Diet Plans & Programs: The "Skinny" on Popular Diet Plans

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Weight Watchers FitPoints (Activity Points): Exactly How Do They Work?
Comparing the three plans can help you choose which program works best for you, your budget and your lifestyle. The time when people need the support the most is when they are not losing, but most meetings are not set to address this. This diet claims that the cause for obesity "is simple: Weight Watchers has several dozen videos, workouts, demos, fitness plans, and challenges. You regain the weight. In other words, the meetings, the online support, the App, all make a big difference.

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It came into being from Weight Watchers Limited in the United Kingdom, where two women invented, developed, and patented the Points system calculator. Using an algorithm that calculated calories, fats, proteins, and carbs, it would have a couple of iterations, too, as more was learned about nutrition and exercise science. But the underlying system, of counting foods as values based on nutrition, was genius then and it remains the cornerstone today.

The newest program, launched in , is dubbed Beyond the Scale. Weight Watchers says it wants people to not diet per se, but adopt a Weight Watchers lifestyle:. Our proven program is not a diet. Yes, you will lose weight. The current program is pretty simple, in that every food has a value. SmartPoints are calculated based on calories, saturated fat, sugar, and protein.

You simply adhere to your allotted points. There are no forbidden foods. And that phrase alone is for some the ah-ha! Weight Watchers explains that it takes the complex nutritional information of a food and gives it a single number—the SmartPoints value—so people can make smarter food choices while eating the stuff they like to eat.

Well, some of it anyway. And, each week you get bonus points—which, when I did Weight Watchers in my last go-round, I banked and then pigged out on Friday nights. Just Ben, Jerry, and me. Anyway, the idea of points is smart, easy, and doable. And I mean not just parking further away from the store entrance. Get your heart rate up and keep it up with fat-burning, good-for-your-heart exercise. I swim albeit not enough. You can walk, run, jog, row, climb, spin, bike, step, jump, skip, kick—you get the idea.

And do it at least 30 minutes every day—or at least most days of the week—as best as you can fit in your already ridiculously hectic life. Actually, make it your time; take 30 minutes, put headphones on, and do it. And, it turns out, even during the most seemingly mundane of tasks, you earn FitPoints which you add to your total points for the day.

FitPoints is also a smart idea. Weight Watchers explains it this way:. FIT is about getting back in touch with your body. Weight Watchers has several dozen videos, workouts, demos, fitness plans, and challenges.

And all of this can be managed on a handy, popular app. The Weight Watchers mobile app for smartphones and devices helps dieters to track weight loss progress, manage SmartPoints and FitPoints, shop for and plan meals, and offers social networking with other members. Every step you take, every bite you eat, kept track of. The mobile app for Android has almost , reviews on Google Play with an overall rating of 4. Reviewers find it easy to use, convenient, and it helps dieters stay on track.

Similarly, on iTunes, more than 2, real people reviewed the current iteration of the app and gave it a close to 5 stars. Even the previous versions of the app—with 12, reviews—agreed it was effective, easy to use, and helped Weight Watchers dieters keep track.

On the Weight Watchers app you can live chat with a coach and—for a lot of people who are focused on the fitness in the program and want a fuller health-tech experience—toggle to the Activity tab to your track activeness. And if you have an Apple Watch, wireless scales, and an activity tracker—like Up by Jawbone or Apple Health, for example—you can connect them to your Weight Watchers account. Along with Weight Watchers online, a virtual and brick-and-mortar support network yes, there are still meetings, absolutely!

W hat does Weight Watchers cost? A little secret from me: Once you have done Weight Watchers, you know how to do Weight Watchers—so as some say, you can do it without paying.

Remember I said that accountability, motivation, community, and support are the secrets to Weight Watchers? In fact, Weight Watchers itself—even in this day and age where everything is online—recommends the plan you go with is the one with meetings: But, as of fall of , there are three plans:.

Just read the fine print. If you follow it. If you fall off the tracks, you just get back on. When I did my first round with Weight Watchers, I lost 4 pounds the first week and I have to tell you, I remember that day like it was yesterday. I stuck with it for 11 more weeks and ended up dropping 23 pounds.

But it can work for you. We chubbies will do anything, try anything , to lose weight! I can say that: Just the facts, and the facts are that Weight Watchers ticks most of the good boxes— most being the operative word there. The study found that. Further, high usage of 3 access modes was associated with greater weight loss results. In other words, the meetings, the online support, the App, all make a big difference.

British journal The Lancet published a study which followed several hundred people for a year; half on a diet recommended by their doctor and the other half on Weight Watchers. The majority of the participants on Weight Watchers stuck to the diet and lost twice as much weight as the doctor-diet group.

Finally, the American Diabetes Association has studied Weight Watchers and found that meeting attendance combined with an emphasis on healthy eating—including veggies, fruit and high-fiber, low trans-fat foods—makes it a good commercial diet choice with better, and healthier, results. How about Weight Watchers reviews?

A picture is worth a thousand words, and for me the before-and-after of performer Jennifer Hudson is all you need to see to know Weight Watchers works. She lost 80 pounds. And though she ended her relationship with the company after about four years, she lost the equivalent weight of a healthy year-old and said in interviews that Weight Watchers changed her life.

What each of these has in common, too, is that all successfully lost quite a bit of weight on Weight Watchers, and in the case of most—if not all—have kept the weight off, in some cases for years. But what about regular people? The most candid and compelling review I located was posted on SparkPeople.

So my humble opinion on WW, I believe it works great if you stick with it. She said while on Weight Watchers she ate a lot of high-fiber foods, a lot of vegetables, lean meats and fish, light breads, fruit and drank a lot of water. I would like to lose 76 pounds. I know this woman. I am this woman.

But trinkets, tools, and good old-fashioned customer service help the spell work. The allure, or Weight Watchers charms, are many. I loved the gadgets and many I still have, including the old Points slide thingamajig. Back in the day, free recipe cards and cookbooks, coupons, and trinkets to help remind me that I was accountable; a key chain, pocket guide, measuring cup, and non-toxic plastic water bottle with Weight Watchers emblazoned on it—those little talismans made a difference.

She had no problem canceling and she said Weight Watchers customer service was great. Based on our research people frequently try to compare Weight Watchers to other brands. Often the brands and their products are different in many ways which makes it hard to compare apples-to-oranges. This is our attempt to compare below 5 and pick the winner. Please take this information with the grain of salt and do your own research. If making dietary changes we recommend consulting with your medical doctor.

Coaching and networking, weighing in and showing up, online or in person—like I did back in the day in a church basement with a couple of dozens other folks fingers-crossed on the scale, chatting together, sharing recipes, and listening to a motivational leader.

I understand the attraction to Weight Watchers. Been there, done that, and, I have been successful. And that's the point; the weight didn't stay off so I, like millions more, yo-yo diet.

On the Trim Down Club website, club members like the women I met every Saturday morning at weigh-ins in the days of yore meet up with other club members; the supportive and active Trim Down Club community. See image below for details.

Each member is assigned a numerical FitPoints Goal for the week. Since you earn FitPoints with physical activity of any kind, the concept is that Weight Watchers is trying to encourage you to be more active. Weight Watchers hopes that you will strive to meet this goal. After you meet it consistently, they will raise the goal, a little at a time. When you first sign up, you'll be asked a number of questions.

The good folks at Weight Watchers decide your initial weekly FitPoints Goal number, based on your age, gender, weight, and activity level. You could be doing aerobics, or you could just be walking to work, waging war against bathroom soap scum, or dancing your heart out at a party.

You just have to keep track of the amount of time you engaged in the activity, and the intensity level low, moderate, or high of the activity. You're not sweating from the activity, or breathing more rapidly than normal.

You're breathing more rapidly than normal, but not out of breath not winded. You are able to converse but not able to sing while performing the activity. You can't converse normally while performing this activity, but can only utter short phrases. Weight Watchers Research Dept. You can either enter it manually in the activity section of your account, or you can use a tracking device or app, such as Fitbit, which connects directly to your Weight Watchers account. The revamp took effect in December , when Weight Watchers introduced their holistic Beyond the Scale approach sounds like a sci-fi sequel: Star Wars Episode 14, Beyond the Scale.

For one, Weight Watchers says that your weekly FitPoints goal is fully personalized for you by WW, taking into account your age, gender, height, weight, and current activity level.

Previously, with Activity Points, you would just calculate the points to earn using a more generalized, clumsier online tool. The actual FitPoints you earn that are exchangeable for SmartPoints doesn't really vary much based on your weight and gender. The number of points you earn is overwhelmingly based on the time and intensity of the activity. FitPoints are easier to earn as well. Plain and simple, you get points as soon as you start moving.

With the old Activity Points, you had to reach a baseline before you could score — for example, you might have had to walk 3, steps to get points. Now, you could walk just a third of that and already earn as many as 2 FitPoints. What is FitBreak from Weight Watchers? FitBreak is an app that shows you very brief videos a few seconds long , and encourages you to then mimic that activity for exactly one minute. If you do this 20 times over the course of the day a total of 20 minutes , you will receive 2 FitPoints.

You must be logged into your regular Weight Watchers mobile app while using FitBreak, in order to automatically receive the points. When you start on Weight Watchers, you take an assessment where WW looks at your lifestyle and determines your first FitPoints goal.

As mentioned, this goal is based on your personal factors. For instance, if you currently spend a lot of time sitting at your desk, WW will start you off with a fairly low points goal. One is by wearing an activity tracker, such as the highly popular Fitbit, which integrates with your Weight Watchers account.

The advantage of wearing an activity tracker is that you'll earn the most FitPoints this way. Just make sure that your tracking app is synced to your Weight Watchers account so that your tracked activities are automatically converted and credited as FitPoints. Just log in to your My Day online dashboard, go to "Activity," and there you'll see where to input your activity. Even if you don't want to shell out for an expensive tracker, you can download a free pedometer app on your phone to count your steps for you.

Once you get the hang of reaching your weekly FitPoints goals and for some people, WW is right in saying that this can be addictive , your goal will likely be changed to match your new lifestyle. If you reach your goal for two weeks straight, Weight Watchers will automatically recommend a higher goal for you.

And if you keep racking up those points, you get more bragging rights — and other perks, like say, a leaner, healthier body. Plus, you can exchange those FitPoints for more SmartPoints, which means that you can eat a little more if you want to. FitPoints is a goal system, so you want to earn more points here to achieve your target.

In fact, 1 FitPoint is equal to 1 SmartPoint. The question now is, should you eat your FitPoints? In a way, this makes sense. And, as we all know, getting a treat every now and then makes dieting a little more enjoyable. A similar thing may happen with tracking apps, especially if more than one app is synced to your WW account. Overestimated FitPoints means that you could then be swapping for more food than you worked for, and that completely throws the diet.

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