Weight Watchers vs Calorie Counting: What Works Better?

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Written by Megan Ayala. Last Updated: January 10, 2023

While people use countless methods to lose weight, there are a few options that are more popular — and more effective — than others.

Millions of people have used Weight Watchers to live a healthier lifestyle and meet their weight loss goals. Calorie counting is also an effective approach to weight loss used by people across the globe.

If you want to lose weight, you need to find a plan and stick with it. For many, the hardest part is finding a solution that will work for them.

Below, you’ll be able to learn more about Weight Watchers and calorie counting so that you can find a solution that works for you.

Weight Watchers vs Calorie Counting: How Each One Works

Weight Watchers Overview

weight watchers overview

When you sign up for WeightWatchers (read my review), you’ll be asked to provide information about yourself, such as your height, current weight, gender, and age. After submitting that information, you’ll be given a healthy weight loss target. For example, your goal may be to lose two pounds a week.

You’ll be given a daily point target that you need to meet each day. As long as you stay within that target, you should be able to meet your daily weight loss goals. Fatty, sugar and calorie foods may have a higher point value, while other foods may not have a point value at all. Foods that are worth zero points include:

  • Artichokes
  • Apples
  • Cauliflower rice
  • Eggs
  • Kale
  • Limes
  • Oysters
  • Skinless chicken breast
  • Watermelon
  • Pinto beans

Unlike many diets, Weight Watchers isn’t overly restrictive. You can choose to treat yourself to pizza or chocolate cake. However, this means you’ll have fewer points over for the rest of the day, which means you have to turn to zero point foods in order to stay full.

Calorie Counting Overview

calorie counting overview

Calorie counting is based on a simple concept. In order to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. There are a number of apps and tools that can help you to determine the amount of calories you can eat to maintain your current weight, as well as how many calories you should eat if you want to lose weight.

Once you have a calorie goal, you’ll need to keep track of the calorie content in everything that you eat. If you add creamer to your coffee or sprinkle sriracha over your food, you’ll need to add it to your total. As long as you don’t go over your total, you’ll be able to reach your goals.

Which is More Effective for Long-Term Weight Loss?

If you choose to take the calorie counting approach, you’ll be on your own. While there are apps that can help you to count calories and log foods, you’ll have to find them on your own.

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Many people have been able to lose weight and keep it off through calorie counting, but if you try this method, your long-term success will come down to you.

Why We Prefer Weight Watchers…

Weight Watchers has an impressive track record. Millions of people, including high-profile celebrities like Jennifer Hudson and Oprah Winfrey, have successfully lost weight through the program.

he system was initially founded in 1963. Since then, it has gone through a number of improvements, to make weight loss either.

The goal of Weight Watchers isn’t just to help people shed extra pounds. It’s to help people develop healthy eating habits. The points system is an easy and effective way to learn how different foods impact your diet. Weight Watchers teachers you that you can still indulge in your favorite treats as long as you primarily eat healthy foods.

When you’re a part of the Weight Watchers program, you’ll have access to an impressive range of resources, such as:

  • Restaurant cheat sheets
  • Shopping lists
  • Tracking tools
  • Cookbooks and recipes
  • Support groups
  • 24/7 coaching

All of these tools can help to prepare you for the future. You’ll be able to correct bad habits and make smarter food choices in the future.

Learn more and check current Weight Watchers prices.

Is WW or Calorie Counting Easier to Follow?

Weight Watchers is designed to be easy to follow. Members have access to a five-in-one app that will let you log food intake, water consumption, activity levels, and more. You’ll even have access to a barcode tracker that can help you to determine the points level of the foods that you want to eat.

You’ll also have access to thousands of recipes. If you decide to make meals from scratch, you’ll be able to find healthy options. Because you’ll be getting the recipes through Weight Watchers, you’ll know the precise point value per serving.

The point system Weight Watchers uses is designed to be a simplified version of calorie counting. WW also takes many other things into account, such as the sugar content of the foods that you’re eating. When you’re following this plan, it’s easier to evaluate foods and make decisions about what you should eat.

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More importantly, this program provides you with access to support when you need it. Losing weight requires you to make big changes to your life, and that isn’t always easy. When you’re a part of WW, you’ll have people there to cheer you on and hold you accountable.

Calorie counting can also be highly effective, and keeping track of your calorie intake can be easier if you have the right tools at your disposal. However, if you do decide to follow this method, you won’t have access to all the resources that WW provides.

Summary: Deciding Which One Will Work Best for You

Both Weight Watchers and calorie counting can be effective. These weight loss methods are designed to get you to change the way you eat, which is necessary for long-term weight loss. With that said, the WW approach is a more complete option.

When you’re a part of Weight Watchers, you’ll have access to all kinds of incredible resources and tools. When you need support, you’ll be able to turn to the WW community. You can even attend meetings in person and make real-life friends that will support you on your journey.

If you’re looking for a complete and well-rounded approach to weight loss, your choice is clear. Millions of people have successfully lost weight on Weight Watchers, and you can too.