After spending a little bit of time on both weight loss/healthy eating plans I thought it would be nice to compare them both in one easy place for all to see. I am currently doing the new Weight Watchers Flex plan (you can see my full post on how it works here) and tried Slimming World before it (you can see my post explaining that in full here). I’m not going to go into depth with the nitty gritty as that is all within the other two posts, but more of a simple overview of what is similar with both and what is completely different.
Meat and two veg
So with both plans, you can eat almost all fruit and vegetables, with the exception of avocados and similar high-calorie veggies for “free”. You can also eat all legumes and meat-free substitutes like Quorn, with only Quorn’s meat-free sausages costing 1 syn with Slimming World (SW). Eggs are free on both as well.
Meat is a little bit different. With SW you can eat any unprocessed meat with the fat cut off, with Weight Watchers (WW) that’s limited to just skinless chicken or turkey and all fish. Potatoes aren’t the same either, on SW potatoes that aren’t fried or roasted are “free” but with WW you have to count them in your points, the same goes for pasta and rice.
With both plans stock, Frylite, herbs, spices, flavour pots, vinegar and sugar substitutes like Splenda are free. Fat-free dressings are free on SW but not WW.
Points or Syns?
With WW you get your daily allowance of points which is calculated based on the information you give to your representative or online and may change week to week depending on your weight loss. With SW you are allowed a maximum of 15 Syns a day (for a woman) and 25 (for a man). And you are encouraged to limit them at your own discretion to help with your weight loss. Basically, everything that you eat that isn’t free needs to be accounted for with your points or Syns. Both apps will tell you the value of the items your eating, but as it currently stands, WW is the only app which will allow you to log your points and food on the app itself; meaning you can tally up your foods and work out your allowances without filling in a form or keeping an alternative diary.
With both plans, sugar-free carbonated drinks are free, as is black coffee. If you want milk you would need to work out the points with WW and you can count that as your Healthy Extra A with SW (see below).
So what’s the difference?
With SW you have the additional benefit of Healthy Extras; A is dairy produce and B is wheat and bread items. You have to have some of both items every day to stay on plan and maintain a healthy diet. With WW there isn’t any strict guidance on dairy or wheat and bread intake, you have to use your points every day to account for any you decide to eat/drink. There is also a whole section on “speed foods” which are food items that, when eaten can speed up your weight loss. You are advised to fill 1/3 of your plate with speed foods, they aid digestion or are usually quite filling, meaning you’re full quicker, eating less food.
With WW you get to have extra “weekly points” which are especially dedicated points for you to use throughout the week, they can be blown on a takeaway, or be rationed out to let you have a few extra points each day. This is fab if you know you have a special meal planned or a night out. It also means if you succumb to temptation and fall off the wagon one day, you haven’t scuppered your entire week and the weekly points will soak up the extra you’ve used – if you have any left, of course!
Both SW and WW allow you to carry points/Syns over if you don’t spend them all each day – although this is not necessarily on plan with SW. Many women I met at the groups said that they tallied up their weekly allowance of points and ticked them off from that total rather than the daily 15, meaning they could have a naughty day. They all reported that their weight loss was the same as if they stuck to the stricter 15 a day.
Keep on moving
So with both plans exercise is encouraged. Although with WW your exercise translates to “fit points” on the app which means you can eat more if you work out more. With SW there wasn’t really any translation between your daily Syns and your exercise either on the app or on paper. With the WW app it can sync up to Fitbit, your iPhone and many other apps and fitness trackers (not sure about Android, as I don’t have a device… if you know, let me know!) to allow the accurate calculation of your fit points bonus.
What’s the verdict?
Well firstly I think both plans are really effective, they both have healthy eating at their core and promote a healthy lifestyle that spans a lifetime rather than just a few weeks, like some diets. But I think the essence of each plan and whether it will work for you is really down to what you think you’ll eat. If you like lots of potatoes, pasta and rice then SW is your plan, if you like to eat fish and white meat or if you are veggie or vegan, then maybe WW is better.
It also depends on how much you would want the benefit of digital devices. Without a doubt, WW is a better app and makes exercise and food logging as easy as pie, whereas SW is still more geared towards the handwritten food diary and book. The app is ok, but just nowhere near as easy as WW. Both plans are competitively priced for meetings. Online there is the option to pay monthly with WW online, whereas SW online has a compulsory sign up for 3 months upfront.
Have you tried them both? Tell me which you prefer in the comments below.
If you fancy leaving comment, please do, they always make my day!