Weight Watchers says 'no' to daunting New Year's resolutions and introduces solution for a 'Simple Start'

TORONTO, Dec. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - As the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, two out of three Canadians will aspire to a new beginning with ambitious New Year's resolutions. However, according to a new survey commissioned by Weight Watchers Canada, 41 per cent of Canadians usually set aside their resolutions within the first month, citing factors such as lack of time, unrealistic goals and difficulty integrating their new habits into their existing lifestyle. The survey also found that weight loss and exercise goals are the most common resolutions that Canadians make year over year. The time has come to consider a more effective way to achieve one's goals. This year, Weight Watchers invites Canadians to say no to daunting resolutions and get started on a new, healthier lifestyle with its new Simple Start plan.

Behavioural science shows that resolutions are often ineffective because people set aspirational goals for themselves with equally unrealistic expectations of how they are going to achieve them. "Effective behavioural change must be goal-driven and advocate for small rather than large change," says Dr. Gary Foster, behaviour change expert and Co-Chief Scientific Officer at Weight Watchers International. "That first step - setting the goal itself - is critical to success, whether the goal is to lose weight or to pay off debt. Lofty goals make it difficult to see progress and would be better broken into small, simple steps that can fit easily into one's lifestyle," he explains.

Weight Watchers® Simple Start

Research shows that getting off to a strong start in the initial phase of a weight-loss program has proven to be an important indicator of long-term successi. With a focus on that very concept, the new Simple Start plan is designed to provide a helpful on-ramp to weight loss success with Weight Watchers. Simple Start provides Canadians with a two-week plan to start losing weight right away, thanks to easy recipes built from Weight Watchers Power Foods. These foods help you fill up faster, stay fuller, and avoid the types of foods that lead to overeating. Simple Start helps Canadians integrate new healthy eating habits one simple step at a time, without having to worry too much about what or how much they eat. This will come as good news to the five out of ten Canadians who make resolutions and say that starting with small, simple steps would motivate them to succeed.

As members transition from Simple Start into the proven PointsPlus® plan they learn to turn their new eating habits into long-term behaviours, so they can finally check weight loss off their resolutions list. A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine shows that with the Weight Watchers approach, people lost eight times more than those who tried to lose weight on their ownii.

About the Survey

From November 18 to November 20, 2013, an online survey was conducted among 1,500 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Leger panelists. For comparative purpose, a probability sample of the same size would yield +/- 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20. The survey results have been weighted based on age, language, gender, region, education and presence of children in the household in order to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population in Canada.

About Weight Watchers Canada

Weight Watchers Canada Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Weight Watchers International, Inc., which is the world's leading provider of weight management services, operating globally through a network of Company-owned and franchise operations. Weight Watchers International, Inc. holds over 40,000 meetings each week where members receive group support and learn about healthy eating patterns, behaviour modification and physical activity. Weightwatchers.ca provides innovative, subscription weight management products over the Internet and is a leading Internet-based weight management provider in Canada. In addition, Weight Watchers offers a wide range of products, publications and programs for those interested in weight-loss and weight control.

i Nackers, L. et al. (2010) The Association Between Rate of Initial Weight Loss and Long-Term Success in Obesity Treatment: Does Slow and Steady Win the Race?. Int.J. Behav. Med. 17:161-167.
ii Johnston CA et al. A randomized controlled trial of a community-based behavioral counseling program. The American Journal of Medicine 2013 (Article in Press), Oct. 2013. Weight loss data obtained at 6 months. Trial funded by Weight Watchers.

SOURCE: Weight Watchers Canada

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For more information or book an interview with Dr. Gary Foster, please contact:

Abigail Bueno
Weber Shandwick

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