The central philosophy of the Weight Watchers diet plan is to assist people in their journey of safe weight loss through healthier eating habits. Although exercise is not explicitly mentioned in a lot of literature, Weight Watchers also advocates for a planned program of exercise to complement the work done through calorie control. Women remain some of the most enthusiastic followers of this plan, primarily, because it operates on a principle of achievable targets. There are no banned foods . All that is required is eating in moderation, so it becomes easy to incorporate the plan into your daily life. Ultimately, you lose weight by creating a calorie deficit. This is easier said than done, since many of us have been conditioned to overeat as part of a consumerist society. The plan is credited with creating a healthy alternative to the starvation programs, associated with ill health in various forms, including anorexia (Ahern, Olson, Aston, & Jebb, 2011). The program has been praised for being compatible with other dieting plans, making it easier for people to switch when appropriate. It mainly differs from other plans, as Weight Watchers focuses on the amount consumed, rather than the range of foods, whereas the alternatives control both the amounts and types of foods.
There are two main pathways to joining the program, which is almost like a niche community. The first is through in-person meetings, while the second is undertaken online. All Weight Watchers programs use the same materials and calorie calculations, so the choice is up to you. The presence of other people on the program also helps to calm nerves and gives dieters encouragement when they feel down. During the meetings, the member is encouraged to select an ideal weight that will put them within the healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) range. This is normally anywhere between 18 and 24.9. It is possible to go above or below that level, if you can produce a doctor’s note to the effect that your health will not be endangered by such ambitious targets. The USA has specific requirements, designed to protect vulnerable people from anorexia nervosa. You have to weigh at least 2.3 kilograms or 5lbs more than the minimum weight, considered healthy for a person of your gender, age, and height.
Once the targets have been agreed, then the member will start towards achieving them, using all the tools that are part of the Weight Watchers program. Once they have hit the target, then they can start the maintenance record, which requires they do not put on any more weight. It takes up to six weeks to adjust the food program, accordingly. There are constant checks to ensure the member neither gains nor loses weight within their class. By the end of the six-week period, there is a weigh-in. Those who have not fluctuated beyond a margin of 0.9kgs or 2lbs will become eligible to become Weight Watchers Lifetime Members. This indicates the individual’s willingness to work hard to achieve their target within the confines of the program. The members who wish to keep up to date with their progress can use a range of e-Tools, designed with the specific purpose of synching with the Weight Watchers program. Some are locally franchised, even if they retain the Weight Watchers label. The meetings have been described as a means of achieving behavior change through positive reinforcement (Dixon, Shcherba, & Kipping, 2012).