Was a lifetime member. Never ate their brand-name convenience products, just whole food, homemade ingredients. I found that the teacher couldn't answer simple nutritional questions, and the program only accommodates "mainstream" people who eat typical American foods. Teachers in different classrooms dispensed different information and different support materials to us. Mine would tell women with questions about nutrition and vegetarian ingredients, to ask me me in parking lot after class! She didn't know, and wasn't allowed to say, anything beyond the party line! And I talked to them for free! Their TV ads now in 2019/2020, claim they provide "veggie""recipes so I called for clarification, but they don't really, they're still just unimaginative vegetable or fruit side dishes, they just throw us a bone each meeting, how to dress up a vegetable side dish... not satisfying vegetarian main meals with different nationality flavor profiles. They still think you need meat to get complete protein.
Teacher told me apologetically to contact the regional mgr about my questions, who never had the decency to return my calls. Teacher then told me to call NY headquarters, and they also ignored my requests for a callback regarding reasons why we could eat one food but not another that was even better, in terms of flavor and nutrition (for example, why whole wheat spaghetti but not Barilla in the yellow box that has even more fiber and protein; why soy sauce but not tamari, both of which ferment in the same barrel even though tamari has more umami and less sodium, and no gluten...). They really don't know, it doesn't fit the party line, and I lost weight on my own while attending the classes weekly, basically, and paid for the privilege. And those uncomfortable weigh-ins! The instructor once told the entire class, that I was a perfect example that proved you can lose weight on WW without having much money, and without eating WW foods, and being vegetarian. And it was true. But I had to research my own answers, and some of my ingredients weren't ever in their resource books, the one with fat/fiber/point values, can't remember the name...
Their WW business was flagging, they weren't #1 any more, and they brought Oprah on board to revive them, and she's also the major investor/owner in WW, she's not impartial, has a vested interest. She can be very convincing and inspiring, her staff knows how to make her look fabulous in front of a camera, but it's still a profit-making business fighting to revive itself. In strictly business terms, they're dishonest and aggressive, imho. They delay or won't give refunds, they resist complaints, continue charging credit cards when asked by customers to disenroll them (I suggest they call the credit card company or bank, and tell them the bill is "in dispute" to stop charges). They often treat callers with the same cold rudeness and ignorance with which they treated me, from what my online research shows. As a returning lifetime member, I'd be penalized by having to pay all over again for a certain period of time, and the amount I'd have to pay WW can be better spent buying vegetarian staples and even exotic produce and condiments, as well as whole protein sources that don't involve a WW box or package. And there are so many sources of inexpensive vegan protein, they never tell you that even all vegetables have protein!
They're not really teaching you the kind of information you need to make your own informed decisions for the rest of your life, healthier habits, and they lean heavily on pushing their own brand-name foods: it's more like "monkey see, monkey do." It's very well coordinated in that regard. That makes you dependent upon them, when they do your thinking for you, it's still cookie-cutter dieting. That isn't the kind of tools with which you can gain insight and make informed decisions the rest of your life. And they fall short on consistency between instructors, their online system apparently doesn't work very well, and their only response when I called today, to ask what "veggie" means in their TV ad, was to admit they still don't really help anyone but meat-eating mainstreamers, and they still don't provide nutrition information. They still let you eat foods you should eliminate from any healthy diet, just to keep you on board and not feel deprived, although that has some validity. You'll just keep failing and returning. They've imitated successful strategies from more successful weight loss plans lately, as close as they can get without getting sued. And it's actually true that you can lose on WW... not just because of peer support, but it's proven in studies that when someone pays for a service, they'll work harder to commit to it, whether dieting, or therapy, or meditation, anything else. But that scientific principle will work no matter which program you use. WW is trying to mold themselves to more individual lifestyles, but still not vegetarians, which are two-thirds of the planet. They still miss the boat on real training in basic nutrition, they can't handle vegans or vegetarians, and they don't answer your questions and don't even allow instructors try, in the classroom. They remain a money-making venture, and they're counting on Oprah's celebrity, charisma and lifelong public struggle with weight, to pull in members. I wonder, actually, if another reason they don't provide the option of a vegetarian life is their relationship with industries like beef, pork, fish, dairy, etc. Maybe they don't want to fight in court with them, the way Oprah did with the beef industry in Texas. Remember that? She won. Yet WW still allows beef.
Nah... I'm not gonna return. They still don't know what to do with people who are vegetarian or don't eat frozen foods, and they were still cold and curt on the phone. Actually, the girl I spoke with today at their 800 number was, nice, but she suggested I become an employee like her, and work the phone from my home! To do that, though, I'd have to give up my own volunteer work, which consumes my days and makes me happy, and I'd have to believe in WW, which I just can't do completely based on my negative experiences with administrators. The way I teach citizens is to provide them with information so that they can learn and make informed decisions, and then they teach others, too. No hoarding secrets. Maybe WW acts that way because if they teach people how to think, give them solid imformation, they'd be successful enough to not need WW? Just do your research beforehand about other competing programs, pay close attention to those complaints people have about being ripped off by WW on their credit cards. You'd probably succeed with any major program... for a while. It's a lifelong seesaw, which is why these businesses make so much money. Read up on which programs are rated best, or best for your life. Do your research before you commit. And if you're vegetarian or vegan, or you are intelligent and want to ask "why" about the rules, you can forget about WW. And watch your credit card statements!