Results not typical. Your results may vary.
I’m a believer in Weight Watchers. It worked for me in 1990/91 and it’s still working for me. In fact, it worked/works so well for me that I am working for it! I think it’s the best commercial weight loss program available today. As a longtime veteran of do-it-yourself (DIY) diets, I’m convinced it works better than any diet most people can create for themselves.
Until recently the Federal Trade Commission mandated that commercial weight loss programs add a disclaimer to every advertisement in all media. The disclaimer was: Results not Typical. Your results may vary. People surfing the weightwatchers.com website would look at the Success Stories and each story carried the disclaimer. Although Weight Watchers didn’t do “before/after” commercials on TV, the disclaimer was plain to see on every commercial. It was in their print ads as well.
As a consumer looking for a commercial solution to lose weight, the disclaimer could seem to be saying, “This is just another scam. Save your money.”
The funny thing was that the scammers’ ads didn’t have the disclaimer. They got away with it. The FTC couldn’t begin to police the weight loss scam industry because if you have ever been scammed by them yourself, you know how hard it is to track them down to get a refund. Well, it’s just as hard to track them down to prosecute them for unfair business practices and fraud.
Recently the FTC changed its ruling on the disclaimer, probably because it undermined the legitimate weight loss companies and helped the fraudulent ones get money from the uninformed consumer of weight loss products and services. The disclaimer now alerts prospects to reasonable rate of weight loss expectations when following the program.
It’s the “following the program” part that interests me.
Essentially anybody can follow the Weight Watchers program while being highly selective about food choices. Each unique member can follow the program, while no two members eat similar foods. There are meal plans, but they’re for guidance for those who want some structure. There are no meal plans that must be followed. There are no, “must have foods,” and no “cannot have foods.” The guidelines suggest some basic, healthy food choices, but they are guidelines, not rules.
The proprietary points formula which assigns a daily points target to a member, as well as a points value for every food, sort of pushes a member into eating foods that are higher in protein and lower in fat and sugar.
Because vegetables and fruits have 0 points value, it further pushes members into eating a plant-based diet. This push is most effective for members who want to get the greatest volume of food for their daily points target
It took me a while to figure out sheer volume of food isn’t what keeps hunger away between meals. I have never been one who could follow the latest healthy eating advice. I tried once, a long time ago, and found out that I didn’t like it. When fat-free was touted as the healthiest way to eat, I tried a few fat-free products. That was enough to convince I wasn’t going fat-free now or ever.
I continued to use real cream cheese, real sour cream and real butter. I didn’t spread it anywhere near as thick as in the past. I cut back, but I sure wasn’t going to replace those things with what tasted and felt like spackling paste when I put them in my mouth.
It’s good that Weight Watchers leaves food choices up to each member. The program moves members whose eating habits are just horrid towards better habits and food choices. There is still lots of room for total personalization.
Just as results can vary, so can the foods that make individuals feel most satisfied. I think good health and avoiding chronic disease is a matter of much more than what we eat. It plays a role in our health, but our body chemistry may have a lot to do with how our body processes and uses the food we eat.
Maybe dietary fat is not good for you, but it is what I need to manage my weight. Maybe managing my weight has greater health benefits for me than avoiding saturated fats. Maybe grains cause trouble for some, but not so much for others and that goes for sugar too. I seem to get along just fine eating them, but not overeating them.
I think it makes sense to use the information as a general guideline while listening to what your body is telling you. Your body gives you feedback and the smart thing to do for best results, is adjust what you do accordingly.
Remember, your body is unique and to get the best results for you, listen to what it’s telling you!