WeightWatchers® vs Intermittent Fasting

Diet comparison

WeightWatchers® vs. Intermittent Fasting

Losing weight can be tough—we’re here to make it easier. In this article, we'll compare intermittent fasting with the WeightWatchers weight loss program. We'll examine the types of foods consumed, potential health risks, and how easy it is to incorporate both options into your daily routine.

Does fasting work for weight loss?

There are a few different methods for following an intermittent fasting diet, including 5:2 diet: consuming a quarter of what you’d normally eat for two days a week then eating whatever you like for the other five; time-restricted fasting such as 16:8 where there’s an ‘eating window’ of 8 hours and fasting for the other 16. Other variations include fasting on alternate days or eating one meal per day.

According to the latest research, while intermittent fasting can help people lose weight, it’s no more effective than traditional weight-loss diets. Plus, research shows a significant proportion of people struggle to stick with fasting long term.

The focus of most intermittent fasting techniques is on when and how much to eat, rather than the quality of food choices. As well as restricting your lifestyle, this may also increase the risk of eating a poorly balanced diet and making less-healthy choices during non-fasting periods.


U.S. News & World Report Rankings*

#1 Best Diet for Weight-Loss in 2023

Not ranked in top 24 Diets for Weight-Loss

What can I eat on this plan?

Everything’s on the menu! The WeightWatchers program has food, activity, sleep, and mindset features designed to make weight loss easier. It builds on our proven Points system, which converts calories, saturated fat, added sugar, fibre and protein into one easy-to-use value. There are different ways to follow WW that provide tailored Points Budgets, along with ZeroPoint foods that you don’t have to track or measure. Of course, balanced, healthy eating behaviours are still recommended.

Intermittent fasting involves moving between cycles of fasting or a limited kilojoule intake and unrestricted eating. The timeframe of the fast is dependent on the particular diet you’re following. This means that you are restricted to not eating any food, or eating very little during fasting periods.


The program has been developed based on principles of nutrition and behaviour-change science to build healthy habits around food, activity, sleep, and mindset. Our easy-to-use features, including our 'What's in your fridge' tool that suggests recipes based on what you already have, techniques that you can learn through 5-minute audio coaching sessions, and weekly topics help guide members towards smarter food choices, moving more, sleeping better, and more helpful ways of thinking.

Due to its restrictive nature, intermittent fasting isn’t sustainable long-term for most people. It can be challenging to coordinate fasting around eating out and celebrations with friends and family.

Health risks

WeightWatchers was named the #1 doctor-recommended weight-loss program based on a 2020 IQVIA survey of 14,000 doctors who recommend weight-loss programs to patients (US study).The Dietitians Association of Australia expresses concern about the diet’s focus on the quantity of food eaten rather than the quality. While you may be hitting your kilojoule target, you may not actually be meeting your required daily nutrient intake – something that could seriously affect your health in the long run.

Social support

In-person and Virtual Workshops, WW coaches, 24/7 live coaching, customer service, and Connect (an exclusive social network with other members for motivation and inspiration whenever you need it).

Blogs written by followers of intermittent fasting and online communities exist, but there is no central organisation providing guidance from qualified experts.

*#1 Best Diet for Weight Loss 13 years in a row. Learn more here!

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Break the fast with WW recipes

The WeightWatchers program is suitable for all dietary preferences including those who wish to incorporate fasting into their eating routine.

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