 25 lbs in short period
Jenni (Verified User)

I joined Weight Watchers in early May and to date, have lost 25 lbs. It is not a difficult program at all. You can eat whatever you want, basically. You’ve just to to pay attention to what you eat (for WW, it’s how many points) – which is what we should all be doing anyway.

At the time I joined, it was a #13.00 registration fee, and each meeting is $13.00 (I’m not sure where they got the high figures in the description of the WW program). Personally, I really enjoy the meetings. My leader is great and I like having the accountability when I weigh in once a week.

My husband also does Weight Watchers with me. I go to the meetings while he watches our two year old … but he tracks his points, too. He’s slender, and a runner … so he was just doing it to support me. But he’s actually dropped some of his “extra” weight, too.

What I think is fabulous about this program is that it’s a lifestyle change … not just some “magic pills.” We had no idea how much we were eating each day and were shocked when we started tracking.

Any program is going to have it’s critics. But if you’re willing to be patient with the weight loss (1-2 lbs a week) and are willing to make a complete lifestyle change, then WW is the way to go!

  I'm down 43 pounds!
chtoha (Verified User)

Been on the plan since early Jan. 2010. So far I’m down 43 pounds! It is a lifestyle change but well worth it.

wpDiscuz