I think the new WW program sounds solid. It seems they are taking all aspects of nutrition into account....so junk foods are more "costly."
AND the support is VERY good and often just what is needed to get to success. It might be something to consider for a period of time, paying careful attention to your eating habits. The way you eat, why you eat, how you get yourself into trouble...but also how your body reacts to certain foods. When you have a good handle on things....then perhaps consider leaving the program and doing your own thing.
You can do both. You can be a 'Weight Watcher' in terms of being a member of a group that gives each other encouragement with the whole accountability feature (weigh-in shows whether you are still focusing on weight loss and learning from the previous week's cumulative actions). In addition, you can learn about nutrition on your own, for reinforcement of ideas you may have or ways to deal with 'problem foods.' You can use the Internet - even the WW website has good information - or do independent reading. You can ask your WW leader after the meeting for information you think you're missing.
There are tons of diets floating around the Internet - the high carb diet that uses starches comes to mind. Nothing in a WW meeting every tells you that a food (a starch, for example), is forbidden. What they do tell you is that points (basically, weighted calories) are going to be a limit you have to work with.
There are diets that tell you there are no limits you ever have to work with. They simply don't express it outright, but there is always some limit. Low-carbing give you limits. A diet that restricts you to a certain type of food on certain days is going to give you limits. They know the limits are there. Eventually, when you are plateauing on a diet, the response will be to stick to the limits or make the limits even more stringent! Hey, they are diets!
WW will tell you the same thing. If you aren't losing with X points (now called 'points plus'), they will tell you to give the level you're working with a bit more time OR if you are impatient, lower your points for a week and see what happens. Kind of basic common sense, if you ask me! WW is for support while you try to work with limits. That's all it is. It's a valuable diet for that reason - that and the fact that once you reach your goal, you can be a lifetime member and use the organization for support.
I don't see a conflict with doing WW and reading and learning about nutrition. The fact that WW doesn't spend members' time in meetings giving mini-seminars about nutritional topics is clear to me - the reason people have trouble with diets is not that they don't understand the material. They have a problem with the lifestyle! THAT'S what they talk about in WW meetings - how can you deal with x, y, and z situations when you have a solid ingrained habit of sabotaging your weight.
i haven't read through these other comments yet, so hopefully i'm not repeating anyone.
i do both fitday and weight watchers. i've been a lifetime member for 5 years and enjoy going to the meetings and hearing what they have to say every week. I also enjoy having someone else help me track my progress. if you have a bad leader then the meetings aren't so great! i don't know anything about the online version of WW so I can't speak to that. were you going to meetings?
I LOVED a few of my past leaders. i'm now with one that is just okay but I still think going helps me stay on track.
I think I'll be with fitday for life because I like tracking the macronutrients, but I also like just being able to track points and weekends and be more flexible. I also love fitday because of forums like these, and talking about things that I wouldn't speak up about during meetings.
__________________ Julia “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.”
~ Zig Ziglar, American Motivational Speaker
current weight: 125.6 on April 13, 2011
goal weight: 120.6 in 6 weeks
I tried WW last year. A lot of money and poor results. I didn't follow the program right. I would prefer to count calories and get an overview of my nutrition. I don't think I need the support of the group, but I still have some friends in WW. One lost 130# and the other 70# on WW. The key is tracking and sticking with it. Also you need to up the exercise, especially if you hit a plateau. The point system drove me nuts. Now I just read a label and know what I need. I also found on WW I was eating a lot of empty low cal snacks sold by the company. Now I am just avoiding snacks except for fruits.
I think it's tempting to use the WW snacks (ice cream, cheese, etc.) because they are lower-calorie. But there are lots of other low-calorie snacks on the grocery shelves that have around the same number of points and you never have to buy a WW product. Some of them just taste good.
Tonight, I had a snack when I came home late - two very large fresh oranges. Not one, but two - and they were big. So, when I went to put the points in the WW tracker, I entered 4 medium size oranges because they didn't have oranges that size in the tracker. Number of points? Zero. The new 'free fruits' really does work. The whole diet kind of nudges toward eating more fresh fruits and fresh vegetables. This is all good, but some people still have to have pretzels, etc., when they snack. I'm just glad to be able to have fresh fruit and still lose. (I did lose this week...)
I did WW a number of years ago and had great results, I went from 208 to 135 in about 6 months, at the time I had also joined a gym and was working out on a regular basis, now that I am older and working too many hours to get to a gym I prefer to come here, but I still use the information I learned with WW, I had the points of foods memorized and know what I should or should not eat. I have lost approximately 30 lbs in 3 months and am getting closer and closer to my goal. I can even say after a few months on here I don't need to count my calories as I can pretty much guess when I have hit my limit or when I still have room for a treat at the end of the day. I have never concerned myself with the charts and fat, protein, carb counts. I am a Math geek and numbers are my thing, so WW and here are both ingrained in my head at this point. I love the support that both gave me when I needed them the most. The choice is all yours, but my thinking is that if you have already paid for WW then continue with it and try to mesh the two together.
Starting over stats
02/14/11 start weight 178.8
09/06/11 weight 151.8
26 lbs lost to date
Goal Weight 140 by 12/25/11
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I can not change
The Courage to change the things I can and
The Wisdom to know the difference
I've done WW 4 times in the last 11 years. I always follow the plan and stay in my points and I see results. I usually lose at 20 pounds in a couple months. Then I slowly go back to my past way of eating and gain all the weight back or even more.
This year I joined again and liked the new Point Plus system. It never seemed right that cookies could have the same points as fruit and I would always chose cookies or whatever. This time I dropped junk food completely and it has been 3 months and I lost 40 pounds. I don't really crave the junk food anymore now and I think that was part of my problem in the past.
Being on any diet should help you learn more about nutrition. During my research I found people discussing the Paleo diet. I studied it for a couple weeks and got Robb Wolf's book. At first I was scared of giving up certain foods. After removing those foods and increasing my vegetable intake even more, I feel better than I have in over a decade and I still lost 10 more pounds. And this is after just a few weeks. I would recommend Paleo to anyone. There is tons of support online and many sites with great recipes. The food is never boring and tastes great.
I've done WW a few times and did very well on it all times, with the exception of the last time. My husband did it once and did very well on it.
I think it is a very good program. I like what the first poster said...that if it works for you...then continue. They teach you how to eat, portion control and give you lots of support. I personally, find this a little better than doing Fit Day alone. I have done both and like both, but the WW support is very helpful. I did WW the first time when I was very young and then did it several times afterward with success. Seems it doesn't totally "stick," although each time it took me longer and longer to regain the weight. The last time, I was over 50, hypothyroid, etc. and WW didn't really work for me. AND the last few times I did it, I found that I could eat very few breads or sweets...so I personally modified the program a bit to get the results I wanted. Then, like I said, the very last time, it didn't particularly work. Today, I am doing other tihings...something like the paleo diet, etc. and getting good resullts with that. I visit my doctor often...she is helping me. I DO find that support is very important when it comes to weight loss. Well, I guess that answer was kinda long (sorry). I would try WW with an open mind and give it several weeks. Remember, you can always tweek it a bit to suit your body. If all that doesn't do the trick...then discuss it with your doctor and look for another program that makes sense for you.