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Weight Watchers vs Calorie Counting?

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  • xjessicaxrx
    xjessicaxrx Posts: 144 Member
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    Its encouraging to hear that it does work for some, thats for your input everyone :)
  • DrifterBear
    DrifterBear Posts: 265 Member
    edited July 2017
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    My wife had a baby 2 months ago and wanted to do WW to have the accountability. A 'date' with the scale every Saturday morning is a powerful motivator. I'm doing it with her for support. Recently I've been logging in WW instead of MFP. I hate double tracking and wish they would share, but I understand why WW only wants to accept step data from FitBit instead of food.

    Points are just something they made up, but I'm a big fan of it. At the end of the day, you will gain or lose weight based on calories in vs calories out. But points represent calories, or more importantly, the macro nutrient makeup of food. In WW, not all calories are equal (something that is very touch on MFP). But the idea is teaching you how to successfully make trade offs. A 12 oz coke has 140 calories but that's 9 points on WW. Meanwhile, 4 oz raw chicken breast is 134 calories but only 2 points on WW. While these have the same calories, you will have to cut back on soda much more quickly on WW than counting calories. Even if your body sees 140 calories as the same. I think that's good because the chicken will keep you full longer and beyond weight loss, I'd argue it's a 'healthier' choice (I understand healthy is a bad word on MFP). Fruit and veggies are 'free' because they NEVER want you feeling bad about choosing fruit or veggies.

    I double entered today and my 40 points in WW appears to be about 1500 calories. Adding in some fruit and veggies, that's 1800-2000 which is around where MFP tells me to be. Plus some activity points / calories and it's all more or less the same. WW has a theory about the kinds of foods you should eat during the day to be full and lose weight. The points are designed to shift your behavior to get you making 'healthier' choices that are sustainable long-term. I don't see that as a crutch at all, at least not for people who really don't understand nutrition and need some help learning about how to maximize use of the calories they need to stick with to lose weight.
  • chelllsea124
    chelllsea124 Posts: 336 Member
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    I was on WW a few years back. I don't like how they say that fruits and veggies are basically "zero points". Especially fruit... because there are definitely calories in fruit! Also, in the long run, I didn't learn how to eat because I didn't feel like tracking points was a good way to count. Counting calories gives me a better idea of what is what.
  • xjessicaxrx
    xjessicaxrx Posts: 144 Member
    Options
    My wife had a baby 2 months ago and wanted to do WW to have the accountability. A 'date' with the scale every Saturday morning is a powerful motivator. I'm doing it with her for support. Recently I've been logging in WW instead of MFP. I hate double tracking and with they would share, but I understand why WW only wants to accept step data from FitBit instead of food.

    Points are just something they made up, but I'm a big fan of it. At the end of the day, you will gain or lose weight based on calories in vs calories out. But points represent calories, or more importantly, the macro nutrient makeup of food. In WW, not all calories are equal (something that is very touch on MFP). But the idea is teaching you how to successfully make trade offs. A 12 oz coke has 140 calories but that's 9 points on WW. Meanwhile, 4 oz raw chicken breast is 134 calories but only 2 points on WW. While these have the same calories, you will have to cut back on soda much more quickly on WW than counting calories. Even if your body sees 140 calories as the same. I think that's good because the chicken will keep you full longer and beyond weight loss, I'd argue it's a 'healthier' choice (I understand healthy is a bad word on MFP). Fruit and veggies are 'free' because they NEVER want you feeling bad about choosing fruit or veggies.

    I double entered today and my 40 points in WW appears to be about 1500 calories. Adding in some fruit and veggies, that's 1800-2000 which is around where MFP tells me to be. Plus some activity points / calories and it's all more or less the same. WW has a theory about the kinds of foods you should eat during the day to be full and lose weight. The points are designed to shift your behavior to get you making 'healthier' choices that are sustainable long-term. I don't see that as a crutch at all, at least not for people who really don't understand nutrition and need some help learning about how to maximize use of the calories they need to stick with to lose weight.

    This is brilliant I agree with everything you have said! All i seem to see on MFP is "a calorie is a calorie" but to me it just doesnt sit right. You obviously digest all different foods differently and use nutrients from the food in different ways. I dont think anybody (even the scientists) really knows the exact amount of energy each individual uses from from food, my guess is that everybody is different?
  • DrifterBear
    DrifterBear Posts: 265 Member
    edited July 2017
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    My wife had a baby 2 months ago and wanted to do WW to have the accountability. A 'date' with the scale every Saturday morning is a powerful motivator. I'm doing it with her for support. Recently I've been logging in WW instead of MFP. I hate double tracking and with they would share, but I understand why WW only wants to accept step data from FitBit instead of food.

    Points are just something they made up, but I'm a big fan of it. At the end of the day, you will gain or lose weight based on calories in vs calories out. But points represent calories, or more importantly, the macro nutrient makeup of food. In WW, not all calories are equal (something that is very touch on MFP). But the idea is teaching you how to successfully make trade offs. A 12 oz coke has 140 calories but that's 9 points on WW. Meanwhile, 4 oz raw chicken breast is 134 calories but only 2 points on WW. While these have the same calories, you will have to cut back on soda much more quickly on WW than counting calories. Even if your body sees 140 calories as the same. I think that's good because the chicken will keep you full longer and beyond weight loss, I'd argue it's a 'healthier' choice (I understand healthy is a bad word on MFP). Fruit and veggies are 'free' because they NEVER want you feeling bad about choosing fruit or veggies.

    I double entered today and my 40 points in WW appears to be about 1500 calories. Adding in some fruit and veggies, that's 1800-2000 which is around where MFP tells me to be. Plus some activity points / calories and it's all more or less the same. WW has a theory about the kinds of foods you should eat during the day to be full and lose weight. The points are designed to shift your behavior to get you making 'healthier' choices that are sustainable long-term. I don't see that as a crutch at all, at least not for people who really don't understand nutrition and need some help learning about how to maximize use of the calories they need to stick with to lose weight.

    This is brilliant I agree with everything you have said! All i seem to see on MFP is "a calorie is a calorie" but to me it just doesnt sit right. You obviously digest all different foods differently and use nutrients from the food in different ways. I dont think anybody (even the scientists) really knows the exact amount of energy each individual uses from from food, my guess is that everybody is different?

    I do agree with the science that you need to be at a certain calorie level to lose, gain, or maintain. And you could consume total 'junk' food below your calorie level and lose weight. But the calories you consume do matter for keeping you full, helping you recover from workouts, etc. A coke may only be 140 calories, but it's completely empty and have no benefit other than to the extent it makes you happy, like a piece of cake or some ice cream. You should make room for those things, but ultimately you need to eat foods that keep you full and provide good nutrition. You can experiment on your own, but the points system helps guide you to what WW believes to be better choices.
  • infinitynevermore
    infinitynevermore Posts: 98 Member
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    My mother lost about 30 lbs using WW back in 2012. Came back to it last year, but since they made all fruits and veggies "free" she didn't lose like before. Came here and has lost weight. She got me to join here seeing her success.
  • Sandcastles61
    Sandcastles61 Posts: 506 Member
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    Okay, I admit I'm old LOL .... I did WW back in the day (late 1980's) when it was a food exchange program rather than the point system they do now. You were allotted x daily servings of fruit (2), vegetable (3 at least)), fat (2-3), protein (4-5), bread (2-3) and milk (2), with some floating calories each day and weekly limits of things like eggs, hard cheese, red meats, etc. There were acceptable (restrictive) food lists you could choose from which new foods were added to as you progressed through each week. One serving of banana would be 1/2 of a banana so if you ate a whole banana that was your 2 fruit allotments for the day. 1/2 of a bagel or 1/2 english muffin or 1/2 cup rice was one bread, so if you ate the whole thing that was again your 2 bread totals for the day. Their idea of a hamburger was 2 oz cooked ground meat on a 2 oz hamburger bun so yes you did have to weigh and measure out your food in order to check the appropriate number of boxes each day. Each oz of protein was one of your 4-5 allowed for the day. Lost 20 post baby pounds because essentially it was a calorie counting guide made easy, while trying to install an overall balance in your daily food plan. I can't see how their new system is going to work that well for most people, but then I haven't actually looked at it closely because weighing and measuring my food to check a box or entering it to keep my macros and calories in balance really aren't all that different in my mind. It never hurts to shake things up a bit for yourself though and there's certainly no harm in giving it a trial run if you are tired of logging in your (free) MFP diary. (Okay, I'm also a cheapskate, LOL)
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 14,004 Member
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    My wife had a baby 2 months ago and wanted to do WW to have the accountability. A 'date' with the scale every Saturday morning is a powerful motivator. I'm doing it with her for support. Recently I've been logging in WW instead of MFP. I hate double tracking and wish they would share, but I understand why WW only wants to accept step data from FitBit instead of food.

    Points are just something they made up, but I'm a big fan of it. At the end of the day, you will gain or lose weight based on calories in vs calories out. But points represent calories, or more importantly, the macro nutrient makeup of food. In WW, not all calories are equal (something that is very touch on MFP). But the idea is teaching you how to successfully make trade offs. A 12 oz coke has 140 calories but that's 9 points on WW. Meanwhile, 4 oz raw chicken breast is 134 calories but only 2 points on WW. While these have the same calories, you will have to cut back on soda much more quickly on WW than counting calories. Even if your body sees 140 calories as the same. I think that's good because the chicken will keep you full longer and beyond weight loss, I'd argue it's a 'healthier' choice (I understand healthy is a bad word on MFP). Fruit and veggies are 'free' because they NEVER want you feeling bad about choosing fruit or veggies.

    I double entered today and my 40 points in WW appears to be about 1500 calories. Adding in some fruit and veggies, that's 1800-2000 which is around where MFP tells me to be. Plus some activity points / calories and it's all more or less the same. WW has a theory about the kinds of foods you should eat during the day to be full and lose weight. The points are designed to shift your behavior to get you making 'healthier' choices that are sustainable long-term. I don't see that as a crutch at all, at least not for people who really don't understand nutrition and need some help learning about how to maximize use of the calories they need to stick with to lose weight.

    And this proves that different people see things differently.

    Because what you describe as a benefit of weight watchers (being forced to make healthier trade offs because of how the points system is valued) IS the main benefit of MFP!

    If you want to stick to your calories you will soon be substituting more sustainable choices for other more fleeting ones.

    As to never discouraging people from eating fruits and vegetables? I have friends on MFP who eat more than 1600g of fruits and vegetables a day. You sure these should be free for them when trying to achieve a caloric deficit?
  • angelica_lisa
    angelica_lisa Posts: 23 Member
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    The WW formula takes into account that people will eat x amount of fruits and veggies in a day.
    You are not supposed to eat excessively, even with food that are meant to be "free". When I was on WW, our leader told us how she actually gained 5lbs cause she would eat several pounds of grapes a day while she was at work.

    They made fruits and veggies 0 points so that people would eat more of them and not turn to low point processed food if given a choice (even though with the way they are penalizing processed foods nowadays, I doubt there is such a thing anymore).

    It's a good program, but I realized I didn't want to count points for the rest of my life. And MFP's food database is so much better than WW.

  • LadyLilion
    LadyLilion Posts: 276 Member
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    I lost 100 lbs on WW about 10 years ago. I did gain it back, but in fairness to WW, that was because I went back to my old, bad, habits of overeating and eating junk instead of paying attention to my diet and exercise. I think it IS a good program and yes, it does work as well as calorie counting does.