Weight Watchers’ New Sweet Campaign

Weight Watchers - Because it Works

“Weight Watchers – Because it Works”

Will Weight Watchers’ next campaign look like this? Recently Weight Watchers in Sweden issued a press release stating that the chef and cookbook author Leila Lindholm will be their new diet ambassador. This came as a surprise to many people.

Lindholm is primarily known for her cookbooks on cookies and cakes (“A Piece of Cake”), pizza and pasta (“One More Slice”) and sweet cupcakes (“Hello cupcake”). Not exactly food associated with weight loss. However, now Leila Lindholm has managed to become a lot leaner for her new role, which is only to congratulate.

Expressen: Leila Lindholm: I’m almost shocked myself (Google translated from Swedish)

If we’re to believe Weight Watchers’ press release, Lindholm has become lean while she satisfied her “love of white bread and sweet deserts”! She’s said to lose weight “without denying herself anything or eating any differently than the rest of the family” and “without a lot of prohibitions” or “carbohydrate prohibition”. The weight loss is claimed to have happened without “having to give up all the food and bread that I love”.

The message in the press release is clear: eat cookies, cakes and pastry and still lose weight. This is not news, Weight Watchers has been selling, for example, chocolate candy from its webshop for a long time. The most popular brand contains more sugar than a Mars or Snickers bar.

The question is whether Weight Watchers is being honest or just engaging in humbug. Weight Watchers’ last spokesperson turned out not to have lost weight while munching on goodies. Instead, she had secretly checked in at a private clinic for an extreme starvation diet of 500 calories a day, and hormone therapy.

It remains to be seen if the cookie, bun and chocolate diet works for any of Weight Watchers’ customers. Or if it works to reverse their nine straight years of economic losses in Sweden.

Personally I wouldn’t recommend eating cake when dieting – it requires far too much willpower. There’s a smarter way.

More

Weight Watchers’ False Advertisement

Four Simple Steps to a Healthier and Leaner Life

Nurse Loses 84 lbs with LCHF

How to Lose Weight

37 Comments

Top Comments

  1. Lynda
    This is typical Weight Watchers. Of course, when you are younger and not "broken ie, insulin resistant" sure you can lose weight eating rubbish. WW love this because this causes the greatest long term failure! Let the yo-yo dieting begin and they will have you hooked for years.

    I am one of their "victims". Years of counting points, eating bread and pasta and WW special cakes. I am now a LCHF success story and have been for over two years. I'm glad that WW works for some but it is rare for it to work long term - and why should it? If everyone was successful then they'd have no business.

    Read more →
  2. Angela
    I did lose weight on WW but was constantly hungry. Then stopped and gained it all back and more. I've been on LCHF for less than two months and I've lost 22 pounds.
    Read more →

All Comments

  1. Lynda
    This is typical Weight Watchers. Of course, when you are younger and not "broken ie, insulin resistant" sure you can lose weight eating rubbish. WW love this because this causes the greatest long term failure! Let the yo-yo dieting begin and they will have you hooked for years.

    I am one of their "victims". Years of counting points, eating bread and pasta and WW special cakes. I am now a LCHF success story and have been for over two years. I'm glad that WW works for some but it is rare for it to work long term - and why should it? If everyone was successful then they'd have no business.

  2. Gill P
    I went to Weight Watchers for 18 months and lost 12 lbs overall. I then left and started the LCHF diet and have lost 13 lbs in 3 months and don't feel at all hungry.
  3. bill
    'Does this picture make me look fat?'
  4. Angela
    I did lose weight on WW but was constantly hungry. Then stopped and gained it all back and more. I've been on LCHF for less than two months and I've lost 22 pounds.
  5. Galina L.
    Unfortunately, there are enough people for whom eating their cookies and cakes is a priority, to keep WW in a business. Even more unfortunately, it results in a better appetite.
  6. bill
    I meant: 'Do these cupcakes make me look fat?'
  7. Damocles
    Well, if the diet would work in the long run and be easy to pick up without continious support,
    it would not be a very good buisiness strategy in the long term.

    If people revisit the diet + pay for Weight Watchers services, then it makes sense from a business standpoint.
    The company just wants to earn money to survive. Vieweing it from their position, you cant complain about that.

  8. mezzo
    Are they getting desparate?
  9. BR
    It's kind of a neat strategy: you recommend foods that stimulate appetite and then when your clients cheat and fail they know they've got only themselves to blame.
  10. Eric Anderson
    Could a diet other than a LCHF ketogenic approach work?
    What could ot be?
    Sugar free
    Fat free or 10 percent of calories or less
    Animal free and 10 percent protein

    Sounds like a pritikin (Suicide) or McDougal or dean Ornish approach

    The ATOZ diet study demonstrated low adherence and compliance to those low fat high carb diets and that low carb had better results!

    Given the low compliance would these styles work if youcould lock people up andoffer only 80 1010 high carb diets? Sounds unethical if forced and I doubt it would work. Why not report the blood work of a sugar free high carb diet>? Maybe the test has been done and the results not so good? It comes down to grains or fats and Animal fats have been our diets for 240,000 years plus and grains lessthan 10,000 and high sugar less than 200 years. Eric

    Reply: #19
  11. Eric Anderson
    Wait wait
    we have such observations from Carl Linnaeus over 200 yeas ago when sugar consumpton was low in southern sweden.

    Bread and poridge diets resulted in fat old slow swedish men.
    Raindeer, salmon, low sugar grain resulted in long lived healthy northern people
    Humm! next

  12. Adam

    She’s said to lose weight “without denying herself anything or eating any differently than the rest of the family”

    That's ridiculous, as the WW model is explicitly based on self-denial--if not of desired variety, then certainly of desired quantity. That's what the points are for! The point system does externalize the exercise of willpower and make it easier to standardize portions across different "food groups" while retaining some flexibility, which I guess is the outward allure of the system to clients.

    But when cookies and cakes and pasta and pastry are allowed, the crucial step involves pushing away from the table precisely when the urge to eat more is greatest, and suffering the cravings until the next day. That's just setting yourself up to fail again and again...which I suppose is the real allure of the system to those who profit by it.

    Having tried portion control, I'd much rather just eat whole foods LCHF and let my appetite regulate itself as intended. So much easier, even if you don't go hardcore VLC/keto.

  13. eddy
    Some of the criticism aimed at weight watchers taken from the internet:

    Screw you Weightwatchers Part One:
    http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/screw-you-weight-watchers/

    http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/the-thing-about-weight-...

    Here is another critic captured in this video starting at about 48:00 or 50:00 on the video concerning weight watchers.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-_LoAm_etU

    http://danceswithfat.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/five-worst-arguments-ag...

  14. eddy
    oh I came across this as well

    Weight watchers stock continues to lose weight
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1607492-weight-watchers-stock-continu...

    All those free apps and calorie counters are taking their toll.

  15. Paul the rat
    AHA !!!, Fructose empire strikes back !!!. dr Lustig watch your back!

    I always say, pay me good and I design an experiment showing that rabbits are carnivores and spiders are vegans. And I always wonder, how people like these clowns can sleep peacefully at night.

    Nutr Res. 2013 Dec;33(12):1063-71.

    Bone quality and strength are greater in growing male rats fed fructose compared with glucose.

    Bass EF, Baile CA, Lewis RD, Giraudo SQ.
    Source
    Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.
    Abstract
    Optimization of peak bone mass during adolescence is important for osteoporosis prevention. Studies in rodents and humans have demonstrated the harmful effects of sugar intake on bone health. With the high levels of sucrose in the diets of adolescents, it is necessary to understand the influence of glucose and fructose on growing bones. This study compared the effects of dietary glucose and fructose on bone formation, microarchitecture, and strength. Because of the different metabolic effects of glucose and fructose, we hypothesized that their individual effects on bone would be different. Eighteen male Sprague-Dawley rats (age, 60 days) were randomly assigned to high-fructose (n = 9; 40% fructose, 10% glucose) or high-glucose diet (n = 9; 50% glucose) for 12 weeks. Bone measurements included histology and histomorphometry of trabecular bone in the distal femur and a 3-point bending test of the whole tibia. Whole liver mass and postprandial serum glucose, insulin, and triglycerides were used to assess differences in energy metabolism between the diets.

    There were no differences in food intake, body weight, or visceral adiposity between groups, but fructose consumption led to heavier livers (P = .001) and elevated serum triglycerides (P = .00). The distal femurs of fructose-fed rats had greater bone volume (bone volume/total volume; P = .03), lower bone surface (bone surface/bone volume; P = .02), and thicker trabeculae (trabecular thickness; P = .01). The tibias of the fructose-fed rats also withstood a greater maximum flexure load (P = .032).

    These results indicate that consumption of the high-fructose diet resulted in stronger bones with enhanced microarchitecture than consumption of the high-glucose diet.

  16. Maggan A
    No wonder that people like Lindholm teams up with WW - theire customers Always come back..
  17. Tony Nguyen
    your article is very informative. It's kind of a neat strategy: you recommend foods that stimulate appetite and then when your clients cheat and fail they know they've got only themselves to blame.Thanks for sharing this post. Hope to read more helpful information from you. Have a nice day.
    http://vkool.com/healthy-weight-loss-with-eat-weight-off/
  18. Zepp
    For you not Swedish.. Leila Lindholm is in sweden as Nigella Lawson in english spoken countrys!

    Imagin that Nigella was promoting WW?

  19. sten
    Eric,
    I believe there are at least two diets that work well to heal heart disease and diabetes-2:
    (and of course lose weight since it is main topic here today...)

    1/ Low carb high fat AND
    2/ Raw vegetable - diet.
    These two very different diets - for vegans at least fundamentally different - have one crucial thing in common: Neither ever spikes blood sugar!

    Weston Price never spelled out "blood sugar" but it fits very well on all the diets that most of the primitive healthy people he traveled to and examined.

    Today I go for the low carb high fat of course, LCHF, because I think both body & brain need lots of good cholesterol that is derived from good natural and often saturated fats.
    And of course as said already, no hunger....

    So I agree fully with your conclusion below:

    "Why not report the blood work of a sugar free high carb diet>? Maybe the test has been done and the results not so good"

    WW's is such a scam !

    Meanwhile the evidence that high blood sugar is key cause of heart disease is stacking up, but that's for another post...

  20. Ondrej
    According to premiere personal trainer Tom Venuto: “The biggest change I’ve seen over the last decade, which is reflected in what I write, is not a single new diet breakthrough or the discovery of one superior training technique – it’s quite the opposite – it’s how we’ve learned that there is more than one way to skin a cat. Does low carb work? Yes. Does high carb work? Yes. Does 6 meals work? Yes. Does 3 meals work? Yes. Do plant based diets work? Yes. Do meat based diets work? Yes. Does a full body workout work? Yes. Does a body part split routine work? Yes. And yet, this is the hardest thing for the dichotomously-thinking human brain to grasp because it seems contradictory. Fueled by marketing, personal ideologies and the guru culture, most people want to keep believing there’s only one true way. But it doesn’t exist. We need to focus more on the vital few fundamentals that apply to everyone, worry less about the trivial stuff and craft a personalized plan we can live with.”

    However, if you only face the West, you’ll never see a sunrise.

    Replies: #21, #26, #34
  21. Paul the rat
    "...However, if you only face the West, you’ll never see a sunrise…"

    and if you are obsessed only with weight and CICO (and personal trainers) and cover your ears when people tell their stories concerning other health issues, you will never see the multiple benefits LCHF brings to our body. I repeat again 1000's x (as did others) weight is a secondary issue on LCHF - it fixes itself.

    Reply: #24
  22. FrankG
    "We need to focus more on the vital few fundamentals that apply to everyone ... and craft a personalized plan we can live with."

    Must be great to get sheeple buying a book full of illogical platitudes like that. There's good money in spouting platitudes... right?

    Sure, we all need a personalised plan which can apply to everyone! LOL

    Is that what makes him the "premiere personal trainer" -- or how exactly does one earn such a title? And why should we even care about his opinion?

    So did you go with the paperback or the hardcover ?

    Reply: #23
  23. Ondrej
    @ Frankg:"Sure, we all need a personalised plan which can apply to everyone! LOL"

    I forgot the only thing that works is HFLC. Never mind billions on the planet that have achieved normal BMI and health with other methods.

    You are so ridiculous that you have become a caricature of yourself.

  24. Ondrej
    PTR:"when people tell their stories concerning other health issues,"

    Specially those that take cyanide. They are dead and can't complain.

    Reply: #25
  25. Paul the rat
    "...Specially those that take cyanide. They are dead and can't complain…"

    Now we all know that you are mentally at the level of 7 year old Ondrej

    "..that have achieved normal BMI…" you see, you talk only about weight, you are incapable of open discussion.

  26. FrankG

    Does low carb work? Yes.

  27. Paul the rat
    J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013 Dec;113(12):1640-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.07.010. Epub 2013 Oct 17.
    Comparison of Effects of Long-Term Low-Fat vs High-Fat Diets on Blood Lipid Levels in Overweight or Obese Patients: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
    Schwingshackl L, Hoffmann G.
    Abstract
    Dietary fat plays an important role in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, but long-term (≥12 months) effects of different percentages of fat in the diet on blood lipid levels remain to be established. Our systematic review and meta-analysis focused on randomized controlled trials assessing the long-term effects of low-fat diets compared with diets with high amounts of fat on blood lipid levels. Relevant randomized controlled trials were identified searching MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Trial Register until March 2013. Thirty-two studies were included in the meta-analysis. Decreases in total cholesterol (weighted mean difference -4.55 mg/dL [-0.12 mmol/L], 95% CI -8.03 to -1.07; P=0.01) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (weighted mean difference -3.11 mg/dL [-0.08 mmol/L], 95% CI -4.51 to -1.71; P<0.0001) were significantly more pronounced following low-fat diets, whereas rise in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (weighted mean difference 2.35 mg/dL [0.06 mmol/L], 95% CI 1.29 to 3.42; P<0.0001) and reduction in triglyceride levels (weighted mean difference -8.38 mg/dL [-0.095 mmol/L], 95% CI -13.50 to -3.25; P=0.001) were more distinct in the high-fat diet groups. Including only hypocaloric diets, the effects of low-fat vs high-fat diets on total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels were abolished. Meta-regression revealed that lower total cholesterol level was associated with lower intakes of saturated fat and higher intakes of polyunsaturated fat, and increases in HDL cholesterol levels were related to higher amounts of total fat largely derived from monounsaturated fat (of either plant or animal origin) in high-fat diets (composition of which was ∼17% of total energy content in the form of monounsaturated fatty acids, ∼8% of total energy content in the form of polyunsaturated fatty acids), whereas increases in triglyceride levels were associated with higher intakes of carbohydrates. In addition, lower LDL cholesterol level was marginally associated with lower saturated fat intake. The results of our meta-analysis do not allow for an unequivocal recommendation of either low-fat or high-fat diets in the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
  28. Ondrej
    According to premiere researcher and trainer Anthony Colpo:

    "Reality-hating low-carbers can piss and moan all they want, but Mama Nature ain’t listening. There’s simply no getting around it: The overriding determinant of non-fluid, non-fecal weight loss is CALORIES. If you’re experiencing weight loss, then you’re reducing the amount of CALORIES ingested, absorbed and/or increasing the amount expended. Period. Try all you want, but no matter how many Matrix re-runs you’ve watched, you can’t step outside the bounds of reality and escape the fundamental role of calories."

    Replies: #30, #31
  29. FrankG
    Then it is a good job I don't rely on the arrogant and ignorant opinion of others, to tell me how best to manage my health.
  30. Zepp
    Thank you again Ondrej to tell us the obvius.. but you must cath up with the rest of the class soon to be truthwerty!

    If you dont notised it befor.. we is aware of calories and gone further to the question of why some indulge more calories then needed!

    And to the question of why we dont have any calorie receptors and just macro and micro nutrient receptors.. and the implication of wrong/bad food on those!

  31. Paul the rat
    Ondrej, you display obvious signs, which tell us all here that you have severely restricted ability to think, let alone to reason and follow concise line of argument. I am not taking you seriously from this moment. Take your medications and go for a relaxing walk in the park.
    Reply: #33
  32. Galina L.
    "According to premiere researcher and trainer Anthony Colpo"...
    Anthony Colpo is a premier researcher?! Really?

    Just for some LOLs here is a free-style description by Wooo of AC from comments on another blog

    "I’m trying to read Colpo’s interpretation, but he is so aggressive and abrasive it’s hard to even make it through. TO LAFF, the same people criticize me for being hard to tolerate, ha I am a box of kittens compared to this guy. I sort of want to give him some liquid VPA or an emergency haldol shot. Calm down, buddy, it’s not that serious! You’re going to end up in the quiet room!!
    A summary of Colpo’s analysis :
    1) GRRRAAAAAH I KICKED EADES ASS IN 2010!!!!
    2) OKAY, SOMETIMES BUT NOT ALWAYS LOW CARB DIETS LEAD TO A GREATER EE. BUT THEY DON’T WEIGH ANY LESS! [my note: maybe they are just less fat and more muscular, dummy, sort of like you have replaced your brain with muscle, apparently.]
    3) I AM RANDOMLY GOING TO MAKE UP NONSENSE AND SAY THAT THE GREATER VLC EE IS BECAUSE OF HYPERCORTISOLISM IN SPITE OF ZERO EVIDENCE THIS IS THE CASE. I WIN.
    4) AND MORE OF A REITERATION THAT A CALORIE IS A CALORIE BECAUSE I AM A BOSS AND I LIFT HEAVY OBJECTS IN AUSTRALIA ALL DAY FUCKER.
    - See more at: http://slowburnfitness.com/a-calorie-isnt-a-calorie-but-colpo-remains..."

  33. murray
    I read Ondrej as an aleatory force promoting a random walk across the fitness landscape of hypothesis and theory in nutritional science. He may well bump one out of a local minimum to find a more comprehensive and data-accommodating position. Or at least he provides casebook examples for a primer on logical flaws.

    Regarding the Venuto comment, essentially he seems to be saying any approach can be made to work to shed body fat. The fudge words are "can be"--the reality is that generally diets have a 95% failure rate. I guess that 95% just needed an expensive personal trainer to guide them. The beauty of LCHF is that so many people succeed without personal trainers or soul-destroying gimmicks.

    Ondrej, however, draws this lesson: if you only face the West, you’ll never see a sunrise. But the quote says most any approach can be made to work, including LCHF. So his quote says LCHF is a viable vantage point to see the sunrise, in fact there are many, according to the quote. East versus West? Ondrej is trapped in dichotomous thinking--the very tendancy Venuto purports to criticize. Oops. Sucks to shoot oneself in the foot.

    And then Colpo. Did we catch the weasel words in the rant? "The overriding determinant of non-fluid, non-fecal weight loss is CALORIES..." Non-fluid?--hmmm, would that be loss of ketones in urine? Non-fecal--would that because with a high-fat low-carb diet the absorption of lipids is regulated by signals to the liver and excess dietary lipids pass through into feces? And then, "If you’re experiencing weight loss, then you’re reducing the amount of CALORIES ingested, absorbed and/or increasing the amount expended." Yes, "absorbed" is important--if gut bacteria are consuming the calories they are not really absorbed into the metabolism, are they. And "expended" plainly depends on variance in the rate of expenditure, so if ketones induce thermogenensis or higher energy levels through enhanced mitochondria in organs and muscles, then diet composition would affect rate of expenditure. So I have little quibble with the CICO tautology with appropriate weasel words. However, it is still misleading in failing to account for the effects of differing diet composition on appetite.

    So Paul, you really forgo opportunity for learning by not taking Ondrej seriously. He is a trove of useful insights and provides entertaining self-mockery.

  34. murray
    "However, if you only face the West, you’ll never see a sunrise."

    With LCHF, we see brilliant results in the mirror.

  35. Paul the rat
    So Paul, you really forgo opportunity for learning by not taking Ondrej seriously. He is a trove of useful insights and provides entertaining self-mockery.

    Point taken, however I enjoy exchange of views (even fiery ones as we often do with my colleagues) but as long as there is a semblance of reason and logic-flow in it. Ondrej as you have noticed Murray, completely ignores (and does not reacts to) everything except weight/BMI/CICO. In addition his responses/comments are truly child-like (I see similarities between his responses and my 7 year old nephew and his buddies when they argue) . As we who practice LCHF know (I repeat myself again) weight is a secondary issue with LCHF yet weight is the only issue Ondrej is fanatically obsessed with. We all know that LCHF is not the only way to lose weight and many approaches work, but LCHF is much more than just "weight loss program". So for me he is a closed minded fanatic, although sometimes I thing that he is not serous with his comments -surely no-one can be that, let's say blind-folded (but than again, look at history of organized religions, so maybe Ondrej is authentic).

  36. er
    On the question is a calorie alway a calorie for weight

    1) Read Dr. Richard K Bernstein on attempts of older type 1 diabetics to gain weight. (A 1,000 calories of fat added per day was not effective)

    2) Read the history of type 1 dibetics (Added lots of fat and protein and still lost weight and died untill insulin injections became available)

    3) Why not an open mind to evidence?

    4) Then count calores if you like

    Wait for more evidence?
    I budget added fat from butter and cream not as a limit but rather to try to help make sure I eat enough fat rather than too much (If there really is such a thing on moderae protein low carb eating) Eric

  37. grinch
    [quote]And then Colpo. Did we catch the weasel words in the rant? "The overriding determinant of non-fluid, non-fecal weight loss is CALORIES..." Non-fluid?--hmmm, would that be loss of ketones in urine? Non-fecal--would that because with a high-fat low-carb diet the absorption of lipids is regulated by signals to the liver and excess dietary lipids pass through into feces? And then, "If you’re experiencing weight loss, then you’re reducing the amount of CALORIES ingested, absorbed and/or increasing the amount expended." Yes, "absorbed" is important--if gut bacteria are consuming the calories they are not really absorbed into the metabolism, are they. And "expended" plainly depends on variance in the rate of expenditure, so if ketones induce thermogenensis or higher energy levels through enhanced mitochondria in organs and muscles, then diet composition would affect rate of expenditure. So I have little quibble with the CICO tautology with appropriate weasel words.[/quote]

    [quote] However, it is still misleading in failing to account for the effects of differing diet composition on appetite.[/quote]

    I suspect you haven't actually read the works of Anthony Colpo, as he clearly is a proponent of eating whole foods for many reasons which includes managing appetite. Also you took his comments out of context. All he stated in the first paragraph is that fat-derived weight loss is a result of calorie balance, ignoring other weight that is lost.

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