How does Weight Watchers compare to Mayo Clinic Diet? If you’ve landed on this page you’re probably interested in seeing how Weight Watchers compares to the May Clinic Diet. Well, congratulations on choosing two highly-rated contenders in the weight loss world! The good news is that neither of these diets are fads and both encourage sustainable weight loss through healthy lifelong habits based on years of medical research.
So, which diet is better? Let’s put the champion, Weight Watchers, head to head with the scrappy underdog, Mayo Clinic Diet, and see how they stack up.
Ratings: Weight Watchers vs. Mayo Clinic Diet
As you can see, both of these diets are rated very highly, and both are in U.S. News’ list of the Top 10 diets year after year and their list of the top 5 diabetes diets. No single diet will work best for everyone, so let’s look at how these diets compare and decide which diet might be best for you.
About Weight Watchers
Weight Watchers has been the undisputed heavyweight (lightweight?) champion in the diet space for decades based on the idea that weight loss is more than just counting calories. In fact, WW was just named “Best Weight Loss Diet” for the third year in a row!
So, what makes Weight Watchers so successful? The basic concept is that if you make healthy choices and lifestyle changes, you’ll feel better and lose weight.
Instead of counting calories, Weight Watchers uses a point system. The latest version of their program is called FreeStyle, which assigns a SmartPoints value to every food. Based on criteria like gender, height, and weight, you’ll be given a budget to “spend” on food each day which you will track on the WW app.
To encourage healthy eating, most fruits and veggies are “free” in their point system, but unhealthy foods, like a doughnut, will cost you big points. If you follow your budget, you should lose about 2 pounds per week until you reach your goal weight. Simple, right?
All Weight Watchers memberships include a number of resources including tracking, recipes, and their Connect social network where you can find support from hundreds of other women and men on Weight Watchers. Adding Meetings is optional; it will cost you more, but the in-person support and accountability greatly increase customer success rate… learn more.
*View their featured promotion or all WW deals
About the Mayo Clinic Diet
The Mayo Clinic Diet was developed by a team of doctors at the prestigious Mayo Clinic. (OK, “mayo”doesn’t sound healthy, but trust us, it is!) Like Weight Watchers, Mayo Clinic Diet encourages healthy eating choices that should become a lifelong habit.
Like WW, the Mayo Clinic Diet doesn’t simply count calories but instead emphasizes the quality of what you eat, rather than quantity. For instance, one chicken wing might have fewer calories than a plate of fresh veggies, but it’s a poor snack choice! (all calories are not equal)
Related: Get 10% off at signup with this coupon!
Unlike WW, the Mayo Clinic doesn’t use points but instead uses a food pyramid that highly values fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Like Weight Watchers, no foods are “off-limits,” which can create cravings. Instead, you’ll learn healthy habits to lose weight and feel great. Mayo Clinic will also challenge you to be more active and avoid processed foods. The Mayo Clinic Diet has 2 phases, Lose It!, (first 2 weeks) and Live It! to achieve your weight loss goal… Learn more.
Short-Term Weight Loss: Which Diet Is Better?
Weight Watchers ranked #1 for short-term weight loss, but the Mayo Clinic Diet gets a respectable rating as well. Both diets aim to break unhealthy eating habits like simple carbs which prevent your body from burning fat.
According to experts, “dieters on WW can expect to lose a significant amount of weight the first year, and are likely to keep it off.” Sounds good!
The Mayo Clinic Diet didn’t fair as well short term, as results indicate that initial weight loss was slower than Weight Watchers. Advantage Weight Watchers!
Long-Term Weight Loss: Which Is Better?
This is a category that separates the wheat from the chaff. (Do people still say that?) The road to long-term weight loss is littered with the wreckage of fad diets that offer quick weight loss and then implode spectacularly after a few weeks. In fact, most diets fail after only 7 days!
Both Weight Watchers and the Mayo Clinic Diet are designed for gradual and sustainable weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week. If you simply need a diet to lose 20 pounds for a wedding next month, these diets might not fit your need! A lot of research has gone into both of these diets to ensure long-term sustainability, but neither diet is a quick fix.
Having said that, Weight Watchers scores higher in this category than Mayo Clinic Diet, so you could say that Weight Watchers is better than Mayo Clinic Diet for long-term weight loss.
WW or Mayo Clinic Diet: Which is Easier to Follow?
Both of these diets share an important similarity: no foods are off-limits. That makes it easier to follow, and customers are less likely to quit. However, both diets teach you to make healthy choices, so which one is easier to follow?
Experts ranked Weight Watchers higher in this category, although they both received good scores. Why? It seems that WW emphasizes emotional support, both online with the Connect community and offline with optional meetings, improved motivation, and compliance.
The sheer number of women and men on Weight Watchers seems to be an advantage, as it creates a social network of supportive people to offer encouragement, tips, and support.
*Related: Weight Watchers vs. Jenny Craig
Which Diet is Healthier?
Both WW and the Mayo Clinic Diet scored very highly for both “heart health” and “nutrition.” This seems to be the Mayo Clinic’s strongest area, and experts noted that the Mayo Clinic Diet is a good option for reducing the risk of heart disease.
While Weight Watchers SmartPoints encourage healthy eating, one expert summed up the Mayo Clinic Diet food pyramid as, “how we all should eat.”
The Mayo Clinic Diet wins a slight advantage over Weight Watchers with healthiness.
Both of these diets are inexpensive, but unlike meal-delivery diets such as Nutrisystem, (cost?) you must provide all of your own food. That means almost all of the actual cost of Weight Watchers and the Mayo Clinic Diet is in the food you buy from the grocery store.
Healthy food generally costs more, so you may notice that you spend more at the grocery store on fresh vegetables and fruit, but you may spend less at restaurants and on alcohol which generally are less healthy. Here’s what they cost:
- Weight Watchers costs about $20 per month, if you add meetings, the total cost is about $50 per month (1-3 month minimum commitment)
- The Mayo Clinic Diet costs about $17 per month (3 month minimum) – more
The Mayo Clinic Diet is slightly cheaper than Weight Watchers, although both are “DIY” diets that don’t include the cost of meals. Both of these diets require a
Weight Watchers Versus Mayo Clinic Diet: And, the Winner Is…
In this head-to-head battle, Weight Watchers wins the decision, but not by a knockout. Both of these diets encourage healthy lifestyle changes and food choices which should result in sustainable long-term weight loss as a result of a healthier lifestyle.
In our opinion the deciding factor in a Weight Watchers “win” is the additional support, offered by their app, online community, and optional meetings that helps a diet ultimately succeed.
So, while we conclude that Weight Watchers is slightly better, we feel good recommending either of these healthy diets!
Related: WW vs Nutrisystem: Which is Better?