Want to join Oprah? Here are 5 things to know about Weight Watchers


If you've made a New Year's resolution to lose weight, you'll have a huge number of weight-loss plans to choose from, including Weight Watchers. 

Many diets can be somewhat restrictive and hard to follow in the long-term, forcing you to forgo or severely limit entire food categories, like carbs. Weight Watchers, however, has built its success on making no food off-limits. And with Oprah Winfrey signing on as the company's part owner and celebrity pitchwoman, the weight-loss plan has gained even more popularity over the past year.

»RELATED: Want to lose weight? Experts say these are the best diets of 2017

Interest in joining Oprah's club? Here are five things you need to know:

How does it work?

Weight Watchers is based on a SmartPoints system that you'll budget as you choose, according to the weight-loss plan's website. Foods are assigned specific points, which encourages you to make healthier choices such as eating more fruits, vegetables and lean protein and fewer sweets and unhealthy fats.

Points can roll over to the next day, and over 200 foods are assigned zero points, so you don't have to worry about tracking them. These include chicken, corn and eggs.

If you'd like to try Weight Watchers, you can join online and connect with other members. The plan still offers the in-person group meetings that it's well-known for, but, if you'd prefer to stick to the online version, you can.

Is exercise a part of the plan?

Weight Watchers added a fitness plan that allows you to track your activity on the plan's app and website. You'll be given a FitPoints goal for the week, and almost every activity earns points – even cleaning your house – so if you're new to exercising, you'll still be able to participate.

How much weight can you expect to lose?

Weight Watchers says that people who follow the plan can expect to lose one to two pounds per week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a slow, steady weight loss of a pound or two a week is a more successful long-term approach than losing weight more quickly.

What are the pros of Weight Watchers?

The program is effective and easy to follow, and dieters who followed Weight Watchers' plan lost more weight than people who tried to lose weight on their own, according to WebMD.

In fact, U.S. News & World Report named Weight Watchers the top weight loss diet in its evaluation of 38 popular diet plans. It also tied for the top spot as the easiest diet to follow.

And since it's so flexible, people who follow vegan or vegetarian diets can also participate in Weight Watchers.

What are its cons?

If you'd like to take full advantage of the program, it can be a bit costly, according to WebMD. But, the site says, the potential health benefits make it worth the cost.

A starter fee of $20 is sometimes charged, and online access starts at $3.84 a week with a subscription plan. Adding meetings costs an extra $8.84 a week, and personal coaching starts at $10.77 a week.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Health

Pastor: Community ‘in shock’ after news about Good Samaritan closing
Pastor: Community ‘in shock’ after news about Good Samaritan closing

Hours after Good Samaritan Hospital officials announced Wednesday that the facility will close later this year, reaction about the community impact has been wide ranging. "It's devastating news, I was shocked" said Daryl Ward, pastor of Omega Baptist Church in Dayton.  His church is just down the street from Good Samaritan Hospital,...
Job outlook is promising for Good Samaritan employees, official says
Job outlook is promising for Good Samaritan employees, official says

After Wednesday’s announcement that Good Samaritan Hospital will shut its doors for good at the end of the year, many in the Miami Valley are wondering what will happen to the facility’s 1,600 employees. The hospital’s parent company, Premier Health, said its goal is to offer jobs to all those employees at its other facilities in...
Is feeding a cold a real thing? 5 winter health myths debunked
Is feeding a cold a real thing? 5 winter health myths debunked

You've probably heard winter health myths for years and you may have even accepted some of them as fact. From being told to bundle up, so you don't catch a cold to your neighbor swearing he got the flu from his flu shot, these myths make the rounds every winter. Mom always warned you you'd get sick if you didn't bundle up before heading out in cold...
PHOTOS: Why you need to hike Clifton Gorge right NOW
PHOTOS: Why you need to hike Clifton Gorge right NOW

After a blustery day of hiking at Clifton Gorge State Nature Preserve, our jaws were more tired from dropping in awe than our legs were tired from the trek.  Clifton Gorge is a 268-acre preserve in Yellow Springs, protecting “one of the most spectacular dolomite and limestone gorges in the state,” according to the Ohio ...
4 drinks that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts
4 drinks that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts

When you're trying to lose weight, you may not give much thought to what you drink, but those calories definitely add up! These "liquid calories" can sabotage your weight-loss efforts, and you may not feel as full as if you'd eaten the same number of calories. Many drinks also provide little to no nutrients and are often loaded with...
More Stories