Are you wondering which is better, WW vs Keto? For weight loss, health, and wellness, are you better off following the Weight Watchers points system or a Ketogenetic low carb, high fat diet? Let’s explore the pros and cons of each and which one is the right decision for you.
What is a Keto Diet?
Keto (a ketogenic diet) is a low-carb, high fat eating method that is believed to increase weight loss and provide health benefits. With a Ketogenic diet, as much as 75% of a person’s daily calories come from fat.
Keto for weight loss is massively popular these days and I’m sure you know some people who are “going keto”.
What is the Weight Watchers WW Points System?
Weight Watchers is a commercial weight loss program that uses a points system where each food has a point value and members receive a set number of points per day. The WW system is a calorie restriction, low fat diet.
Which is Better, WW or Keto?
When it comes to deciding which is better for you, consider the pros and cons of each eating style.
You might wonder…
- Is keto or ww better?
- Can you do keto and WW together?
- Should you switch from keto to ww?
Before we dive in, I can tell you that I’m maintaining a 100 pound weight loss, I’ve done WW for many years and I did a Keto diet for 3 months to check out what all the hype is about. Below I’ll share more details of my experiences.
I’m not a doctor, so always check with your doctor about what’s best for you.
Is Keto or WW Better?
Obviously there is no one right diet for every person and if you attempt to research the answer to this, you’ll get many different opinions.
Here’s some basic information that most people agree on.
Pros of Going Keto
Here are some of the positives of a ketogenic diet.
- You’ll see a rapid weight loss initially. Almost everyone who does keto loses weight initially because when you eat carbs your body holds on to water weight. Often it’s as much as 10 pounds that people lose in the first week or two. True, it’s just water weight, but sometimes that quick weight loss is the boost you need to keep going.
- For many people, keto reduces their hunger. There are some strong studies, plus tons of people’s experience, that going keto reduces hunger. If you struggle with ongoing true physical hunger (which many of us do), keto can help.
- Keto does work for most people if followed correctly. There’s some argument, but generally I think it’s fair to say that for most people who follow it correctly, you will lose weight.
- Keto is not magic. While there is a bit of increased calorie burn, mostly keto works because people eat less. There are tons of claims out there that when you are a ketogenic state, your body is just torching calories like mad. Ummm, no. There does seem to be a bit of increased calorie burn for people in ketosis, but it’s around 50-100 calories per day. That’s not nothing, but it’s also not true that you’re just burning through calories like a mad person.
- You get to eat some foods that were previously restricted, like butter, bacon, and heavy cream. This was the fun part of keto for me. I cooked foods in butter and I ate salads with plenty of full-fat Ranch dressing. It felt weird and a bit scary but it was also yummy!
Cons of Going Keto
Here are the downsides of eating a keto diet.
- Keto is restrictive. Keto is REALLY strict. It’s way stricter than paleo, more strict than low-carb and certainly way more strict than WW. You are not eating fruit at all and you are severely restricting breads, pasta, and rice. You are even restricting vegetables which felt strange to me.
- Keto is hard to maintain long-term. This is where most doctors and nutritionists take issues with keto. Besides being so restrictive of healthy foods, at the end of the day very few people can maintain it.
- Keto might not be healthy. This is debated but eating too little fiber and too few vegetables and fruits isn’t healthy in the long term. There is also some debate about if a state of ketosis is healthy for certain health conditions like low thyroid.
- You might go keto and then eat too many calories and not lose weight. When I did keto I didn’t lose any weight even though I followed it strictly. It doesn’t really matter what diet you follow – if you eat too many calories, you won’t lose weight.
Pros of Weight Watchers
These are a few of my favorite benefits of WW.
- You can eat any food you want. WW is not restricted. You can eat ANY food as long as it fits within your daily points target.
- Weight Watchers is more balanced. The way the points system and zero point foods are calibrated, you are encouraged to eat healthier foods, and for many of us it’s a wider range of healthy foods than we would normally eat.
Cons of WW
I love WW but it’s certainly not perfect. These are some of the downsides of the WW points system.
- You can eat too many carbs or junk food. I think most experts can agree that the standard American diet is pretty much crap. We eat a lot of carbs that provide calories but not nutrition and that’s not very healthy. While WW tailors the program to try to modify that, you can still eat a pretty junky diet and be “on program” with WW.
- WW might be too low fat. WW really encourages a pretty low fat diet with the way their system is set up. I think we might see changes in the future with WW in this area because more research is showing we need more fat. It certainly helps with hunger.
- You can eat too many calories and not lose weight. You can eat a whole day of zero point foods but that’s not zero calories. You can overeat low-point foods and still not lose weight on WW.
Okay, But Which One WORKS Better: Keto vs WW?
More research is needed but overall I think WW has many more years of proof that their system works. Keto is going to need to give more evidence to back up their claims.
Having done both, when people write to me for advice about how to lose weight, I suggest WW almost every time.
Can You Do Keto and WW Together?
Now I will tell you I’ve seen a few blog posts about doing both together and a few menu plans on some websites. I’m sure I will get emails from people who are doing both and tell me it’s awesome.
So technically CAN you do WW and keto together? Yes.
Does that mean you SHOULD do WW and low carb together? I say no.
- Keto is a high-fat diet. WW is a low-fat diet.
- Keto is low carb. WW is not low carb.
- Keto restricts produce. WW does not restrict produce.
You can attempt to mix the two but I think you’re beating your head against a wall. Weight loss is hard enough. Why torture yourself? Just pick one or the other and go with it.
Should You Switch from WW to Keto?
For most people – no.
If you are just dying to try Keto, go ahead. It’s a free country and WW doesn’t pay me to promote them so it’s no loss to me if you want to give it a try, as long as your doctor is okay with it for you.
I tried keto because I was curious and I was ready to try something different to shake things up. I learned some things so it was worth it for me. I didn’t lose any weight, though.
Just be prepared that keto is no miracle cure.
Keto Vs. Weight Watchers Results: My Experience
I tried Keto for 3 months to see what the diet is all about. I’m a pretty good diet-follower so I almost never cheated.
Basically, I lost weight at first then gained it back again so I ended at the same weight I started. I’m chalking up my keto experience to lessons learned, but nothing exciting for me personally.
Will Weight Watchers Come Out with a Low Carb Plan?
Every two years WW revamps their points system, so time will tell if they add a low-carb system, but my guess is that they will not. WW uses core principles such as calorie density and current scientific research when choosing their plans.
While research has shown some slight benefit to weight loss on a low carb plan, it’s difficult for most people to maintain. WW’s goal for for members is long-term weight loss and maintenance in a way that realistically fits into an everyday lifestyle.
If after reading all this you want to give keto a try, I have some helpful resources for you:
If You Want to Try Weight Watchers
If you want to try the Weight Watchers system, click here for a discount on your enrollment.
If you want to use the WW points system for a lower cost, check out the Itrackbites app, which is free to download.
Switching From Keto to Weight Watchers
Are you switching from Keto to Weight Watchers? Here are a few helpful tips.
- Be prepared for a weight gain initially. Because you are going back to eating a higher amount of carbs, your body will retain fluid. Be prepared for this and recognize that things will even out in a week or two.
- Enjoy the carbs. After restricting carbs for so long, eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables without restriction might seem like heaven. Focus on whole grains and not the junk food you have worked so hard to eliminate.
- Choose any color WW plan you want. Any color plan will work equally well when switching from Keto to WW. Purple might be a good choice if you’ve taught yourself to do keto using almost all whole, real foods. If you were eating more processed foods, Green might be a good way to go. Blue will be more moderate.
In conclusion, when comparing the two plans, keto vs. ww I believe Weight Watchers is the better program for most individuals. Having done both, WW was a healthier choice and worked best for weight loss.
Have you tried Keto or WW? Share about it in the comments below.
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