Is Weight Watchers effective? The Weight Watchers diet pros & cons

  • 3 Minutes Read
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Weight Watchers is a solid weight loss program that has stood the test of time and research. This post describes the Weight Watchers plan - what it is, Weight Watchers diet pros and cons, and if it is effective for weight loss.

Weight watchers diet pros and cons

The Weight Watchers Diet Pros and Cons: Is Weight Watchers right for you?

Jean Nidetch founded the Weight Watchers program over 50 years ago, which began by inviting friends to her home for a weekly discussion about the best ways to lose weight. Weight Watchers is not really a diet, but rather a program for lifestyle-change. You can eat whatever you want, however the program incentivizes you to make healthier choices using its points system.

How does Weight Watchers points work?

Weight Watchers has updated its program over the years, basing its changes on the evolving science of nutrition and weight management. In 2015, Weight Watchers launched the Beyond the Scale Program. At the core is the SmartPoints value that is assigned to foods and beverages based on calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein. This updated version of Weight Watchers leads you to choose more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein because they have lower point values. The daily points allowance is based on sex, age, height and weight, and everyone gets at least 30 points a day. Another component of the new program is called Beyond the Scale. It helps you track daily physical activity and gives credit for activities from housework to jogging, tailoring the program to an individual's fitness level. It also focuses on behavioral change and overall health, rather than simply focusing on weight.

Judge for yourself whether weight watchers is right for you:




Weight Watchers program costs vary according to the three plan options and available specials. There is no long-term contract required. If you are employed, check with Human Resources to see if your employer offers assistance with fees. Contact Weight Watchers for current prices and available specials.

Social Support


Who would most benefit from this diet?

Anyone seeking a weight loss program that uses an easy points system and a comprehensive package of support options could benefit from Weight Watchers.

Is it viable long term?

Yes, Weight Watchers is safe and effective long term.

Do I like this diet?

Yes, I am a fan of this time-tested, solid weight-management program that focuses on healthy lifestyle, food and exercise tracking, and positive social support.

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Updated: February 26, 2020

Weight Loss->Diets
Feb 26, 2020
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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