For decades, Weight Watchers has been the standard-bearer for the weight loss industry, helping countless people live better, healthier lives. The company's model is based on “Smart Points” which allow you to eat and drink anything you like as long as you don't surpass your daily points limit. Really healthy food like vegetables typically have zero points, while the more sinful stuff will cost you some points.
You can receive your points allowance either through a meeting with a Weight Watchers representative or on the company website after you become a Weight Watchers members. You can also earn extra points for exercise, encouraging you to work out but also creating an interesting and helpful incentive for exercise.
Weight Watchers works wonders for a lot of people, but if you’d like to entertain some other options, here are 4 of the most appealing alternatives to Weight Watchers.
- Eat 6 meals a day
- Suitable for diabetics, vegetarians and other dietary restrictions
- 150+ menu options
- Money back if you don’t lose weight in the first 14 days
- Much of the food comes frozen
- Orders take a few days to arrive
Choose Nutrisystem instead of WW if you want tasty meals delivered to your home.
A diet doesn’t need to be all about depriving yourself, and with Nutrisystem you can still enjoy many of the foods you love - in moderation.
With Nutrisystem you are encouraged to eat small portions often - as many as 6 meals a day. There is a whole team of nutritionists working to design the meal plans, and if you don’t lose weight in the first 14 days you can ask for your money back.
Nutrisystem also comes with a handy mobile app that integrates with a number of health apps such as Fitbit, Apple Health, Jawbone and more.
With the premium plans, you can choose between a favorites pack and a custom menu. There are more than 150 menut items offered, and while it takes 4-10 business days for the food to arrive, the variety means you’ll always have a lot of options.
Like Weight Watchers, the point of Nutrisystem isn’t to get you to stop eating, but to manage what you eat with smarter portions of healthier food.
2. Mayo Clinic
- Focuses on your long-term health
- Daily diet tips and meal tracker
- 24/7 customer support
- Includes healthy carbs
- No food delivery option
- No in-person support
Choose the Mayo Clinic Diet instead of WW if you want to learn how to track serving sizes and portions on your own.
For years the Mayo Clinic has been one of the world’s most prestigious medical research institutions, and now you can put the clinic’s world-class know-how to work for you with its weight loss plan.
With the Mayo Clinic Diet, you single out your bad food habits and adjust your diet accordingly, while also working in a solid amount of physical activity. Every member gets a personalized diet plan as well as advice, customer support, and customized exercise plans, for the price of only $5/week.
Unlike Weight Watchers, the system isn’t based solely on food and there is no points system to determine what you eat. Instead, it’s based on portions and tracking your servings. It also combines with your workout regimen to determine how many calories you can take in.
The Mayo Clinic diet doesn’t cut out all carbs or sugars, and allows you to take in a healthy amount. This is not a crash diet, it’s a plan to help you out in the long term, largely through targeting the bad eating and lifestyle habits that hold you back.
3. South Beach Diet
- For heart-conscious dieters (designed by a cardiologist)
- 3 meals per day and snacks available
- Weight loss consultants available
- Must cut gluten, sugars, and starches
- You need room to store 4 weeks worth of frozen food
- Menu options fairly limited
Choose the South Beach Diet instead of WW if you want meals and snacks included in your diet plan.
The South Beach Diet has long been more than a fad diet, and is here to stay. With the South Beach Diet plan, you enter into a 3-phase plan that is devoted to your long-term weight loss and health.
You sign up for a 4-week meal plan which you can customize. Most of the food will come flash frozen, and then you need to start arranging the coming days accordingly, with 3 meals a day included. In the first phase you cut out gluten, sugars, and starches and start losing weight. Slowly start moving healthy carbs back into your diet and when you reach your goal weight you receive a number of simple recipes to help you keep the weight off.
The plan is designed by a cardiologist with heart health in mind. Unlike Weight Watchers, it isn’t based on a point system in which you can just eat anything you want as long as you don't exceed your points. Instead, there are relatively strict limits on the type of foods that are allowed.
- Dieticians help you create a custom diet
- Expansive menu - more than 150 meals to choose from
- Can also cover gluten free, diabetic, menopause, and other specialized diets
- No a la carte single meal options
- No full vegetarian or vegan plans available
Choose Bistro MD instead of WW if you want a plan that delivers chef-quality food.
Ever think how nice it’d be to have your own dietician figuring out what you should eat, and then going out and doing the shopping and cooking for you? With BistroMD that’s how it works. Registered dieticians create a custom diet based on your unique needs and then you pick the meals for your diet.
The options are quite expansive and very flexible, including for gluten-free, low-carb, and people with special food allergies or aversions. You pick between a full 5-day or 7-day program or a 7-day or 5-day lunch and dinner program.
From there it’s a sort of “teach a man to fish” concept. The idea is for you to take what you’ve learned from your time with BistroMD to create healthy, delicious meals of your own as part of a new, healthier approach to life.
In a sense it’s a much more comprehensive option than Weight Watchers. You don’t merely get a point system and a regimen to stick to, you get the meals delivered straight to your door. It costs far more than Weight Watchers, but it’s for you to decide if it's worth it.
Weight Watchers is without a doubt the most well-known weight loss plan provider and the company was a groundbreaker in the industry. That said, today there are more options than ever for people who are looking for ways to lose weight or at least just learn methods to eat and live healthier. These companies use mobile apps to maximize the user experience in ways that were all but unthinkable when Weight Watchers first opened in the 60s.
If you’re looking for a way to lose weight or just eat better, take a look at what your needs are and how much you can budget, and then try some of these new weight loss plans, which provide more options than ever before.
Check out our comparison of the leading weight loss plans for more information.