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Weight Watchers vs Calorie Counting?

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I have joined Weight watchers today to try to encourage myself to make better food choices, I would like to know if anyone on here has used Weight watchers successfully before and what are your thoughts on this idea?

I have been using MyFitnessPal for the last 18 months and lost just over 3 stone so far, I have another 16lb to get rid of to reach my ideal weight. I have been struggling to stay motivated and keep on track recently, My current mind set isn't really working for me. I enjoy cooking and I make most of my meals at home from scratch. I like the idea of WW because most Fruit and Veg are zero points- where as on here weighing and entering the calories for every single thing gets complicated and gets on my nerves. Basically I feel like I just need a change!

Can anyone share any similar personal experiences? Any advice is welcome :)
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Replies

  • MissMaggieMuffin
    MissMaggieMuffin Posts: 444 Member
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    The concept of most fruits and vegetables having zero points is exactly the thing that 'got' me with WW. Granted, it was a few years ago that I was on their program, but I quickly learned to eat a lot of fruits/vegetables on the program, telling myself that it was all free food. The problem is, as @snickerscharlie says, those fruits and vegetables do have calories and they add up just the same way as food with points.

    I've done much better with MFP and straightforward calorie counting. (I) can't play any mind games that way. :#

    For people that benefit from group support, the WW meetings are definitely a positive.
  • jacquih2981
    jacquih2981 Posts: 120 Member
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    I too have joined Weight Watchers recently but I did it so I can have access to the online recipes. By having the recipes I can get inspiration and more ideas on the types of things I can eat to get more variety in my diet (need to put it into practice now). The whole 'free food' just doesn't work for me and the app drove me nuts. For me WW doesn't work well but MFP does, that said we are all different and need to find what works for us. I think the closer you get to goal the more challenging WW is likely to be because all food will have a calorific value and 'free' won't take account of that
  • xjessicaxrx
    xjessicaxrx Posts: 144 Member
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    Thanks everyone :) A bit more behind my way of thinking... The reason I chose WW over Slimming world is because I feel they are more realistic with the Zero point methodology (for fruit and veg) as oppose to SW where fruit, veg, potato, pasta, rice, meat, fish etc. are ALL "free" foods which seems ridiculous and very misleading to me. I am under no illusions about what I am trying, I just feel like it will make me choose more wisely. For example; Eating a banana instead of a cereal bar- even though they have the same amount of calories, the banana is more filling. Also eating more vegetables with my meals instead of the usual pasta / rice / potatoes which in turn will be more filling and nutritious for less calories (if that makes any sense?).
  • snickerscharlie
    snickerscharlie Posts: 8,578 Member
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    Thanks everyone :) A bit more behind my way of thinking... The reason I chose WW over Slimming world is because I feel they are more realistic with the Zero point methodology (for fruit and veg) as oppose to SW where fruit, veg, potato, pasta, rice, meat, fish etc. are ALL "free" foods which seems ridiculous and very misleading to me. I am under no illusions about what I am trying, I just feel like it will make me choose more wisely. For example; Eating a banana instead of a cereal bar- even though they have the same amount of calories, the banana is more filling. Also eating more vegetables with my meals instead of the usual pasta / rice / potatoes which in turn will be more filling and nutritious for less calories (if that makes any sense?).

    You'll have to figure out what works best for you as an individual. For example, *for me* if the calories were equal, I'd definitely choose the cereal bar over the banana because that would be more satiating to me. :)
  • xjessicaxrx
    xjessicaxrx Posts: 144 Member
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    Well ill give it a go and see what happens, im stuck where I am at the moment so it cant do any harm to have a change once in a while.
  • choppie70
    choppie70 Posts: 544 Member
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    I used MFP successfully to lose 45 lbs, but gained some of that back after a surgery. I was having trouble getting back in the swing so I signed up for WW thinking that if I was actually paying for it, I would stick to it.

    I lost about 5 lbs the first week on weight watchers, but then gained it all back, plus 3 more pounds the following three weeks. I stayed in my daily points and used only about 3 weekly points a week, never touching my 100+ exercise calories a week.

    I was eating way more fruits and vegetables than I was before, heck yeah, free points! But when I finally decided to plug my calories into MFP along with WW, I found that I was eating a ton of calories still!

    Plus, the point system did not sit well with me. My cereal bar was about 7 pts. and was 130 calories. A banana was 0 points and about 100 calories. That just did not compute with me, and it was giving me a bad relationship with food and making me miserable.

    Finally, because I ate SO much fruit, I had a not so pleasant experience at work. Thankfully I had a dress with tights on, but leaving work naked from the waist down and having to profusely apologize to the custodian repeatedly still gives me nightmares!
  • xjessicaxrx
    xjessicaxrx Posts: 144 Member
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    choppie70 wrote: »
    I used MFP successfully to lose 45 lbs, but gained some of that back after a surgery. I was having trouble getting back in the swing so I signed up for WW thinking that if I was actually paying for it, I would stick to it.

    I lost about 5 lbs the first week on weight watchers, but then gained it all back, plus 3 more pounds the following three weeks. I stayed in my daily points and used only about 3 weekly points a week, never touching my 100+ exercise calories a week.

    I was eating way more fruits and vegetables than I was before, heck yeah, free points! But when I finally decided to plug my calories into MFP along with WW, I found that I was eating a ton of calories still!

    Plus, the point system did not sit well with me. My cereal bar was about 7 pts. and was 130 calories. A banana was 0 points and about 100 calories. That just did not compute with me, and it was giving me a bad relationship with food and making me miserable.

    Finally, because I ate SO much fruit, I had a not so pleasant experience at work. Thankfully I had a dress with tights on, but leaving work naked from the waist down and having to profusely apologize to the custodian repeatedly still gives me nightmares!

    Oh dear haha sorry that made me laugh :blush:
    I hardly eat any fruit at the moment but I do like/ enjoy it. Id like to eat more without worrying about the numbers, ill give it a month and see what happens- call it an experiment on myself!
  • TeaBea
    TeaBea Posts: 14,517 Member
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    CiaIgle wrote: »
    I can understand WW in the old times, when access to calorie databases was complex. WW did an important job in simplifying the counting process.

    Nowadays with the info and apps available, WW keeps its position as one good alternative, but in my opinion, not the best one.

    This^

    Especially since points are no longer tied to calorie counts. OP - get ready to be penalized for making "bad" food choices. The commercials say you can eat bread everyday, and that people are losing faster than before. These 2 things go hand-in-hand. Bread will cost you dearly in points...so under eating must me okay.

    But if weekly meetings and weigh-ins help....then you got something out of it.
  • Sp1tfire
    Sp1tfire Posts: 1,120 Member
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    My mother did fantastic on weight watchers. It was convenient and the group meetings and friends she did it with were very motivating. But in the end, it got expensive when it was no longer a work perk for her. If she were to try something to lose weight again, i'd probably suggest calorie counting on MFP over weight watchers again.
  • laurabadams
    laurabadams Posts: 201 Member
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    I lost 55# on WW last year...started May 1, 2016, hit goal August 20, made lifetime October 1. I've kept it all off.

    I think WW is great for weight loss, not so great for weight maintenance, imo, particularly if you're very active. I found it difficult to adjust my points to meet my needs. I switched to MFP on March 1, 2017 so I could monitor my macros & I like it much better. I like working with calories & macros because they're the units used in all nutritional information charts. I can look at them & know what I need to know without converting through some strange smart point algorithm.

    I still weigh in weekly & attend meetings for accountability & socializing (free at Lifetime), but I don't track with smart points or the WW app anymore.

    My 68 year old mother has lost almost 50# in the last year on WW & she loves it. She tried MFP & didn't like calorie counting. Just gotta find what works best for you.
  • mikesnyder757
    mikesnyder757 Posts: 3 Member
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    I just recently was on WW and actually went to a couple of meetings...I can see why people would like the program and it DOES work.. However, I got tired of having to change calories into points all the time and also, the data base for their app was not nearly as inclusive as MFP.....Both programs will work if you work the program...Try WW for a few months and see what YOU think...Change is sometimes good!
  • kyrannosaurus
    kyrannosaurus Posts: 350 Member
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    I spent a year attending WW meetings. I liked having the face-to-face accountability of attending a group in person weekly.

    Except I absolutely HATE the Weight Watchers points system. Through double tracking both on the WW app and here on MFP, most of the time if I stuck to my WW points I would only be eating about 1000 calories a day. If I ate my WW points I would be under eating and starving hungry.

    Also I find tracking the points to be overly complicated and less accurate. The formula to calculate the points is much more complicated than just tracking calories here.

    So I continued to attend WW meetings just for the accountability. And reached my goal weight counting calories here. In that year I was the only person in my group to actually get to goal. Which spoke volumes to me about how useless the points program is. No one in my meeting who actually followed their Points program actually had much success. Most people gave up after a few week - probably because they were either under eating and starving, or not losing weight because they overate the "free" fruit.
  • Neurotic22
    Neurotic22 Posts: 22 Member
    edited July 2017
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    OP I have never tried WW, but I did join SW when I wanted that first boost of motivation to eat better. Not the same, but similar, I guess especially because I am gluten intolerant and pretty much never bother with pasta or rice even if it's free.

    I think it can be great as an encouragement to eat more healthy food choices (veg being free) and personally I suffer from "knowing I have calories left" hunger, where I honestly used to gobble every calorie I had... then when on SW I would only know rough ideas of the calories so I was more mindful: I was aware of a banana being about 100kcal, but also knew that banana might be 120kcal so, not knowing how many calories I had consumed by the end of the day, I would consider whether I was hungry more intently than when I knew exactly whether or not mfp said I had enough calories for an extra kit kat.

    I do think it could fail to work for some, but for me it really helped when I was struggling to put down the snack foods.
  • macchiatto
    macchiatto Posts: 2,890 Member
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    I did WW (online) to lose 20 lbs before we TTC. That was way back in 2007 so I know the system has changed since then. It worked well for me. After having twins, I used it again to lose some of the post-pregnancy weight. I plateaued after a while and ended up having success with another method. Points Plus didn't seem to be as effective for me for whatever reason. I've never tried their current system but I know people who have had success with each version of their program. I think it's definitely worth a shot if the Points idea appeals to you. Some people find the IRL meetings great for accountability.