What’s Wrong With Weight Watchers? 

Why Weight Watchers Won’t Work for Sustainable Weight-loss:

“If at first you don’t succeed, buy, buy again!”

This is the deceptive, but admittedly brilliant, business model of Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and most of the other mainstream “Standard American Diet” diet companies. If you really stop and think about it, they have implemented a rather clever strategy. Follow me here:

The most successful businesses devise a plan to not only attract new customers but more importantly, retain and cater to repeat customers. Keeping this in mind, let’s review the vicious cycle of the traditional American processed food diet plan:

Anyone that has ever been on a calorie restriction diet is familiar with the yo-yo pattern that it creates. You reduce the amount of calories you eat, take some proper weight loss supplements while simultaneously trying to increase your exercise. Sounds like a solid plan right? And you actually loose a little weight (temporarily). But then your body’s metabolism slows down to compensate for the lack of fuel. Your energy level then drops, your hunger increases and your weight loss plateaus causing you to become frustrated. Then you return to your previous eating habits. Inevitably you gain the weight back (often a few lbs. more) and blame yourself for the failure instead of blaming the plan you were on.“If at first you don’t succeed, buy buy again” and the vicious cycle of success followed by failure repeats. Is this sounding familiar?

What a perfect business model to assure repeat customers! You provide a product that doesn’t work, and instead of the customer blaming you for it, they blame themselves! “I didn’t try hard enough, I gave up too easy”, they tell themselves. So they give it another go, over and over again. All the while it wasn’t even their fault that they couldn’t keep the weight off, it’s actually part of the plan. Genius!

“So you’re telling me that Weight Watchers knows that their plan doesn’t work?”

Of course they do! Let’s look at the evidence:

– The “calorie restriction” model of weight loss does not work for sustainable long-term weight-loss. It is based on the age old “calories in vs. calories out” philosophy whose effectiveness has been disproven time and time again in study after study. This isn’t just my opinion. This oversimplified theory was proven ineffective long before the inception of Weight Watchers. One would think that a weight-loss company that has the largest market-share in the world would also have the resources to stay on top of the latest science in weight-loss. Weight Watchers International is well aware that an actually effective weight-loss plan would be impossible to produce in a pre-packaged food format. And besides, if it actually worked, they would never get repeat customers.

– The Weight Watchers (SmartOnes) brand foods are manufactured by the Fortune 500 company Heinz/Kraft Foods, who are instrumental contributors to the current obesity epidemic that our country is currently in the midst of. Their frequent use of high fructose corn syrup and trans-fat producing hydrogenated oils are rivaled by only the worst of offenders.

– Weight Watchers, and their pre-packaged processed-food competitors like Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem all still cling to the outdated and disproven “low-fat” philosophy that started in the 70s as a result of bad science. This same philosophy that is responsible for the obesity epidemic we find ourselves in. Don’t just take my word for it, follow this link and discover the near 2 dozen studies that have been conducted in the past decade or so that prove it’s ineffectiveness.

– Still not convinced? Well, let’s take a closer look at some samples of their actual product.

Here’s a random pick from the Weight Watchers menu, “Fire grilled chicken and vegetables”, they would have to go out of your way and make quite an effort to screw up the macronutrients of chicken and vegetables. Well, that’s exactly what they do: 

47 carbs and 8 sugars in chicken and vegetables. What kind of voodoo it this? Notice the pie chart, the macronutrient ratio reflects the exact opposite of what would actually be effective for weight-loss. And on top of that, this minuscule portion size is surely a recipe for hunger. I won’t even broach the fact that trans fats aren’t even listed, but that’s another topic for another day.

This is merely a random sample, but feel free to follow the links at the bottom of this web page to discover other examples of their offerings. You can see for yourself that this random sample that I chose is fairly consistent with their entire menu.


Weight Watchers and the like are merely portion control proprietors of pre-packaged foods that not only parody the macronutrients of the standard American diet, but also have failure worked right into their business model. Successful business is all about repeat customers, and Weight Watchers gets that in spades because their product simply does not work! As Oprah Winfrey encourages everyone to enjoy bread everyday, ask yourself what their motives are. Is it really weight-loss? Or is it simply profit?

 For the latest videos & articles pertaining to optimal health and ketogenic nutrition, as well as encouragement, advice and great ketogenic/low carb recipes …everyone’s welcome in the facebook group:    WELCOME TO KETO COUNTRY



About

Tim Rice - I am an ex-paramedic turned fitness trainer, currently working like a mad man towards getting my credentials as a registered dietitian/nutritionist at Keiser University in Lakeland Florida. My story is not unique. Over the course of my lifetime I have lost and gained in upwards of 200lbs. I was a human yo-yo! Mostly because I, just like most of the American population, bought into the lies and faulty science that calorie restrictive/low-fat "diets" were the heart healthy way to control and maintain bodyweight. Well, after decades of frustration, our country is amidst an obesity epidemic of epic proportions. Armed with an Internet connection, a library card and the research skills that I honed in college, I've set out on a personal journey for truth. Thus far, I've returned to a healthy weight, reversed my high blood pressure, thrown out my Statins and reversed my sleep apnea. As I meticulously race thru the process of getting my credentials as a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist, I will share with you the truths (and the lies) that I discover on this path. The promise that I make to you: Any claims that I make will be backed up by REAL science. 

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Posted in Fitness, Nutrition
23 comments on “What’s Wrong With Weight Watchers? 
  1. Debbie Wright says:

    Thanks Tim.I am a yoyo and I hate it….looking for something that will help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • timlrice says:

      Debbie, get on Amazon or go to your local bookstore and get any one of these books, they all come to the same conclusion and teach you how to change your metabolism
      “Always Hungry?” by Dr. David Ludwig

      “The Obesity Code” by Dr. Jason Fung

      “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why we get fat and what to do about it” by Gary Taubes

      “Fitness Confidential” by Vinnie Tortorich

      “Eat Fat, Get Thin” by Dr. Mark Hyman

      “The Big Fat Surprise” by Nina Teicholz

      “Fat Chance” by Robert H. Lustig M.D.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Stephanie C says:

        I started following the theory from Jason Fung in October 2015 mainly to get off the toxic diabetes meds. With his lchf w/fasting, I have lost 60lbs and reduced my meds from three different ones to only one. Oh and my a1c went from 8 to 6.1 in two months. Very few carbs with high fat is the way to go.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Terri James says:

    This is so true! For twenty five years I’ve tried Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig numerous times, only to yo-yo every time and blame myself! Why was I always hungry? When I cut out the processed food, ate more GOOD fat, vegies, and some fruit did I lose and keep off 50 lbs! I’m working on the next 50 now! Good info! Thanks

    Liked by 3 people

  3. matilda says:

    I think weight watchers would work long term if you cook for yourself and not eat their pre packaged foods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • timlrice says:

      Perhaps, if they made an effort to quit demonizing healthy fats and lightened up on the calorie restriction

      Liked by 1 person

    • carole says:

      I did just that back in the early ’80s. They were beginning to introduce their package food, but you were under no obligation to buy/use it. I lost wonderfully and felt great, but time, pregnancies, etc interfered. Every time I’d decide that enough was enough and I would go back “on program” as we called it, I would have less success. I yo-yoed myself up to an alarming #. In ’99 I joined TOPS and applied what knowledge I had of low-fat eating a’la Weight Watchers. I very painfully lost down to my goal (which was 17 lbs higher than my original WW goal, by the way, but I was very late 40s by then) which took me 3 entire years. The first 30 came off fairly quickly, but the last 26 were very difficult to lose. I became a vegan for over a year, did various crash diets, etc. and finally, finally crash-dieted off the last little bit. And I was exercising excessively all this time, too. Naturally I have not managed to keep it off. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, works anymore. LCHF causes me to gain. 23/1 fasting will maintain. If I want to lose I have to fast. I get all hepped up to do that periodically (fueled by self-hatred), but it is a very unnatural way to live. Even when not hungry I just feel sad and unconnected to “normal people”. the only thing I can say in favor of LCHF, which I believe to be very beneficial and the only correct way to eat (for others, evidently) is that I have never put back on all of the weight. I am right about at that 30 lbs. minus spot that was so hard to break below.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow…. I was just JUST talking about Weight Watchers in my class last week. I’ll be sharing this! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rebecca says:

    Hi – I need some help. Years of these programmed diets have left me 20lbs heavier 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tiffany says:

    I disagree! Weight Watchers has really worked to stay up with the latest science. In January they changed their model. They finally left behind the low-fat (high-sugar model). The reason why people are up and down with their weight is because they fail to change on the inside and dig for the deeper problems that led them to the pantry in the first place. Weight Watchers, now even offers health coaching so one could work on that as well. They have really covered their bases with this new model.

    Liked by 1 person

    • timlrice says:

      Well, what sparked my investigative interest was their latest ad campaign. Arguably one of the most powerful and influential women in the world proclaiming that you can eat bread “each and every day.” That is a very confusing, counterproductive and irresponsible message.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lorna says:

        to be honest, Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement would mean far more if she didn’t have a financial interest in the company. If she is making money on the product then her word is automatically suspect.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Susan says:

      That is just not true. I am currently a WW member and the plan is LOW fat and LOW sugar. Saturated fat is frowned upon. It is the devil in any meeting I have gone too and all their literature. I have since quit and have gone back to Ketogenic/LCHF.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. DB says:

    Wow – I’m currently getting a Nutritional Science degree in Los Angeles and am researching Weight Watchers – major inspiration – thank you, many blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Melody says:

    Love your work! I wouldn’t touch wheat. It’s not fit for human consumption. I will be thrilled to learn the truth Tim. I have been following an LCHF lifestyle for the past year .. Lost 20kgs and healed my gut. Microbiome balanced! Regards Melody…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carisha says:

    After I became a mom, I was unhappy with my weight. I tried exercise and Low GI, but the weight-loss was insignificant.

    Then, a few months before my 40th birthday, weighing about 140lbs, I tried Herbalife. I lost about 6lbs in a few weeks and kept it off after I stopped using the products. Why? Because in the process I learned to reduce the carbs and increase the good fats. And most importantly – I read labels. (If it needs a label, I am already suspicious.) But I was still using sugar in my coffee, and having rice or pasta with dinner, so I did not lose any more weight until recently.

    A few months ago I stepped up the LCHF lifestyle and cut the sugar completely and eat rice or pasta no more than once a week, so I lost another 4lbs. But I am never hungry, because I fill up on high fat, moderate protein and more colourful veggies – some of which comes from my own garden. I bake with almond flour, coconut flour and flax powder. And everything tastes better with real butter and full-cream dairy.

    So I am teaching my children that the food pyramid is wrong and I try to eat like it is 1916.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. R. Coleman says:

    Weight Watchers works brilliantly for only one group of people. The share holders, for it’s customers a disaster. I lost 30 kgs 18 years ago on WW and within a year was back to where I was. In the interval I tried many other diets and and had a sustained 10 kgs loss. 3 years ago I discovered the Harcombe diet (author Dr Zoë Harcombe a world famous obesity researcher) and lost another 20 kgs and have kept it off as long as I manage my carbs which is what her eating plan is about. I’ve found my way of eating for the rest of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ingrid says:

    This is awesome. I just wrote a similar post on my blog…not specific to weight watchers but geared towards any calorie restrictive diet that doesn’t look at the full picture. https://www.resultsdietetics.com/calories-in-versus-calories-out/

    Liked by 1 person

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