From this article, Oprah’s Investment in Weight Watchers Was Smart Because the Program Doesn’t Work, this quote:
“It’s the perfect business model. People give Weight Watchers the credit when they lose weight. Then they regain the weight and blame themselves. This sets them up to join Weight Watchers all over again, and they do.”
“According to Weight Watchers’ business plan from 2001, its members have “demonstrated a consistent pattern of repeat enrollment over a number of years,””
Fat is life-preserving energy for lean times. Whether those lean times are natural (famine) or self-induced (diet) our body’s gastric hormones are programmed to respond a certain way to restore those fat stores. Reporting on the follow-up of a diet study this NY Times article, The Fat Trap, stated:
“A gastric hormone called ghrelin, often dubbed the “hunger hormone,” was about 20 percent higher than at the start of the study. Another hormone associated with suppressing hunger, peptide YY, was also abnormally low. Levels of leptin, a hormone that suppresses hunger and increases metabolism, also remained lower than expected.”
“It was almost as if weight loss had put their bodies into a unique metabolic state, a sort of post-dieting syndrome that set them apart from people who hadn’t tried to lose weight in the first place.”
“Preliminary research at Columbia suggests that for as many as six years after weight loss, the body continues to defend the old, higher weight by burning off far fewer calories than would be expected.”
So the end result of the WW diet, or any diet for that matter, is a lower metabolism and increased hunger for a very long time, long enough to slowly gain back most or all that lost weight.
I have five years and four months to go; I am 35 pounds lighter for eight months now. My solution for the occasional hunger pangs is to keep telling myself that the dietary self-discipline is well worth being in a healthier state.
For a lower metabolism the solution is to increase your strength. A stronger body will burn more calories even at rest. The high intensity training (HIT) for strength offered at Austin Personal Training and New Orleans Fitness Training effectively burns calories four ways. With modest changes in eating habits and increased strength you can lose fat, keep it off, and feel the best you have in decades.