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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

More about Weight Watchers

Some interesting reading:


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/04/nyregion/04watchers.html?smid=nytcore-ipad-share&smprod=nytcore-ipad


http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/in-new-diet-math-subtracting-is-hard/?_r=0



https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2014/10/29/americans-new-way-of-losing-weight-left-weight-watchers-behind/

http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/10/why-weight-watchers-doesnt-work.html


The two articles from the Times, one from 2010 and the other from 2012, are all about the Points Plus system.  Reading the first article felt a bit like deja vu, the new plan introduced just before the holidays, members feeling angry, etc.  More interesting, though, was the second article, about how Weight Watchers had to revamp Points Plus almost immediately, because it wasn't producing the desired results. 

And it looks like Points Plus was tested much more thoroughly than Smart Points.  They've been revising Smart Points over the last few weeks in response to issues brought up by members.  Look for a major revision to Smart Points sometime next year. 

The Washington Post article, from 2014, and the NY Magazine article, from October 2015, focus more on the Weight Watchers business model.

The model is based on the repeat dieter.  Even though Weight Watchers is considered to be one of the best programs, it has the same failing as all other weight loss programs: most people are able to lose weight while on Weight Watchers, very few meet goal and even fewer keep the weight off.   (A grim reality, but this time around I intend to beat the odds.)

But more important, smart phones and fitness trackers and free apps have changed the market considerably.  It's become very expensive to be a Weight Watchers member, whether you're "online only" or go to weekly meetings.  Why bother when you can get a similar service for free? 

I've linked my Fitbit account to my account at My Fitness Pal, for seamless tracking of  food intake and exercise.  I have plenty of company.  Peer support?  I've found a very nice group on Facebook.

I joined, er, re-joined Weight Watchers in mid March.  I've lost 45 pounds so far.  Interestingly, I've lost 10 pounds since 12/15, the last day I weighed in at Weight Watchers. Those last 10 pounds belong to calorie counting at My Fitness Pal, not Weight Watchers points.

Yeah, I got this.

3 comments:

Suzanne said...

I was talking with a coworker about the change to WW, especially Oprah the sideshow barker as the pitch woman. I avoid anything she touches, because popular doesn't equate to good, KWIM? This new point system doesn't sound good.

The reason I found WW helpful both times I'd been attending meetings is that there is accountability to others. We had a weight loss challenge at the school I worked at. Everyone was placed into teams of four and we had Friday weigh ins. That team of four was really my motivation, and My Fitness Pal was the tool I used to track everything. I lost 18 pounds that way.

This time around, I'm starting a weight loss journey with my husband. He finally sees that GBS is just a tool, not a panacea, so he was willing to try WW. We may go for a few months (and I'll bite my tongue about how annoying Oprah is). Once he's gotten the hang of the method, it may just be the two of us and a scale, rather than WW meetings.

songbird's crazy world said...

Exactly. No such thing as a magic bullet that will make you thin. Hard work, diet and exercise are what's needed.

bookworm said...

My husband found out that his workplace was offering Weight Watchers at work. Decided, after thinking hard, he wasn't going to do it, even at the reduced price his employer was offering. So I don't know if I will continue to pay good money for the app and website just to learn a new program and then have it totally revamped in a few months, when PointsPlus worked fine for both of us. I've gained some weight back but it's because I slacked off the program. Not thoroughly tested? What a surprise. And, I don't ever buy or use anything just because a celebrity recommended to. To me, it's actually a minus to have a celebrity spokesperson. If Oprah loses weight and keeps it off for five years (and I'm not trying to be mean here, just thinking of her lifetime struggles with weight) then I'll know WW has created something special.

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