My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) – Does It Work?

It's time to review Weight Watchers Diet, a program that is currently known as WW.

But how exactly does it work?

And most of all – is it effective?:

  • very popular weight loss option
  • mostly includes an app
  • not as good as its competitors

Well, we're going to analzye its program, meal plans, recipes, points and everything else.

So if you want to find out the truth behind Weight Watchers in the following lines.

Note: This review is based on my opinion + research on Weight Watchers.

Review Summary

Full Name: WW (Weight Watchers) by WW

Product Type: Weight Loss Program

Best Actual Price: Between $23-$65/month (depending on the plan)

The longer your membership, the lower the overall cost.

Cheapest Place To Buy: Its Official Website

It's not sold on any retailer/3rd party website.

Designed For: Losing weight with a customized plan:

  • allows you to set your own weight loss goal
  • your eating recommendations are based on this goal
  • you can eat anything you want (in certain amount)

Shortly – WW allows you to lose weight without giving up specific foods completely.

My Rating: 7 out of 10

Recommended?: Not completely, simply because you're not getting much from it:

  • no foods included
  • you have to spend a lot more extra money
  • superior features cost a lot

In other words – you need to buy your own ingredients, gym membership, etc. (besides your WW subscription).

If you afford all these, WW can be good option.

If not – I recommend going for a program that includes foods and everything you need at no extra costs.

 

What I Liked About It

  • Good results in weight loss for many customers
  • Has been on the market for many years
  • Doesn't require you to follow a strict diet
  • Quite easy to follow
  • Included in several studies [1]
  • Doesn't cause some serious side effects on a regular basis
  • 3 different plans available

 

What I Didn't Like About It

  • Doesn't include any foods/meals
  • You have to spend a lot more money extra (foods, groceries, etc.)
  • Only available in the US/Canada
  • Superior plans (Unlimited Workshops & 1-On-1 Coaching) are expensive
  • Not suitable for tight budgets

 

 


WW (Weight Watchers) In A Nutshell


In a few words, WW is a diet that allows you to lose weight without restricting foods.

However, that's mostly on paper.

That's because in real life – you will end up restricting certain meals in order to reach your daily goal.

Anyway, WW's mechanism is based on its PersonalPoints strategy:

  1. You have a certain number of points allowed (per day).
  2. Each food values a specific number of points.
  3. You can eat anything you want below your final number.
  4. Certain foods value 0 points (so you can eat unlimited amounts of them).

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Besides, each user get his own customized plan.

As you can guess – 2 customers won't have the same number of points.

That's what makes WW so flexible.

Still – it's not suitable for all types of budget.

That's because it doesn't include a lot of necessary things:

  • daily meals
  • snacks
  • fruits/vegetables
  • gym subscriptions

Basically – you're paying for a personalized plan, an app and (maybe) a support group/coach.

As you can guess, you're going to need a lot more money for foods, gym, snacks, etc.

WW doesn't give you anything else than recommendations and motivation.

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

If your budget allows it, it could be a good program to try.

I personally feel like WW could help you lose some weight.

And some of its previous users agree with me here, as well as the studies that included it. [2]

But it's definitely not going to help you lose weight as much as other programs.

So if you don't spending a lot more extra money, you can try WW.

Still – I personally prefer a program than includes everything you need in its membership:

  • daily meals
  • support
  • snacks

Compared to WW, I feel like it's a much wiser choice for your money.

Not to mention that its weight loss results are also much better.

 

 


#1 – What Is WW (Weight Watchers)?


In short – WW is a program with a very long hitsotry.

But its current version is designed to help you lose weight without limiting foods.

That's what makes it special.

For this reason, it claims to be customized for every user:

  • each person sets a weight loss goal
  • depending on that goal, there's an individual diet plan
  • support (live coaching) is designed to make everyone more responsible

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Now – WW isn't a food delivery program for weight loss.

Unlike Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem, it doesn't include any food (not even snacks).

You're basically paying for an app, constant live support and meetings (for the top plan).

It's true that you receive some clear recommendations about what to eat (and not only).

But that's pretty much it.

Honestly, I wouldn't really pay for that.

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Now, WW comes with some unique features:

  1. PersonalPoints – the number of points attributed to a certain food.
  2. ZeroPoints Foods – foods that have no limit restrictions

But we will talk more about how exactly they work in the next chapter.

Until then – all you have to remember is that WW comes with an original strategy.

Despite its other disappointing features, it's definitely based on a unique approach.

 

 

 


#2 – How It Works & History


Let's get into more details about WW's exact mechanism of action:

  • how it works
  • how fast you can see results
  • its beginnings
1. How It Works

As I said – WW is designed to help you lose weight following specific recommendations.

It actually works in a very simple way:

  1. You start by taking a quiz and setting your weight loss goal.
  2. You also have to decide how fast you want to reach your ideal weight.
  3. Based on that, the system will create your personalized plan.
  4. You will have to follow the eating recommendations there.
  5. Plus, you also have access to many recipes and workouts.
  6. Additionally, you have access to coaching support.
  7. You can also attend meetings and workshops (top plan only).

As you can tell – the exact features you get depend on the plan.

The superior it is, the more options you get, obviously.

But overall – the weight loss protocol is pretty much the same.

Now, let's talk a little about WW's personalized plans:

  • depending on your goal, you are given a maximum number of points/day
  • those points are called PersonalPoints
  • each food is assigned a certain number of points
  • the healthier it is, the less points it has 
  • certain foods are ZeroPoints Foods
  • this means you can eat them in unlimited amounts everyday

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Basically – at the end of the day, you have to consume (at most) your assigned number of points.

If you consume less, you can move the remaining points to another day.

In that case, you would have more points available that other day.

So you would be allowed to eat more high-point foods.

That's pretty much the strategy WW is built around.

Honestly – it's pretty simple, easy to follow and quite interactive.

However, it seems like the number of points isn't enough to cover your stomach's daily needs.

So you would probably feel quite hungry following your maximum points.

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

But there's more this program offers:

  1. Workout routines (personalized as well)
  2. Sleep and activity trackers
  3. Meditations, music and bedtime stories
  4. Access to workshops and groups (Unlimited Workshops Plan)
  5. Private coach (1-on-1 Coaching Plan only)

Now – whether you go for a superior plan or not, that's totally up to you.

But you get most features from the basic (Digital) plan as well.

So if you really want to give WW a try, I recommend going for the regular version.

2. History

Like I said, WW has been on the market for many years.

Its previous name was Weight Watchers and it was regularly advertised on TV (and not only).

Now – here are some things about its history:

  • founded in 1960's
  • created by Jane Nidetch as a group for weight loss discussions
  • quickly expanded into a business in the next years

However, it's been going as “Weight Watchers” until 2018.

That's when the company shifted their focus from weight loss to general wellness.

And consequently, they also changed their name (WW = “Wellness that Works”).

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

In fact – at this point, WW doesn't focus on weight loss only:

  • offers many additional activities (for sleep, fitness, etc.)
  • sells various products

Still, its main goal is weight loss.

So most people signing up for this program are interested in losing weight.

But all in all – WW has been evolving in a great way since its beginning year.

Given its current features, it's surely a trustworthy company.

 

 


#3 – Weight Loss Plans (8 out of 10)


WW offers 3 main plans:

  1. Digital
  2. Unlimited Workshops + Digital
  3. 1-on-1 Coaching + Digital

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

As you can tell – all 3 plans contain the same standard program (Digital).

However, the top 2 plans come with some extra features:

  • online/in-person workshops (in WW locations)
  • personal coach

Now, your budget should be the main factor in choosing one of these plans.

Since the basic one offers most of the features you need, there's no need to go for a superior one.

But if you prefer having your own coach or meeting up with fellow members, one of the those would be better.

So it's all up to your own needs.

Still – let's take a closer look at each of the 3 plans.

1. Digital ($3.53/week)

WW's basic plan offers the most important features of this program:

  • individual weight loss plan
  • app access
  • sleep trackers, activities, workouts, etc.
  • live coaching

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Honestly – this plan gives you all the tools WW is famous for.

Besides, it's more affordable than the others.

I'm not a huge fan of this program, as I said.

But if you really want to give it a try, I feel like this plan makes the best option, to be honest.

2. Unlimited Workshops + Digital ($6.92/week)

This superior plan offers all the features included in the Digital version.

Its extra benefits are workshops access:

  • you can take part in online/live workshops
  • WW has over 100 studios
  • you can also join a group of other members
  • there's an in-person support (through workshops)

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Shortly – this plan is better if you lack motivation.

Meeting up with fellow members and coaches can help you achieve your goal faster.

But in terms of weight loss features – it has the same content as the Digital plan.

Besides, it's way more expensive.

3. 1-on-1 Coaching + Digital ($11.08)

This is WW's most expensive plan.

And to be honest – I'm pretty sure it's not worth the money:

  • offers the same weight loss options as the basic plan
  • price is almost 4 times higher

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Now, this plan offers you a personal coach that will stay with you throughout your journey.

The coach is usually a wellness expert who can share a lot of tips.

However – I personally believe you can lose weight without this pricey plan.

If you feel like personal support would be a crucial feature for you, then you can give it a try.

But otherwise, I don't think this plan is worth the extra money.


Conclusions

WW offers 3 different plans available.

However – its basic (Digital) plan offers most of its classic features.

The other are surely helpful as well, but they also cost more.

So all in all, its basic plan is the only one more worth it, if you ask me.

But to be honest – I personally wouldn't go any of them, if I were you.

 

  

 


#4 – Diet & Meals (6 out of 10)


By now, you probably understand how WW works.

But let's take some examples and see what its typical diet and meals look like.

1. The Diet

Basically – depending on your weight loss goal, you're given a certain number of PersonalPoints daily.

As I said, each food has a specific number of points.

So you don't have to go beyond that number in a day:

  1. Healthier foods tend to have a lower score.
  2. Fast-foods and meals rich in sugar/fats are on the higher end.
  3. Certain foods have 0 points (ZeroPoints Foods).
  4. You can eat as many as you want in a day.

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Also – if you're left some points at the end of the day, you can use them in the next days.

But that doesn't happen almost at any time in reality.

So WW's diet seems pretty easy to follow at first sight.

That's because you have absolutely no food restrictions.

However – you have to restrict your foods if you want to stay within your daily points' budget.

In case you ever go beyond that – no worries.

The app encourages you to stick to your goal next day, using some special tips.

But you obviously want to avoid this situation as much as possible.

2. The Meals

As I said, WW doesn't include absolutely any meals.

All it does is to give you recipes for various foods that would fit into your budget.

In other words, you have to spend a lot of time cooking.

Besides, you're going to pay a lot more on ingredients, foods and everything else.

But let's see some real-life examples of WW's diet.

Here are some breakfast options you could prepare:

  1. Breakfast Burrito (3 points)
  2. Greek Yoghurt Pancakes (1 point)
  3. Cheese & Ham Omelette (2 points)
  4. Pomegranate Salad (1 point)

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

As for your lunch options – here are just a few examples:

  1. Turkey & Sweet Potatoes (4 points)
  2. Spicy Chicken Salad (1 point)
  3. Chicken Wraps (4 points)
  4. Bean Sweet Potato Chilli (3 points)

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

When it comes to dinner – let me give you some ideas:

  1. Turkey Sausage & Pasta (3 points)
  2. Egg Souffle (0 points)
  3. Sesame Chicken & White Rice (3 points)
  4. BBQ Chicken With Mushrooms (4 points)

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

And lastly – if your daily points budget allows it, you can also have some desserts:

  1. Chocolate Banana Bites (1 point)
  2. Sugar-Free Ice Cream Bar (3 points)
  3. Banana Bread (3 points)

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

But as I said – there are also some ZeroPoints Foods.

You can consume these foods as much as you like throughout the day.

So if you feel like you're starving – you can have one of these foods:

  • Lean chicken
  • Brown rice
  • Tofu
  • Fruits
  • Beans

Now, the Zero Points Foods list is much longer.

But if you sign up for WW, you will receive the entire list and all the foods that have no limits.

Anyway – all the food options sound great.

You can find out the number of points of any food in the app.

The only problem is that you need a lot of time to prepare all these meals.

So if you're a busy person – losing weight with WW is almost impossible.

And that's also available if you're on a tight budget.

That's why I wouldn't recommend this program for people with a limited budget.

 

 


#5 – Results (7 out of 10)


WW has a very high number of praises and positive opinions.

Since it's been on the market for many years, that's not a surprise.

However – it also has enough complaints and claims that it would be a scam.

Note: I only considered authentic reviews, not fake/promotional ones.

1. Positive Opinions

This program has many real user experiences outside its official website:

  • TrustPilot
  • BBB
  • Consumer Affaires

As I said – a big part of its previous users were satisfied.

So here's what most of their praises are about:

  1. Weight loss results
  2. WW's strategy (especially the support groups)
  3. Low pricing
  4. Lack of strict dieting

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Besides, many users claim they have been using WW for many years.

Since it has so many recurring customers, it's clear that this program is effective.

But obviously, it's not all positive, as it's normal.

So let's have a look at the negative side of this weight loss program.

2. Negative Opinions

If WW only had praises, it would have seemed very suspicious.

That's because a reputable product should have its fair share of complaints.

It's impossible that all of its users are completely satisfied, after all.

So here are the most common complaints WW has:

  1. High price for what is offered
  2. Additional charges after cancelling
  3. No refund policy (even though WW claims to offer full refunds)
  4. No results
  5. Significant changes from past years

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

To be honest – all of these complaints are completely legitimate.

The program is indeed pricey, since there are no meals included.

So you basically have to pay a lot more than WW's membership (for the ingredients and everything else).

That's why a full-meal program like Nutrisystem might be a better option.

Other than that, WW's cancellation terms are pretty harsh:

  • you should only cancel after your trial expires
  • otherwise, you have to pay a tax (about the cost of your free months)

However, these points of pretty hard to find (you have to read their terms carefully).

So that's another minus of WW.

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Anyway – we will talk more about this in the pricing section.

But it's also true that the program changed a lot in the last year.

So if you were a member several years ago and you came back – it might seem like a totally new thing.

Plus – in terms of results, it won't be effective for everyone.

But that's completely normal after all.


Conclusions

WW has a pretty positive use feedback.

But it also has a lot of criticism and unsatisfied users.

That's why the choice is all yours.

To be honest, I don't recommend WW unless you're on an unlimited weight loss budget.

Otherwise, you may want to spend your money on a program that takes care of your food and support all together.

 

 

 


#6 – Side Effects (8 out of 10)


WW seems to be a very well-tolerated weight loss program.

So unlike many of its competitors, it has an advantage here:

  • very few complaints on side effects
  • the few existing ones are probably a coincidence

Now – WW's biggest advantage are its ZeroPoints Foods.

That's because you're allowed to eat unlimited amounts of these foods in a day.

So unlike in other weight loss programs, you won't end up starving.

If your daily meals aren't enough (and they're usually not) – you can fill in with some ZeroPoints Foods.

However, these foods are not the ones you probably crave for.

But at least you won't experience any headaches or stomach pain.

 

 


#7 – Price (5 out of 10)


WW is definitely quite expensive for what it offers.

Besides, its pricing is pretty tricky at first sight.

That's why I want to explain it in detail.

1. The Exact Price

Basically, WW comes with 3 plan options (all with a different price):

  1. Digital (the most basic)
  2. Unlimited Workshops + Digital
  3. 1-On-1 Coaching + Digital

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

When it comes to each plan's pricing – things are a bit tricky:

  • single month membership is quite expensive
  • you also have to pay a $20 starter fee
  • 3-6 months memberships don't require any starter fee

Anyway, let's take each plan by turn and analyze its pricing – so that you can understand things better.

First of all – the Digital plan:

  1. Single month costs $22.95 (+$20 starter fee).
  2. “2 + 1 month free” plan costs $42.59 (no starter fee + discount).
  3. In this case, after the 3rd month, your monthly cost is $22.95.
  4. “3 + 6 months free” plan costs $68.85.
  5. In this case, first 3 months are free, then you pay $22.95/month.

 

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Honestly, I had a very hard time understanding these pricing options, simply because they make no sense.

But there's something else you should know.

If you go for a 1/3 months free membership, you shouldn't cancel before that membership ends.

If you do – you end up paying a high tax fee (about the amount of money you saved with the free months).

That's why you need to pay attention when going for a 1/3 months free membership.

Getting back to the Unlimited Workshops + Digital plan:

  1. One month subscription is $64.95 ($20 starter fee included).
  2. “2 + 1 month free” plan is $64.97 .
  3. In this case, after the 3rd month, your monthly cost is $44.95.
  4. “3 + 6 months free” plan costs $134.85.
  5. This tine, first 3 months are free, then you pay $44.95/month.

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

And lastly, the 1-On-1 Coaching + Digital plan only has one pricing option.

It costs $47.97 (there's a 40% discount).

My Review: Weight Watchers Diet (Program, Meal Plans, Points, Recipes) - Does It Work?

Besides the fact that WW's pricing system is quite hard to understand, it's also veryexpensive.

After all – you're only paying for an app/workshop meetings.

There's no food or gym subscription included.

2. Worth Or Not?

Honestly, I would say it's not worth it.

It all depends on your budget and on how much you're willing to pay for diet tips/advice:

  • you also have to buy foods/ingredients
  • there's no gym subscription
  • you only have access to advice/meetings

Don't get me wrong – WW can help you lose weight.

There are some people who lost weight with it in the past.

But unless you're on an unlimited budget, there are many extra things you need to buy additionally to it.

That's why I wouldn't go for it.

There are programs that take care of all your foods and exercise.

So why pay for a program like WW – that doesn't offer any?


Conclusions

WW's pricing is a bit tricky – as well as high.

So if you don't have any budget limits, it's a good option for losing weight.

Just keep in mind that you will have to buy the foods separately.

But if that's not a problem, WW is worth your money.

Otherwise, I definitely don't recommend it.

It's the same reason why I would never give it a try – there are some way better options out there.

 

 

 


#8 – WW In 3 Ideas


Let me summarize my views on this program (in 3 points).

1. Not That Flexible

First of all – WW's biggest advantage is that it's not a strict diet.

Unlike other weight loss programs, it allows you to eat everything you want:

  • each food comes with a specific number of points 
  • you have to stay within your daily budget
  • you can have as many ZeroPoints Foods as you want

But don't imagine you're going to eat everything you want (or in the amounts you want).

You will have to limit your foods if you want to stay without your daily budget.

2. Works For Weight Loss

Since it has a long history, WW also has a varied user feedback.

However, most of its reviews are positive:

  • many people praise its weight loss results
  • others have been using it for many years
  • most complaints are not related to its effect on weight

All in all, it seems like this program reaches its goals.

It's definitely not as easy to follow as it seems – but it does work in many cases.

3. No Foods Included

One of the downsides WW comes with is its high price.

In fact – it's not even its high cost, but the fact that it doesn't include anything else:

  • no foods offered
  • no gym subscription

Don't get me wrong – the program isn't a scam.

But if you have a regular budget, you're going to need a lot more (in order to lose weight).

So keep that in mind and choose this program only if you're on an unlimited budget.

 

 


My Verdict – Is WW Worth It?


Short answer: Not really.

Weight WatchersIt's not a bad program, that's for sure.

But it's not one that I would recommend for losing weight:

  1. Doesn't include any foods, snacks or gym subscriptions.
  2. Only offers an app (and for superior plans – support).
  3. Staying within their daily points budget is pretty hard.

All in all, it claims to help you lose weight without starving yourself.

But in reality – you will have to reduce the foods you eat, so that you fit into your PersonalPoints budget.

So it doesn't solve the problem many weight loss program have..

That's why I don't really recommend this program.

Besides, you need a lot more things additionally:

  • healthy foods 
  • ingredients for daily meals
  • (maybe) a gym subscription

If you can afford it, you can try giving it a shot.

Still, my honest advice would be not to do it.

Better go for a program that includes all the foods you need.

 

 
  

References:

1 – https://bmcpublichealth.com/-articles/10.1186

2 – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/-articles/PMC4446719/

 

Written by 

Oltea Roman is a registered pharmacist with a long experience in the health field. She graduated from University of Medicine and Pharmacy and has studies in Cosmetology, Dermatology, Toxicology and several others. She has a 2 years experience as a retail pharmacist. You can connect with her via Linkedin or email.

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