Weight Watchers – An Experiment In Control

Weight Watchers
Former IRS agent Jean Nidetch founded Weight Watchers 15 May 1963.

Many people joke that Weight Watchers would work well, if only they could decide on a point system. Weight Watchers works by assigning point values to foods based on their nutritional values. You then get a well balanced meal plan by limiting your daily intake to a certain amount of points. Like so many other fad diets, Weight Watchers only works if you incorporate it into a healthy lifestyle.

Why Weight Watchers Works

First, you fill in details about your height, weight, age, sex, goals, and activity levels. Then, the calculator determines how many points you need a day based on the info you gave it. Next, you look up how many points the foods you normally eat contain. Based on that, you can build a meal plan using your favorite foods in the correct portions.

Because you can continue eating foods you love, it becomes an exercise in self control. Aside from your regular daily points, you also receive a certain number of free points. Free points allow you to have “cheat” foods as long as you track them. Also included in your program, you can track your workouts and have additional points added to your weekly allowance based on nutrients burned off.

Weight Watchers may seem relatively simple after you understand how points work. However, not everyone benefits from it.

Why Weight Watchers Fails

Some people have more serious problems than simply overeating. Your hormones, stress, medications, and even allergies all affect your ability to loose weight. So from an objective stance, not everyone will get Weight Watchers to work for them. If you fall into this category, I highly recommend seeing your doctor for help.

Aside from the medical piece, another batch of failures comes from trying to tack the points. Sometimes keeping track of how many points you eat during the day doesn’t work. So many factors go into writing everything down that you can easily loose track. If you fall into this category, Weight Watchers probably won’t work for you.

What We Learned

Overall, our experiment with Weight Watchers succeeded. I lost about 3.6lbs a week during the experiment, and Crystal lost a little as well. Between the two of us, we agreed that the program definitely shows potential.

The biggest problem with this type of program comes from the price. They charge out the nose for a customized meal plan, coach, and motivational buddies. The internet of things provides so many cool things nowadays, including freeware based on the same principles as Weight Watchers. You can browse online forums to get a pretty solid grasp on how the program works. Applications in Google Play AND the iStore allow you to track similar points (sometimes more precisely). And finally, you can easily do this with your spouse, significant other, roommate, or buddy for motivation.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about Weight Watchers. I’d love to know your opinion.


I grew up in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, México, where people either owned cattle ranches or fruit orchards. Much of my work ethic came from working on Rancho La Mesa (my family’s ranch). That ranch also sparked what grew into my wild imagination. I read somewhere that you should write the story you want to read, and that stuck with me. My writing began in sixth grade, around the time I began learning to type.