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jpoanie

Weight Watchers......anyone a member?

Joaniepoanie
February 12, 2019
last modified: February 12, 2019

I did WW in the late 60's and off and on into the 80's. I'm thinking of joining again but was talking to an acquaintance who's been a lifetime member for a long time and she is not happy with the changes in the last few years. She said she now doesn't get as many points now and some foods she enjoyed almost doubled in points and she can't really have them anymore. She also said weight loss isn't as great with these new programs. She has tried them, but swears by the "old" WW before 2015 or so. Thoughts? Other programs or apps you'd recommend over WW?

Comments (23)

  • legomom23

    I am on it and was on it last year. I lost about 20 pounds and then gained it all back when I had some personal stresses that threw me off.

    Lots of old timers don't like the new version. You get less points, but skinless chicken, turkey and beans are zero points as well as almost all veggies and fruits. It steers you toward healthier choices instead of just calories. 100 calories of wine is 4 points, 100 calories of beans is zero points.

    The people on connect are great if you sift through them and find your group. I find the success stories inspirational and there is a lot of good advice on there. I've been tracking since January 1 but haven't been within points much and haven't lost any weight. My fault, not WW. I signed up for the whole year though, because I wanted the follow through. I'm hoping to get motivated soon!

    I think the new version is geared more to overall health, you earn more points for exercise, and it steers you to healthier choices I think. You don't have to buy any special food, and I think their food/point database is pretty inclusive and easy to use.

    I guess like any weight loss plan, you've got to use it, to lose it ;)

    Joaniepoanie thanked legomom23
  • 3katz4me

    I've never been a WW member but I have a good friend who skeptically signed on last year. She absolutely loves it and has lost at least 60 pounds and looks great. She was raving about the WW app and had nothing but good things to say about all of it. She is very disciplined about it and eats a lot of chicken, veggies and fruit. I think she saves her points for wine.

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  • Annette Holbrook(z6b-7a)

    The new setup is less points, but tons of zero point foods. Eggs, Chicken breast, turkey breast, shrimp and most fish are zero. Fat free yogurt is zero, most all vegetables are zero, beans are zero. You can eat quite a bit of zero foods and still lose.

  • Funkyart

    Legomom wrote: I think the new version is geared more to overall health, you earn more points for exercise, and it steers you to healthier choices I think.

    I think this is absolutely the case-- it's really a different program all around from the ww program of the 80s/90s... I think their recent rebranding carries that message too. I don't do ww but I do borrow from their recipes so I am familiar with the zero pt options and they definitely steer you towards healthier choices... especially if you want more "volume"... but I can't attest to how successful the approach is with weight loss.

  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

    I've never done WW, but I will say that I am a person who really dislikes being hungry. When I have to drop some weight (I once allowed myself to gain 20 pounds,) I find filling up on raw vegetable and concentrating on fish and chicken breasts makes the weight melt away and still allows for the occasional splurge (in my case that means a croissant or pastry from time-to-time, or even a big bowl of pasta on Sunday night.)

  • Springroz

    I am Lifetime WW...At our original center, we had an amazing man as a leader. He was funny, the meetings were light, and he had lost over 140 lbs. Really knew his stuff. I put on a few pounds, we moved, I went to a few meetings, but they were SO boring, almost stupid. In 6 weeks, I lost not one ounce. I had lost 43 lbs before.

    All those zero point foods make no sense to me....before, the points were based on calories, fat, and fiber. wonder how they are calculated now?

  • 3katz4me

    Based on what little I know about the zero point foods, it seems like the idea is to steer you toward a lifetime of healthy eating vs. a calorie focused "diet".

  • Joaniepoanie

    I dont t understand how all those foods could be zero points either. Theoretically, you could eat zero point foods all day but the calories would certainly add up, especially with fruit. Then if you add in your points on top, how on earth do you lose any weight?

    I've always though WW was an excellent program, but 200 zero point foods....really?

  • Annie Deighnaugh

    They are not free but have zero points so yes you can eat more of them, but within reason. However much you need to lose, you didn't get there by eating an extra nonfat greek yogurt or an extra serving of broiled cod. But no, you don't want to sit down and eat a gallon of nonfat yogurt. That clearly would not be helpful.

    The points are set based on a combo of sugar, protein and saturated fats.

    There are some who have found the latest version of the program very helpful for losing weight and others who have not...I think it depends on you metabolism and how you use the program.

    Joaniepoanie thanked Annie Deighnaugh
  • eld6161

    I am also a Lifetime WW member. It's at least twenty years. I have been through many of the changes and only follow the plan that I came in on. I never adapted to any of the others.

    I am not on the app, don't need to be even though it is free.

    Basically, I know what I can eat and how many calories I should eat to either maintain or lose weight. For me 1200 calories per day will put me on the losing track.

    I stay as a WW member because it is free. It keeps me accountable for my once a month weigh in. i enjoy the camaraderie of the other . members and have learned quite a few tips. If I need to stay focused I jump in on extra meetings.

    I have always liked the idea that nothing is off limits. It just all has to be factored in.

    Every so often yet a new plan is rolled out. I am sure this Free Style plan will be replaced with something else. I see lots of holes in it, to be honest.

    Any diet will work, if you stick with it and do it. The difference is that you go to meetings with OTHER people. That is the KEY. There are probably hundreds of apps and programs out there, but I don't think any other has actual meetings with real people.

    Yes, yes and yes join. But when you do, make a promise to yourself that you will commit to this journey and succeed. And, understand it is a forever commitment.


    Springnoz, from what I understand, one of the complaints was that the people didn't want to track points. So they devised this plan where you only track the ones that do have points, so less tracking. For me the flaw is that they aren't talking about portions. The feeling is, how much broccoli are you actually going to eat? How many plain chicken cutlets? The zero point foods are typically those that you would not over eat for the most part. However, just because a banana is zero points, should you be eating 3 a day? And if you did, can you still lose weight.


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  • Joaniepoanie

    Annie....were you on the older versions? Do you like the new one more? Has your weight loss been different on each?

  • msmeow

    I lost 30 pounds on WW a few years ago, and have sadly gained at least half back again. I tried the new program but can't get into it. Yes, there are over 200 zero point foods, and I don't like about 180 of them! LOL No way will I eat grilled chicken or turkey breast or what I call mealy beans (like red or black beans), and I like some fruit but not many vegetables. And the minute you eat anything that has points, you've used up your daily allowance.

    The main thing that worked for me before was portion control, so I really need to get on the ball and start doing that again.

    Donna

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  • Rita / Bring Back Sophie 4 Real

    How can a banana and broccoli both be zero points? Common sense is clearly required.

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  • eld6161

    Common sense or not, bananas are now zero. They weren't always. The premise is that you might choose a banana over a piece of pie since is is zero points.


    I predict this new program will be revised! They all are.


    Ms Meow, I totally agree. Portion control, understanding how much you should eat in a day is key.


    Years ago on WW there was one program where you could eat from a list of foods supposedly as much as you wanted. You were "supposed" to know when you were satisfied. Ha, I gained weight that first week of trying it and went back to the old way of doing things.



    Joaniepoanie thanked eld6161
  • Rudebekia

    To each her own, but I didn't find WW effective for me. The price was right, but I didn't lose the weight I needed to, it was so slow coming off, and I kind of hated the meetings (which were largely just vent sessions, dominated by a few regulars). We have a Medifast Center near me and, despite initial concerns, I signed on. I easily lost the weight (20 lbs in 10 weeks) and am now in maintenance. This diet keeps you in a mild state of ketosis--fat burn--which means I'm never hungry. In fact, it is the only diet I've tried so far that has really subdued cravings. The emphasis is on high protein, low carb, medium fat. I think all of us who struggle with weight need to search for what works for us and is sustainable. No diet works for every person.

    Joaniepoanie thanked Rudebekia
  • d_gw

    My friend and I have had luck cutting way back on all obvious carbs, even the healthy whole grain versions. We both feel a lot better too, not so many sugar crashes.


    My old diet was whole grain toast with something healthy on it in the morning, whole grain sandwich with lean meat and veggies in the afternoon, meat, carb and veg for dinner. Going without carbs took some adjustment but now when I cheat I can really feel it later.


    I've lost about 5% of my body weight and I don't really feel like I am dieting.

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  • mtnrdredux_gw

    First of all, no matter what program you are on, you are supposed to eat mindfully, and not gorge yourself no matter what you are eating. You want to learn to stop when you are full, (actually, just before that). So that is why making something "zero" points should not mean you gorge on it.

    I think the WW changes are to acknowledge the latest science and obesity research. I think many many moons ago WW programs and most diets were based on the view that all calories were created pretty much equally. Then they decided that a) that was not good for your health and b) that led people to choose foods that may not have been filling, and so they gave into hunger. When I last was on WW, 15 yrs or so ago, the points system essentially keyed off calories, but the points system rewarded you for eating fiber and dissuaded you from eating fat. That is why points don't equal calories.

    I would guess that they have found that, if you make tracking the key to success, you will find very few people (even w online apps) who want to track everything they eat every single meal of every single day for the rest of their lives. If you take all of the foods that people tend not to overindulge in and that are reasonably nutritious without being calorically dense, and make them all zero, then essentially you are saying you only need to track treats, or indulgences. That is probably a lot more doable.

    I believe research shows that almost all diets "work." The issue is which approach one can live w indefinitely. Nearly everyone makes the mistake of playing Scarlett on this one, and figuring, after they lose, then they will worry about what to do for the rest of their lives. But the latter is the most important part.

    About 15 yrs ago I used WW and did very well. I did it 99% on line. I tried meetings, but some leaders, frankly, are bad at what they do. Or silly or juvenile or not really that knowledgeable. The participants can be even worse. Sorry for the misanthropic bent, but that was my experience. Some people need or like meetings for the accountability of weighing in. If that is useful to you, and or the camaraderie (assuming you are more patient/generous that I am), then WW is a sound choice.

    I like Myfitnesspal. I like to track from time to time and I don't feel I need a lot of guidance. It is easy to use and i have it on my phone.

    Joaniepoanie thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • Annie Deighnaugh

    joanie, I've been lifetime since the 1980s and have participated on and off...more off than on...over the past decades and have seen a *lot* of changes.

    I've been able to lose weight on all of the programs including the latest one. There is no 'rush' to lose weight in that you are learning a way of eating for a lifetime, so they have a program that will help you lose weight and keep it off by learning how to properly feed yourself in a way you can live with for the rest of your life. This is not a 'diet'.

    Their focus is on being healthy more than just numbers on the scale. After all, you could lose weight eating just chocolate, but it wouldn't leave you healthier. They also help you through maintenance which IMO is a *lot* harder than losing weight.

    The new program focuses on eating the right foods (low in sugar and sat fat, higher in protein and lots of fruits and veggies), exercising and being mindful of what you eat and why you eat. While there are things I don't like about their software, generally being able to track on line and scan bar codes at the grocery store to get the food points is very easy. If I don't track, I don't lose.

    I like the accountability of the weigh-in and actually enjoy going to meetings. It did take me trying 4 different leaders though to find one who fit with my personality. Not only is she good, but the people in her group are a good fit for me too...no judgments, we've shared some touching moments and tears as well as a lot of laughter, and I've gotten to know some really great people.

    I think one of the biggest things about the new program is the flexibility it offers. If you don't use all your points one day, you can roll over up to 4 a day to gain more points for the week, which you can use for a party or a night out or whatever. So you can have a splurge without going off track.

    Another area of flexibility with the points is you can be on WW and accommodate other dietary needs, be it gluten free, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, diabetic, etc. I don't eat any of their processed foods as I like to eat real food and unlike some other programs, there's no requirement you buy their stuff.

    So yeah, I recommend their program. Give it a try, and if you don't like one leader, try several different ones. But it is widely considered to be one of the best programs around.

    Joaniepoanie thanked Annie Deighnaugh
  • l pinkmountain

    I think traditionally the benefit of a WW type program is that you can connect with other people to help keep you on track. Also the idea of building in accountability, either online or in person. If you don't need or want the human interaction, then it seems like there are a whole variety of methods that might work for you so best to find one that suits your personality, body and food needs (diabetes, heart disease, vegetarian, low carb, etc.) They are all ultimately based on calorie restriction, but the distribution is different.

    The best diet that would work for me is to have a personal chef managing all my shopping and meals!!

    I have come to realize that my biggest challenge is incorporating regular exercise into my routine. And in that case, a group or partner would be a good way to keep me motivated. If I had some support from my workplace that would be great too. So WW at work and a free gym would be great for me. At some of the colleges I have worked for, that was available.

    I've given up on weight loss and exercise for now, my life is spinning so much out of control but I am trying to gain control enough to resume. It's either that or buy a whole new wardrobe!

    Joaniepoanie thanked l pinkmountain
  • Joaniepoanie

    Thanks all....I'd say my biggest problems are exercise and eating out or at friends' houses. And then it's consistency of course. I go through periods of being very disciplined then periods of Oh, to heck with it.....so basically I just spin my wheels.

  • eld6161

    Joanie, you have to make up your mind that you are going to be committed to losing weight and that it will become a life style change going forward.


    Go to a WW meeting. But.....go to a few different time slots. See if you connect more with one instructor than the other. Also, you might prefer one group of members over another.


    Exercise. Yes, it is important. But, not for losing weight. Exercise should be to feel better, look better, have more energy and stamina. You can lose weight without doing any exercise. And, just because you walked an hour on the treadmill does not give you permission to eat that cheesecake. IMHO, I take exercise out of the equation when it comes to losing weight.

    (Please note, I walk 5 miles a day, go to the gym at least 3 times a week for weight training classes, and use the stair master where I walk 1,000 steps) . I can do all of this and yes gain weight if I am not watching what I am eating.





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  • Annie Deighnaugh

    We talk a lot about our "why"....why are we there, what do we hope to accomplish. When the going gets rough, it pays to revisit your "why", both short and long term. Mine include wanting to forestall disease, wanting to age healthfully, wanting to postpone aging by feeling better, looking better and having more energy. For me, my cousin is an inspiration. She lost a lot of weight and in so doing, she looks 10 yrs younger. I'll have some of that please! :)


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  • gsciencechick

    I have been a WW member since 1981. I joined when you had to eat 5 meals of fish and 1 liver per week. In some ways it was good because there were very few "diet" foods and you had to make do with what you had. I kept my weight at or below goal for about 10 years--I even worked as a leader though I was pretty young, then it's been up and down since then.


    I had great success again on the Ultimate Flex and Core plans when they introduced the Points system and got back down to goal again. But after I got married, moved, had lifestyle changes like longer commutes and more job stress then hypothyroid, I had problems again. We had WW at work, but I had mixed results, and doing the WI at work made me miserable the rest of the day if I did not do well. So, I stopped. I did online only for a bit and made some good friends off the old messageboards. We had an academic thread, and these folks keep in touch a lot. Again some success but nowhere near goal.


    My colleague has gone back to WW and she is down about 30 lbs. She likes the plan and goes to meeting. I have no desire to go to meetings. I don't have problems hating exercise or fruits and vegetables.


    I started a new program offered through my health insurance called Naturally Slim. It is a mindfullness-based program with some time-restricted feeding. I've lost 15 lbs. since September, and this is the best success I've had in a long time.



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