Pros: Great moderation approach to food and exercise, interesting articles, even ads are appealing
Cons: POINTS tough to decipher for non-program readers
I am a huge fan of the Weight Watchers program. While Ive never gone on the diet myself, I have seen many women lose substantial amounts of weight as a result of using the POINTS system including most recently my mother-in-law. Way to go, Mr_Chelleduns_Mom! Additionally, I think the program supports the extremely healthy philosophy that all foods can fit into a healthy diet, as long as they are eaten in moderation. This is why, although Ive never used the diet, I love to read WeightWatchers Magazine. I visit the library every day after work, and this is my first choice magazine to browse through. Sometimes I purchase it on the news stands as well. Whether you are following the Weight Watchers plan or just trying to live a reasonably healthy lifestyle, Weight Watchers is an excellent pick!
WeightWatchers magazine comes out every other month. It retails for a very reasonable $2.95, and a year subscription is about $14.95. Each issue offers standard magazine features such as letters from the editor and president as well as reader feedback. The rest of the contents are divided into sections such as Beauty, Nutrition, Energy, Health, Inspiration, and Food. There are also special features in each magazine. For example, the July/August 2006 issue offered a special summer travel special focused on eating right and exercising on the road or at a resort.
What I Like
Articles focus on healthy living through eating and exercising without being obsessive. Weight Watchers magazine takes a healthy, common sense approach to eating, focusing on picking better choices instead of eliminating all junk food. I was thrilled to see an article sharing the fact that my favorite treat, cotton candy, has just 3 POINTS (about 150 calories) for a gigantic bag. Compare this with a candied apple which, despite the fruit, rings in at 10 POINTS (about 500 calories). The May/June issue discussed the nutritional virtues of dark chocolate (in moderation, of course). I found the special travel section particularly interesting and helpful, as someone who tends to overindulge to ridiculous extremes on vacations and feel gross afterward. One tip I think would be helpful is to basically focus on the setting and atmosphere around you in an exotic location instead of the food. Next time I travel, maybe I will consider the scenery dessert enough. (Maybe not, but its worth a try!)
If you like to cook healthy meals, you will love this magazine. Each issue offers a wide variety of recipes and complete menus of varying degrees of difficulty. My favorite in the last issue was Summer Party! offering grilled mini hot dogs, grilled chicken under a brick, succotash salad, and a delicious looking frozen fruit terrine, which is like a big brick of sorbet. The photos that accompany the recipes make even stacked vegetables look amazingly tasty. Each recipe comes complete with calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and POINTS value.
This is probably the one magazine where I even like the ads! Advertisements featured in WeightWatchers magazine are very carefully targeted. Most are for diet or light food products or exercise videos. Many of the products advertised are made by WeightWatchers. Other sponsors include Kashi Cereals, Baked Lays, and various light cookbook manufacturers. Often as I am flipping through an advertisement catches my eye and alerts me to a product I really enjoy. For example, in the last issue I learned about a special brand of popcorn seasoning that adds flavor to popcorn without very many calories. Im on the hunt for White Cheddar flavoring next time I head to the store!
Weight Watchers gives you more bang for your buck than many other womens fitness magazines. It runs about 150 pages, costs $2.95, and seems to take me twice as long to read as Shape or Fitness. Weight Watchers is also more gender neutral than most similar magazines. Men can certainly follow the recipes and healthy eating advice contained here, and there are very few, if any, women-specific articles about sexy workout wear, beauty products, and what not. Quite a few of the success stories are written about men following the Weight Watchers program.
What I Dont Like
My absolute only complaint about this magazine is that some articles arent the most user-friendly for people who arent on the Weight Watchers plan. The recipes provide great nutritional information in terms of both calories and POINTS. Some of the articles, however, just throw in a POINTS value without any calorie or fat information. Ive studied up on Weight Watchers enough to understand that a point is about 50 calories, but that isnt a perfect calculation. I think throwing a calorie count in parenthesis next to the point value would help this magazine appeal to a wider range of users.
I think Weight Watchers is just a great magazine. It focuses on a healthy, moderate lifestyle and provides content that is interesting and visually appealing. I prefer this magazine to most other fitness magazines because it is good for both men and women and just generally gives you more bang for your buck. Im seriously considering a years subscription for this upcoming year. Whether you are interested in fitness, healthy recipes, or healthy eating, Weight Watchers is a great choice.