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Weight Watchers Review: Everything You Need to Know About the WW App

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Last update: Jan 27
Last update: Jan 27
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weight watchers reviews
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WW is a popular weight loss program, with thousands of people joining it hoping to lose weight. 

In 2021, WW launched the program PersonalPoints, designed to offer more personalization than the original Weight Watchers app. 

Follow us on our journey to discover whether the WW PersonalPoints program works and whether WW is the right fitness and diet app for you.

Summary of Benefits, Pros, and Cons

Weight Watchers
  • WW teaches you lifelong skills, like how to cook food and work out, changing your lifestyle
  • All foods are allowed, unlike with other diet apps or programs
  • Flexible
  • Slow but steady weight loss that helps you maintain your weight
  • Supportive community and WW coaches
  • Great variety of educational material
Our Rating:
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4.2
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Helps users form healthy habits
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Unique approach with SmartPoints budget and ZeroPoint list
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Great support network
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Short-term effectiveness is backed by relevant research
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Helpful meal-planning tools, as well as recipes, workouts, and medication features
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Lots of positive Weight Watchers reviews by users
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Expensive, especially if you opt for the Unlimited Workshops option
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Constant food tracking might not be for everyone
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Medical health professionals have not approved the Point system

What Is Weight Watchers (WW)?

WW, also known as Weight Watchers, is a weight loss program based on points that calculate your nutrition needs according to weight, height, activity goals and level, and age. Each day, you’re assigned a daily points budget designed to help you track what you eat. 

Every food you consume counts as a point value, with members being instructed not to go over or under but use their allotted daily points accurately. Failing to do so will result in wrong calculations. 

WW is for the would-be dieters looking for a lifestyle change but those that don’t want to lose weight super fast. Originally, Weight Watchers was established in the 1960s by Jean Nidetch, a business entrepreneur. However, it was rebranded into a wellness brand, WW, in 2018. 

The program is simple: you get several points depending on how much you weigh and how many pounds you’re looking to lose, as well as your food preferences. These points you’re allowed to consume daily. If you exercise regularly, the amount of points increases. 

Each food has a set of points. As expected, foods with saturated fats and higher sugar levels have more points. Using the accompanying WW application, you can figure out the point values of your meals to manage your daily point allowance. 

Does Weight Watchers Work?

According to studies, WW can help with weight loss. In fact, WW seems to be one of the few commercial weight loss programs with proven results from randomized trials. These are considered the standard of medical research.

For starters, one study found that overweight people who were told to lose weight lost more weight on the WW program than those who received normal weight loss counseling from a dietitian. Moreover, a review of 39 controlled studies showed that participants using the WW program lost about 2.5% more weight than those who received different types of counseling. 

Similarly, another study of over 1,200 obese adults revealed that participants who followed the Weight Watchers program for 1 year lost way more weight than participants who used self-help material and brief weight-loss counseling. Most studies regarding the WW diet found that people lost about 10–16 pounds a year. 

That said, these studies were performed before Weight Watchers launched the new PersonalPoints program. This means that research about the effectiveness of this initiative is still needed to make safe claims.  

How Does the Weight Watchers App Work?

Once you download the WW application (free of charge), you will be asked to sign up for one of the 3 available plans. 

Each plan is based on the amount of access to the WW consultants you want. Afterward, just like with any other health app, you are asked for personal details, like target and current weight, if you’re breastfeeding, and if your main goal is just eating healthy or eating healthy and losing weight simultaneously. 

Depending on your responses, the experience with the WW app gets personalized. Next, the application will ask you how often you consume fruit, vegetables, eggs, and other healthy food during the week. 

The app then asks you what is most important for you:

  • Having lots of culinary options?
  • Having a long list of food to consume?
  • Tracking and measuring what you eat?
  • Or limiting the tracking and measuring of food throughout each day?

You will be matched with a diet plan and some daily points based on your answer. All plans include zero-point foods you can consume in any quantity you want.

For example, the Purple plan includes foods like eggs, fruit, fish, chicken, tofu, beans, fat-free yogurt, whole-wheat pasta, grains, and potatoes. 

The Blue plan offers a smaller selection of zero-point foods for you to choose from. Yet, vegetables, fruit, and lean proteins are included. However, whole grains aren’t. 

Lastly, the Green plan allows only unlimited fruit and vegetable consumption. 

Once you receive your plan assignment, the WW app sends you to the tracking page. There you will add the food you consume daily, your sleep routine, and how much you exercise, all of them pivotal aspects of a balanced diet. As long as you’re using the app, you will have to refer to this page to monitor the number of available points in a day. 

Also, the neat thing about the WW app is that the calculation of points is made easy. 

All that subscribers need to do is scan a product’s label, and WW will automatically share a point value. If you’re eating a labeled food, you can still find it in the system by manually typing its name. 

What Is the Weight Watchers (WW) Program?

The WW program is a diet built around a points system. For instance, every food or drink you consume has a value (counted in points) based on its saturated fat, sugar, protein, and calories. 

Each day, the WW app gives you a number of points you can spend on any food you choose. So, if you stay within your points budget, you’d be on the right track to weight loss and staying fit and healthy.

How Much Does WW Cost? 

WW currently offers 3 plans. These are:

1. Digital: $3.38 per week

  • You get access to the app, including recipe ideas, weekly progress reports, meal-planning tools, and on-demand workouts.
  • Access to a 24/7 chat with a coach.

2. Digital 360: $4.61 per week

  • You get access to the app, including recipe ideas, weekly progress reports, meal-planning tools, and on-demand workouts.
  • Easy access to Digital 360 Coaches. Contrary to the 24/7 coach chat feature, which connects users to different coaches each session, this plan places you with the same coach each time you reach out. 
  • Access to wellness experiences, like cooking demonstrations and meditation sessions, among others. 

3. Unlimited Workshops + Digital: $6.92 per week

  • You get access to the app, including recipe ideas, weekly progress reports, meal-planning tools, and on-demand workouts.
  • Access to unlimited in-person workshops. Before joining a workshop, you complete a weigh-in and discuss everything with groups focusing on recipe ideas, best diet practices, etc. 
  • Access to on-demand and live wellness experience. 

Also, keep in mind that all plans charge your credit or debit card automatically and on a monthly basis. That said, if you wish, you can manually unsubscribe anytime, which is easy to do on the WW website or the app itself. 

How to Use the Weight Watchers App?

Using the app is simple. Anyone can do it. You must track your weight once a week, plus your daily food consumption, sleep routine, exercise, and water intake. 

With over 3,400 recipes, workouts for all fitness levels and needs, as well as meditations that can help you focus and calm down, the WW app has something for everyone. 

The Weight Watchers application consists of the main dashboard and a number of useful tools to help you succeed in your weight loss goals, like recipe suggestions and creation, a meal planner, weekly check-ins to track your weight, and a barcode scanner to scan packaged food to get its point value.

WW dashboard

  • Track food, water, sleep, and activity.
  • Use the search bar and look up specific foods to get recipe recommendations (What’s in your fridge? feature)
  • Daily check-in cards are designed to help you build good habits. 
  • Access to 5-minute coaching sessions or meditation for stress release.
  • Access to video classes.
  • See the days you’ve stayed in the Health Eating Zone, the days you managed to stay within your daily point allowance. 

Recipe suggester

  • A tool to help you find recipe ideas based on what you have available in your home. 
  • From the dashboard, tap the Menu button and open What’s in your fridge?
  • Enter the ingredients you want to use to make food and the number of points you wish to spend and find recommendations. 

Meal planner

  • Choose a WW recipe or use one of WW’s 5-day menus. 
  • From the dashboard, tap the Menu button and access the Weekly Planner. 

Weekly check-in

  • Each day a Weekly Check-In card will appear on your home screen. Tap it to launch the tool. 
  • Use it to track your weight and see your progress report, including data from activity, food, mindset, and sleep (i.e., your 4 wellness pillars). 
  • Set goals for the next week. 
  • You can update your weight, too. Just tap your Profile icon and then the Gear icon. From there, access Weight Settings. 

Barcode scanner

  • The barcode scanner is located at the top of your home screen. Tap it to scan the barcode of any packaged food to get its WW points. 
  • After you’ve scanned it, you can choose to save, track, or favorite it. 

24/7 live and 5-minute coaching

  • These features help you get behavior change techniques, mini-meditations, and expert coaching. 
  • Tap the Menu button and check out the audio coaching options. Then, choose the card that you like and listen to it. 
  • To access 24/7 Live Coaching, tap your Profile icon. Above the weight graph, you’ll find a chat bubble. Tap it to get technical help, advice, or motivation. 

Weight Watchers Diet – What Is It?

WW is a diet plan that helps you make healthy food choices and stay active. It’s based on a SmartPoints system, giving each food, drink, and WW recipe a set point value. 

Each day, you get points to use based on your personal weight loss needs. The app’s goal is to help its subscribers lose 1–2 pounds per week. 

People using the app will be able to eat anything, from vegetables and fish to meat, fruit, or donuts, depending on their point allowance.

Benefits of the Weight Watchers App

These are the benefits of the WW app:

#1 Helps to form healthy habits

Using the WW app on a daily basis will make you form good habits. From eating healthy, organic food with zero saturated foods and sugars to meditating, exercising, and working out, WW isn’t just a diet app but a wellness program. 

#2 Unique approach

One-size-fits-all or cookie-cutter diet plans don’t work for all. The people behind WW have realized this, striving to make their program different by adopting a unique approach. Swapping out a meal plan for SmartPoints and ZeroPoints lets you choose foods you want to eat as you see fit. This lets you eat more foods you love on a diet, making it more enjoyable. 

#3 Concentrates on nutrition

WW focuses on teaching lifelong skills and habits, like tracking your food, measuring portions, and concentrating on nutrition. In fact, nutrition is at the core of WW, with the program offering a library of healthy advice, recipes, eating tips, and more to encourage you to cook at home instead of opting for convenient takeaway.

#4 Great support network

A support system is a necessity when it comes to weight loss. And WW offers solid support through virtual coaches, online or in-person support groups, and online communities available 24/7. In fact, studies have shown that any weight management program is more successful if it has support services. 

#5 Flexibility

Say what you will about WW, but something certain is that the program is flexible. The ZeroPoint list of balanced foods WW gives you to choose from to consume each day makes it flexible. Plus, this aspect of the program is super likable, too. 

Drawbacks of the Weight Watchers App

These are the drawbacks of the WW app:

#1 Expensive

Sure, Weight Watchers might be good as a diet program, however, that doesn’t mean everyone can afford it. Even though the monthly costs depend on the subscription plan, the actual investment could be out of reach for people on a budget.

#2 Constant food tracking

This is more of an annoyance than a drawback. To follow the program to the point (pun intended), you have to be willing to keep track of the foods you consume and their SmartPoints each day. 

#3 Medical professionals do not approved the program

Another drawback is that the WW program is not supervised or approverd by healthcare professionals. So, while it might work for people, do consult your doctor or dietitian before using it to monitor your calorie intake. 

#4 Lack of specificity

There are people who find WW too lenient and that it doesn’t help you consume different food groups per day. Hence, even though the plan encourages you to eat well and healthily, you can still eat processed and low-nutrient food without exceeding your point allowance. And again, people with specific health concerns might need more guidance than the WW program, and its non-physician coaches offer. 

Weight Watchers Success Rates

According to Dr. Dennis Gage, MD,  11% of the people who follow the WW program are successful in losing and not regaining a significant amount of weight. 

Even though 11% is a decent percentage, still it’s not a very high one. Dr. Gage suggests that progress made via WW will be lost if people’s eating habits don’t change permanently.

In general, WW is a well-researched weight loss program. And for the most part, it works. Studies have shown that it can help people lose weight. For example, a study supported that people doing the Weight Watchers program lost more weight than others who tried to lose pounds on their own. 

Similarly, another study found that 79.8% of middle-aged participants managed to maintain at least 5% of their weight loss 1, 2, and 5 years after completing the Weight Watchers program. On the other hand, over 50% of female participants maintained their weight. What this means is that WW works and helps you not only lose weight but also maintain your new shape. 

FAQs

Is the Weight Watchers app worth It?

It depends. If you don’t have the time to track or plan your food each day, then it isn’t. But if you are looking for great wellness advice and help tracking your water intake, sleep, and activity, the app can be a wise investment.

Why is the Weight Watchers app bad?

The thing with WW is that it focuses on counting points and not calories. In reality, counting calories is important. For example, consuming less than 2,000 calories per day might mean you’re at risk for undernourishment.

WW frozen meals contain 250–300 calories each. Therefore, if you consume one such meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the total calories for the day would be less than 1,000. Also, undernourishment slows down metabolism, making it harder to lose weight and belly fat

How do personal points work on Weight Watchers?

The WW PersonalPoints plan is tailored to the needs of each individual. Members have their daily and weekly points, determined by weight, height, gender, and age, and a ZeroPoint list that can be customized to their exact food preferences.

Weight Watchers vs. Competitors

hand-indicating-scroll-ability
Joggo logo
betterme
4.0 / 5
stars
3.8 / 5
stars
4.2 / 5
stars

Combines exercise with a nutrition plan

Offers training motivation

Boosts mental health

Improves time management

Affordable

Inspires you to exercise

Sets exercise routines

Lots of workouts and challenges

Customized diet and workout plan

Personalized grocery lists based on meal plans

Step tracking

Keeps track of caloric intake

Teaches lifelong skills

All foods are allowed

Flexible

Slow but steady weight loss

Support and weight loss resources

Beginner-friendly
Tailored to users
Injury prevention education
Nutrition education
Meal plans
Progress tracker
Personalized
Accessible
Provides a support community
Ever-changing workouts
Exercise questionnaire
Small tasks
Wheelchair fitness
Fitness tests
Great for all skill sets
Educational material
Supportive community
Helps to form healthy habits
Unique approach
Concentrates on nutrition
Great support network
Flexibility
Even though it’s relatively cheap, it’s still a paid app
Requires registration
Audio-based
Not so much focus on nutrition
Paid challenges
No video instructions
Lots of upsells
Expensive
Constant food tracking
Not approved by healthcare professionals
Lack of specificity
Brand
Joggo logo
betterme
Rating
4.0 / 5
stars
3.8 / 5
stars
4.2 / 5
stars
Product info

Combines exercise with a nutrition plan

Offers training motivation

Boosts mental health

Improves time management

Affordable

Inspires you to exercise

Sets exercise routines

Lots of workouts and challenges

Customized diet and workout plan

Personalized grocery lists based on meal plans

Step tracking

Keeps track of caloric intake

Teaches lifelong skills

All foods are allowed

Flexible

Slow but steady weight loss

Support and weight loss resources

Pros
Beginner-friendly
Tailored to users
Injury prevention education
Nutrition education
Meal plans
Progress tracker
Personalized
Accessible
Provides a support community
Ever-changing workouts
Exercise questionnaire
Small tasks
Wheelchair fitness
Fitness tests
Great for all skill sets
Educational material
Supportive community
Helps to form healthy habits
Unique approach
Concentrates on nutrition
Great support network
Flexibility
Cons
Even though it’s relatively cheap, it’s still a paid app
Requires registration
Audio-based
Not so much focus on nutrition
Paid challenges
No video instructions
Lots of upsells
Expensive
Constant food tracking
Not approved by healthcare professionals
Lack of specificity

How We Tested:

Each product was carefully selected among hundreds of others. Here’s how we rated them:

Joggo

Personalized training plans for both beginners and pros, educational resources, running plan adjustments based on personal feedback and progress, and personalized meal plans, as well as a selection of over 10 of the most popular diets, were some of the contributing factors that made us choose the Jogo app for testing and comparison. 

  • Quality: 9/10
  • Effectiveness: 9/10
  • Price: 8/10
  • Brand reputation: 8/10

Aaptiv

Aaptiv is a great exercise app allowing you to get workouts easily and quickly. It offers various workouts, meaning you’re bound to find something that suits you. Plus, its audio-based format enables you to exercise anywhere you like, anytime. 

  • Quality: 7/10
  • Effectiveness: 9/10
  • Price: 7/10
  • Brand reputation: 8/10

BetterMe

BetterMe is a premium fitness platform that combines mental health resources with physical workouts. It’s a solid tool for both beginner and intermediate users looking to focus on losing excess weight via workouts, accountability, and nutrient tracking. 

  • Quality: 9/10
  • Effectiveness: 9/10
  • Price: 6/10
  • Brand reputation: 7/10

Weight Watchers

We picked Weight Watchers not only because it’s one of the most well-known fitness apps and diet programs around but also because of its unique approach to weight loss. Thanks to its innovative point system, WW has managed to help people lose weight (and keep it off) steadily. Also, it offers an exceptional support network, food tracking, and 24/7 live coaching. 

  • Quality: 8/10
  • Effectiveness: 9/10
  • Price: 7/10
  • Brand reputation: 10/10

A Word From a Nutritionist

Weight loss is always a good idea and can help you get into a healthier lifestyle. However, while fitness apps and diet plans, WW included, are great at what they do (i.e., helping you lose excess weight), they also come with a few caveats. Namely, they fail to focus on proper nutrition.

Good nutrition is paramount for a healthy life and means your body gets all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to function at its best. On top of this, people with healthy eating habits are at a lower risk for health diseases, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, among others.

Conclusion

WW is a popular diet with thousands of new members each year. It’s flexible, offers tons of supportive material, has an active community, and a unique approach to dieting, thanks to its point system.

So, if you’re looking for a weight loss program that allows you to choose the foods you eat and offers features like live coaching, recipe suggestions, and equipment-free workouts, the app might be what you really need to succeed in your weight loss journey.

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

weight watchers reviews

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