So you’re thinking of joining a weight loss program but can’t decide which is the right one for you to shred off those unwanted pounds.
Weight Watchers is a DIY diet and Nutrisystem is based on meal-delivery, so the biggest question to ask yourself in determining which is better for you may be, “do I like to cook?”
America is split on this question with 50% of people saying that they “hate to cook.” That means even though Weight Watchers is rated higher by experts and more popular, it might not be the better diet for your lifestyle.
Before we talk about each of these popular diets in detail, let’s see how the experts rated them head to head:
Ratings: Weight Watchers vs. Nutrisystem
U.S. News asked a panel of health and diet experts to rate these two diets on a number of factors including short and long term weight loss results. Weight Watchers came away with an impressive score, but no single diet is best for everyone. Here’s more about Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem:
Weight Watchers Overview:
- Ranked #1 in “Best Weight Loss Diets” (source)
- Ranked #1 in “Best Commercial Diets”
- Consumer Reports Diet Plan Ratings Score: 74
You already know that Oprah loves it, but in case that’s not enough to sell you on WW, here’s how it works.
Weight Watchers is a bit of a do-it-yourself diet. With WW all foods are assigned a point value and you have a daily “budget” to spend on them. That means that no foods are off-limits, but the unhealthy, sinful treats might cost you big.
WW loves when you eat fruits and vegetables, and most of them are “free” in their point system. With their new Freestyle program, you can even carry over unused points to another day if needed.
Weight Watchers Online includes tools, recipes, and the support of the online community. For more support and accountability you add meetings which will cost you more but have been proven to double the success rate.
Just stay within your daily point allotment and you should experience gradual weight loss!
- Ranked #11 in “Best Weight Loss Diets”
- Ranked #5 in “Best Commercial Diets”
- Consumer Reports Diet Plan Ratings Score: 56
Unlike Weight Watchers’ DIY approach, Nutrisystem is a monthly meal-delivery diet that tells you what to eat and when. Their program is based on portion control, balanced nutrition, and eating smaller more frequent meals and snacks throughout the day.
Their prepared meals and snacks are high in lean protein and fiber and low in bad carbs and fat. Nutrisystem has three plan levels: BASIC, CORE, and Uniquely Yours with the difference being that you pay more for increased food variety.
Nutrisystem starts out with the “Turbo 13“ fast weight loss phase that challenges you to lose 13+ pounds in your first month. The goal of Turbo 13 is to quickly regulate your blood sugar levels and boost your metabolism to prepare you for months of sustainable weight loss.
Nutrisystem provides you with most of your food for the month, although you’ll have to supplement meals with fresh fruits and vegetables. You’ll also have a few “Flex meals” each week consisting of a breakfast, lunch, and dinner on your own.
Consumer Reports says that NutriSystem is, “best for non-cooks who want to spend the least possible amount of money on packaged foods.”
Nutrisystem is very popular with busy people and diabetics, as it focuses more on regulating blood sugar levels. Here’s their latest promotion for new customers:
How These Diets Differ:
There’s a big difference in the strategy of these two opponents. Think of Weight Watchers as the heavily-favored World Champion, but the underdog Nutrisystem and their “Turbo 13” move can’t be overlooked.
The biggest difference here to consider is “do-it-yourself” (Weight Watchers) vs. “meal-delivery (Nutrisystem).” Two completely different styles. Consider the following:
- If you enjoy cooking: point Weight Watchers
- If you are very busy: point Nutrisystem
- If you enjoy dining out, point Weight Watchers
- If you don’t like prepared food, point Weight Watchers
- If regulating your blood sugar levels is important, point Nutrisystem
Well, no knockouts yet, let’s look at the price.
Weight Watchers only costs $20+ per month, (unless you add Meetings) but to say that it’s cheaper than Nutrisystem is misleading. Why? Because Weight Watchers requires that you buy all of your own food while Nutrisystem sends you most meals every month.
Even though Nutrisystem costs about $300 per month, their prepared food replaces most of the meals you would have been buying on your own. That means your grocery store bills should drop like a rock as you’ll only need to buy fruits and veggies to supplement the meals and snacks that they provide.
When you consider that the monthly grocery bill for one person is about $300-440 per month, you’ll see why the cost of these two diets is pretty comparable.
If being on Nutrisystem drops your grocery bill by 70%, then your daily food cost is going to be a similar $15+ per day (total) with both diets.
So, it seems the main cost difference between Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem is that with Nutrisystem you pay for a month of food all at once instead of one day at a time.
Tip: Both of these diets will force you to skip that daily $5 Frappuccino from Starbucks. Not only is it expensive, but It’s got 72g of carbs and 69g of sugar! (source) That’s a bomb that will destroy any diet!
Weight Watchers or NutriSystem: Which Is Better?
Weight Watchers is consistently rated higher than Nutrisystem, and usually wins the annual titles of “Best Weight Loss Diet” and “Best Commercial Diet Plan” from U.S. News.
Also, Consumer Reports rates Weight Watchers higher, and concludes that people are more likely to reach their weight loss goals with Weight Watchers than Nutrisysem.
So, according to the experts, Weight Watchers is the better diet. and wins the fight!
And, the Winner Is… Weight Watchers!
Ding, Ding, Ding! OK, Weight Watchers wins, but it may not be a unanimous decision. That’s because choosing a diet is a personal decision, and you must ask yourself “which diet is best for me and my lifestyle?”
If you like the idea of a hands-on, do-it-yourself diet (with the option of meetings) then you’ll probably agree with the experts that Weight Watchers is better.
However, if you don’t like the idea of counting points, preparing your own meals, and watching portion size, then maybe you’d prefer a structured meal-delivery program like Nutrisystem?
Either way, if you do sign up for one of these two heavyweight diets, be sure to get the best price by checking today’s coupons below!