Joining Weight Watchers

I did the online version a couple of years ago. I was initially successful but ultimately failed. I’ve got myself revved up to do the go-to-meetin’ option and would like some Doper input.

Who here has been successful with WW long-term? Which version did/do you follow? Any advice for someone who loves (bad) food as much as the air that he breathes?

I am especially interested in input from the guys, and especially those who attend meetings. I have the feeling it’s going to be awkward, like I’m at a baby shower or an Oprah taping.

And if you have no specific advice, a “go get-em Mustard!” will be much appreciated.


Um…go get 'em, Mustard!

Actually, my mom had some success with WW back in the day, but I’m sure they’ve evolved since the 70’s. I have only second-hand information; the two pieces of advice I’ve heard from almost everyone who’s tried it are to use the online tools and don’t lean on the WW-branded pre-made foods.

Go get 'em, Mustard!

My piece of advice about meetings is to find a leader you really like. There was a meeting near me that I hated going to because the leader rubbed me about 90 different wrong ways, from her smarmy attitude to her atrocious grammar. And if you have a really good leader, she will counteract the baby shower feeling.

If you’re in a larger city, they might have “men only” meetings (not really limited to men, but predominantly men).

I haven’t done the program in a long time (and I used to be a leader), but it’s like any other plan in that, if you stick with it, it works. The meetings help with accountability, and it’s always nice to have people cheering for you.

I joined WW a year ago January. I do both the meetings and the on line stuff and as of this morning’s weigh in I am down 104.6 pounds. (I really really wanted that .4). For me it has been incredibly successful even during a pretty stressful time period.

I like the online tool but I would say that the real support comes from going to the meetings. The routine of the meetings is part of what I needed. I also like the flexibility of the program. Same as no two people decide their budgets quite the same way, no two people spend their points in the same way.

Like any other weight loss program, it is what you put into it that you get out of it.

[mod]Since you’re looking for advice, moved MPSIMS --> IMHO.[/mod]

[non-mod]Go get 'em, Mustard![/non-mod]

My sister-in-law lost over 100 lbs on it, and has kept it off, but she followed it very strictly. I was on it in the 70s, but it was so different back then that nothing I can say about what I did or ate is probably at all relevant.

Go get 'em! You’ll do great!

Go get 'em! And join our 2013 Weight Loss & Healthy Living Support thread.

I’ve been doing the online programme for about a year and a half and recently reached 50 pounds lost. I’ve been a bit on-off over the winter months.

I don’t attend meetings - from what I’ve seen on the WW forums, the meetings are mostly about leaders trying to sell WW products, then a weigh in of each member.

The other aspect that puts me off meetings is that the leaders are simply people who have successfully done (and maintained) weight loss through WW themselves. They aren’t trained professionals, and I am very interested in the science of weight loss. On the WW forums, I’ve seen leaders posting about the usual urban myths as facts - ‘starvation mode’, etc.

I have a subscription to the NY Times and I find their Health section reports on a lot of weight-related studies, and I find the science stuff more motivating than the idea of a WW meeting.


Outstanding advice. Atrocious grammar? I’d be out of there.

Thanks! I intend to do just that. Get 'em, that is.

That’s extremely impressive, furlibusea.

Thanks! I’ll make you proud.

Excellent points, and congrats on the loss. I’ll be sure to shop for a leader that does not roll my eyes.

Thanks, all.

I do WW. I have the online account because it makes it easier to track things, and I attend weekly meetings.

The program works, but you have to work the program. You have to make sure that you log what you eat. Don’t skip logging, even for a day. If you log it and learn how to modify your eating habits as a result, it will be great.

I’m down nearly 30 pounds so far.

I’m in and have been for over 2 years. I’m down a shade over 95 lbs.

I second pretty much everything everyone else has said. It does work and it is very flexible. But you have to be honest about what you eat and you have to track it. It’s OK to indulge but you have to account for the indulgence either by exercising or by making other choices. For example, I went grocery shopping this afternoon. I had some of the samples, but I tracked what I ate and had a zero-point salad for my actual lunch, followed by a light dinner. I’m good now and will be until breakfast.

In terms of the meetings, you do have to find one you like, and that includes the members. At my old meeting, the leader was fantastic but I didn’t care for some of my fellow members so I found a new meeting.

What I like about the whole thing is that we’re allowed to be human. We eat out, we go to other people’s houses, people bring food to work. Most of it is just making sure that we make good choices when we can so we can stay in control when we can’t. It’s not an all-or-nothing black-or-white thing.

I love my session. 10:00 on Sunday morning. We refer to it as attending services at Our Lady of the Vanishing Ass. :smiley:

One of the women in that group has lost nearly 140 pounds. Or as she puts it, all of Ashley and half of Mary-Kate.

I’ve recently started. About a third of the Monday after work time meeting I attend is male, including two lifetime members who come to about every other meeting to retain the weight loss, so it clearly succeeded for them. A few more are part of couples doing the program together. The rest are women, mostly between 40 and 60. It is a pretty mixed group and while our leader is a bit more of a cheerleader, she seems to really enjoy it and is very dedicated to the healthy lifestyle as opposed to just the weight-loss end, which is very helpful.

Good luck with your meeting. if you don’t like your leader - try a different day or location.

I joined WW in April 2009 and lost 75 pounds. I also took up running and have completed one marathon (planning on doing 2 more this year) and 15 half marathons. I’ve gained about 20 pounds back and am working to get it back off (but that’s on me, not WW). I’ve made lots of good habit changes, and I credit WW for that.

Absolutely, meetings help. Going every week is your commitment to yourself, and even after 4 years, I learn new things. As others have said, if you don’t like the leader, try another. I got lucky with Leader #1, and I’ve followed her around to different meeting times as her schedule changed.


(1) You MUST track your food. It’s the key. I thought it would be a PITA, but it’s the most important mindset change you can make.

(2) Learn portion control. On the newest iteration of the program, most fruits and veggies are “free” – eat up (to satisfaction) and they’re 0 points. Learn to make substitutions you can live with. And be open to new foods. I wish I had tried tuna steak and sushi 20 years ago.

(3) Exercise. Start by walking 5 minutes a day if that’s all you can do. You never know how far you can go. If you’d told me 5 years ago that I would run a marathon in 2011, I’d have laughed in your face. At that time I couldn’t run for a minute on the treadmill without thinking I would die.

(4) Remember that progress is not linear, and don’t live and die by the scale. Fluctuation is natural and it WILL happen. Just watch the general trend and concentrate on improving your habits. You might have a gain one week, but maybe your clothes fit better, you got in an extra workout, and you tried a new fruit this week.

Good luck! You can do it!

So I joined up and went to my first meeting this morning. The leader was very good and I’m comfortable with her. There was a good amount of audience participation (maybe 20 people, just 3 dudes), and very helpful info and tips I would not have received had I went the online-only route.

I’m already working the iPhone app, seems pretty cool.

And I am astounded at how many points I am allowed. I’m told that my goal is to have zero points left at the end of the day.

I am feeling confident.

Bye bye, blubber. Adios, adipose.

Zombie reanimation!

How is Mean Mr. Mustard doing?

Did you stick with WW and have success?

I was thinking about giving it a try. I think I could stand to lose 35+ pounds. While I have improved my diet greatly over the last 2 years, I have not lost any weight through diet alone and have foot problems that limit many exercises. I think I could use some help, particularly with portions and patterns. I looked at the WW website, but did not gather much information there. You get a daily ration of points?

There’s basically two ways to do it. You either get a daily ration of points (there’s a formula that takes your gender, weight, and age into account); every food has points based on fat, carbs, protein, and fiber. You also get 49 points as sort of a fudge factor in case you go out or something.

The other way is something called Simply Filling, where you can eat all you like from a more limited list of foods. That’s what I’m doing right now.

i like the food. i can relate to weight loss issues. this place right here, bodybuilding dot com has a 24?7 phone line for fitness and weight loss. they are all personal trainers of college athletes or some similar category. their business model is to help the public and inform. they don’t try to sell you supplements unless you specifically ask. they are such a big help to me, i can’t even say. the number is 877 991 3411

Since I missed the last one:

I did research for a series of on-line encyclopedia articles on weight loss plans, and WW was about the only one with real experimental support. My genes do my dieting for me, but my wife used to go, and met her goal weight. Tracking is indeed important. We never got any WW food, but we do have a ton of WW recipe books, which are generally very good. They substitute bright food like peppers for ones with calories, and we still use them - in fact we ate something from one of the books tonight. I like the recipes even though I didn’t need to, and I even lost some weight when she was on WW full time.

I did WW a couple years ago. I lost 30 something pounds then slacked off.
Mistakes I made:
Sticking with a crappy leader because her meetings were compatible with my schedule.
At the time, I didn’t have a smart phone and tracked my food manually. That gets tiresome after awhile.
I noticed some people in the meetings did the program with a friend. They went to meetings together, made double sizes of recipes and split them with each other, exercised together. I think that is a great idea if you can find a partner as devoted as you.
Like others said, don’t rely on WW food, there are some great recipes out there.
The point values for single food are set in stone, but many times you’ll find a recipe and the total point values will vary depending on who figured it out. Don’t rely on other peoples calculations, break down the ingredients and figure them out on your own.
You’ll be counting points and caluclating like a crazy person at first, but after awhile you’ll learn point values of certain food by heart and it will get easier as you go.
Good Luck Mustard!!
Is it possible to post a before shot and send more pictures as you shrink? We’ll be your cheerleaders. You can’t have too many.
My health insurance covers WW for a certain amount of time. Do you have health coverage for it? You should check.
Just reading this is inspiring me to go back and try again. I have a smartphone now, so the online tools will be extra insentive.

One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is that there can be an interesting dynamic surrounding the fact that men tend to lose weight faster than women. When I was going to WW, you got a little sticker each time you lost 5 pounds, and it seemed like the men were collecting one almost every week. Depending on how your leader handles this, it can be funny and instructive, or kind of annoying to all the struggling middle-aged women in there.