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Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers Diet Review (UPDATED 2024): Don't Buy Before You Read This!

For more than 50 years, Weight Watchers has been a trusted approach to weight loss for men and women.

Top Rated Diets of 2024
What is it?

Weight Watchers Diet is a diet plan based off a point system, where each food has a value, and you’re allowed only a certain amount of points a day. You can eat any foods you want, as long as you don’t pass the allowed points for the day.

The points offered are called SmartPoints, and the amount allowed is based off one one’s own body and individual weight loss goals. Healthy and low calorie foods have much less value, so it naturally steers people into eating more wholesome foods instead of eating high amounts of junk food.  In this review you’ll hear customer reviews, the science behind Weight Watchers, and whether or not it can promote weight loss. The highest rated diet plan of 2024 was found to be the 18 Shake Diet. It’s a combination of a natural metabolism booster and high protein meal replacement. Learn more about the 18Shake diet plan by following the link provided here.

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Weight Watchers Diet Ingredients and Side Effects


No pre-packaged foods are required, it’s advised to cook one’s own meals at home. An app and guide is offered with over 287,000 different foods which have a stated number value.

High fiber, non-processed, and sugar free foods have a much lower point number.  Processed foods and highly saturated foods tend to be the highest in points. So the diet focuses on introducing more healthy foods, which is already known as a practical way to lose weight.

There are also 4,000 recipes offered as well as optional support for meetings, online coaching, and dietary tips. Mobile apps are also offered to help people calculate their total points.

There isn’t much information provided by the company to showcase exactly how their approach is scientific, or how they choose specific foods to have higher points than others.  The top 10 list found here offers the best diet plans that our experts have reviewed.

EDITOR’S TIP: Combine this diet with a proven meal replacement such as 18 Shake for better results.

Weight Watchers Diet Quality of Ingredients

 The quality of the ingredients can vary on what’s purchased, since no foods are off limits, what one purchases will determine the overall quality. The high points that processed foods have will force people to be more conservative in their food options.

No proof is provided by the makers of Weight Watchers to show why this diet has been formulated in the point system it offers.

It’s clear that by eating less processed foods and focusing on quality meats, high fiber, and filling foods that naturally weight loss is possible. However, no evidence is provided as to why their coaching system would be any better than not paying for this system and simply eating healthier,

One study by the Annals of Internal Medicine found that:

“Weight Watchers participants achieved at last 2.6% greater weight loss than those assigned to control/education”

This was in a 12 month period, and there were only slight increases in weight loss in comparison to people who were allowed to diet without control.

2.6% for someone weighing 200 pounds would be 5.2 additional pounds. This means that every month, a person can expect an additional 0.43 extra pounds of weight loss more than those who dieted on their own and made their own decisions without a points system.

This is a very poor amount of weight loss considering the amount it costs to pay for the online support. A list of the very best diet plans has bene reviewed by our experts.

Another major issue with the plan was that no official information is provided to show the points system before one buys into the plan. This makes it impossible to calculate if one is even capable of keeping up with this plan. Certain foods are not preferential for people, and it might require extreme changes in dieting in some.

Even with online support, there’s no guarantee that the advice offered will help one lose weight safely and effectively.

The Price and Quality of Weight Watchers Diet

There are different plans offered such as:

OnlinePlus: $4.30 per week when a 3 month long plan is offered. This amounts to $64.50 for the total 3 months.

Meetings + OnlinePlus: A 3 month plan is offered for $8.30 a week. This amounts to $124.50 for the full 3 months. 

Coaching + OnlinePlus: Like the other plans, if 3 months is selected, the full price is $10.15. A full 3 months is $152.25.

These prices can vary, as it depends on what one chooses as their meals and how much support they want. No information is provided on what kind of background the people who give advice are, and whether or not they are certified diet or nutrition experts.  Since they fail to mention this, it’s important to be cautious of the support offered.

A $20 fee is mandatory for every first time member.  Web MD discusses the pricing of this diet by stating:

“Be prepared to spend some cash to get the full benefits”

Many customers also agree it’s incredibly pricy to keep the online support available. As you’ll see in the “Customer Opinions of Weight Watchers Diet”, many felt it wasn’t worth the price.

The top 10 list featured in the link here has the best diet plans.

Business of Weight Watchers Diet

Weight Watchers International is the official company name. Their contact information is as follows:

Phone Number: (800) 651-6000

Further contact information is provided to those who subscribe to the online system. There are currently 339 negative reviews on their Consumer Affairs page. Here are some direct quotes from customers:

“thought I was signing with a reputable company… Weight Watchers continued to withdraw money from my bank account for 3 months”

“I have been requesting my account to be closed for the past 3 months”

“No one is ever there when you need them”

“Weight watchers are total thieves. I cancelled my account 3 years ago and they have billed my credit card”

Hundreds of people claim that they continue to be charged by the company even after they’ve cancelled the online support, and no longer logging into to their profiles.

There are also 279 complaints on their Better Business Bureau site, mostly for the same reasons. People complained often about being constantly billed even after months or even years of no longer using their accounts. Customers were frustrated since they were told their account was cancelled, only to see billing from Weight Watchers appearing on their credit card statements.

People also said that when their accounts were active, that there wasn’t much support offered. To see a list of the top 10 diet plans click on the link offered here.  

EDITOR’S TIP: The top 10 list of the best diets is available here.

Customer Opinions of Weight Watchers Diet

Here is what some users had to say:

“just got de-motivated as I could see this wouldn’t work for me anymore”

“I tried it, but I didn’t have too much luck”

“helped me at first but I failed later on”

“it did not work… felt the meetings were very one sided, and it was like a chat”

People said that the offered meetings and support weren’t really helpful, and that it didn’t cater to people’s needs. It was more just general advice people were given such as obvious weight loss advice.  

Another major issue was that people often said that they couldn’t keep up with the diet, and that many common foods had too many high points where they couldn’t eat comfortably.

Users had issues as well with the foods with fewer points, as its common sense what foods are allowed and which aren’t. The top 10 list features the best diet plans out now, click on this link to learn more.

Conclusion - Does Weight Watchers Diet Work?

When making a decision on a diet plan like Weight Watchers, it’s important to examine customer reviews, what’s offered, and whether or not weight loss is likely. The plan offers a point system which is meant to make dieting easier. However, hundreds of people have complained about a lack of food options, as well as being forced to limit many common foods. There were also hundreds that complained the company continues to charge them long after they’ve cancelled. Both on Consumer Reports and the Better Business Bureau people mention they continue to be billed.

The 2024 diet plan of the year was found to be the 18Shake Diet. It offers a high protein, appetite suppression meal replacement alongside a metabolism booster made with natural extracts with no added stimulants. There are no artificial additives, colors, binders, fillers, or harsh ingredients. Many customers have left testimonials and review showcasing their own weight loss results. People have said that the meal replacement can help suppress appetite for hours, and that it mixes well and has a pleasant taste.

The 18Shake Diet offers a diet pill and meal replacement that are both backed by full 30 day money back guarantee. Returns are offered with no questions asked, risk free. To discover more information about the 18Shake Diet, click on the link provided here.

How Does Weight Watchers Compare?
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User Feedback

(Page 10 of 41, 805 total comments)



I have not lost one pound since Weight Watchers switched to the Points Plus program. Prior to the change I had lost 18 pounds and was doing really well. I was also very upset that WW forced me to switch, since I did not purchase the PP program. I use the online version, and there's no reason not to have both the old and the new versions available for members. I purchased a membership for the previous program and WW simply switched gears to PP after it took my money. I've stayed on the Points Plus program for over a year though. Not a pound lost. In fact, I've gained five pounds. I guess I'm eating too much fruit and wasting too much money.

posted Jan 26th, 2012 8:46 pm

Karen G


I have lost 50 pounds in less than a year using the points plus method which I like. I had tried WW in the past and think the points plus system is the easiest. I would disagree with the con statement about fitness not being stressed, as activity/exercise is a big part of the program.

posted Jan 25th, 2012 11:51 pm



How often should I weigh myself? How often should I weigh myself? It's frustrating to get on the scale and see no loss especially when you were hungary the day before.

posted Jan 20th, 2012 5:19 pm



just eat less and exercise more at home for free. It's a scam. It may work for some people who follow it diligently but it IS a diet and it's hard to follow.
If you want to count something just count calories. Counting calories does the same trick and it's easier to do because you can look up calories directly from the box and you don't have to plug anything into a calculator etc.

posted Jan 18th, 2012 3:59 pm



I do NOT like the new Weight Watchers Points Plus program and here's why:

1) In order to get a comprehensive listing of foods and their associated points you have to be a member of their online program - regardless of what you've paid to become a member in the first place. So, for example, I paid for 17 weeks at over $200. Because I did not sign up for the monthly pass online program I did not have access to their points reference guide. For an additional purchase of $10, I was able to buy a "Complete Food Companion." While this book is better than nothing, I waste an amazing amount of time looking for simple things: 2 tablespoons of dressing, for example. (It appears that first I must know the brand!) Again, while better than nothing, it is FAR from ideal. I lose weight simply by spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to find what I'm looking for in the WW materials.

2) Their online customer service STINKS!!! I sent an email requesting points info for a 6 oz. glass of wine. That was over a week ago and I still haven't received a response.

3) What does it tell you that members have put together their OWN list of foods and associated points - Weight Watchers is not reliable where the components of their programs are concerned (i.e. be prepared to get the run around).

You were the best once. What happened?

posted Jan 17th, 2012 1:29 am

Kathleen Grant


I've lost and gained the weight back so many times but this time using Weight Watchers on Line I am maintaining my 17 lb. weight loss for the first time! My husband and adult son are on the program with me and we've lost a total of 59 lbs. in 8 months and are all keeping it off! My husband is thinner than he was when we met 37 years ago! We love, love, love this program because we can eat anything as long as it fits into our daily points plus values! We have lost all this weight eating fast food five times a week and going to a sit down restaurant once a week. Amazing but true! The best thing we've ever done for our health!

posted Jan 15th, 2012 6:43 pm


my folks lost over 40 pounds each on the old program, so when my weight shot up over two years from 130 to 160 (i'm a 5'5 woman, 21 years old), I wanted to stop the gain in its tracks, get back to 125-130, and learn to eat healthy for life. It's been a week. I've lost six pounds, I feel more energized, i've rediscovered the joys of fruits, veggies, oatmeal, fish and countless other foods. the meetings are fun, informative, and supportive. I'm on a medication that makes me constipated, and since starting the diet, my BM's have normalized without any additional medications, perhaps the best perk of all! This is not a diet. This is a lifestyle overhaul that will make you happier, healthier, and will put you in control. as far as the food tracking, it's been well known for a long time that keeping a "food diary" helps people lose weight by forcing them to be accountable and face up to what they've putting in their bodies, and how much. WW is a better plan for incorporating tracking.

posted Jan 10th, 2012 5:28 pm



I've lost 112 pounds in two years. I can always figure out how to have something I'm craving, good or bad, by budgeting my pointsplus. My doctor has taken me off cholesterol meds and I'm working hard at getting off bp meds. I love this eating plan. I don't call it a diet. Vicki

posted Jan 8th, 2012 3:53 am



I have been on every WW plan since the 80's, I have lost 87 pounds on the new plan. You have to be responsible for what you eat no matter what diet program you are on and if you want to blame a meeting no longer being around or you don't want to count points, then you are not ready to take responsibility for your eating habits, points, calopries, carbs, whatever the plan is you chose, you have to count or monitor something. These excuses I am reading are the same ones I use to say to justify me not losing weight. You can go on any program but if your mind is not ready, spend your days trolling boards to complain.

posted Jan 4th, 2012 8:24 pm

brenda f


i really loved ww! going to the meeting. it was mom time! brenda time! i was at my goal weight, looking awsome! i have never in my life have lost weight and done it in such a healthy way. thank you for that! reality set in and our leader told our group ww was going to be droping our small group in preston because ww was not making enough "money" there! well .....needless to say i have slowly put back on the 30 lbs i worked so hard to loose, i am not the only one hear in preston mn that has had a bad experence with ww. the thought that our devoated work and money, this is the thanks we get! so please.... the small town people need ww. but to whom ever it concerns..... if money is what is inportant to you and not standing by the fokes who "believe" in ww....... then..... really what the hell good are YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! brenda hahn preston,mn!

posted Jan 3rd, 2012 11:29 pm



I've lost more than 65 pounds on Weight Watchers during the past year and a half. The program is easy to follow and encourages exercise.

posted Jan 2nd, 2012 10:35 pm

Maureen Napoles


I do not like the way you treat your long term employees. It is not fair or ethical . I quit WW because of this.

posted Jan 1st, 2012 3:39 am



They will continue charging you for your online account and not tell you (it's in the fine print) until you find out (on your credit card bill). They will not refund you. Beware of theur promotions

posted Dec 26th, 2011 4:46 pm



posted Dec 23rd, 2011 6:01 pm



I lost 25 lbs on the old plan. I'm not happy we are all being shoe- horned into using the computer. For me, easy is better. The new plan began with WW telling us to use 29 points. Then, they told us to decrease to 26 points. Now, they are telling us to "tweak" the plan for weight loss. I don't believe the plan has been fully worked out- yet, they sell it to us on a weekly basis. I suspect we're being used as subjects of human experimentation. The old method of height, weight and age directed amount of points. Now, we're suppossed to figure it out for ourselves. Fruits are now unlimited. Ridiculous. Fruits have tons of sugar. So disappointed. From my perspective, don't waste your dollars.

posted Dec 15th, 2011 7:43 pm



As a former lifetime member, I think the new plan is horrible. You get inundated with books and materials you are supposed to read. The huge beef with me is the taking away of the slider. If you don't have a smart phone, you can't go grocery shopping or track on this program.
I am another lifetime member who thinks the new plan is terrible.

posted Dec 12th, 2011 1:41 pm

Andrea Wall




posted Dec 12th, 2011 12:53 am



I agree with DMC. I am a Lifetime W.W. Member. I became a Lifetime Member in 1980. I have never liked counting points because it's too time consuming for me and is not structured enough. It doesn't work for me because I find the plan to liberal. I myself prefer the Exchange Program they had back in the 80's and part of the 90's because the plan told you how many protein, bread, fat, milk, fruit, and vegetable exchanges to eat per day and in specific amounts (i.e., 1 cup of skim milk = 1 milk exchange, 2 Tsp, of fat free margarine = 1 fat exchange, etc. I prefer the more structured plan. It allowed me to lose 30 lbs. This is only my opinion.

posted Nov 30th, 2011 4:28 am



I lost 25 pounds 10 yrs ago on the points system and became a lifetime member. I have gained weight on the Points Plus. They allow you too many points, and side it costs alot per month I don't like paying to experiment with finding my point range. After 2 months, $80, and 4 pounds heavier than when I started... I am calorie counting now.

posted Nov 15th, 2011 9:15 am



Followed the program to a "T" for 8 weeks. Lost 4 pounds. Ridiculous. Started counting calories instead; lost 13 pounds in 8 weeks. Go do that math. WW is CHANGING PP now, because many users are frustrated with it. The PP values seem arbitrary. Go with calorie counting people, and don't waste your money on WW. Back when it was an exchange program, it worked well. When WW changed it to include the macronutrients, it screwed up royally. PP sucks.

posted Nov 11th, 2011 9:58 pm


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QUICK FACTSQUICK FACTS Start the Diet Now Advertisement
  • Get started by saving with these Weight Watchers Coupons

  • Established: 1963

  • Founder: Jean Nidetch

  • Headquarters: New York City

  • Stock Symbol: WTW

  • Accessibility: Meetings, Online, Books, Apps

  • Diet Type: Low-Calorie, Low-Fat

  • Gender: Male and Female

  • Celebrity Endorsements: Jessica Simpson

  • Corporate Site: WeightWatchers.com

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It's been 50 years since Weight Watchers came on the scene and started helping people live healthier lives. Weight Watchers helps members create a foundation to introduce healthier choices and physical activity into their lives. Weight Watchers was made popular by the weekly meetings that are still a cornerstone of the program today.

Weight Watchers allows you to eat the foods you like without restriction. Simply stay within your daily range and you can still enjoy the foods you love balanced with nutritious choices like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains. Unlike many diets, Weight Watchers also encourages an active lifestyle.

It all started in a living room, where women would gather to support one another while losing weight. Then it grew, and became one of the most recognized names in weight loss. They've remained an innovative brand, taking the plan online, and creating a program specifically for men.

Weight Watchers Meetings The original Weight Watchers plan invites members to weekly meetings where they help dieters form a network of support with people sharing similar experiences. Each person checks their weight privately. Meetings are conducted by a trained Meeting Leader who motivates and offers the group support through information about nutrition and fitness.

Weight Watchers at Work The Weight Watchers At Work program wants to make your workplace healthier by offering you and your company all of the success of the Weight Watchers program right from your own office.

Click to get started with this diet

DietsInReview.com is an advertising partner of Weight Watchers. This review is strictly our own opinion.

  • Programs to suit adult men and women
  • Choose counseling via meetings or privacy and convenience online
  • Online program is a comprehensive experience
  • Provides exercise guidance
  • Thousands of recipes and meals to choose from
  • Applebee's partnership for more healthful dining
  • Named #1 in the Best Commercial Diets by US News, 2011
  • Reputable and effective for 50 years

  • Online detracts from the traditional social aspect of meetings
  • Not a structured plan, which may be difficult for some to adhere to
  • Not a strong emphasis on fitness

A sampling of feedback and experiences shared by our community.

Most realistic program to maintain long term ... may take longer to lose the weight but it stays off! - Carmelle 8/16/11

I lost close to 40 pounds on Weight Watchers and have kept it off ever since starting almost 10 months ago. I plan to be on this program forever. I'm the healthiest I've ever been. (I'm 26 and am thinner and a smaller size than I was in high school, which I NEVER thought was possible!!) WW WORKS! I have never felt deprived, and I feel like the program is something I can live with. It's literally one of the best things I've EVER done for myself. - Marjie 7/8/11

I've been following the new Points Plus program since the beginning of the year. Today I hit the 10% weight loss goal. Only one week I did not loose weight - but I didn't gain either. Love that the fresh fruits are free so when I just want something - I now reach for fruit rather than chips or cookies. I am a 30 year lifetime member (obviously strayed at times) and find that this is the easiest weight loss for me (and I'm now 59.5 years old). HIGHLY recommend the new Points Plus. The key is still planning and journaling as far as I'm concerned. - Char 4/1/11

The old WW worked. The new one does not. I am one of many lifetime members who have become very disenchanted by this new program. - Elle 6/21/11

I highly suggest playing around with the tools. Eventually most "0 point" foods will develop a point value if you put in a high quantity...especially fruits and starchy veggies like green beans and broccoli. If you eat what the healthy check recommends, drink the water the healthy check recommends and eat your points in proteins and a small amount of carbs and fats then you should not gain weight. It's about eating in moderation. Not going crazy just because you think you can. - Shannon 3/6/11

Leave your own review and rating


Weight Watchers emphasizes eating more wholesome food, while allowing you to splurge on cravings in moderation. You'll make balanced food choices that include whole grains, lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, eggs and dairy. No matter which plan you choose, you'll have access to all of the Weight Watchers recipes that are delicious, satisfying and good-for-you.

Weight Watchers members can enjoy chili, muffins, brownies, burgers, pizza, pasta and so much more - especially when you follow their healthy tips for lightening the recipes.

You're encouraged to make more nutrient-dense food choices, which not only helps you lose weight but also helps keep you feeling satisfied.

The Weight Watchers website features thousands of recipes for all occasions. Weight Watchers Meetings Members can also use the A-Z food list found in the Pocket Guide, or purchase the Complete Food Companion and the Dining Out Companion to help them plan for their night out.

Whether you do the program online or attend meetings, there are several ideas for snacks and meals along with a list of power foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. The program is designed to teach you how to make smarter food choices so that you eat more filling and nutritious meals.

For example, Weight Watchers features two side by side meals that both have a points value of 11. The two meals are reflected below:

  • Meal 1 – Peanut butter and jelly sandwich made on reduced-calorie white bread; chips
  • Meal 2 – Black bean soup; Whole grain wheat pasta with grape tomatoes, small black olives, crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese, shredded basil leaves, olive oil and red wine vinegar; grapes

Just glancing at these two meals it would be hard to think they have the same value because meal two offers more food. Illustrations like this make it easy to see the importance of making healthier choices so that you can eat more while getting good nutrition throughout the day.


Weight Watchers does promote living an active lifestyle, although exercise is not a requirement of the program.

To calculate the intensity of your workout, you can use your heart beats per minute or some simple physical cues. If you choose to follow the heart beats per minute, the classifications are as follows:

  • Low intensity: 68 to 92 beats per minute
  • Moderate intensity: 93 to 118 beats per minute
  • High intensity: more than 119 beats per minute

Using the physical cues for your activity level follows the rating of perceived exertion or RPE. This is what Weight Watchers uses. This method is easier than monitoring your heart rate while working out. The below chart can be used to help you gauge the intensity of your workout:

  • Light intensity – Fairly easy exercise that does not induce sweating unless it’s a hot, humid day. There is no noticeable change in breathing patterns.
  • Moderate intensity – Somewhat hard exercise that will break a sweat after performing the activity for about 10 minutes. Breathing becomes deeper and more frequent. You can carry on a conversation but not sing.
  • High intensity – Hard exercise that will cause you to break a sweat after three to five minutes. Breathing is deep and rapid. You can only talk in short phrases.

Keep in mind that those who are just starting to exercise, or those that have been inactive for a long period of time tend to overestimate their intensity levels. If you are just starting out it may be more accurate to gauge your intensity through your heart beats until you get an accurate understanding of actual intensity levels. With Weight Watchers you can choose to do any form of exercise that meets your needs. Some recommended forms of exercise available are:

  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Walking
  • Jogging
  • Aerobics
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Bike riding
  • Kickboxing

Common questions asked about the Weight Watchers program by our community. Click each to see the full answer.

Can I do Weight Watchers without exercising? - Calcia 8/16/11

How much does Weight Watchers cost? - 7/20/11

Is Weight Watchers safe for kids? - Yoli 8/8/11

Is Weight Watchers good for diabetics? - Jackie 5/12/11

What do you get from weekly meetings? Hongquan 5/23/11

Are Weight Watchers Points confusing to anyone else? - 2/19/11


Weight Watchers is a tried and true veteran of the weight loss industry. With a variety of methods to choose from for both men and women, you're almost certain to find the right path for your weight loss journey. Weight Watchers provides guidance from every aspect of weight loss. Food is one of the primary concerns of any dieter and Weight Watchers goes above and beyond most other weight loss programs with thousands of recipes that anyone, dieting or not, will find tempting and delicious. If their style appeals to you, go for it.


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