It’s been more than 40 years since Weight Watchers came on the scene and started helping people lead healthier lives. Who would’ve believed Weight Watchers started in the living room, where women gather to support one another while losing weight? Now, Weight Watchers is one of the most recognizable names in the weight loss industry, and have found advocates in the form of Hollywood celebrities such as Jennifer Hudson and Jenny McCarthy. But how does the Weight Watchers diet plan work?
The Weight Watchers Diet: POINTS VS CORE
The Weight Watchers Diet is a low fat, low calorie option which encourages the individual to make smarter choices by selecting more nutrient-dense foods to give the body better nutrition. What makes the Weight Watchers diet unique from all the other eating plans is that you can choose between two different programs: The Core Plan and The Points Plan.
The Core Plan
Choosing the Core Plan lets the dieter control caloric intake by focusing on a core list of wholesome, nutritious foods without counting. The list is made up of foods from all the food groups, which includes vegetables, fruits, meats, fish, carbs and dairy products.
The Points Plan
If the dieter chooses the Points Plan, he is allowed to eat and drink anything within the limits of the daily points allowance. All foods and drinks are assigned a points value, based on calories, grams of fat and grams of dietary fiber. This is then calculated into a formula which takes into account the portion size.
On both plans, the dieter can eat real food and is not required to buy or eat specific foods. The only rules are to watch portion sizes and depending on which program you choose, either keep track of your daily points, or stick to the foods on the core list.
When you first attend a meeting, you will have an assessment with the course leader who will be able to discuss your weight loss goals before recommending the best way to achieve them. In subsequent weeks, you’ll be weighed to see how you’re doing and discuss your progress with the course leader. Many slimmers find that the weekly weigh-in gives them a real incentive to follow the diet plan.
"Most adults don’t eat enough fruits or vegetables. So our strategy was to allow these as free foods to encourage more consumption of the super-nutritious foods low in calories but very filling."
-Karen Miller-Kovach, RD