WW Freestyle Program Review: Its no accident that WW (formerly, Weight Watchers) Wellness that Works is the number one name in weight loss. In fact, it was recognized again this year as the Best Weight Loss Diet by U.S. News.
But exactly how does WW work, how much weight can you lose, and how does the new Freestyle program work? Lets see what we can we learn from all of the reviews and ratings online by examining the following:
Got 2 minutes? The video above is a great overview of WW, a lifestyle, not a diet,learn more.
WW isnt just a diet, and for decades their weight loss plan has evolved and taken millions of women and men on a journey of positive, lasting change.
In fact, they challenge you to,move more, eat well, connect with others, celebrate victories, overcome challenges, and reach what you never thought was possible
Wow, thats really inspiring, did Oprah say that?
OK, apparently everyone is losing weight, I get it. But, how does WW work?
WW is based on a science-backed SmartPoints system that assigns every food and beverage a points value based on nutrition. Foods that have more saturated fats, sugar, and empty calories get assigned higher point values while foods high in protein and good carbs have lower point values. No food is off-limits, but youll have to limit portion sizes make good food choices.
Each day you have a certain number of points called, SmartPoints, to spend on food, which helps to teach you good eating habits. For example, grilled salmon with asparagus will cost you zero SmartPoints, while a cheeseburger is going to cost you 12 points! See where were going with this?
*View their featured promotion (above) or all WW coupons
WWs new Freestyle program adds more flexibility andhealthy foods that cost zero points. This encourages you to eat more fruits, veggies, and lean protein, while skipping foods high in sugar and bad carbs. Freestyle also lets you rollover unused points to other days (think travel and vacations) when you need them more.
Most diets end in failure because they are based on food restriction which tends to make your cravings for unhealthy foods even stronger. The philosophy of Weight Watchers is to teach you good eating habits so that you enjoy sustainable long-term weight loss and a healthier lifestyle.
*Changes made in the new Freestyle program are a bit controversial, which we discuss in the reasons for negative Weight Watchers reviews below.
*Related: WW Points list: See the 99 most tracked foods
While all WW FreeStyle plans include Digital (formerly Weight Watchers Online Plus), you may want to consider adding the personal interaction and motivation that you get by adding Studio (formerly Meetings) or Personal Coaching. Heres what each of the WW plans offer:
Really, which plan you choose is a personal preference. Although studies suggest that adding meetings increases the success rate, you shouldnt feel that meetings are required, especially if they dont fit into your busy schedule!
The WW app is central to their entire program, as its what youll use to track your points, and access their resources such as WW Connect. (formerly Weight Watchers Connect)
WW Connect is their social network consisting of thousands of other women and men who are using WW to reach their weight loss goals. It helps to provide you with support and motivation, two crucial factors in successful weight loss. You can access Connect right from your phone to share photos, recipes, weight loss updates, posts, and more.
Heres how the WW app works:
The app looks a little different on Android / Samsung, but basically the same.
In order to determine whether WW really works, lets look at ratings and reviews from users and experts to determine a success rate.
Because there are no published WW success rates. However, WeightWatchers.com emphasizes the fact that most participants lose at least one pound a week if they stick to program requirements. , but do they really?
For a better measure of success rate, lets look at Weight Watchers satisfaction ratings from hundreds of (honest) customer ratings on ConsumerReports.com:
The best source of honest WW customer ratings is ConsumerAffairs.com, so lets look at how 1050 users rated WW: (Updated 1/02/19)
Assuming that 4+ stars means that WW (no longer Weight Watchers) worked, we can assume an 80% success rate based on 1050 user ratings.
These customer ratings are consistent with a2017 Lancet study of WW efficacy which concluded that long-term participants lost over twice as much weight than individuals who sought short-term intervention and self-help weight loss solutions. These participants committed to the program for at least a year and were also able to maintain their new weights more effectively.
It should also be noted that WW success stories focus on one thing: WW as a permanent solution for long-term change. Many dieters are able to keep their new weights because of conscious lifestyle modifications; most stay with the program for months and even years, going on to become WW mentors and personal coaches.
From this perspective, WW is highly successful; usually working for those who are receptive to its principles and commit to long-term healthy lifestyle choices.
The goal of WW is to lose weight at a sustainable pace of about 2 pounds per week or 6-8 pounds per month. Depending on your starting weight you could lose more in your first month as your body reacts to your healthier food choices and fewer bad carbs.
You should also note that weekly weight loss can fluctuate, so the monthly weight loss total is most significant. Now, lets look at how the experts rate WW.
Lets look at how WW rates compared to other diets. Heres how a panel of weight loss experts ratedWW in several key categories: (2018 U.S. News)
In the important,Easiest to Followcategory, (rated #2)experts stated that,
Weight Watchers outperformed most of the other ranked diets on this measure. Why? Youll get enough to eat, you dont have to eliminate any favorites and theres a strong emphasis on emotional support, which tends to lead to a higher success rate
For their rating in the all-important,Long-Term Weight Losscategory, (rated #1) they also added,
Thanks to WW (Weight Watchers) emphasis on a balanced diet with no restrictions, experts named WW No. 1 in this category. They also appreciated the programs support system, which helps dieters keep the pounds off.
To support the claim that WW does work, lets look at more expert ratings from professionals and credible authorities.
WW (Weight Watchers) is one of the most well-researched weight loss programs available. And, yes, it works. Brunilda Nazario, MD
That sounds pretty promising coming from a doctor! Heres what the American Journal of Medicine found in their study, specifically noting the effectiveness of adding WW Studio:
In summary, this study found that participants in a community-based, intensive behavioral counseling program demonstrated significantly greater weight loss at 6 months compared with participants in a self-help condition
These findings suggest that the WW program is effective in promoting significant weight loss incommunity-based settings and is a viable referral choice for clinicians patients diagnosed with obesity.
*Credible Study:A study by Indiana Universityconcluded that in a study of 225 obese adults with pre-diabetes, those who used WW (formerly Weight Watchers) lost significantly more weight (and more improvements in their health)than a control group of people who attempted to lose weight on their own. Although no actual success rate was published, the results seem to affirm that WW works.
*WebMD says: When asked if WW works, WebMD reported that, Overall, (Weight Watchers) is an excellent, easy to follow program because it does the work for you great for people with high blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and even heart disease.
In conclusion I would say that when followed properly, WW does work and results in significant weight loss, especially if you add meetings with WW Studio, and use the app.
OK, an impressive majority of customers and experts agree that WW works, so lets talk about why it works. Theres usually a very significant emotional component involved in eating. For this reason, a DIY approach to weight loss usually ends in failure, because in a sense youre fighting yourself. (thats a battle you cant win!)
Alcoholics Anonymous was founded on the principle that a great personal addiction or struggle requires an attention shift away from the self to a higher power with the support and fellowship of others.
I believe that adopting a healthy lifestyle can be a similar struggle, and requires some degree of support from others.WW offers WW Connect as a supportive app-based social network to their members, as well as optional in-person weekly meetings for fellowship, connection, and accountability.
Those who embrace the social component to the WW program enjoy a much higher success rate, and I believe that is the secret sauce of why WW works.
Honest customer reviews are probably even more important than how doctors and weight loss experts review WW.
Consumer Reports: Its worth noting that WW is the top-rated commercial diet with Consumer Reports readers, earning an impressive 74/100 score, and an excellent score in 4 out of 6 categories.
Now, lets take a look at customer reviews from ConsumerAffairs.com and examine common complaints and positive praise for the diet:
Theres a lot to like about WW, and plenty of testimonials out there, but lets look at why WW didnt work for a lot of people. When people complain or want to write a negative review, they often do so at ConsumerAffairs.com. Lets look at the nearly 1000 reviews and 500 ratings to see what customers complained about:
So, how is it that the #1 rated commercial diet gets so many online complaints? Here are the top 5 complaints we found in negative WW reviews:
OK, there are lots of good reviews and testimonials out there too, so lets try to be fair and balanced like Fox News (um, right!?) So, heres what customers like best about WW:
Well said, Meredith, and a healthy lifestyle with better food choices is the core of the WW plan.
Personally, I think its inspiring to know that thousands of others are facing the same challenge that I am. Thats why real testimonials can be motivational to watch. Such is the case with the testimonials from actual members that are posted on weightwatchers.com. Heres an inspiring video testimonial of a women who made a lifestyle change with WW:
More video testimonials on their sitehere
WW Wellness that Works, isnt a miracle pill or a weekend cleanse, its a lifestyle. Its more than just losing 10 pounds for a wedding, and asks you to challenge yourself to live a healthier lifestyle. Thats why its rated the #1 commercial diet, and has helped millions of men and women reach their weight loss goals and live a healthier life without giving up the foods they love!
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Have you tried WW Freestyle? Rate this diet and let us know if it worked for you:
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Weight Watchers Reviews | How WW Works. Does It? 2019