What to Expect from Weight Watchers Meetings

weigh in at meetings

Weight Watchers has helped millions of people lose weight and keep it off for over 40 years. The company prides itself on its scientific approach to weight loss based on the latest medical, nutritional and psychological research to date on how to lose weight and keep it off. From the home of founder Jean Niditch to meetings rooms around the globe, the Weight Watchers approach has become synonymous with healthy weight loss. At the heart of that approach are meetings, which are an important component of the weight loss program.

Benefits of Weight Watchers Meetings

Research has proven group support is an essential component of any lifestyle modification plan. Group meetings provide members with valuable coaching, as well as an opportunity to share their progress. Meeting leaders are trained experts of the Weight Watchers program who have used the system to reach their own weight loss goals. Participants can share recipes, tips, and weight loss techniques. In addition, dieters who attend the meetings have the option of signing up for Weight Watchers eTools. This online resource provides a convenient way to chart your weight loss, advice on selecting healthy restaurant options, and access to an online community of dieters.

Since the gatherings are intended for healthy adults, people with diabetes or other chronic medical conditions are encouraged to consult their healthcare providers before beginning the plan. A special weight-loss plan is available for nursing mothers. Children ages 10 to 16 may join the program with a doctor's note and parental permission.

Meeting Structure

Since Weight Watchers strives to offer a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for dieters, participants are not grouped by age, gender, or weight. However, meetings are available in three basic formats:

  1. Participants can attend traditional meetings that offer a "pay-as-you-go" payment plan and special pricing plans to encourage dieters to reach their weight loss goals. This traditional format is offered in locations throughout the world.
  2. If you're short on time, you may choose to attend one of the "Express" meetings that lasts no more than 30 minutes and are held at various times throughout the day. However, this short version may not be available in all areas.
  3. If you have coworkers who are also trying to slim down, you may be able to attend the Weight Watchers At Work program, a series of sessions held at your workplace and designed to accommodate the average workday schedule. The program must be prepaid for a 12-week time period, and a minimum number of participants must remain in the program.

No matter which type you choose, the regimen is designed to be both educational and inspirational. Each meeting includes a short discussion on diet, exercise, meal planning, and motivational techniques. A confidential weigh-in is also available to help you track your progress.

The gatherings are held on a weekly basis. While attendance is not mandatory, regular participation is strongly encouraged. Members who miss four consecutive weeks will be dropped, and will be required to pay a re-enrollment fee if, and when, they return.

Meeting Locations

Meetings are held worldwide, and Weight Watchers now offers an online program for people who do not live close to meeting locations. The company encourages participants to attend meetings weekly, and weekly weigh-ins are an essential part of the program. To find a meeting location, visit the Weight Watchers site and type your zip code into the search box. You'll receive a list of local meeting locations.

What Happens at a Weight Watchers Meeting?

Each meeting is run by a Weight Watchers leader, someone who has successfully lost and kept off weight on the program. There's a weekly topic and presentation, and then the leader answers questions from members. The leader acknowledges people in the meeting room who have lost weight, congratulating them on their success.

Some people are afraid to attend meetings, thinking they'll be forced to speak about their weight loss or that their current weight will be revealed. Your weigh-in information is always kept confidential and you don't have to say a word unless you want to. Meetings are voluntary but very beneficial for anyone seeking group support and motivation.

Group Support Is an Important Weight Loss Tool

Whether you follow the Weight Watchers program or another program, group support is an important weight loss tool. Not only will you be among other people also seeking to lose weight, but the tips they share on dieting, navigating tricky social situations and other aspects of weight loss is invaluable. Hearing about others' success, learning from the Weight Watchers leader, and celebrating the achievements of other participants can all help you successfully lose weight. Meetings are indeed an important weight loss tool.

What to Expect from Weight Watchers Meetings