General Diet Plans and Questions - Calorie Counting or Weight Watchers Online & Why?




cinlo
08-27-2010, 11:01 AM
I'm a stay at home mom & need something easy to follow. Thanks!


L144S
08-27-2010, 11:11 AM
I am all for CC at home. Easy to look up items or find on products and lots of free tracking sites. WW involves calculating values which takes more time.

Good luck!!

Sherrie568
08-27-2010, 01:31 PM
Counting calories just seems so much easier than converting to points.
And calorie counting is free. :)
Part of WW online is free, but for full benefit, you have to pay.


Livergirl88
08-28-2010, 09:53 AM
Have done both and seen results with both. I just felt with WW I had more freedom in what I ate and I still losy weight. With CC I tend to get fixated on a specific number so I prefer WW :)

joyful retiree
08-29-2010, 10:07 AM
cinlo,

Are you committed to only those two options? There are threads on this site with info on Atkins, Sugar Busters, South Beach & The Insulin Resistance Diet...all of which might be easier for you to follow, since less counting or calculation is required. Good Luck in whatever WOE you decide on.

Lori Bell
08-29-2010, 10:24 AM
I've been a sahm for 18 years now, and money doesn't stretch as far as it used to when we had 2 incomes, (but it's SO worth it in the long run). Anyway, I had spent so much money over the years tying to lose weight on various programs, and we really didn't have the extra cash...then I'd quit, and be out the money. Like e-diets. I joined, payed for my first month, made it a week. Then WW. Since it's such a rural area around here they don't have a regular WW center, but they used to offer 10 week courses for $100 and we met at the local hospital. I'd pay my $100 and make it 3 or 4 weeks, and quit and be out the money I paid. I joined and quit so many on-line programs that I have forgot them all. You get the idea...

Anyway, this time I decided to try a free route of calorie counting, because heaven knows I tried all the paying plans. And it worked. Maybe because I finally committed though. You see, that's the key. Any reasonable plan will work perfectly, if you commit to it...day after day after day! :) I like free though, I've spent all the money I saved on a "program" on new skinny clothes! YAY

kaplods
08-29-2010, 11:04 AM
I prefer to count calories throubh exchange plans myself. Weight Watcher's plans were exchange based until (or through, I'm not sure which) 1997. I joined WW for the first time with my mother when I was only about 8 years old (around 1974 - it was the youngest age WW accepted with a parent member and a doctor's note).

I can't tell you how many times I was a WW member from 1974 - 1997, but it was enough that I have most basic foods memorized.

The vast majority of exchange plans are based on the exchange plan developed in the mid-1950's for diabetics. As a result, most exchange cookbooks and other resources are interchangeable. Thew few differences can be easily translated - for example I believe it's the DASH program that instead of the protein exchange = 1 oz, they = 3 ounces, so you count one of their exchanges as three standard ones.

Like calorie counting, exchange information is available online and in book format.

On the surface, exchange plans seem more complicated than "straight" calorie counting, but I've found them simpler in the long run (for example most non-starchy vegetables are 1 cup raw or 1/2 cooked. There are exceptions, but it's easier to memorize the small list of exceptions than to memorize the calorie counts of all vegetables).

With the internet so handy, it really doesn't matter all that much, because you can look up exchanges and calories with equal ease, but I also like the balance that exchange plans impose.

I find that I need to keep the carb count down to control my hunger and to lose weight best. Exchanges make that easy, because all foods within an exchange grouping have similar carb and calorie counts. Protein and fat exchanges have virtually no carbs; vegetable exchanges have about 5g of carbs, and fruit, milk, and bread/starch servings have about 15g carbs. I don't have to keep carb counts because the exchange plan does it for me.

When I use straight calorie counting, my diet tends to be rather skewed - I'll go on fruit-only jags (on which I lose weight, but have flares of IBS) or I'll avoid dairy (or eat too much cheese). During TOM I'll crave red meat, salt and carbs, so I'll overdo all three (which wreaks havoc on water retention).



I'd suggest you experiment. Start with anything that appeals to you. It is NOT true that you have to pick the best plan and never deviate from it, to lose weight. I've lost my 85 lbs on several plans, not just one (I do tend to translate most plans into exchange plans, just because it makes it easier to compare plans and because it comes so naturally).

You can experiment, and decide which you like best. Exchange plans and straight calorie counting are more flexible than points. If you're familiar with points, because you've used them before and are more familiar with them, it may make sense to start there - but if you're learning "from scratch," I'd recommend exchanges or straight calorie counting.

ringmaster
08-29-2010, 08:06 PM
WW points seem like just another way to count calories to me. no matter how you look at it, you are decreasing your calories. real life weight watchers meetings and coaching might be good for support and accountability though.. but just online... nah.. you can get wonderful support on this site and join a check in.

kayethree
09-20-2010, 08:44 PM
I favor the calorie count approach because it is free and easy. I use Nutrimirror to track my food intake and exercise.

Flamanette
09-24-2010, 11:55 AM
I'll jump in and say that in today's economy: any program/plan that is free is for me! Like others have said, CC and Exchange plans may seem like alot of work at first, but as you get into it, I think it will start to become second nature.

LOL, easy for me to say since I am on exactly DAY 1 of my exchange plan!! But I look at it this way: for me, I know I eat lots of the same foods and I figure that once I learn the values of those foods, I am set.

~flamanette~

Samantha18
09-26-2010, 08:03 AM
From personal experience, I think there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

With weight watchers, you know exactly how much you need to eat everyday without having to play around and find the right about of calories. WW also counts fat grams and fiber. Plus, if you don't lose weight, it's easy to talk to a leader and find on what's going on. Since you are paying them money, they have to help you figure out what is wrong and help you if they want to keep you. So if you like a plan with more structure then WW is awesome.

With calorie counting, you get a lot more freedom. Sometimes getting to play around with the calorie count is a good thing. The freedom may help you feel less stressed.

In the end, they are the same plan basically, just one has more structure. Personally, I don't like CC as much as I liked WW (I'm not doing WW or CC but if I do start counting, it will definitely be one of these) because I need the structure- I like knowing that if I eat this many points, I will lose weight, and if not, I can talk to the leader (though with the online WW I'm not sure there would be that advantage). With CC, I've just never been able to figure out how many calories to eat and never know if I will have a loss that week or not. CC is great too, because you get more freedom and a huge majority of people who are successful have done it by CC. Plus, it's free.

jilly6
09-26-2010, 09:56 AM
Calorie counting for me. it is easy and free. I use sparkpoints to track calories and exercise. It's free and I'm cheap. lol
Weight watcher's just always seemed to complicated for me.

Kimkim
09-26-2010, 11:10 AM
I used cc and its a lot easier for me than to keep track of points! There are a lot of great apps you can get on your phone to keep track of calories tbrough out the day. It helps me to stay on track

pageta
09-28-2010, 09:01 PM
I would do WW. The point system helps you make wiser choices in what you eat. If you're just counting calories, there is no difference between a cookie and a lean piece of meat with equal calories, but if you're doing WW, there is a difference in point values, and either way, there is definitely a difference in which one will fill you up and which one will leave you starved in an hour. WW has helped me to learn to eat smart, which means not being hungry. If I were just counting calories, I'd be eating like I used to before I started losing weight and I'd be hungry all the time.

Bac0s
09-28-2010, 10:31 PM
I would do WW. The point system helps you make wiser choices in what you eat. If you're just counting calories, there is no difference between a cookie and a lean piece of meat with equal calories, but if you're doing WW, there is a difference in point values, and either way, there is definitely a difference in which one will fill you up and which one will leave you starved in an hour. WW has helped me to learn to eat smart, which means not being hungry. If I were just counting calories, I'd be eating like I used to before I started losing weight and I'd be hungry all the time.

In my experience on the CC forum here, the ladies who do count calories have figured out how to eat to keep full, I don't think it's exclusive to WW. Most of them (according to daily calorie posts) reflect this -- they're not grabbing McDonald's and eating chips and cookies and ice cream and etc, etc, etc, all day long (but still have a treat from time to time).

As for the OP, I'm a fan of CC, in case ya couldn't tell. ;)

4star
09-29-2010, 11:07 AM
Calorie counting is easy for me and it's free. You learn portions and can look up any calorie info you might need online so there's no converting info, it just is what it is.

No matter what diet you do, it's calorie restriction in some form or another whether you cut sugar or carbs. It's just that with calorie counting you tend to limit fats a little more(b/c they are lots of calories and easy to cut) and that is great for your heart health.

popspry
09-29-2010, 11:26 AM
I do calorie counting because I like being responsible for how many carbs/protein/fat I ingest, I like it because it's free, I like it because it isn't a diet, I like it because it's highly flexible, and as someone who likes dealing with numbers I like the fact 1500 calories has an easier to understand relation to food and weight loss than 24 points.