By: Thomas Brown
Since the early 1960s, Weight Watchers has been a kind of guru for people struggling with weight problems. So why do I think Weight Watchers is one of the top diet plans?
1. Weight Watchers does not tell people what they can or can't eat. The goal is to help people make healthy eating decisions and encourage them to enjoy more physical activity, thereby losing weight safely and sensibly -- and keeping it off.
2. It has local group meetings, Weight Watchers members get motivation, mutual support, and encouragement in handling the challenges encountered in the process of changing behavior. Weight Watchers meetings are confidential and safe places to talk about food and food-related issues. For those who can't get to the meetings, Weight Watchers has added a number of tools on its web site.
3. If you like to track and control the calories you eat? You'll want the Weight Watchers' Flex Plan -- which essentially is Weight Watchers' traditional program. What if you prefer to focus on eating wholesome foods without counting or tracking? The new Core Plan is for you. Both plans are built around Weight Watchers Healthy Eating Guidelines -- recommendations about daily intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy, water, protein, multiple vitamins, sugars and alcohol, healthy oils, and whole-grain foods.
The Flex Plan
This plan is the cornerstone of the original Weight Watchers philosophy: "Eat the food you love and lose weight." No foods are prohibited. Instead, each food is assigned weight watchers points based on the food's calorie, total fat, and dietary fiber content.
The Core Plan
This plan allows members to control calories by focusing their eating on a core list of wholesome nutritious foods, but without counting or tracking. The list includes foods from all the food groups: fruits and vegetables; grains and starches; lean meats, fish, and poultry; eggs, and dairy products. The foods in this core list are low in fat and calories. An occasional treat outside the list is allowed.
4. Weight Watchers also helps its members make changes in behavior, focusing on self-monitoring and accountability. For Flex Plan members, there's an easy-to-use journal called the QuikTrak System for recording food choices, plus the POINTS Tracker. Core Plan members have a self-monitoring method involving a Comfort Zone scale to assess hunger and fullness on an ongoing basis.
5. Weight Watchers teaches a moderate path to weight loss and lifelong healthy habits: How to plan a more balanced diet, control cravings and impulses, reduce time spent sitting, and increase activity.
About the Author - Thomas Brown
Thomas Brown is an expert on weight loss.
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