Weight watchers vs keto: what’s the best weight-loss program for you? These are the two out of so many to pick from in the weight-loss industry worth $70+ billion in the USA alone.
Weight Watchers is over 60+ years old and is one of the best-known diet programs in the world. It racked up over $1.3 billion in 2017 and has been promoted by Oprah Winfrey, Jessica Simpson, and DJ Khaled. The ketogenic diet has actually existed as a medical diet since the 1920s but was originally used for non-weight-loss purposes. It’s less known but has also become a popular diet program. This diet takes an interesting low-carb diet like Atkins but is also high-fat and allows foods like fatty fish, baked pepperoni, and pork rinds.
You might be wondering which weight-loss program is better. While Weight Watchers is world-famous it’s gone through some tough times. Its stocks have dropped greatly during the last year. The company has been renamed WW and rolled out some big changes in 2019. Meanwhile, the ketogenic diet has been trending in recent years and now includes several versions. However, it’s also received some criticisms about being low-carb, and safety issues about whether going into a state of ketosis is safe. In short, we’re basically talking about a lesser-known medical diet (Keto) taking on a well-established commercial diet (WW).
What’s the Weight Watchers Diet?
There’s no question WW (Weight Watchers) is one of the most popular and well-known diet programs in the world. It’s been around since 1963 and earned more than $1.3 billion a few years ago in 2017. The program has been endorsed by several celebrities including:
- Charles Barkley
- Sarah Ferguson
- Jennifer Hudson
- DJ Khaled
- Jenny McCarthy
- Jessica Simpson
- Oprah Winfrey
There’s no doubt the diet program can result in impressive results. For example, Jennifer Hudson lost a reported 80+ pounds in the 2000s while on WW and more recently DJ Khaled dropped 40+ pounds.
It’s also been one of the most popular programs until recent years. In 2017 WW had 600,000+ new subscribers to the diet program.
The program was founded 60+ years ago by Jean Nidetch from New York City. She started the program as a weight-loss group for her friends in Queens, NYC. This helps to explain the program’s name.
Here’s how it worked. The program used an exchanged system that counted foods based on the number of servings. This was like a similar program that diabetes patients used.
The program has undergone some revamps over the decades. During the 1990s Weight Watchers rolled out a points-based system in which values were given to foods/drinks based on their calories, fat, and fiber.
This points-based system has been redefined several times. In 2015 the company rolled out its SmartPoints System. This gives different points to foods based on different factors like calories, protein, sugar, and fat.
In this case, low scores are better. So, fruits and veggies get fewer points than unhealthy foods like chips, candy, and soda. For example, yogurt with granola and blueberries get 2 SmartPoint points while a glazed donut gets 10 points. Both foods actually have 230 calories.
Since mid-2018 WW has undergone more overhauls. It now focuses not only on weight loss but also on general health/wellness.
What’s the Keto Det?
This medical diet actually dates back to the 1920s when it was used to treat epilepsy and diabetes patients. The program refers to a state the human body goes into called “ketosis” when the liver produces more stuff called “ketones.”
The diet takes an interesting approach to weight-loss. One element is it’s low-carb, which has been popular during the past few decades through weight-loss programs like Atkins.
However, keto is different because it’s also high fat. In recent decades many diets have focused on the importance of avoiding “bad” fats like saturated and trans fats.
However, the Keto diet is different because it’s actually a high-fat diet that requires people to eat “good” fat from a wide range of sources like meat, dairy, plant oils, and even fruits. For example, fatty fish, cheese, olive oil, and avocados are all foods that get a thumbs up in the ketogenic diet.
The amount of protein allowed in Keto is moderate. A standard keto diet is 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbs. It’s critical for carbs not to be too low since it can cause a serious health condition.
The state of ketosis in this diet is one you experience when you do a fast. The main difference, in this case, is you’re still getting a steady supply of nutrients.
This time you’re basically hacking your body’s systems. When it doesn’t get enough carbs, it starts getting energy from stored fat. Since you’re eating a high-fat diet you’re actually providing your body with enough fuel while it’s working as a non-stop fat-burning machine.
There are several versions of the Keto diet. They include higher-protein, higher-carb (before workouts), and high-alkaline. However, the main mission is to stay in ketosis via a low-carb/high-fat diet. Test strips are available at online stores like Amazon to check if you stay in ketosis throughout the day.
Weight Watchers vs Keto
So, the big question is: which weight-loss program does it better? It’s safe to say that WW is an “OG” in the weight-loss game. The company has become well-established as one of the best-known diet programs on the planet.
However, there are some question marks caused by the program’s plummeting popularity during the past few years. Other programs like Atkins have experienced similar fates.
One of the biggest issues could be the science behind WW. In other words, it can work but calorie-counting diets have become less popular than they used to be. Yes, there’s an app for that (several, actually).
However, today more dieters are looking for results from non-traditional methods like high-fat and intermittent fasting (IF) diets that researchers are learning are actually more in line with the human body’s systems.
Here are some examples. Various studies have shown that the Alaskan Inuit’s low-carb/high-fat diet that includes seals and whales actually produces much lower rates of heart disease than the average US population.
Other studies show that IF produces better weight-loss results than traditional weight-loss programs. It seems to be especially effective among middle-aged people and those with insulin resistance.
This isn’t to say that Weight Watchers is a bad program and you shouldn’t sign up. However, it’s probably more about the changing times and science’s know-how about how people lose weight.
Today’s consumers are most interested in programs that are easy to use and based on game-changing science. The irony of it all is diets high in healthy fat and IF have been around for decades. The main difference is they’re now available in weight-loss programs.
At the end of the day, it’s important to think about your weight-loss wants and needs. Look at the features, pros, and cons of both programs then pick the one that best suits you when weighing