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Stop Dieting, Start Living and Weight Watchers

Speak Up: Is Weight Watchers a Diet?

Weight Watchers has launched a new massive ad campaign that says, "Stop Dieting, Start Living." Now call me crazy, but I've always put Weight Watchers in the diet category so I'm confused.

I love the idea behind the whole stop dieting and start living message, but Weight Watchers is all about going to meetings and counting points. Sounds like a diet to me. Is anyone else thinking this is classic wolf in sheep's clothing?

Let me finish by saying that I think Weight Watchers is a fabulous diet, er non diet, that has really done wonders for a lot of people, I am just not loving this new campaign. What about you guys? What do you think about it all? Speak up and share your thoughts in the comments section below.


Join The Conversation
mark123123 mark123123 8 years
A GP in the UK has recently had Weight Watchers remove the misleading "Stop diets, start Weight Watchers" ad removed via the ASA. See:
tiffanyfuchsia tiffanyfuchsia 8 years
I think the "stop dieting" campaign makes sense for WW. When I think of "dieting" I think of being hungry all the time and not being "allowed" to eat certain foods. WW is not like that at all. Also, the program is really geared towards making permanent changes, which you can only do if your plan fits in with the real world. I am following the Core Plan on WW right now, which I think is a much more realistic plan for the long term because you don't have to count everything, unlike on the Flex Plan. I feel the Core Plan does a better job in encouraging people to eat nutritious food, and pay attention to portion control and your body's hunger signals.
crazylovevbug crazylovevbug 9 years
weight watchers is not a diet, it's a lifestyle as opposed to diets which only last short term.
blueskyotome blueskyotome 9 years
Chiming in late (just joined today), but I agree with the posters who see WW more as a lifestyle change and not a diet. To me, points are (or can be) like training wheels -- you use them for a while, and then eventually you can put them aside and go on your own. I haven't counted points in years, but I've kept off the majority of the weight I lost on the program because I finally learned to eat in a sane and healthy way -- keeping portion sizes in check, all things are fine in moderation, etc. (That said, the program's built-in accountability is a HUGE and helpful motivator.)
HappyKate HappyKate 9 years
I do WW and It is not really a diet to me. It is more of a simple way to know what is good and what is bad. The points to me are just a simplified way of knowing just how much damage is being done. Almost like counting calories. I love it and actually hate it when people ask me 'how the diet is going' because to me that implys reaching a goal and then quitting. It is way more than that and it is a great ad campaign! It is so much healthier than so many of fads too!
chibarosa chibarosa 9 years
I'm a WW lifetime member, and I see it as a way of living. WW helped me to develop a healthy outlook - not just about food but activity and emotional wellbeing and stress management and making healthy choices. So I agree with the ad campaign.
curvylibrarygal curvylibrarygal 9 years
I hate that ad campaign. It may be a "lifestyle change", which I agree with, but it's still a diet in that it restricts either what you eat or the amount you eat with the goal to lose weight. Weight Watchers is fine, and I am definitely trying to lose weight myself -- through the old lifestyle change -- but don't try to pretend that you're not the same as all the others. It's a marketing scheme, to me.
julieulie julieulie 9 years
When I think of a diet, I think of having to give up certain things. My fiance did South Beach a while back, and that was absolutely a diet -- there was so much that he couldn't eat, and the idea, at least in the first phases, is to ELIMINATE it altogether, not moderate what you eat. Weight Watchers, on the other hand, sounds like it allows you to eat whatever you want -- but teaches you to make smart decisions. You want that slice of peanut butter pie now? Fine, but you're going to have to plan your meals carefully for the rest of the week. If you can still eat whatever you want, granted absolutely in moderation, then I don't think of it as a "diet".
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
I think in the long run, it's not a 'diet.' The way we look at dieting is more like "don't eat this, don't eat that, just eat this and ONLY drink that for X amount of time and you'll lose 10 lbs!"....this is more about protion control and making better decisions. The points are just a tool to help you if you have trouble knowing what to eat and how much to eat.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
I've never done Weight Watchers, but know people who have and had great results. From what I gather, it's not a diet. It's based on learning how to eat right. They just use a points system that basically teaches you what is bad for your based on how many points it is. Which makes sense if you think about it. AND it's good for people who need and want a support group. And if you talk to people who've done it and stuck to it, it's now just a healthier way of eating/living for them.
aconstant440 aconstant440 9 years
I'm on WW (I've lost 75 lbs, thank you very much.) Leaders are supposed to stress constantly that it is a "Lifestyle Change" and not a diet. That is what they are going for here, also.
polrber182 polrber182 9 years
I've done WW for 8 years. If I called it a diet, I'd fail too. It's the way I eat. Yes, in the dictionary sense of the's a diet. In the sensationalist sense..nope. It's my way of life.
andiself andiself 9 years
So if the distinction is that you adopt the principles for a lifetime, then it's not a diet? That means any eating plan you adopt for the long term is not a diet. So in that case, I never diet, I just do the Zone 30/30/40 and have for at least three years. Shouldn't we all wrap our heads around the fact that there is no quick fix for any of us? We all know its reducing calories and increasing exercise, and there are a number of programs out there that work for different people. Personally I did weight watchers for 3 months and only lost 5 lbs. Went to the meetings, bought all food, and I didn't like it at all. Turns out that I needed to eat more protein which in the meetings I went to they didn't emphasize. As soon as I started eating a 30 30 40 diet I lost 30 lbs and became more healthy. People think it's too hard to follow, but it's totally worth it.
kelsee kelsee 9 years
I did WW over 5 yrs ago and lost 30pds. To this day I still keep in check my points! Oh yeah, I still weigh 115 pds so yeah I would think its a life style change. But with all diets you have to stick to it!!!!! and change your life!!!!
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
I mean, compare Weight Watchers making this claim with like...the Fat Flush people making this change.... ;)
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
From what my friends on it have told me, it does seem more of a lifestyle change than a traditional diet, so I think it's valid advertising. It makes them pay attention to portion control, and by allotting points, encourages eating fruits and veggies, but does not ban any foods, which a traditional diet normally does. I think it's the most well-reviewed and effective weight loss plan I sound like an ad, I need to lose pounds, I should go on it! Yeah, it's still a "diet," but I definitely think they are being accurate in their advertising in identifying what makes it different from a traditional diet, so I'd give them a pass!
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
they're just doing this cause everyone is scared and put-off by the word 'diet', it's obviously still a diet since by definition, a diet is when you follow a certain meal plan and not just eat whatever you want.
vjnoone vjnoone 9 years
I mentioned this in a post on my blog... I don't understand the big deal, yes it's a diet, we are all on diets, if we eat we are "dieting". We could get into semantics all we want but when push comes to shove it's a marketing campaign and a motivator for those that want to lose. Being a WW'er myself I dig it. I life the lifestyle.
JessBear JessBear 9 years
Depends on your definition of the word "diet". I think the diet part of Weight Watchers is just one facet of a much broader package. Regardless, it's a genius advertising campaign.
blytheann blytheann 9 years
According to the guidelines set forth by the American Counseling Association, Weight Watchers fits under the category of "self-help" group--a place where people help each other with stabilizing and balancing their weight and lifestyle needs. Weight Watchers, like other self-help groups such as AA and NA, allows people to come together to share ideas and utilize the time in a manner that best suits the group. So technically speaking, Weight Watchers is not a diet; it is a self-help group. :)
gbrsgirl gbrsgirl 9 years
I think it is a diet and a lifestyle change. I went on it and lost weight but I also felt like it made me more food obsessed then ever before, and not necessarily in a good way. The group of people I did it with felt the same way too, so I am on the fence about it, I guess it depends on the person if it's a diet or a lifestyle.
katyrose4 katyrose4 9 years
it's not a diet; it's absolutely about making smarter choices and making activity a part of your daily routine. diet's are temporary; weight watchers is about making a lifetime commitment and lifestyle change.
superfoxml superfoxml 9 years
cmon fit, I think they just want to communicate that losing weight and maintaining that loss requires a healthy approach to eating. That's what they offer and it seems to help many. Dieting as a word implies a finite amount of time, and they just want you to see that it's a lifestyle overhaul. I'm in favor of this campaign; they're just trying to shift the paradigm and reach more people that way.
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
I don't think it's a diet, I think it's more about a lifestyle change. It teaches you about portion control and making smart choices. To me, the word "diet" brings up the idea of not eating certain foods because they are "off limit" or limiting your food intake to a point that is below healthy. I don't do WW myself, but I think its a great way to lose weight and stay healthy.
emalove emalove 9 years
Some of the women I work with do Weight Watchers and they speak very highly of it. I also had a couple of roommates back in college who swore by this program.
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