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 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?
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