Introducing two of the most popular weight loss plans that swept the world by its feet—the Weight Watchers and the Ketogenic diet. These healthy diet options have garnered a huge following in recent years due to their effectiveness in burning some unwanted weight. But the real question is—which one is better?

In this article, we will tackle everything there is to know about the two and find out what sets them apart. If you want to learn more about the Weight Watchers and the Ketogenic diet, feel free to read further into this write-up.

Weight Watchers vs. Ketogenic Diet

Weight Watchers or Ketogenic Diet

For starters, the competition for losing weight between the Weight Watchers and the Ketogenic diet relies heavily on numbers. 

For the Weight Watchers diet, you will be tallying your ‘food points’ to stay on track with your personal target weight. These food points we’re talking about are the number of nutrients your body needs regarding your physical attributes and activity levels.

With the Keto diet, on the other hand, you will be keeping track of the carbohydrates that you consume. You will do this so you can subtract this amount from your diet and substitute it with the same amount of foods that are rich in fat. [1]

Of course, you will be facing challenges with either of the two, but it is always important to know which option you’re more willing to put yourself into. So let’s try to understand what these two healthy diet choices are all about then, shall we?

Weight Watchers Diet: A Brief Introduction

What once started as the “Prudent Diet” program back in September 1961, Jean Nidetch had her goals set on losing weight. But after a while, she realized that the whole process requires input from others than herself. So she then began exchanging feedback with her inner circle. And thus, the Weight Watchers Diet came into existence. [2]

The Weight Watchers diet aims to help you shed some pounds while allowing you to include any food you want to eat in your diet. The Weight Watchers diet focuses more on moderation and proper food portioning rather than limiting your menu choices.

And being around the wellness scene for a while now, the Weight Watchers program has garnered quite a huge following. It has ranked highest among the most popular weight loss programs in history. They even have celebrities like Oprah Winfrey joining in, along with a couple of millions of other people around the globe.

How Does the Weight Watchers Program Work?

Weight Watchers or Ketogenic Diet

As we said earlier, the Weight Watchers program guides its members through a point-based system that tracks their eating patterns. This point-based system will calculate the number of nutrients your body requires regarding your age, height, weight, and level of physical activity.

They have also introduced several point-based systems in the past years that provide a much more streamlined and personalized experience to their members. An example of this dates back to the 1990s, when they created a new concept for their program that assigns value points to foods based on their nutritional content.

To get started with the Weight Watchers program, the first step would be taking a personal assessment which you can access on their official website. The assessment will require you to answer questions about your current health habits and what you wish to achieve with this diet. Here are some of the questions that will be included:

  • reasons why you want to lose weight,
  • how often you exercise,
  • instances when you’re most likely to go off-track on the wellness plan,
  • your current mental state, and;
  • your current sleep routine

After you’re done answering the questions in their assessment, the people from Weight Watchers will give you your evaluation result. It will contain everything you’ll need to know before beginning the program.

Once you’ve successfully completed the assessment, you can choose which membership plan you wish to subscribe to. You can register for a fixed membership or opt for 1-on-1 sessions with a registered fitness coach. If you want, you can also sign up for their Digital 360 and Unlimited Workshop programs.

Weight Watchers’ SmartPoints

Very recently, Weight Watchers have introduced a new point-based system, which they call the SmartPoints. This helps guide the existing members of Weight Watchers towards a healthy eating pattern with low traces of calories and sugar and high levels of fat and proteins.

This new system offers everyone participating in the Weight Watchers diet freedom and flexibility in their weight loss journey. Like before, there won’t be any restrictions on the foods you can add to your diet. 

And to provide a more refined experience, you can match your lifestyle with one of the three comprehensive plans that they designed specifically for this program: [3]

Green Plan

The Green Plan offers members a large amount of SmartPoints allowance to choose any food they want to add to their diet. And 100-plus ZeroPoints for adding fruits and vegetables.

Blue Plan

The Blue Plan offers members moderate amounts of SmartPoints, and 200-plus ZeroPoints for fruits, vegetables, and lean meat.

Purple Plan

Lastly, the Purple Plan allows members to have just ample amounts of SmartPoints. And 300-plus ZeroPoints for fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and whole grains. 

For your information, the ZeroPoints is the term used to describe SmartPoints with a value of zero. ZeroPoint foods help in laying a more robust foundation for healthier eating habits. And there is but a low chance of overeating these types of foods, according to the people from Weight Watchers themselves. [4]

Ketogenic Diet: A Brief Introduction

Keto Diet

The ketogenic diet, more commonly known as the “keto” diet, is an eating plan low in carbohydrates, all the while rich in fat. This diet has been present for centuries and has been used to treat numerous medical conditions. Back in the 19th century, the Keto diet was often used as a method to help minimize the cases of diabetes.

Aside from controlling the occurrence of diabetes, the Keto diet has also been tested and used to closely assist in recorded cases of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and polycystic ovary syndrome. However, it only gained popularity during the 1970s due to the low-carbohydrate diet craze that began with the Atkins diet.

Today, compared to the other existing low-carb diets, the Keto diet is well distinguished for its high-fat and medium protein content (with the fat taking typically 70 to 80 percent of the ratio). [5]

How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work?

Weight Watchers or Ketogenic Diet

When you’re undergoing the Keto diet, you deprive your body of glucose to lose weight. Glucose is derived from the foods you eat that are rich in carbohydrates, which is also the body’s main energy source. In this case, glucose is replaced with ketones—an alternative fuel derived from stored fat. [6]

Fun fact: the term ketone is actually where the term “keto” originated.

Basically, what happens is that cutting your carb intake will lead to your body running out of blood sugar. So to make up for this loss, our body will break down fat and protein to produce energy. This whole process is called ketosis, which helps a lot in losing weight.

Caveats to the Ketogenic Diet

While the Keto diet seems like an ideal weight loss plan, it also comes with several health risks that you might want to consider. One of the main downsides to the Keto diet is its high levels of saturated fat. Studies have shown that large intakes of saturated fat can lead to increased rates of heart-related complications occurring. [7]

Aside from heart diseases, the Keto diet also gives way to the following health risks: [8]

Liver problems

Due to high-fat levels, our bodies will have difficulty metabolizing. And if you already have existing liver issues, the Keto diet could make your condition worse. [9]

Kidney stone

The Keto diet could cause too much protein buildup, leading to kidney failure. [10]

Micronutrient deficiency

Due to the reduced intake of a wide variety of food options, you could be at risk of proper nutrient shortage. [11]


You can be short on fibrous foods since the Keto diet prohibits high carbohydrate intake. And this can cause higher chances of stomach complications to occur. [12]

Decreased brain function

Multiple studies have shown that the decreased sugar consumption fat can lead to poor attention span and cognitive function. [13]

Emotional instability

Diets low in carbohydrates can cause frequent mood swings. [14]

Bottomline: The Final Verdict

Both Weight Watchers and the Ketogenic diet lie on the opposite sides of the diet spectrum. And it will require you some time to decide which best suits your lifestyle. 

Weight Watchers works best after long periods and doesn’t limit your food choices, while the Keto diet does the exact opposite. And although they both come with their own drawbacks, they are very effective means of losing weight. So the final decision all boils down to what you prefer between the two.

And that’s about it for this article. We hope we were able to fill you in on everything you wished to know about the Weight Watchers and the Ketogenic diet. As a rule of thumb, if you want more information, you can always ask for consultation from any registered nutritionist or health professional.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.


  • Elijah Redoble

    Elijah enjoys creating content that educates and entertains at the same time. During the health-content writing process, Elijah takes extra care and precaution to craft research-backed articles that are helpful, educational, and relatable to readers from various walks of life. LinkedIn

  • Kim Monasterial, BSN

    Kim is a Registered Nurse and has been a medical freelance writer for more than six years. Starting off as a writer, Kim moved to proofreading and editing all the articles posted on HealthPlugged. She’s an enthusiast for health and wellness, being one to keep herself fit and adventurous for outdoor activities. LinkedIn


Elijah enjoys creating content that educates and entertains at the same time. During the health-content writing process, Elijah takes extra care and precaution to craft research-backed articles that are helpful, educational, and relatable to readers from various walks of life. LinkedIn