The Four Pillars of a Science-Based Approach
The scientific approach to Weight Watchers, explained.
There are four principles from which Weight Watchers will not waiver.
Healthy weight loss
First, any approach developed by Weight Watchers must provide healthy weight loss, which means:
- Produce a rate of weight loss of up to two pounds per week (after the first 3 weeks, during which losses may be greater due to water loss).
- Guide food choices that not only reduce calories, but meet current scientific recommendations for nutritional completeness and reduced disease risk.
- Construct an activity plan that provides the full range of weight- and health-related benefits that exercise offers.
- Be sustainable. Healthy weight loss is weight loss that lasts, so it is necessary to look beyond losing the excess weight and address keeping it off.
Fits into your life
Second, any Weight Watchers approach must be realistic, practical and livable. It must also be flexible enough so that people can apply the approaches that work well for them. That means encouraging the achievement of realistic goals. For example, we do not recommend that a person with a lot of weight to lose begin with a weight-loss goal that defines "ultimate success." Rather, we start with our "5% or 10% goal" or losing 5% or 10% of body weight (e.g., a 5% goal for someone who is 200 pounds is 10 pounds and a 10% goal would be 20 pounds). A weight loss of 5% to 10% translates into significant health benefits. Likewise, pacing weight loss and following a system that encourages food and activity choices that are livable and sustainable in the real world is key. Weight Watchers is designed on the premise that weight management needs to fit into your life, not be your life.
Third, Weight Watchers believes in imparting knowledge. At Weight Watchers, people learn not only what to do, but why. This knowledge brings understanding and with understanding comes the confidence needed to make informed choices and live by them.
A holistic view
Finally, the Weight Watchers approach must be comprehensive. Sustained weight loss comes from taking a holistic view of all its components food, exercise, behavior and a supportive atmosphere.
Now let's take a look at how each of those pillars gets translated into a science-based approach that a person can follow.