WEIGHT WATCHERS CEO: ‘Willpower Is Completely Overrated’

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America’s obesity epidemic rages on, but there’s one company that may have the solutions to tightening America’s waistband: Weight Watchers.

We sat down with Weight Watchers CEO, Dave Kirchhoff, to get the scoop on how the company’s new 360 program helps participants lose weight and keep it off.

“You have to start making healthy choices automatic,” Kirchhoff said. “Willpower is completely overrated and just doesn’t deliver.”

That’s why Weight Watchers launched Weight Watchers 360, which focuses on combining healthy lifestyle techniques with technology and group support to lose weight and maintain trimmer figures.

The original Weight Watchers program centered around calorie counting which often led participants to initially lose weight but then later gain it back.

There were some fundamental issues with the old plan. People treated it like a diet. They didn’t want to waste 100 calories on an apple if they could have a 100 calorie pack of cookies, Kirchhoff explained.

Dave Kirchhoff
Dave Kirchhoff, CEO of Weight Watchers.

[credit provider=”Courtesy of Weight Watchers” url=”http://community.weightwatchers.com/LoadDown/Blogs/28/80/d6ae554f47234442aef964ba0a48adeb_2.jpg?repository=1″]

So Weight Watchers moved toward educating its participants. “[360] is really a behaviour modification program that nudges people toward smarter choices,” Kirchhoff said. “And it does not require perfection.”The program also teaches members to manage their food environments, control portion sizes, and increase physical activity.

The company decided to expand its existing program in light of new scientific research. One study found that people make around 200 food-related decisions a day, far more than the 15 decisions they are aware of, he said.

By being more mindful of what and how they consume food, people can track their good choices and isolate their less good choices, Kirchhoff explained.

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