Following Weight Watchers is still not the healthy way to lose weight and keep it off despite their newest point system (“PointsPlus”) where fresh fruits and most vegetables have a zero point value (essentially meaning that they are unlimited). This is certainly a positive step, and I applaud Weight Watchers for taking it. They have tweaked their program a bit to make it healthier.
However, the Weight Watchers program is still far from a health-promoting eating style. Regarding the zero points policy for most produce, what is very important to realize, is that all fruits and vegetables are not equal when it comes to health-supporting phytochemicals.
For example, anti-cancer, immune-building, and cardio-protective properties plus the high fiber and low sugar content of berries and pomegranate necessitate placing more focus on these fruits compared to higher sugar fruits like bananas and dates. Also, green vegetables have about ten times the micronutrients compared to a white potato. However, that is not the main problem with the Weight Watchers system. The PointsPlus system encourages eating foods that produce greater satiety – foods that are higher in fiber and protein content are more favorably scored. High-fiber foods and high-protein foods are not nutritionally equivalent.
For example, compare beans and grilled chicken. Beans are phytochemical-rich, protein-adequate, healthful foods with anti-cancer properties and a low glycemic load. Grilled chicken may also induce satiety because it is very high in protein, but it has no phytochemical content plus it contains cancer-promoting properties. It is not a food that supports longevity and long-term health. Plus, chicken raises IGF-1 in the body, a hormone associated with higher rates of breast cancer.1,2
The problem here is that Weight Watchers promotes animal protein as a favorable food to consume in spite of the plethora of evidence in recent years linking high IGF-1 to premature aging and cancer.3-5
Weight Watchers is not in the business of health; it is all about weight. Members, and even leaders, are poorly educated about nutritional science. People are not motivated to eat to win the war against cancer.
Participants continue to be victims of their food addictions because eating a little healthier and trying to cut back is simply a formula for failure in the vast majority of cases. Weight Watchers gives lip service to better health and healthier eating, yet continues to sell nutrient-depleted processed junk food.
A healthy weight is almost impossible to maintain without serious attention to smart nutrition, prevention of all deficiencies, sufficient anti-inflammatory super foods and the resulting elimination of additions and cravings. Weight Watchers mostly serves those who remain forever on the weight loss merry-go-round, struggling with marginally effective recommendations and outcomes.
The Nutritarian diet, as described in my book, The End of Dieting, is not focused on just weight loss; it is also focused on optimizing health, promoting longevity, and winning the war on cancer. You eat larger amounts of vegetables, beans and fruits, with attention to eating the most powerful anti-cancer foods on the planet.
Food is rated according to micronutrient content per calorie, not just calories. Eating delicious, health-promoting foods allows you to lose the cravings and temptations to eat greasy, sugary, disease-causing foods. More importantly, once you learn how to follow a Nutritarian diet, the weight comes off dramatically and permanently and you never have to diet again.
You become a nutritional expert who can navigate through life knowing that you can protect yourself from serious and/or tragic outcomes such as dementia, heart attacks, strokes and cancer. The Nutritarian diet is for people who want great health and freedom from medical dependency and medical tragedies that eventually afflict almost all Americans.
Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, seven-time New York Times bestselling author and internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods. Dr. Fuhrman coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe his longevity-promoting, nutrient dense, plant-rich eating style.
For over 30 years, Dr. Fuhrman has shown that it is possible to achieve sustainable weight loss and reverse heart disease, diabetes and many other illnesses using smart nutrition. In his medical practice, and through his books and PBS television specials, he continues to bring this life-saving message to hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
*There is no guarantee of specific results. Results can vary. All material provided on the DrFuhrman.com website is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.