If you’re looking to shed some pounds this fall, Weight Watchers should be your diet of choice, according to a new study that says those who take part in this program lose more weight and stick with a healthier lifestyle longer.
Published in the journal Obesity, researchers followed 141 participants, mostly women, all of whom were overweight or obese. Those who used Weight Watchers, versus those who met regularly with a professional counselor, were more likely to lose at least 10% of their body weight after 48 weeks.
Interestingly enough, participants who strictly did Weight Watchers versus another 12-week program led by a clinical psychologist also did better and stuck with their regimen longer. Specifically, those on Weight Watchers lost an average of 13 pounds after 48 weeks, while those who spent some or all of their time with a nutrition or weight loss expert lost 8-12 pounds. A total of 37% of participants on Weight Watchers lost 10% or more body fat, versus 11-15% of their counterparts.
What’s interesting here is the fact that the peer-led Weight Watchers seemed to fair better than weight loss programs led by professionals.
Study leader Angela Marinilli Pinto explained to the LA Times:
Weight Watchers really can produce clinically meaningful weight loss for a lot of people. It can be very convenient for people to access, and professional programs don’t always have that convenience and accessibility.
Of course, this still leaves a lot of room for improvement. Like, how can we get participants who are obese to lose more than 13 pounds over the course of 48 weeks? If the average weight loss is one pound a week, there is room for Weight Watchers–or any other program–to increase their success rate.
But nevertheless, if you’re looking for the most proven program to shed some extra pounds, Weight Watchers seems to be it. Maybe we should listen to Jessica Simpson, after all?