Weight Watchers

ImageRegarded as the mother of all weight-loss centers, Weight Watchers has been handing out pointers on how to lose those extra pounds for more than 40 years. With a presence in more than 30 countries, the weight-loss program has taken the world by storm and recruited highly-visible spokespeople including Jenny McCarthy, Sarah, Duchess of York and Lynn Redgrave.

Unlike other programs that outlaw whole food groups, Weight Watchers lays the groundwork to help you make wise choices, integrate physical activity into your life and stay at your goal weight.

A recent study shows that people who attend Weight Watchers meetings are three times more likely to lose weight than those who attempt to lose weight on their own.

Traditionally, Weight Watchers weekly meetings are held at centers throughout the world. Members participate in a private weigh-in prior to the group sessions begin.

A trained Meeting leader speaks about different nutrition- and fitness-related topics to give guidance, motivation and support. The interaction with other dieters provides members with a network of people who are in the same boat, facing the same problems.

For those who prefer not to leave the house, there is Weight Watchers online. By joining the internet-based version of the popular program, members can follow their progress, participate in virtual meetings and choose from hundreds of different recipes.

ImageWeight Watchers consists of two main plans -- the Flex program and the Core program. The Flex plan assigns positive points for more than 27,000 foods. Different exercises are given negative numbers of points. Based on weight and goal weight, you are given a specific number of points per day. It is crucial to stay within the total point range for the week.

Eat whatever foods you like so long as you stay within your POINTS range. When following the Flex Plan, you can eat your favorite fried chicken and drink that diet Pepsi as long as you do not go over your allotted daily POINTS. What appeals to so many dieters is that nothing is off limits on the Flex plan. However, it's important to enjoy everything in moderation adn to also uses regular exercise into your daily life.

On the Core Plan, the focus isn't on POINTS but on consuming wholesome foods. A more structured approach, followers choose from vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats, poultry, fish and eggs and dairy products. These foods should only be consumed until the person is satisfied but not full. As far as other foods, dieters are allowed to eat 35 non-core POINTS a week.

There is also the TurnAround Program, which was created in 2004. This rolls both plans into. Yet, the objective is to help clients achieve overall wellness. Along with following the 8 Good Health Guidelines, participants are also encouraged to get physical and interact with other members. The purpose of the program is to help members in attaining their goal and maintain that goal for life.

Weight Watchers makes a line of frozen meals available at most grocery stores.

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