If you talk about how to do Keto and Weight Watchers, you might be thinking it's kind of an oxymoron to try and do both. Both ways of eating have massive success, but what happens if you combine the two?
Note: I will refer to both Keto and Weight Watchers as “diets”, though I feel Weight Watchers is not a diet. It's definitely a lifestyle change and sustainable long term. If Keto is done right, it can help regulate your blood sugar. This is also a lifestyle change.
How to do Keto and Weight Watchers
Can I do Keto on Weight Watchers? Combining two diets can feel more restrictive than you're used to with Weight Watchers alone, but it can also supercharge your results. If you have a LOT of weight to lose, have stalled on your weight loss, or are seeking more mental clarity, the ketogenic diet may be something you're interested in trying.
Understand the principles of Weight Watchers and Keto separately.
Understanding the basic concept of both Keto and Weight Watchers is crucial to your success when combining both diets.
How Does Keto Work?
Keto is known as a high fat, moderate protein, very low carb diet. Compared to Weight Watchers, it seems restrictive. I love the freedom of being able to eat “whatever” I want, within reason, and staying within my points. You will not be staying within your points if you go crazy on fat bombs and bacon-wrapped burgers with Keto.
How Does Weight Watchers Work?
Weight Watchers is known as a lower-fat diet. Tracking with Weight Watchers will help you with portion control. I've seen people literally talk about eating a pound of bacon in one sitting on Keto. You will not be doing that with Weight Watchers!
With each diet, you want to drink lots of water and avoid sugary drinks like soda and juice. Also, don't skimp on exercise! If you're serious about losing weight, get that body moving!
While doing Weight Watchers, you can fill up on zero point foods and use the rest of your points on healthy fats.
Keto vs Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers and Keto are both great diets on their own, but together they can kick your weight loss journey into overdrive.
You may be wondering why someone would want to restrict themselves, even more, when either diet is working well for them. The number one reason I would recommend adding Keto principles into your Weight Watchers lifestyle is because of how you will feel when you get the positive effects of Keto kicking in! The mental clarity, the energy, and the overall health of your mind and body can't be beaten. Also, some people who have done Weight Watchers for a while find themselves at a plateau. Reducing carb intake is a simple way to signal your body to start losing weight again.
Realize you may not follow either program to a “T”.
Learning how to combine Keto and Weight Watchers is an art. It will take a little balancing. Like I said above, Weight Watchers is (generally speaking) a lower-fat way of eating. Keto is the exact opposite for most people. They both include protein and lots of veggies, but WW is high protein and keto is medium protein. The fat differences are huge.
Because of this, you may find yourself going over your daily points, or you may find yourself not eating enough fat. Knowing ahead of time that you may not be able to work both programs exactly simultaneously will help reduce your stress levels when it happens.
The goal here is better health and weight loss, so as long as those two things are both happening, don't freak out about the details. Take small steps by lowering your carb intake to under 100g a day, then under 50. With Keto, you're encouraged to go even lower, but you will most likely see great results if you stay under 50g of carbs a day while following the Weight Watchers plan.
Weight Watchers not working?
Read about my (successful) Noom experience!
Fat, fat, fat!
If you go to any Keto forum or group, you're going to see lots of fat: fat bombs, bacon-wrapped everything, and more full-fat cheese than you're used to using with Weight Watchers. High fat = high points. For example, bulletproof coffee (which many swear by!) is 10 points. If you only get 23 points a day on Weight Watchers, that means you have 13 points left for the day. Because of the amazing 0 point food options, this could work… but it may not be very fun!
To combine Weight Watchers and Keto, you'll want to eat healthier fats like coconut oil, avocado, etc. This doesn't mean you have to give up your full-fat cheese completely, just make sure you count the points if you add it in. Full-fat means full flavor, so you'll probably enjoy it more than the 0 point fat-free cheese anyway!
Protein Options for Weight Watchers and Keto
Weight Watchers Freestyle program focuses on lean protein options, and you should, too! Choosing chicken, shrimp, and turkey instead of bacon and full-fat beef will keep you within your points for the day while keeping your appetite in check.
Sample Keto Weight Watchers Meal Plan
I found these in a Keto forum and found it helpful to have a visual. It seems combining Keto and Weight Watchers is possible, it's just going to take a little extra planning.
Breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 slices bacon, 1/2 oz cheese
Lunch: 4 oz chicken, 1tbsp mayo, 1 cup spinach
Dinner: 3 oz salmon, 1tbsp butter, bacon and bok choy (2 slices bacon and 2 cups bok choy)
Snack: Fat bomb, hard-boiled egg
Total WW points: 25
Keto totals: 71% fat (86g), 27% protein (74g), 2% carbs (3.3 net)
Breakfast: 3 eggs omelet: 1oz cheddar cheese, 5 sliced cherry tomatoes, 1 cup cooked spinach
Lunch: 2 cups greens, 1/2 cup cucumber, 1/2 cup red peppers, 1/2 avocado, 3oz grilled chicken, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil
Dinner: 3 oz sirloin steak, grilled portobello mushrooms, 2 cups broccoli, 1 tablespoon olive oil
Snack: Fat bomb, hard-boiled egg
Total WW points: 26
Keto totals: 28 net carbs (didn't calculate percentages)
Keto Weight Watchers Recipes
I will be adding some keto-friendly Weight Watchers recipes to my blog soon but in the meantime, check out these Keto Weight Watchers recipes from SkinnyTaste.
Some people really need the accountability of Weight Watchers meetings every week. If you enjoy the Keto lifestyle but also need accountability, consider attending those meetings but eating the Keto way. Yes, the meetings are an added expense, but if you need accountability then it is there.
Videos about WW vs Keto
I like watching videos about life experiences from people who aren't constantly trying to sell you things. Here are a few I found helpful.
Which is Better, Weight Watchers or Keto?
For me, there is no “better”, because it all depends on you as an individual. My wife, for example, would literally murder someone if she had to do a low carb diet for more than a few weeks. I've had issues with Keto giving me headaches, even after doing the tweaks everyone mentioned, so it's not something I'd do long-term, while Weight Watchers is a way of eating I can see myself following for the rest of my life.
Weight Watchers is far less restrictive than the keto diet is, and I feel it's more sustainable. However, if you're looking to lose weight fast, Keto may be an option for you. The only issue is, when you introduce carbs back into your life – even healthy ones – you may gain most or all of your weight back. So if you are flip flopping between the two diets, be sure to keep these things in mind.
Depending on who you ask about the keto diet, limiting your fat intake and eating low carb instead of super low carb makes it “not Keto”, so I won't say Keto and Weight Watchers can go hand in hand.
However, combining Weight Watchers with a lower carb way of eating is definitely sustainable and can increase your weight loss dramatically. Low carb high protein foods are also going to keep you full longer, so you won't be hungry even if you don't use all of your points. Use the zero points food list as often as possible (choose the high protein, low carb options), too!
For this reason, I created the Zero Point food lists for each plan, with serving sizes, calories, and carb count:
- Purple Plan with Carbs, Calories, and Portions
- Green Plan with Carbs, Calories, and Portions
- Blue Plan with Carbs, Calories, and Portions
I would love to hear about your success with Keto (or low carb) and Weight Watchers. Leave me a comment below!