What does it really mean when Weight Watchers says "It Works!"

I want to speak to all those lovely souls who are debating going on a diet, specifically the Weight Watchers diet.

I do not judge you for wanting to lose weight.

I understand that our culture rewards people for being thinner/smaller/lighter/fitter.

As humans we are ALL looking for more love, acceptance, and admiration.

Losing weight is often rewarded with ALL of those things, sadly.

Body image is highly emotional and complex.

What we long for is TRUE belonging, just as we are. 

Yet often we settle for 'fitting-in' by performing perfection and trying to change ourselves

My job is NOT to tell you what you can and cannot do with your body.

If you choose to diet you are well within your rights as a grown adult.

But make no mistake, Weight Watchers IS a diet. They proudly advertise as such on their website. They profess to sell 'weight loss' and 'weight maintenance' and provide external guidelines around what you are allowed to eat in a day.. THAT IS THE DEFINITION OF A DIET.

My job is to provide you with all the information available so you can make an educated choice.

A few statistics:

The average Weight Watchers (WW) member signs up 4 times.

WW is a publicly traded corporation. The goal of a corporation is no doubt is to ensure share holders make profits. They admit their goal is to increase revenue to 2 billion dollars by 2020.

Oprah has netted over 300 billion since partnering with WW.

According to their own research, a study of over 800 "lifetime members" (meaning the best of the best, people that have shown to have superior dedication to the program) only 26% of those lifetime members maintain their goal weight after one year, and that number drops to 16.2% after 5 years. 

In that same study WW showed that only 50% of their lifetime members maintained even 5% of their initial weight loss after 5 years. 5 PERCENT.

In essence you could say that WW has an 80% failure rate.

Perhaps that is why people sign up again and again?

What a brilliant business model! Provide a faulty product and convince users that the problem is with THEM, not with the product, and then entice them to buy your faulty product again and again, and  THEN persuade them to "just try harder". 

Beyond WW the science is in, around 95% of intentional weight loss attemtps fail to maintain significant weight loss in the long run, and a large portion of those people gain it all back, plus more. 

You may still choose to engage in diet behavior, and there is no shame or judgement from me.  But hopefully you will do so with your eyes wide open and your expectations clear.