Weight Watchers (WW) Diet: Benefits, Foods, and Rules

Weight Watchers (WW) Diet: Benefits, Foods, and Rules

Most people that have sought out some form of diet plan or weight loss regime have likely happened upon Weight Watchers. This diet program has helped many people shed their unwanted pounds with willpower and yummy WW recipes. 

For those considering this diet plan, it’s crucial to understand how the Weight Watchers diet works, how easy it is to follow, and what to expect from the experience. 

What Is the Weight Watchers Diet?

Weight Watchers was one of the first diet programs with an online platform. Members pay to acquire a Weight Watchers login to their account. In each account, personalized features help you track your eating using a points system, track your exercise, and access healthy and tasty WW recipes. 

The Weight Watchers diet is all about making healthy life choices that still allow you to eat the foods you enjoy. The diet encourages you to be active and adjusts the point system based on your individual needs. 

While some diets and apps require you to exercise regularly and restrict the foods you can eat, Weight Watchers promotes moderation and healthy habits. 

How Does Weight Watchers Diet Work?

Weight Watchers functions primarily using the point system. Everyday users have an allotted amount of food points they can use while still meeting their weight goals. Healthier foods are low in points or may not use any points. 

Fatty, salty, and sugary foods will use more points. And if you exercise, you can add more points to your daily intake based on your physical activity. 

The free Weight Watchers app includes Weight Watchers recipes that help you make healthy choices without sacrificing flavor or fullness. Following these recipes instills healthier cooking habits in you, so every dish you make will be a bit healthier. 

For example, it will always suggest a low-fat oil in place of butter. These small changes can have a big impact on your health and weight. 

There are Weight Watchers clubs and meeting places where those dieting can encourage and uplift one another. But the diet has mostly just become a handy app and website rather than a weight loss support group. 

What Are the Health Benefits of the Weight Watchers Diet?

Weight Watchers isn’t right for everyone that wants to lose weight. To better understand the pros and cons of Weight Watchers, you need to know the health benefits, as well as the health risks of this diet choice.  

Below are some of the health benefits associated with the Weight Watchers diet.

  1. Consistent and lasting weight loss
  2. A more nutritious and balanced diet
  3. Reduced blood sugar and blood pressure
  4. Lowers body fat percentage
  5. Reduces risk of diabetes and heart disease

If you’d like to speak to someone more about the health benefits, you can call Weight Watchers customer service and information or search for “Weight Watchers near me” and talk to a representative in person. 

What Are the Health Risks of the Weight Watchers Diet?

The health benefits of the WW Weight Watchers diet typically outweigh the health risks. Nevertheless, it’s valuable to be aware of the possible negatives. 

  1. Gastrointestinal disturbances
  2. Increased risk of eating disorder
  3. Lack of nutrition if not done properly

The only health risk when the diet is properly followed is some tummy aches and bowel distress. This only happens in people who must drastically change their diet when beginning the WW Weight Watchers program. 

For example, an individual that never consumed vegetables may feel a shift in their digestive patterns. 

But malnutrition and the development of an eating disorder typically only occur in people with existing mental illness, rapid metabolism, or people that do not follow the diet according to the guidelines. 

How To Do the Weight Watchers Diet?

Doing the Weight Watchers diet starts with creating a WW account. Once you do this, you can select your ideal diet plan and start your journey. 

  1. Take the personalized WW quiz to learn about your eating habits and how you will change them to enhance weight loss and health. 
  2. Then, you’ll get a zero points food list, which you can eat as much as you want without using any points. 
  3. Browse the WW recipes and learn what foods you need to incorporate into your diet. Then, make a grocery list that aligns with the WW recipes. 
  4. Stock your home with foods that will work for the diet, and then practice making healthy recipes. 
  5. Track your points every day, every time you eat. 
  6. Complete the weekly weigh-ins to track your progress. 
  7. Stick to the diet and watch the pounds fall off!

You can pay for your Weight Watchers membership yearly or monthly. You can cancel Weight Watchers if you decide it’s not the right weight loss strategy for you. 

What Foods Can Be Eaten On Weight Watchers Diet?

Unlike many diets, knowing what you can and can’t eat on Weight Watchers is easy with the Weight Watchers app. It tells you what foods are best and what to avoid. 

Every member has a WW Personal Points Zero Points Foods List, that features all the ‘free foods’ that they can gorge themselves on without losing points or gaining weight. Everyone’s zero point list will differ, but below are a few examples of zero-point foods.

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Low-fat or fat-free yogurt and cottage cheese
  4. Brown rice 
  5. Whole grains
  6. Avocados
  7. Fish 
  8. Shellfish
  9. Oats 
  10. Poultry
  11. Whole-wheat pasta 
  12. Tofu
  13. Tempeh
  14. Corn 
  15. Beans, peas, and lentils
  16. Eggs

What Foods Cannot Be Eaten On Weight Watchers Diet?

Weight Watchers plans do have some restrictions on what you can eat. There are some super indulgent and unhealthy foods that they strictly tell you to avoid if you want to have a successful weight loss journey. 

Below are common foods to avoid when on the Weight Watchers plan.

  1. Deep-fried food
  2. Pizza 
  3. Fast food
  4. High-calorie dressings, sauces, and dips
  5. Flavored yogurt 
  6. Cured and processed meat
  7. Store-bought cakes and pies 
  8. Sugary beverages (soda, juice)

WW does away with complex calorie-counting to make it easy to avoid the ‘bad’ foods and instead eat the ‘good’ foods. Weight Watchers fun facts, like how their SmartPoints work, show how simple and effective the diet can be. 

While the novelty points system may seem confusing at first, it couldn’t be easier to pick up!

What Is the Cost of Following Weight Watchers Diet?

The Weight Watchers diet plans can cost anywhere between $15 and $60 a month, depending on what plan and how much support you want. 

All plans come with the handy Weight Watchers points calculator and WW recipes. But more costly Weight Watchers Memberships include personalized support, fitness routines, and other weight loss tools. 

Weight Watchers changes their plans often, but they currently have two kinds of memberships: digital and digital plus workshops. 

The digital gives you access to the WW app, the recipes, the Weight Watchers points calculator, and goal tracking. 

The digital plus workshops membership has all of this, plus access to unlimited in-person meetings and virtual workshops to help you stay on track and feel supported. You’ll also be assigned a designated WW coach to encourage you and monitor your progress. 

Because Weight Watchers plans expect you to cook most meals, it can help you save money on dining out. It encourages healthy choices, but not lavish ones. So the average individual can follow the diet, spending roughly $50 per week at the grocery store. 

What Are the Facts About the Weight Watchers Diet?

For a clear picture of Weight Watchers, read the Weight Watchers diet facts below. 

  1. A WW diet can help you lose 1-2 pounds every week.
  2. WW recipes are tailored for the program to enhance nutrition and lower calories. 
  3. Weight Watchers online is available to all WW members. 
  4. There are in-person and virtual support meetings where you can share your goals and progress and get advice. 
  5. Many scientific studies have found Weight Watchers to be an effective diet for weight loss and long-term wellness. 
  6. The points system and weekly weigh-in are the most important aspects of the WW diet program. 
  7. Exercise is not a requirement. 

How Effective Is Weight Watchers Diet for Weight Loss?

The Weight Watchers Diet is highly effective for weight loss. People that follow the diet properly report losing between one and three pounds every week, even without exercising. 

While many fad diets help you lose weight but make it hard to keep the weight off, WW sets long-term goals and healthy habits. 

Many users report that they have kept the extra weight off for years thanks to the tools and habits they acquired while using the WW app and online platform. 

Weight Watchers points become a way of thinking about food, rather than just a tracking sheet on your phone. 

After using the app and following the diet for a while, people begin to think about food in terms of Weight Watchers points, which makes it easy for them to make conscious eating decisions. 

Sometimes calories don’t tell the whole story, but Weight Watchers points consider the nutritional value of a food item, as well as the calorie count to determine its points rating. 

How Easy Is a Weight Watchers Diet to Follow?

Weight Watchers diets are generally easy to follow. Easy diets to follow typically allow you to eat some of the ‘bad’ foods while encouraging you to eat the ‘good’ foods. Weight Watchers works in this way, permitting you to eat whatever you want as long as you remain in your daily points range. 

What people do find difficult is tracking their points. It’s easy to determine how many points a food item is, but more difficult to stay on top of entering your food intake into an app. But like anything, once you make a habit out of this, you can easily follow the WW diet. 

One of the things people say makes the WW diet easy to follow is the Weight Watchers phone number and chat feature. These allow you to connect and communicate with a WW coach to encourage you to continue the diet. 

Sometimes having that extra source of support is all you need to stay on track. 

What Are the Best Practices To Follow Weight Watchers Diet?

When starting the Weight Watchers Diet, try to follow the practices listed below for a successful weight loss journey. 

  1. Enter food points immediately. 
  2. Become familiar with the Weight Watchers calculator. 
  3. Adhere to weekly weigh-ins. 
  4. Go to Weight Watchers meetings and workshops. 
  5. Stock your kitchen with zero-point foods. 
  6. Don’t starve yourself.

Is Exercise Needed To Follow Weight Watchers Diet?

No, exercise is not needed on the Weight Watchers Diet. As long as you stick to the Weight Watchers food recommendations, you can lose weight without increasing physical activity. 

Who Should Do Weight Watchers Diet?

People that struggle with obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and other diet-related health problems should try the Weight Watchers Diet. People that have a history of eating disorders should not follow the diet. 

But everyone with membership should partake in Weight Watchers meetings to boost their confidence and encourage healthy habits. 

Do Weight Watchers Have an App?

Yes, Weight Watchers does have an app and it is a fantastic tool that shows you recipes like Weight Watchers snacks, desserts, dinners, and more. You can download it in the Android or Apple store for your mobile device. 

Plus, you can chat with a WW coach, view your progress, track your points, and read tips about following the diet and shedding those unwanted pounds. 

What are the Best Recipes for Weight Watchers Diet?

WW recipes are the key to sticking to the diet and changing your eating habits. Many people report this is the difference between Noom vs Weight Watchers. From Weight Watchers dessert recipes to Weight Watchers air fryer recipes, you can find it all. 

Cilantro-Lime Shrimp Kebabs: Fresh shrimp skewered and grilled with a delicious cilantro-lime marinade. 

Weight Watchers Vegetable Soup Recipe: A hearty and rich vegetable soup loaded with carrots, onion, potato, grains, and beans. 

Salsa Roasted Salmon: A flavorful salmon filet topped with spicy mango salsa for a filling and tasty weeknight meal. 

Pistachio Cupcakes: For dessert, these fluffy green cupcakes with a nutty and earthy flavor are to die for. 

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Athletic Insight Research

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.