Will Weight Watchers serve up sorry dish?

Muddled message?Weight Watchers

Muddled message?Weight Watchers

Ruth Mortimer’s first-class column on Weight Watchers says it all (MW 18 November).

Counting calories may lead to weight loss but it’s a miserable way to live, and I have worked with more casualties of calorie-counting diets than of any other kind.

Having pushed the calorie system for so long, it seems almost unbelievable that Weight Watchers has the gall to change horses in such a spectacular way and make it seem like it is doing us a favour.

Its dieticians must know that restricted calorie dieting leads to long-term weight problems because the human body responds to what it interprets as famine by down-regulating part of the metabolic process. Long-term dieters will confirm that the cycle of feast and famine - sin and reward if you like - leads to weight gain in time.

Now that Weight Watchers has joined the rest of us, albeit with an unnecessarily complicated plan that Ruth Mortimer feels (correctly in my opinion), has been designed to muddle dieters as much as anything else, will it be making amends by way of compensation to clients who were taken in by its heavy promotion of a way of eating that didn’t really work?

Ian Marber
Nutritionist and co-founder
The Food Doctor

Readers' comments (5)

  • What a load of tosh you talk. Having tried the new plan is is fantastic. The good part is that it is extremely flexible and you can eat as much fruit as you want, have a drink, eat out, and still lose weight.

    It's a shame people like Ian Barber don't themselves live in the real world.

    I am a weight watcher and have lost 85½lbs using weight watchers and without it my life would have been a downward spiral due to to diabetes.

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  • Really? You think Weight Watchers did this unnecessarily? What about the science behind the idea that the body uses certain nutrients differently, and metabolises them differently? Yes, it's about calories -- and still is. A calorie is made up of fat, carbs, and protein -- and WW is now accounting for the two missing links in the old equation -- carbs and protein; with the prior program, fats were counted twice.

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  • You still need to count the fruit... It's a bad WW ploy...and idiotic science. Add 5 bananas and a half of pound of grapes a day to diet and you be as fat as a gorilla in no time; WW will be adjusting this plan soon. They're talking a large part of the formula counting out of their equation. By the way just 1/2 cup of apple juice has 2 points; but 5 apples have none?

    WW is "hoping" that people make the right choice and they will change their ways eventually. The diet was never based on hope and change...oh that's someone else's program which failed......

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  • Quentin, I agree with your post, but the new WW program does NOT allow "unlimited fruit." It says eat fruit till you are full, not stuffed. I don't like the ambiguity either, but their research has found that people who regularly choose fruits as their snack of choice lose weight and maintain a healthy weight over time.

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  • I did extremely well on the the old point system. Upon using the new points plus, I
    have gained some of my weight back. In talking to other "WW" buddies, I have found that they to have put on a few pounds. I don't understand how we can all have the same points --- how can someone who weighs
    200 lbs have the same # of points as someone who is significantly lighter?
    I work out, do yoga approx 4-5 times per week.... and I am still having problems with keeping my weight off. Any suggestions? Thank you

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