Weight loss & diet

WW (Weight Watchers) vs. Slimming World

WW and Slimming World are two of the most established weight loss programmes in the UK. Which one is best for you?

It’s that time of year again…the New Year’s Resolutions we set ourselves in December are coming to life, and for many of us that involves losing weight and living a healthier lifestyle.

With so many weight loss plans to choose from, we’ve created a handy guide to two of the most established: WW (Weight Watchers reimagined) and Slimming World.  

We’ve also created handy guides to other weight loss plans including Noom and the keto diet - click here to check them out.

Here are 10 key differences between WW and Slimming World. Whichever plan you choose, we wish you every success. You’ve got this!

 

1) How will I lose weight?

 

WW
Lose weight YOUR way with a customised weight loss plan on our groundbreaking new programme myWW. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll take a science and behaviour-based personal assessment that matches you with one of three unique ways to experience the WW journey. This short assessment takes your food preferences, lifestyle and activity into account, so you can be confident you’re on the right path for you. Find out more about our customised plans.

weight watchers vs slimming worldSlimming World
Slimming World offers one weight loss plan for everyone called Food Optimising, which encourages you towards healthy, everyday foods that are low in calories and high in nutrients. There are three components to this plan: Free Food® (including Speed Free Food), Healthy Extras® (‘a’ and ‘b’ choices) and Syns®. Learn more about these in section 3. Food Optimising is based on the synergy between these three components.

 

2) How much weight can I expect to lose?

 

WW
Everyone loses weight at different rates, but you can expect to lose around 1-2lbs per week on average. You’ll lose weight at a healthy rate, which means you’re more likely to stick to your healthy eating plan, and keep the weight off. Check out these 5 things you should know before trying to lose weight fast.

Slimming World
An average weight loss of 1-2lbs per week is encouraged.

 

3) What can I eat?

 

WW
Everything! You can eat whatever you like on myWW, as long as it’s within your personalised SmartPoints® Budget. There’s so much flexibility: you can still enjoy your glass of wine or chocolate fix in the evenings, and eat out with friends and family at your favourite restaurants like Nando’s or Pizza Express. You don’t need to worry about going hungry either: carbs are still very much on the menu (in fact, on the Purple plan, wholewheat pasta and grains are ZeroPoint™ foods!). Check out these sample 1-day meal plans to see what a typical day looks like on each of our customised plans. Got dietary requirements? We have plenty of vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free recipes to enjoy.

Slimming World

No food is off-limits with Food Optimising. Each day, you can eat unlimited Free Foods (filling, low calorie foods including lean meat, fish, eggs, pasta, potatoes, fruit and vegetables) some Healthy Extras (milk, cheese, wholemeal bread, breakfast cereals, nuts and seeds) and a few Syns (high-calorie foods like biscuits, sweets and alcohol). 

 

4) How much can I eat?

 

WW
When you sign up, you’ll get a personalised SmartPoints Budget based on your age, height, weight and sex. As long as you stay within your Budget, you can eat whatever you like! Each of our three plans has a unique ZeroPoint™ foods list - foods you can eat until you’re full without having to track them. On Purple, this includes complex carbs like wholewheat pasta, brown rice and potatoes. When it comes to portion control, let your hunger be your guide, and remember that eating any food to extremes can make you gain weight. Like everything, it’s about balance and becoming mindful of what you’re eating.

Slimming World
Food Optimising encourages you towards healthier food choices which satisfy your appetite and help you lose weight. You can eat unlimited Free Foods, a limited amount of Healthy Extras and a few Syns each day. Slimming World also has Speed Foods (mainly fruit and vegetables) which should ideally take up a third of your plate. Counting Syns helps to naturally limit consumption of saturated fats, alcohol and sugar (foods with a high energy density and poor ability to satisfy hunger).

 

5) Food tracking

 

WW
The WW app makes tracking super quick and easy: it’s even got a built-in barcode scanner and SmartPoints values for dishes at 70 restaurants so you can track your meals in seconds! Every time you track your food, weight or activity, you’ll earn ‘Wins’ on our one-of-a-kind rewards programme WellnessWins™, which you can redeem for cool products and experiences like free gym passes and Bluetooth speakers. Download the WW app from the App Store (104k ratings, 4.8*) and Google Play (441k reviews, 4.5*).

weight watchers vs slimming world

Slimming World

If you want to track your food, you’ll need to either log into the website, download the Planner app (available to Online members only) or keep a physical food diary which a Consultant will review each week (this option is for Group members only, and the materials will be supplied for your first four weeks). The Food Search functionality in the app lets you search for the Syns values of certain foods, including some brands, although the database has limited restaurant and on-the-go foods. There’s also no barcode scanner.

 

6) App

 

WW
Our amazing app is rated 4.8* on the App Store and 4.5* on Google Play, and with so many cool features, it’s easy to see why. Tracking your food, weight and activity is quick and simple, and it also puts 1000+ recipes at your fingertips, in addition to mini meditations from Headspace, fun guided workouts from Aaptiv and our members-only social community Connect. You can also chat with a real WW Coach (no bots!) 24/7 to stay on track around the clock. Whatever you need on your weight loss & wellness journey, our app has it all.  

Slimming World
The free version of the app hosts a number of recipes, a 7-day meal plan and member success stories. You can also search for your local Group and sign up to the newsletter. The various paid versions of the app include the following extra features:

  • Online members get access to recipes, a weight tracker and a supportive online community (rated 4.4* on the App store and 3.3* on Google Play). There’s also a separate Planner app where you can track Slimming World recipes and your Free Foods, Healthy Extras and Syns (rated 1.8* on the App store and 2.3* on Google Play). The Planner app is available to Online members only.
  • Members attending weekly groups can download a separate app called Slimming World Group with recipes, a weight tracker and Food Search (rated 3.9* on the App store and 4.3* on Google Play).

 

7) Face-to-face support


WW
If you’re looking for face-to-face weight loss support, we run over 4,000 Workshops a week in 800+ locations, which means there’s probably one near you. Our Workshops are led by expert WW Coaches who are trained in nutrition science, and have both professional and personal experience of WW. You’ll have a private Wellness Check-in, then learn new behavioural techniques to support habit change and share tips, stories and successes with the group. Find your nearest Workshop to accelerate your weight loss in a friendly, supportive environment.

Slimming World
If you opt for in-person group meetings, you’ll have a private weigh-in with your trained Consultant, then IMAGE therapy with the rest of the group. IMAGE stands for Individual Motivation and Group Experience, and gives members an opportunity to share successes, find solutions to obstacles and learn behavioural change techniques. You can also opt for online group meetings.

 

8) Social support

 

WW
Community is at the heart of what we do at WW. From in-app features like 24/7 live chat with a WW Coach and our social community Connect to face-to-face support at Workshops, there are plenty of opportunities to connect with your very own cheering squad. We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Pinterest, so we can meet you where you are! Plus, you can join a private Facebook group run by your Coach to stay inspired between Workshops. 

Slimming World 
The app hosts a community (available to Online members only) where you can share and search for tips, recipes & inspiration. There’s a sizeable Facebook and Instagram community, so whether you’re an Online or Group member, there’s a space for you to share your journey with others. Slimming World Consultants also run private groups on their social media channels that function as mini communities.

 

9) Mindset & fitness

 

WW
What’s in your head is just as important as what’s on your plate, which is why our Workshops teach behavioural techniques to help shift your mindset and reach your goals. And because the rewards of regular activity go beyond the scales (think better sleep and stress management) we encourage you to move more too. Try our in-app guided workouts from Aaptiv, which range from low to high intensity and are suitable for all fitness levels.

Slimming World 
In-person and online group meetings teach behaviour change techniques as part of IMAGE therapy (Individual Motivation and Group Experience). Slimming World also runs an activity programme called Body Magic, which helps members gradually increase activity levels until it becomes part of their daily routine. 

 

10) Free lifetime membership

 

WW
When you reach your goal weight with WW you’ll become a Gold member, which includes perks like: FREE Workshops for life (as long as you don’t go more than 5lb over your goal weight), a gold pack (card, certificate and a special maintenance plan) and access to our suite of Digital tools for a discounted rate. You’ll need to weigh in at least once a month to maintain gold membership status.

Slimming World 
Once you reach your Personal Achievement Target weight, you become a free lifetime member. You’ll need to stay within +/-3lb of your target weight and weigh in at your Group at least once a month.