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Tracking food using a calorie method or a point method

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Has anyone tried a point based system to track food? In your opinion, which do you prefer and why? Differences you may be aware of and want to share? I'm trying to decide which to follow as a way of keeping me accountable and to keep track of what I eat, I currently toggle between the two, but would like to focus more on one than the other, it'd help me feel more settled. Thank you!

Replies

  • Redordeadhead
    Redordeadhead Posts: 1,188 Member
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    There are a lot of threads about Weight Watchers on here, comparing people's experiences of the two systems. If you search for that or "WW" you should find some info.
  • dragon_girl26
    dragon_girl26 Posts: 2,187 Member
    edited December 2020
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    I have always preferred tracking calories, since I've done it for so long and it's more precise. I think one of the issues with the updated WW method is that the "free" foods begin to catch up with people as they get closer to their goal weight. When you're down to losing 1/2 lb a week, every calorie is important and it's way too easy to eat 250 calories of "freebies" and then wonder why you aren't losing weight.
  • mmyellow
    mmyellow Posts: 13 Member
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    Thank you everyone!! I really appreciate the perspective and insight!
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,620 Member
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    Calories. WW and similar often have free foods or food with less points. I could eat a bag of crisps, and then eat all my meals from free ingredients as it's the way I prefer to eat anyway.
  • rosebarnalice
    rosebarnalice Posts: 3,488 Member
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    I find calories to actually be easier to log than points-- particularly with the MFP app. The other thigs that the points (particularly WW points) are trying to incentivize [like veggies and fiber] or disincentivize [like fat and sugar] are easily tracked with the MFP macros. Easy peasy and no membership fee!
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
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    Calories, because they reflect something real, and I have a much better ability to decide how to weigh other elements of the foods for me than whoever creates a "points" system. Plus, I don't need foods to be artificially "free" to be able to eat plenty of nutrition-dense foods or create a healthful diet for myself. I think points tend to be a little infantilizing as they seem designed to influence your diet choices rather than assuming we all have the ability to understand nutrition and what various foods bring to the table. (I've never done WW, though, and imagine there are aspects to the program that people enjoy despite my own distaste for the points system.)
  • SModa61
    SModa61 Posts: 2,895 Member
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    i was listening to this posthaste yesterday, and this specific question was touched upon.

    https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuaGFsZnNpemVtZS5jb20vZmVlZC9wb2RjYXN0Lw/episode/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5oYWxmc2l6ZW1lLmNvbS8_cD0xOTkzNDI?hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwjLg8rvzPTtAhVRrFkKHbFyAJsQieUEegQIBhAF&ep=6

    Jump ahead to 16 minutes in, and for 3 minutes Half Size shares their thoughts and reasoning.
  • AshHeartsJesus
    AshHeartsJesus Posts: 460 Member
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    Lots of people talk about not getting enough calories on ww. Counting cals are the way to go 👍
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
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    My mom and I did WW together many years ago. I remember getting a "points calculator" widget at one of the meetings - a little cardboard thingamajig that applied whatever their formula was for converting a food's actual macros into a point value.

    I think the primary advantage to the WW "points" system is that your point goal feels like a more manageable number than your calorie goal. It may be different now, I don't know, but in the early aughts IIRC the program gave most people about 30 points per day, more or less. 30 is a much easier number to keep track of than 1500. But yes, like others have pointed out, especially once you're in the endgame, those "free" foods will trip you up. Calorie counting is free and works as long as you're honest about it.
  • Dogmom1978
    Dogmom1978 Posts: 1,580 Member
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    My husband did WW as a kid (his mom made him do it). He used to save his daily points for bread and cupcakes. Certainly not a healthy diet for anyone.

    One would hope an adult would follow the program in a healthier more sustainable way. He could have done the exact same thing with counting calories.

    I like the precision of counting and it helps me do things in the real world for free. I don’t understand with the points how one transitions out of WW. Is it just supposed to be points forever? Do you take your points widget with you everywhere in the world and hope they don’t change/update it so that you then have to go back to paying??
  • goal06082021
    goal06082021 Posts: 2,130 Member
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    Dogmom1978 wrote: »
    I like the precision of counting and it helps me do things in the real world for free. I don’t understand with the points how one transitions out of WW. Is it just supposed to be points forever? Do you take your points widget with you everywhere in the world and hope they don’t change/update it so that you then have to go back to paying??

    I mean, from a business standpoint, they probably *want* you to keep using their system (i.e., giving them money) forever, yeah. I vaguely recall sentiments about "building healthy habits" or whatever from the handful of meetings mom and I attended, but they were careful never to make it seem like it was something you could do all by yourself, no, you needed to keep paying for WW to learn all the secrets of health, nutrition, and fitness. I do wonder what it's like now - there were certainly fewer resources available in...oh, gosh, this would have been maybe 2003-ish? I remember seeing ads for WW, probably ten years ago now, talking about how they've revamped the whole system.