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Weight Watchers vs Ideal Protein: Which Weight Loss Program is Better?

weight watchers vs ideal protein which weight loss program is better

Losing weight is no easy process. Maintaining your weight loss goals requires discipline and motivation. Despite your health being more than a number on a scale, you might need to lose a few pounds to feel your best which is why we are comparing Weight Watchers (WW) vs Ideal Protein.

If you’re smart, you won’t bother with those crazy crash diets, juice cleanses, or pills. Instead, try a more sustainable program for losing weight. This is where WW (formerly Weight Watchers) and Ideal Protein come in. 

Weight Watchers (formerly WW) is one of the longest-standing diets and programs, dating back to the 1960s. On the other hand, Ideal Protein Diet is the creation of Drs. Tien Chanh and Benoulou. Dr. Tran Tien Chanh started using its principles more than 25 years ago to create a simple and safe weight loss protocol for his patients.

When picking a weight loss program, you should consider several factors: price, structure, and features. Losing weight doesn’t have to cost you money, but a program can make your weight loss efforts more successful. 

Or maybe you are the kind of person who is more motivated to stick with a program if you are paying for it. 

The following article will describe both WW and Ideal Protein to help you decide which is best for you.

Weight Watchers vs Ideal Protein: Which Weight Loss Program is Better?

What is WW (Weight Watchers) & Ideal Protein?

weight watchers (WW) vs Ideal Protein

Founded 50 years ago, Weight Watchers (WW) was a group of women who met in a living room to share their weight loss struggles. The program has developed into a brand in recent years, with several celebrity endorsements and television commercials touting clients’ success. 

Weight Watchers (WW) is a program that encourages good eating habits and physical activity. The Weight Watchers cookbook’s food, drinks, and recipes are assigned SmartPoints values. 

You use those points following your needs each day. Diet and exercise are its focal points, and some membership options include a coach.

In contrast, the Ideal Protein Program is regarded as ketogenic, which replaces carbs with fat to place your body in a state known as ketosis. 

However, the Ideal Protein Diet takes a modified approach that temporarily restricts fat intake as well. 

According to its advocates, it burns through your body’s fat stores more efficiently this way. Adapted from the ketogenic diet, it emphasizes healthy lifestyle education and the principles of a ketogenic diet. Ideal Protein, also called Laboratoires C.O.P., Inc., manages and promotes the diet worldwide.

How Does Weight Watchers Help You Lose Weight?

Depending on which foods a user enjoys eating, Weight Watchers (or WW) offers a Points Budget plan tailored to their needs and a ZeroPoint list. According to Weight Watchers PersonalPoints Engine, these lists are assigned based on a quiz.

As WW assigns PersonalPoints values, the aim is to help you make healthier choices. Each food item has a point value determined by its nutrients. 

Sugars and saturated fats increase nutritional value, while fiber and unsaturated fats decrease. In the WW system, foods have varying point values. Here are some foods that may have higher points. 

WW points are higher for foods such as fattening meats, sugary cereals, cheese, potato chips, and unsweetened oat milk. In contrast, lean meats, oatmeal, avocados, pretzels, and unsweetened almond milk are foods with a lower point value.

Besides subtracting points for the foods consumed throughout the day, users can add points back to their budget by engaging in healthy habits such as eating non-starchy vegetables, drinking water, and exercising. 

Furthermore, ZeroPoint foods require no tracking at all. Users can choose items such as beans, fruits, and whole wheat pasta based on their preferences.

How Does Ideal Protein Help You Lose Weight?

There is no high protein component to Ideal Protein. The ideal amount of Protein is provided, just as its name suggests. As a result, Ideal Protein rapidly depletes your carbohydrate reserves, which means your body uses fat for energy sooner. The Ideal Protein diet is divided into three phases.

The pancreas and blood sugar levels are stabilized in the weight loss phase or Phase 1. 

As a result, you will be able to burn stored fat instead of running on sugar and carbohydrates. 

Phase 2, or the stabilization phase, involves retraining your body to prevent it from becoming accustomed to Phase 1 so that you will keep losing weight. Phase 3 involves teaching dieters how to lose weight without gaining it back without resuming their diet.

The ketogenic protocol-based program does more than just help you lose weight; it also helps you understand your weight gain and maintain optimal weight. Sweet cravings will literally disappear when the pancreas starts working properly during ketosis. The protocol restricts your sugar intake until you reach your weight loss goals.

The average participant will lose 2-4 pounds per week, but the results may vary depending on the participant’s starting weight and adherence to the program. 

With Ideal Protein, the body is reset to burn fat, allowing you to lose weight and maintain it for life.

Ideal Protein and Weight Watchers: What are the Key Differences between these Weight Loss Programs?

Main Differences

The Ideal Protein weight loss plan utilizes the ketosis philosophy to achieve weight loss. Carbohydrates are removed from the menu, which forces the body to burn fat reserves. As a result of the hypocaloric diet, the body must burn fat to make up the energy deficit. In this diet plan, the main goal is to lose fat rather than just weight. 

If you lose muscle while losing weight, you will gain it back in fat, not muscle.

The Weight Watchers diet plan is also hypocaloric, but it does not follow a ketogenic diet. People who follow this diet can consume carbohydrates. 

Nonetheless, they are unaware that the body will always choose carbohydrates over fats and proteins when carbohydrates are available. Therefore, your body will store fat in case of shortage.

The fact that Weight Watchers is hypocaloric would seem to indicate that it burns fat faster. In fact, it is the last thing the body touches; instead, the body burns muscle. This will slow your resting metabolic rate (RMR), slowing your weight loss and setting the stage for weight regain.

Method of losing weight

Another difference between the Ideal Protein program and Weight Watchers is that the latter does not provide customized weight loss plans. Participants adopt the same diet. Using Ideal Protein, your dietary requirements are determined by your lean mass. 

Even the same height and weight people have different lean mass. The coach can help you determine your lean mass requirements. You can also have your protocol customized to your likes and lifestyle.

WW vs. Ideal Protein – End Goal

The Weight Watchers (or WW) diet is a lifestyle diet. Neither the beginning nor the end of the plan is defined. 

Rather, there is simply a change in the amount you can eat. Due to this lack of distinction, many people take longer to achieve their goals, and their focus is diluted since it becomes a marathon rather than a race.

The Ideal Protein, by contrast, has a well-defined beginning and an end. Having reached their weight loss goal in Phase 1, dieters need a new diet and plan in Phase 2. Carbohydrates are safely reintroduced in the new plan, and their calories are also increased. 

During Ideal Protein Phase 3, dieters are taught how to maintain/balance their weight by creating a lifestyle that allows them to maintain their social and daily activities.

How Fast Can You Lose Weight With WW and Ideal Protein?

weight watchers vs ideal protein and seeing which is better for losing weight

Dieters may need to practice patience when they’re on Weight Watchers since you may not notice results in the mirror right away since the program may take some time before you lose weight. People on Weight Watchers may be losing muscle instead of primarily losing fat because they are losing muscle mass. 

Nobody seems to notice you’re losing weight, and that’s the worst feeling in the world. It happens when you lose muscle rather than fat. A hypocaloric diet with carbohydrates causes weight loss on the scale. 

The same amount of weight loss is mainly fat won’t be as noticeable to you as if you had lost it in lean muscle.

With Ideal Protein, there is an initial loss of both water and fat. After losing your first 6-8 pounds, you’ll continue to notice your body changing and shrinking every week. It is similar to losing a softball in terms of its shape if you lose 5 pounds of muscle. 

Comparatively, losing five pounds of fat is comparable to losing half a football. That’s quite a difference! 

Pricing for Weight Watchers vs. Ideal Protein & Included Features

Starting at $3.38/week ($13.52 per month), WW Digital offers a variety of plan options. The plan is designed for individuals who want to work independently on the program. You can also pay up to $40 if you need one-on-one coaching from a Weight Watchers advocate. The following three additional services are available to WW users at different prices:


With Weight Watchers coaching content available on its app and website, you’ll be able to access pre-recorded and live messages, events, and coaching from WW coaches. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to connect with other dieters trying to lose weight in a digital setting. If you want to stay engaged, this plan is ideal for you since you won’t be able to access workshops and check-ins in groups. This plan begins at approximately $18 per month.

Unlimited Workshops

You’ll choose a Weight Watchers coach and meet with others for weekly workshops, whether in person or virtually. The workshops are offered at your convenience, and you will also have the opportunity to connect with members of your group to exchange tips. According to WW, the price difference between Digital360 and this offering varies between $2-$3 per week, depending on your locale. On average, the price is $27 a month.

1-on-1 Coaching

The most expensive subscription, this one includes 1-on-1 coaching via scheduled weekly calls with your WW coach. You can also ask them about nutrition plans and fitness routines, and other questions about the program. However, you will not be able to use most of the features of Digital360. Pricing for this top-tier program begins at around $40 per month.

In contrast, every Ideal Protein clinic must charge a minimum fee for the weight loss products they offer. The pricing structure is different at each weight loss clinic, though. An Ideal Protein Diet can be quite expensive for budget-conscious people. Despite Ideal Protein not listing the costs of its diet on its website, partner clinics provide services between $320 and $450.

An initial consultation generally costs more or less, depending on the clinic. You can expect to pay $15 per day for the Ideal Protein Diet once you begin. The cost of Ideal Protein varies greatly from person to person, depending on how well you lose weight and your weight loss goal. You can better understand the program and costs by consulting an Ideal Protein coach. 

The initial investment in the Ideal Protein weight loss program includes the following starter kits:

  • Your initial consultation
  • One week’s worth of Ideal Protein meals
  • A set of Ideal Protein supplements
  • One blender bottle
  • A 2-ounce Real Salt shaker
  • Total body measurement and body composition analysis

Upon payment of this fee, your clinic may include a reusable IP tote bag in your starter kit. You can carry your Ideal Protein products in an environment-friendly way. The initial start cost is an important distinction to consider when choosing a weight loss clinic.

Before starting Weight Watchers or Ideal Protein, What Do You Need to Know?

You need to consider some things before you start one of these programs. You should know that dramatic weight loss is not guaranteed when you enroll in one of these programs. 

When it comes to weight, several factors can affect it, so making drastic changes to your diet or exercise habits may not always yield what you are looking for.

Before starting WW or Ideal Protein, you should consult your healthcare professional. You should pay close attention to this if you have a pre-existing medical condition such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. Also, if you take any prescription medications, you should consult with your doctor.

Changing your weight over the next few months can affect how your body processes certain medications, so let your healthcare professional know if you expect to change your weight. If you are concerned that your Recommended Caloric Goal is too low when using Ideal Protein, speak with a registered dietitian or another healthcare professional.

In addition, these programs may not be appropriate for people with an eating disorder history or a disordered eating pattern. Even though they are more flexible than many other diet programs, they may still trigger disordered eaters.

Ideal Protein vs. WW: Which one is Right for You?

Both Weight Watchers and Ideal Protein can help you lose weight. However, there may be a program better suited to your needs than another, depending on your individual circumstances. Getting WW may be a better option if you know you will need long-term support and tools. 

Those who need more support and accountability can choose to participate in workshops or hire a personal coach at WW. Further, you can keep participating in WW indefinitely, even after reaching your goal weight.

In contrast, the Ideal Protein Weight Loss Method is good and likely leads to weight loss. Ideal Protein is not like the weight-loss gimmicks you encounter regularly. Instead, Ideal Protein uses science and medicine to lose weight. 

Ideal Protein devotees have greater energy and motivation to do the things they love, and they have developed inner strength and confidence. 

While the Ideal Protein program follows a strict diet, it can be difficult to maintain over time. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not to start a new (and restrictive) diet. 

If you want to determine if you are an ideal candidate for the Ideal Protein diet, you need to look at your goals, preferences, and level of commitment.

Among the weight loss programs you’ve heard of, I have tried both WW and Ideal Protein, and I have lost weight on both. Sadly, I’ve had trouble keeping it off, usually because the plans were too rigid for me to follow. My best experience with Weight Watchers has been because of the Smart Points system, friendly community, and online tools, and I do not have to restrict my favorite foods.


Consider what program best fits your lifestyle and fitness goals when choosing Weight Watchers and Ideal Protein. Make sure you do your research before deciding on a weight loss regimen. 

I hope that the Weight Watchers vs. Ideal Protein comparison information available here helps you decide what approach will best help you drop those pounds for good. If you’re starting a weight loss program, make sure you speak with your doctor first!

Mike Horton (head of Weighted Living)

by Mike Horton

Mike is one of the lead editors at Weighted Living and the author of this article. He's become fascinated with weighted products (a bit too much we think) and loves to see all the different ways they can improve our loves. He's written quite a few weighted product guides as well.

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