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Weight Watchers and Intermittent Fasting

Weight Watchers and Intermittent Fasting

With Weight Watchers and Intermittent Fasting, you don't have to limit what you eat … just when you eat it. You can choose to eat during the times that work best for your individual lifestyle. Both programs are the least restrictive “diets” you'll ever try, and both have amazingly high success rates. You don't have to deny yourself that chocolate chip cookie or those Cheddar Bay Biscuits – you just have to know the point value, count it, and eat it during your OPEN window times.

Weight Watchers and Intermittent Fasting

Weight Watchers and Intermittent Fasting

You may have questions about Intermittent Fasting, so my goal here is to answer them. If you have other questions, please leave them in the comments. We are all learning as we go, and we're all in this together!

If you're new to Weight Watchers, check out a sample meal plan here.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

The word “fasting” scares the crap out of me. I picture starving all day, only being able to drink water, and having zero energy. However, Intermittent Fasting actually has the opposite effect! IF is an eating pattern where you eat during a certain window of time, and do not eat (or drink – except water and black coffee) during the rest of the day/night. If you think about it, we are already fasting after dinner until breakfast (for the most part), with breakfast literally being the “breaking” of the “fast”.

If you go to bed at 10PM and wake up at 8AM, you've fasted for 10 hours. Stop eating 2 hours before bed, and don't eat 2 hours after you wake up, and you're fasting for 14 hours without thinking much of it. 16:8 is the most popular fasting cycle, so add an hour to each side (so stop eating 3 hours before bed and don't eat until 3 hours after you wake up), and you're doing Intermittent Fasting!

Intermittent Fasting is not about restricting the foods you eat, but rather when you're allowed to eat them. Because I would go overboard if I was allowed to eat anything I wanted, I combine Weight Watchers with Intermittent Fasting. This method of eating is simple and pretty easy to do.

Intermittent Fasting has a reputation for being great for quick weight loss, and it works quickly for most people as long as they follow the rules. More about those later. ๐Ÿ˜‰

ww and intermittent fasting

Intermittent Fasting Benefits

There are so many benefits of Intermittent Fasting, especially when combined with the weight loss principles of Weight Watchers. The benefits you see may not immediately be present on the scale, but there are more important measures of health and weight loss than that pesky number.

Intermittent Fasting can improve numerous risk factors for heart disease such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and inflammatory markers.

With Intermittent Fasting, you'll:

— drink more water
— have more freedom over what you eat
— experience less bloating
— have increased physical ability
— have increased mental clarity

Intermittent fasting helps you eat fewer calories, while boosting metabolism slightly. It is a very effective tool to lose weight and belly fat. IF can also reduce insulin resistance, lowering your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. Studies also show that intermittent fasting can reduce inflammation in the body.

How do You do Intermittent Fasting and Weight Watchers?

Much like when you combine Weight Watchers and Keto, you're combining the principles of Intermittent Fasting along with what you already know about Weight Watchers.

What Are the Rules for Intermittent Fasting?

It's simple: the main “rule” you have to be aware of with fasting for weight loss with IF is only unflavored water and unflavored coffee are allowed during your fasting windows. Your window is CLOSED to everything else during this time. When your window is OPEN, you can eat whatever you'd like … obviously staying within your points and keeping carb count/quality in mind while doing so.

Intermittent Fasting Schedule

You can do 12:12, 16:8, 20:4, or even 23:1. 12:12 is 12 hours fasting, with a 12 hour eating window.

16:8 is 16 hours fasting, with an 8 hour eating window. 20:4 is 20 hours fasting, with a 4 hour eating window.

You have to choose the Intermittent Fasting schedule that work best for your lifestyle. I like 12:12 but seem to have best results with 16:8. For a few months now, I've been reading about fasting for weight loss and the general consensus is that 16:8 works optimally well for most people.

Yes, you eat all of your points for the day during your “open” window times. The open window doesn't mean pig out, but if your window is only 4 hours, you'll most likely be eating more than you're used to in one sitting and that's okay. You'll still lose weight! That's the beauty of Intermittent Fasting.

Sample 16:8 Fasting Schedule

6AM – Black Coffee
11AM – Breakfast
1PM – Snack
3PM – Lunch
6PM – Dinner

You can eat from the time your window “opens” til it “closes”, but this is a sample of a 16:8 fasting schedule.

Use this sample Weight Watchers meal plan for ideas on what to eat during your “open” window.

Exercising While Fasted

I have had amazing results with fasted workouts, so if you can do those I always recommend it! However, some folks need that fuel before a workout to be able to push through. Either way, adding exercise to your daily schedule is going to give you optimal results, so plan a time to work out and stick with it.

Intermittent Fasting and Weight Watchers

How Quickly Will Intermittent Fasting Work?

If you're looking for a diet to lose weight fast, Intermittent Fasting may be right for you. However, it doesn't always work fast – and it should NOT be about losing weight as fast as you can, but how to lose weight in a healthy way and turning this into a lifestyle rather than a fad diet you quit in a few weeks.

All things considered, it can take 6-8 weeks to notice results with Intermittent Fasting – with or without Weight Watchers. However, I know many people see several pounds lost right away in the first week. Like with any way of eating and living, Intermittent Fasting will have a different effect on everybody.

Make sure you're drinking enough water (I strive for half my bodyweight in ounces but your preferences may vary), and watch your carb intake during your fasting window. Yes, you are technically allowed to “feast” during your open window, but you can't binge on brownies and expect to lose 10 pounds a month. Focus on what you are putting into your body, be patient and stay the course. You will see amazing results, especially by combining Intermittent Fasting and Weight Watchers.

During the first week of fasting, you will most likely lose a few pounds – I have heard stories of folks losing 10 pounds the first week! If you're close to your goal weight, you may not lose weight just yet. The first week or so is fluid/water weight loss, followed up by the next few weeks giving you increased energy but maybe not so much weight loss. You may be losing inches during this time, though, so be sure to measure before you start.

When you hit the 4-6 week mark, you're going to notice your body has probably changed quite a bit – both in how it looks, how much you weigh, and how you feel. For me, feeling great is much better than losing a few pounds, so as long as you're feeling better I wouldn't stress too much about the numbers on the scale. Take photos so you can see your progress. You will lose weight if you stick with it.

How Important is Water During Fasting?

Water is extremely important any time of day, but it's especially important during your fasting times. Water has many benefits: besides keeping you hydrated, it will also keep you from feeling like you're “starving” during your longer fasting periods. If your cells are dehydrated, your weight loss will not be optimized. When you eat, be sure to eat foods that are high in water, like fruits and veggies.

If you add fruit to your water during your fasting times, it's considered “dirty fasting” and may not be as effective. A “dirty fast” is going to be much more effective than dehydrating yourself, but the goal here is a clean fast (ONLY unflavored water and unflavored coffee during fasting times). Find yourself absolutely unable to drink plain water? Try sparkling water on ice.

How to do Intermittent Fasting and Weight Watchers

Intermittent Fasting Meals

There are no specific meals you “have” to eat while doing Intermittent Fasting. The beauty is you can eat whatever you want, within reason, and still lose weight. For those of us who need parameters, it's great to combine Weight Watchers with Intermittent Fasting because you don't overeat during your open window, and you're still getting the calories and nutrients you need.

When doing IF, if I only eat 2 meals they will be higher in points. So if you're needing to add points to your meals, think healthy fats: avocado, coconut oil, etc. If you're needing snacks, here are my favorite Weight Watchers snacks.

Chili Cornbread Casserole
Low Point Chili Mac
Chicken Parmesan
Weight Watchers Casseroles

If you find yourself closing in on your last point of the day but you still have more time (and are still hungry), check out these Zero Point Recipes.

How to Get Started With Intermittent Fasting

You've read this post that gives you all the details needed to be successful with Intermittent Fasting and Weight Watchers. When you sit down to eat, you can eat what you want (within your points – use your Weeklies and have an alcoholic drink, too!) and enjoy it. I know in this day and age it's easy to get stuck in the trap of eating on the go, but let's get back to sitting down, making ourselves a plate, and enjoying our entire meal.

weight watchers intermittent fasting

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26 Comments

  1. Anabel Salazar

    Thanks for this great article!! One question, does lemon essential oil in my water break my fast? Would that be considered dirty fast?
    Thanks!!

    1. smileyspoints

      Thank you for the compliment. I think this would be a personal preference. I personally do not think lemon essential oil will break your fast. It depends on how stringent you want to be. I believe you will still have success even if you are putting lemon oil in your water. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you have any other questions or suggestions feel free to ask them here ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Lindsay

    Super article, thank you! I workout in the mornings (9am) and drink water with one scoop of BCAA powder during the workout. Would that be ok or break the fasting?

    1. smileyspoints

      I don’t believe it will break your fast as it does not contain sugar or anything that would interfere with your metabolism during your fasting period. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Soundra G Burrell

    So if i eat at eleven everyday and stop eating at seven every night then Iโ€™m doing a 16/8 right? Also o love flavored water only way i can drink it ! I can k my sei k it with flavor in that window of 11-7? Anytime after that is just plain water? Iโ€™m new and wanted to try and just have questions and thanks for allowing me to ask!

    1. smileyspoints

      Yes, that is 16/8 8 hour window where you eat and 16 where you fast. Flavored water is ok during your 8 hours during your fasting time I would say only plain water. Flavored water is ok without sugar during your fast. If your flavoring has sugar or a sugar substitute it will break your fast. I will do some more research and let you know what I find out. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Monica

    I am desperately looking forward to loose 20 pounds.I feel terrible in my skin!!
    If I start intermittent Fasting 16:8,will I be able to loose 15 pounds in 2 months(February and March)?
    I am also on weight watchers.
    I am 46 and my current weight is 148 pounds.
    Please advise!

    1. smileyspoints

      No one can predict the future so I can not tell you how much you are going to lose. I can help you overcome plateaus and tell you that you will have to exercise and drink lots of water to achieve your goal. You can get to your goal but it will take a lot of discipline and hard work. Intermittent fasting is one approach to help you to get there. If you need any advice on what you are eating or you need a meal plan let me know. ๐Ÿ™‚ Your friend in weight loss Kevin

  5. Jessica

    How long should you do the intermittent fasting for?

    1. smileyspoints

      If it is right for you it can be a lifetime way fo eating. Intermittent fasting is a way of eating healthier and a way to lose weight. It is not one or the other. So you should be able to sustain that way of eating for a lifetime. Jimmy Kimmel does a modified version of this type of fasting. I hope this answers your question ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Barbara Johnson

    LOVE this article. I go to WW meetings and have been following program and tracking points and was afraid to tell them i was also doing IF (16:8). I have been going to meetings for years and my weight is up and down and never reaching goal but since I started IF along with WW on November 18, I am down 32.4 lbs and have never felt better!! I keep it low carb with moderate to high fat and my cravings have totally disappeared. I do not deprive myself during my eating window…enjoy cheeseburgers (no bread), fried clams and a dessert here and there. The best part is I lost the 32 lbs throughout the holiday season and I am thrilled about this as I usually add 10 lbs during the holidays. I have a ways to go but I totally see myself THIS TIME doing this way of eating for life!

    1. smileyspoints

      That is awesome I am so happy that IF is working that well for you. You have an awesome story. Thank you for the kind comment on the post. Please let me know when you get to goal so I can celebrate with you.

    2. Leslie Clark

      Would this be something I could do during the week and not during the weekend?

      1. Sara

        Yes! You can still get benefits from fasting 5 days a week. You might find though, that you end up fasting on the weekends anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes, giving yourself permission to do something makes it easier to do it.

  7. Larissa

    I’m so glad I found this article and website!! I just started researching IF and I’ve always had success with WW and want to combine the old winning points from 2000 that I know with IF. Thank you!!!

    1. smileyspoints

      You are very welcome I hope you achieve your goals. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I am just starting on the weight watchers diet and I am on the Green programโ€ฆ I am going to do the 16 eight intermittent fasting along with weight watchers but do I have to eat 30 points every dayโ€ฆ If I eat less is it harder to lose?

    1. smileyspoints

      I would try to stay within 5 points under or over the target 30 points. The best advice is to listen to your body and see how you feel. If you start to lose weight and hit a plateau and you are exercising you may need to increase your intake to overcome the plateau. Keep a journal so you know what you are eating and how much. Journaling helps me in a few ways. The one I will mention here is being able to look back and see how I ate to overcome a prior plateau. I hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚ Never give up you got this.

  9. I use a skinny syrup in my coffee. 0 sugar and 0 calories. It is sweetened with sucralose. If I use that in my black coffee am I still fasting?

    1. smileyspoints

      The short quick answer is yes you are still fasting. The longer answer comes from Zerofasting.com which states… Despite being calorie-free, Sucralose may still have a negative impact on metabolism and fat loss. Sucralose is derived from sucrose but has a different chemical structure, so the body doesnโ€™t recognize it as a carbohydrate. This means it doesnโ€™t get metabolized for energy. A one-time dose of sucralose has not been shown to produce an insulin response after ingestion. However, there are some recent studies indicating that habitual use can alter the gut microbiota and potentially have negative impacts on glucose metabolism… I hope this helps to answer your questions.

  10. Kathy

    I just saw your website and post about WW and intermittent fasting. I learned about intermittent fasting last January and decided to lose weight using a combination of that and Weight Watchers on May 5. (I had used Weight Watchers once before with good success.) My weekly weigh-in was this morning. I have lost 25 1/2 pounds in 16 weeks. I am 66 years old. The first three weeks had some difficult hours, but since then I am loving my decision to do this. My stomach had shrunk so much that the plan has been easy to follow since then. I plan to lose a total of 62 pounds and then use WW and intermittent fasting to maintain my weight. I have read quite a lot of information that encourages intermittent fasting for many health benefits. I would encourage anyone who is interested to try this after checking with your doctor.

    1. Kathy,
      You are amazing!!! 25 1/3 pounds is awesome, great job. Thank you so much for your comment it means the world to me to know that we are helping people to achieve their goals. Our goal at Smileyspoints is to truly help everyone who reads our information. Comments and stories like yours truly inspire us to keep writing and hopefully helping. Keep up the success and keep sharing your story I know you will be an inspiration to others. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Your friend in health,
      Kevin Smiley

  11. Lisa

    I was just reading your article on IF and WW. Iโ€™ve been doing it now for 4 weeks and have only lost 2 lbs. I exercise 6 days a week and always stay in my WW points. I eat little to no carbs six days a week and on weigh-in day I allow myself some carbs. Why do I lose 1 lb. one week, stay the same the next, gain a .5 lb. the next and then lose a 1 lb. the next. I have been on WW since May and have only lost 17 lbs. Iโ€™m happy but I donโ€™t lose fast like other people do. Any suggestions would be great. Thanks for your time!

    1. Everyone loses at a different rate. Keep going you have a net loss which is what you are aiming for. Slow and steady. Exercising is a good thing and don’t let anyone tell you differently. You are doing well just don’t give up and keep at it. Look at your non-scale victories for motivation to keep going. How are your clothes fitting? How do you feel? Can you walk, jog or run further than you could last week? These are what I use to help keep me going when I am not losing as fast I would like to or when I am plateauing. I would look at your food journal and see if including your weeklies into your weekly meal plan, may change your rate of loss. I have found that eating my weeklies when I am exercising helps me to lose weight a little faster. I hope this helps.

  12. Jaye

    So happy I found you and your wife!!
    Thank you.
    I usually last 2 weeks, and then I quit anything I try.
    You have given me the inspiration to try yet again

    1. Let me know if I can help you to achieve your goals this time. Read my poem Never Give Up for inspiration. I do this because I love helping people.

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