Weight Watchers/My Fitness Pal

pgoodt1994 Posts: 32 Member
What is the difference between counting points with Weight Watchers and counting calories with My Fitness Pal besides the obvious, you have to pay for WW and MFP is free?


  • sammidelvecchio
    sammidelvecchio Posts: 791 Member
    I'm sure there are a lot of differences, but the biggest one I noticed is that WW has "free" foods or i've seen them called zero-point foods which don't have any impact on how much more you can eat that day, whereas on MFP you are supposed to count every calorie you eat and you would reach your daily calorie allotment much faster than if you were on WW eating a lot of "free foods." I hope I worded that correctly.
  • Suuzanne37
    Suuzanne37 Posts: 114 Member
    I’ve been on weight watchers so I know the point system.

    What stands out is with the introduction of zero point foods; you have to also be aware of proper portion sizes; and with other foods, use a scale to properly calculate the points.

    Also different foods are given a higher point value to steer you towards healthier options.

    I use to attend meetings and at that time; it fit with my personality and worked for me. I learnt a lot about portion control also.

    Forward a couple of years; the “Leader”; now “Coach” changed and it was not the right fit anymore. Fitnesspal was the better fit.

    With Fitnesspal you have to record all intake (at least at the beginning of your journey) and use a food scale.

    If $$ is not a factor try:

    1. Meeting + Digital - WW
    2. Meeting or Digital - WW
    3. Fitnesspal

    Then decide.......
  • puffbrat
    puffbrat Posts: 2,806 Member
    I only tried WW briefly, but the two things I didn't like were:
    1. Free foods - your body still counts those calories and you can still eat too many. WW supposedly takes those into consideration when calculating points but I still prefer to just account for everything and not worry about that.
    2. It is so much easier for me to just pick up a package and read the label or look something up on the USDA database to figure out how it fits into my day than try to calculate the WW points. I found the points system particularly difficult when I traveled to places with poor/limited/non-existent internet access and I was purchasing food at restaurants. I'm sure other people would say to just use data but not all of those locations even have cell service and I don't want to pay for a large data plan or use up all of my data for those instances.
  • bobsburgersfan
    bobsburgersfan Posts: 6,033 Member
    I did WW for quite a while before switching to MFP a few years ago. WW points are calculated as a combination of different variables. When I first joined, it was a combination of calories, fat, and fiber, and then by the time I left it was carbs, fat, and sugar. (They kept changing it; I'm honestly not sure what it is now.)

    I think WW can work very well for some people. I think most people who haven't been doing anything about their weight will do well on it, at least for a while, because it makes you change the way you eat and forces you toward lower-calorie foods. It can work well if you genuinely like to eat a more low-carb, whole foods type diet. It can work very well if you aren't a big volume eater and don't care about sweets.

    The tipping point for me was when they really emphasized sugar as a part of their formula, and it felt like I was being punished for eating anything sweet. I'm trying not to be too negative about WW, because it did work for me way back when I started, but counting calories just works better for me.
  • DickCress
    DickCress Posts: 2 Member
    edited May 2019
    I use MFP and have for many years it is just a newer version of the old WW Fat and Fiber Plan. I attend meetings every Tuesday and have for 25 years and I weigh in every week. By combining the two I have been able to develop a system that allows me to maintain the same weight for many weeks. I am at aleast 10 weeks of maintaining my weight the same. Weight Watchers is what has kept me inspired and motivated. I was supposed to die in 1995 and owe the new me and my life since then to my Weight Watchers Group. Don't sell them short their help and support go FAR BEYOND Zero Points Foods.
  • jean133mjg
    jean133mjg Posts: 133 Member
    I used WW back in the late 70s/early 80s, lost weight on it and liked it then. What you ate was written down and boxes were checked for each meal according to how many proteins, fats, veggies, bread, etc. (for instance, each box for protein was based on 1 oz. per box) until all your food was recorded and each box checked until you ran out of boxes, indicating you had all that you were allowed for the day. I hope I'm explaining it in a way that is understandable. When they went to points/flex points and all their other renditions, I hated it.
    MyFitnessPal has worked great for me. I like the recording, weighing and all of that stuff anyway. I like graphs, charts, etc. MyFitnessPal and the old, old, WW both had that. Whatever works for someone is the one they should use. Thank God we have choices to pick from.
  • diamondrn8
    diamondrn8 Posts: 10 Member
    I am a Weight Watchers member and I love the plan. I am diabetic so tracking carbs is essential. I am starting back tracking this through my premium membership on MFP today to keep my carbs balanced. The zero point foods and fruits can put me over my limit if I don't track them as carbs & not points. But I love the freedom of WW. I hate the first three letters of DIE-t and WW is a lifestyle change that allows me to LIVE and eat sensibly. I am a registered nurse and I have seen the risks of fad dieting that significantly cut carbs and replace them with high protein (risk: kidneys) and/or fats (risk: heart disease).
  • saramelie77
    saramelie77 Posts: 50 Member
    I'm just switching now from WW to calories counting. I think WW is a good program, but it doesn't work for me. As a binge eater, I can go crazy on the zero points food and it still add-up (1 apple, 2 bananas, 1 cup of 0% greek yogurt, etc All zero points, still calories). I have 100 pounds to lose to be in a healthy range, and I don't want this to take forever. So for me calories counting is better, more accurate, and definitely easier than imputing grams of fat, sugar and proteins in a WW calculator. The other thing I don't like about WW is that even tho they really stepped-uo their game about nutrition, they are still focused on low fat food for less points, ehuch contradict my personal opinion on the matter. I prefer to eat *real food* in lesser quantity.
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