Weight Watchers is perhaps the world’s most famous weight loss club, spawning the trend for group weigh-ins when it launched in 1963. Everything you put in your gob is given a SmartPoints value based on its calories, protein, fat, carb and fibre content and you can eat whatever you like as long as you can fit it into your personal points allowance, which decreases as you lose weight. You also get a weekly SmartPoints allowance on top of your daily allowance to spend as you like.

They’ve recently expanded their list of zero-point foods, so you can fill up on more food for fewer points. The idea is that you build your meals around the zero-point foods, but you can spend your points on whatever you choose, making it a flexible way of losing weight.

Typical daily menu:

Breakfast: Bacon, 2 slices brown bread, 2 eggs and beans

Lunch: Couscous with pork, broccoli and peppers. A packet of Quavers and a banana.

Dinner: Filo pie with creamy chicken and leek filling. A bottle of beer and a Crunchie.

Positives

  • You can eat whatever you like. Fancy a Twix? Have a Twix! As long as you’ve got the points available, you can have whatever you like.
  • It’s flexible. Because you get your bonus points you can still go out to restaurants, still have a takeaway on a Friday night, still go out for 7 pints with mates and still lose weight.
  • You get the support of a group and leader. If you’re having a bad week you can ask the advice of the group leader, who is always someone who has lost weight using Weight Watchers and is maintaining after reaching their weight loss goal.

Negatives

  • You have to remember to measure and count. Although there is now a huge list of ‘free’ foods on Weight Watchers, a lot of food has to be counted and that means measuring and tracking everything you eat, which can be tedious.
  • You have to pay monthly. For access to the mobile app, website and meetings you have to pay around £20 a month which will certainly add up if you’ve got a lot of weight to lose. Otherwise, there’s no legit way to work out SmartPoints.
  • Attending a group can be hard for men. Although Weight Watchers are making an effort to provide more support to men, the vast majority of leaders and members are women. So that means talks about how periods affect weight loss and, inevitably, how their husbands wind them up so they eat biscuits. That might be for you, but it might not.

Further Information