In 2005-2006, I lost about 100 pounds on Weight Watchers. Of course, once I stopped starving myself (and I was hungry all the time on Weight Watchers), the weight came back on, and quickly. But it provides a useful contrast to my weight loss experience following low carb principles.
Because of the recency of the experience, I can compare results and draw some conclusions. Here are my weekly stats on Weight Watchers and here are my up-to-date states on a low carb way of eating. You will quickly notice that my weekly average weight loss on Weight Watchers is quite a bit higher than the average low carb weight loss.
Currently, I weigh about 245 pounds. On Weight watchers, the lowest I got was 196. But here is the really interesting thing: my lowest pant size on Weight Watchers was a 38-inch waist. I could comfortably fit into a 38-inch waist pair of pants from about 196 to 210 pounds. At 245 pounds, I am already into 40-inch waist trousers. Another 10 to 15 pounds, and I should be able to fit into those 38-inch waist trousers I still have in my closet.
On Weight Watchers, I had to get down to 205 pounds to achieve a "normal" BMI of 25. According to the BMI charts, for a 6'3" male, my "normal" and ideal weight range should be between 160 and 205. But after about 220 pounds, people told me I had lost "too much weight," and that I was looking emaciated. Those comments accelerated as I got closer to goal. I can't imaging what I'd look like at 160 pounds. I am guessing that on Weight Watchers, I lost a lot of lean muscle mass, as well as fat. That is not happening in my low carb lifestyle.
Now that I am wearing clothes that I wore on the Weight Watchers diet at 220 pounds, people are not telling me I look emaciated, but that I look great. And irony of ironies, according to the BMI scale, I am "obese." I still need to lose another five pounds before BMI tells me I am merely "overweight."
I am mostly losing fat, not lean muscle mass, and my body shape is different than when I lost weight with Weight Watchers. I can tell, and so can my wife. My stomach is flatter, by butt is smaller, and the muscle mass in my chest area is greater (I'll get around to posting photos one of these days). On Weight Watchers, I lost 60 pounds before anyone commented that I had lost weight. With low carb, people started noticing at about 25 pounds and they really started commenting when I had lost 45 pounds. I am fitting into clothing at a much higher weight than I was when I lost weight with Weight Watchers. Why? A high fat/low carb diet helps you lose body fat and preserve lean muscle mass. It's not because of excessive exercise (I walk the dog every day and occasionally lift weights, but I don't do chronic cardio like I did on Weight Watchers).
The low carb way of eating normalized my blood sugars very early on; it took me almost until 200 pounds for that to happen on Weight Watchers, and my cholesterol never stabilized into "normal" ranges. Low carb is very friendly to type II diabetics.
Best of all, I am not starving all the time like I was on Weight Watchers. Low carb eating is very satiating, even if the weight is not coming off as fast as on Weight Watchers.