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Friday, January 24, 2014

Weight Watchers vs. My Fitness Pal

I have been asked, "Which is better? Weight Watchers or Myfitnesspal?" and the answer is EASY!

Hands, down, without a doubt....whichever one you'll actually follow!!!!

I come from a very respectable line of professional Weight Watchers. My grandmother (who is 94 and amazing) is the matriarchal Weight Watcher in the family. She worked for many years as the manager of the original Publick House Bake Shoppe in historic Sturbridge, MA.

Postcard of My Grandmother at Publick House Bake Shoppe, Sturbridge, Mass.

Fig squares and Cookies and Pastries, Oh My!

I worked there during high school and my aunt was the assistant manager. My grandmother and both of my aunts are amazing bakers. The world's best chocolate chip cookies, greek butter cookies, apricot squares, sticky buns, eclairs, anadama bread, jams, jellies, Joe Froggers (look it up!) and turnovers were probably my main food supply when I worked there.  (No one asked, but I am pretty sure profits lagged badly during my time of employment LOL) When I visit now I am sent home with sleeves of oatmeal cranberry or chocolate chip cookies (or both!)

The ladies on that side of the family are life long Weight Watchers and have lifetime memberships. They have reached their goals and maintained now for a few years.  It gives me hope that I, too, can make it!

When I started this mega-transformation journey January 1, 2011, I began with Weight Watchers.  And in 8 months I lost nearly 90 pounds. I would call that a major success! I ate real food, I followed it to a "T", I was seldom hungry, and the system allowed for the "oopsie" days where I went over my daily or weekly points.

The best part of Weight Watchers, for me, is letting go of counting calories and getting bogged down in perfection.  It focuses on what you are eating, and portion sizes, rather than calories. Five to six veggies and fruits each day, two or three dairies, plenty of water, at least one healthy oil, and some activity are the main focus. What you do after that is up to you, so long as you stay within the points.

This works for me...VERY well. I have already lost close to 15 pounds this month!

Myfitnesspal also worked for me...for a very short time. If I didn't meet my 1280 calories each day, I was deflated and felt like a loser, or somehow shamed. The GOOD part, however, is that it lets you track all your macronutrients and you can see how much fat, protein, carbs, calcium, sugars, etc. you are eating. I wish WW did that. I miss that part a lot.

WW is not free.  It is $18.95 per month for the online version which comes with free eTools. (You can use your phone to scan product bar codes and it will pop up the per-serving points. Fantastic at the grocery store or even for adding food at home.)

Myfitnesspal is completely free. There are tons more people and forums and support because it is open and free. Their database of brand name foods is exponentially bigger, so there is little you have to enter manually. It also has free eTools and I would say it is easier to use, a faster interface, and better supported by the community.

I say, try one. TRACKING is CRITICAL to success. I'll say that again. TRACKING IS CRITICAL TO YOUR SUCCESS.  All the Biggest Losers will tell you that!  So pick an app, try it.  If it works, stick with it.  If it doesn't...switch!  If it stops working, switch back.

The bottom line?  Be willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, and if that means switching it up and trying something new? DO IT!

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  1. Thank you this was very helpful to me

  2. You're very welcome! :-)

    1. I use a app called "My Score Plus" that I downloaded from the App store on my Iphone. I think it cost me around 5.00 maybe. I don't remember. It tracks my points values perfect. It has a calculator and tracker just like WW online. I just thought I'd put that out there for folks who want to do WW but can't afford the weekly or monthly fee.

  3. Thanks for an informative post! According to the WW website, you have to use Recipe Builder to make smoothies, juices, salads, and the like, rather than tracking the ingredients individually (which are usually 0 points). Recipe Builder takes into account the nutrients in each item and assigns them points, so that your "recipe" comes out to 5-7 points! Do you use Recipe Builder when you do shakes (it appears that the screen shot shows the ingredients for maybe a smoothie?) or do you track the ingredients individually? I'd love to understand more about Recipes vs. ingredients tracking. Thanks for any insight you can shed!

  4. If you don't have time for workouts and still want to lose weight, you can try Garcinia Cambogia Extract! I lose weight and so happy about it!

  5. I am a somewhat amateur programmer, but I made a prototype of a pretty cool Android app that uses Google voice recognition.. I was losing about 0.3lbs a week with it for about 8 months but since Christmas my weight went back up about 9 lbs (stress and cold weather mostly). However I feel really much better and my waist went from 40" down to 36". I am hoping someone will make something like it better in the near future since I find voice tracking to be extremely quick..

    If you have an android device, please try it out and let me know if you can think of ways to improve it.

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