I've seen the question many times in forums, and the answer is yes, Weight Watchers does in fact work. The company has been around for years and years now, and for good reason. The system that they sell, if followed correctly, can help you lose weight. But, when you actually look at what the system is, it raises the question as to why you would pay their expensive fees to do what you could do on your own for free.
Weight Watchers works because it follows the basic principles of how we gain and lose weight. Ultimately, we gain weight when we consume more calories than we need, and we lose weight when we have a deficiency of calories. Weight Watchers hasn't discovered some incredible secret that forces our bodies to lose weight. That's just the way our bodies work. With all of the information that is available out there about dieting and nutrition, people often get obsessive about fats, proteins, and carbs, and they lose focus of the fact that ultimately a calorie is a calorie. If you eat too many protein calories, you'll gain weight just like you would if you eat too many fat or carb calories.
The way that the Weight Watchers system works is by assigning "points" to foods, and then telling you how many points that you can have in day. You have to log and track points so that you don't go over your allowed limit. This is really the exact same thing as tracking your calories, and not eating more than your caloric limit. You can purchase little pocket calorie books that give you the nutritional information for various foods, which is much cheaper than going by the point system. It just seems to me that calories are just as easy to count as points are. So, there isn't a reason to pay for something that you can easily do on your own.
One good aspect about Weight Watchers is that it teaches people about portion control. Realistically, you're going to eat what you want to eat eventually. That is why so many people fail at dieting, and end up gaining the weight back. If you allow yourself to occasionally have the foods that you love, and in good portion, then you're more likely to continue your diet plan. Weight Watchers does allow you to eat anything that you like as long as you stay within your points. This is a big selling point for them. Again, portion control is something that you can learn about for free. The internet is filled with resources on losing weight, dieting, and portion control.
Another thing to consider is that with Weight Watchers you have access to support meetings to help you stay on track, and offer you diet tips. If you don't have as much will power as you would like, then this could be a great option for you. I've never looked into alternative sources for support groups for overeating, so I'm not sure where you would find them. This is probably the best selling point for Weight Watchers in my opinion. If you don't need support to stay committed to your diet, then this would just be a waste of time and money. I've read that if you're signed up to attend these support meetings, and you miss one, then you still have to pay for that meeting.
Basically Weight Watchers is a plan that will work because it is based on the way that our bodies consume calories. It's safe, and it's not your typical fad diet that becomes fashionable for a couple of years until the next fad hits. My only real issue with the company is how much they charge people to help them do what they could do on their own. It's seems pretty pricey to me to do nothing more than tell you to not eat too much. If you don't have time, or don't want, to learn about dieting and nutrition, then Weight Watchers is a one of the best options available. But, if you're willing to search the web, or read some books on the subject, then you could save a lot of money.