Weight Watchers versus NutriSystem – Coke or Pepsi? Cat or dog? Netflix or cable? Let’s face it, life is full of choices, and no one choice is going to work for everyone. That’s the case with diets, so let’s talk about two popular options: Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem. So, which one is better?
Weight Watchers is a DIY diet and Nutrisystem is based on meal delivery, so the biggest question to ask in determining which is better for you may be, “do you 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 compare WW and Nutrisystem, let’s look at a brief overview of both.
WW (Weight Watchers) Overview:
- Ranked #1 in “Best Weight Loss Diets” (source)
- Ranked #1 in “Best Commercial Diets”
- Consumer Reports Diet Plan Ratings Score: 74
- Weight Watchers reviews
- Weight Watchers Specials
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 the math says 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
- Nutrisystem reviews
- Nutrisystem Deals
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 an initial fast weight loss phase that challenges you to lose 13+ pounds in your first month. The goal 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 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:
OK, so you have a good understanding of how WW and Nutrisystem work, so let’s look at how experts rate these two diets.
U.S. News asked a panel of health and diet experts to rate Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem on a number of factors including short and long term weight loss results. Here’s how the two diets scored:
As you can see, experts rate WW higher than Nutrisystem in every category, so WW wins this round. However, that doesn’t mean that Weight Watchers is the best weight loss program for you.
Why? Because a diet should be compatible with your lifestyle and unique needs, or else it likely won’t work. Let’s now look at the differences between Nutrisystem and Weight Watchers.
WW and Nutrisystem Comparison:
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 can’t be overlooked.
The biggest difference to consider is that WW is “do-it-yourself,” while Nutrisystem is based on monthly meal delivery. That’s two completely different styles!
So, which diet is best for you? Consider the following:
- If you enjoy cooking: point to 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, in the WW vs. Nutrisystem matchup there hasn’t been a knockout yet, so let’s compare the cost.
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, the 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 actually 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 prepared food all at once instead of planning one day at a time.
However, because Weight Watchers is more flexible, you can do the program cheaper than Nutrisystem. So, WW wins this round, too.
Which Is Better: Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem?
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 conclude that people are more likely to reach their weight loss goals with Weight Watchers than Nutrisystem.
So, according to the experts, Weight Watchers is the better diet. Plus, over 4 million people are currently on WW, making it the most popular commercial diet. (source)
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 in-person 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 measuring 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!