Losing weight can be a struggle, which is why there are many different types of weight loss programs people can try. Weight Watchers is a leader, topping best-of lists year after year, and a weight loss program formulated to help people eat healthier while incorporating more physical activity into their lifestyles. Millions have had successfully lost weight with the help of Weight Watchers, including celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Hudson, and Ginnifer Goodwin. Weight Watchers isn’t just another diet, it may very well be one of the better approaches to weight loss overall.
As reported by ABCNews, a new study published this week in the journal Obesity found weight loss programs like Weight Watchers could be as effective in losing weight as clinical programs.
The study followed 141 overweight or obese adults who were split in three groups. One group was in a weight loss behavioral program led by a health professional, or Weight Watchers. Another group was led by instructors who have had a successful weight loss journey. And, the third group was a combination of the two.
Participants were involved in group counseling with either professionals or their peer groups and they changed their diet and incorporated more physical activity into their lives. Researchers followed the participants for a year and in the end saw tremendous amount of weight loss from the participants.
These researchers were the first to compare commercial weight loss programs and clinical weight loss programs. The results of the study were life changing for the participants. Those in the weight loss groups led by health professionals and a peer lost the same amount of weight in total. But, those participants in the Weight Watchers group lost more weight than the other two groups.
Weight Watchers has an advantage that other programs do not have, according to John LaRosa, who has 20 years of experience tracking and analyzing diet programs at MarketData. “Support and motivation (whether it’s online or in person) are very important and the programs that provide that, like Weight Watchers, do have an edge over programs that do not provide it.”
According to this study, Weight Watchers can help overweight or obese individuals lose a significant amount of weight and help them make a healthy lifestyle change. But, according to LaRosa if you have a lot of weight to lose, commercial programs might not be the answer.
“If a persons has a lot of weight to lose (75 pounds or more), and has related medical issues such as heart disease, high cholesterol, or diabetes, they may be better served by a clinical/medical weight loss program where they are monitored by a physician or registered dietitian, and have regular lab tests.”