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Counting calories vs. Weight Watchers??

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Old 08-05-2009, 10:07 AM   #1
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Default Counting calories vs. Weight Watchers??

Hi, I'm relatively new to counting calories (about 3 months off & on). I know I need to track my eating to stay on course, but honestly all the counting is a bit triggering for me. So my question is, would WW be a better choice for someone like me? As I understand it, they go by points, not cals. Thanks!
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:21 AM   #2
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I prefer counting calories as it is something you can carry on into maintenance and the rest of your life. It is really not difficult and is preferable to having to wear extra large clothing. It is also free.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:38 AM   #3
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I've done both. I've done weight watchers 3 times over about 8 years. I prefer calorie counting and coming here for support. If you feel like it would motivate you more and you can afford it, it may help you to do weight watchers. It was just way too expense for me and wasn't helping me lose weight.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:10 AM   #4
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You count points for WW but there is a lot of figuring how many points a food is. I've been both ways and calorie counting is easier for me.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:23 AM   #5
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I've been doing weight watchers on and off to lose weight, but recently have been counting calories as well. Since I log all my foods into sparkpeople (for calorie counting) and Edibles (for WW points) I've decided to switch to calorie counting exclusively since I get a far better look at my other nutritional values (not just calories, fat and fiber) with the calorie counting online.

I suppose it's personal preference, and since I'm so familiar with WW points. I still "see" foods in terms of points, and I get a general idea of the good vs the bad.

If you can afford WW, I'd say go for it, I learned a LOT about my eating habits that way, but my budget doesn't allow for me to afford the meetings right now, though the things I learned will stay with me for the rest of my life.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:24 AM   #6
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I'm going against popular vote here and saying WW is easier. I have done both - even had a bodybugg which is the ultimate tool for calorie counters! For some reason, I kept getting triggered by looking at all those calories. I was never able to count for more than a couple days in a row before falling off the wagon and thinking it was just too hard. WW has been much easier for me because I just know the point values of certain things and it makes it so easy. For me, seeing the calories is a problem, but not the points. Plus, there is less actual counting involved - if I make a sandwich that has tomato, lettuce, cheese, meat, etc. I would be stuck trying to find the calories for all those individual things. If I am doing WW I know that veggies are zero points, 2 slices of turkey is 1 point, bread is 1 point, mustard is zero, etc. and it is just easier to add. I used to always have scraps of paper around trying to write down and add calories of everything and it felt too overwhelming.

Of course, you have to find what works for you. You can have great success doing it either way but the real success will come in finding something that you can stick with. For me it's WW, for others it's calorie counting and someday I might find that I'm in a place where I can go back to calorie counting and be ok with it. Who knows!
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:34 AM   #7
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I've done both separately and now I do a combination of the two. I lost 40 pounds on WW but never joined. I got the info online and used websites like these to figure out how to do it.

As for my combination of the two, I have a point goal, but I add up the calories at the end of the day. I enter everything into a spreadsheet that does all these calculations, so this isn't hard to do. I don't count certain veggies, like in WW, but I set my calorie goal a tad lower to account for this. Basically I took the parts I liked about WW and funnled them into my calorie counting.

It's been working for me! I'm over 22 pounds down and feeling GREAT!

The reason I like these two methods the best is because you don't have to restrict anything you don't want to. I like carbs. I like treats (sometimes). If I count the calories (or the points) then I can eat anything I darn well please!
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:40 AM   #8
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I agree with calorie counting being a lot of numbers for me to keep up with. I do the points system. But, you have to do what works for you!
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teensie3 View Post
WW has been much easier for me because I just know the point values of certain things and it makes it so easy. For me, seeing the calories is a problem, but not the points. Plus, there is less actual counting involved - if I make a sandwich that has tomato, lettuce, cheese, meat, etc. I would be stuck trying to find the calories for all those individual things. If I am doing WW I know that veggies are zero points, 2 slices of turkey is 1 point, bread is 1 point, mustard is zero, etc. and it is just easier to add. I used to always have scraps of paper around trying to write down and add calories of everything and it felt too overwhelming.

I second what she said!
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:19 PM   #10
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Hi hon! I think WW is just a simplified form of calorie counting. I've been on WW for quite some time, and I'm really confident with the system. I find that I know the points values of my usual foods, and spend no time at all obsessing about the numbers.

I know this would be different for me with pure calorie counting because for ME, CC gets too far into the weeds. I know that I can have a bit of mustard, for example, on my burger without affecting the points count. But CC means measuring the amount, figuring out the calories, adding it to my daily total...

I KNOW we do this too on WW, but I think it is LESS counting intense, and I keep some weekly points set aside to account for my unintended overages.

I'm now at the point where -gasp and don't tell anyone- I don't even have to write my points down. I keep track in my head without difficulty because my diet is pretty predictable. So for ME it is way easier and less obsessive-intense particularly when you've been on it for a period of time and are familiar with the points counts of your usual foods. WW may be less ACCURATE, but in the grand scheme of things, I'm not on a race to lose weight and if I can live my life with the least amount of aggravation and still keep a reasonable track of what I'm eating, well then, what the heck!!!

I say WW! But that's just me...




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Old 08-05-2009, 04:33 PM   #11
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Calorie Counting and WW are nearly the same thing. The points on WW are factored by calories, fiber and fat. You have a slider to calculate points, it's really not as complicated as I've heard a lot of people make it sound. I personally like WW. I go to meetings, I love my leader (I've gone to other leaders who I didn't like so much, so to those doing ww if you're not into your meetings, I recommend looking around and finding a group thatr fits you best). To me the meetings and the newsletter are worth the money. It just suits my personality to go and see the same group in person every week, exchange tips, have laughs, discuss problems. And all the little celebrations and charms and stuff. It's a community like this one, there to support you celebrate things that would seem silly to someone who hasn't gone through it. If you're looking to save the money though, I'd say stick to calorie counting and keep logging in here for your support!


I've never done straight cal counting for the very reason that the WW supporters above me mentioned. The intensity of the counting EVERY LITTLE THING is very overwhelming and intimidating for me
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:39 PM   #12
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I prefer just keeping track of my calories online. I go to livestrong.com and use the daily plate to track because it is the easiest I have found. I did not like keeping track at WW's, the only way I was able to do it was buy one of their really expensive calculators and carried it with me 24/7. It just seems like WW is always tweaking the program which I did not care for.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:54 PM   #13
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i don't think they have the calculators anymore. I haven't seen them. WW has online tracking now with etools. I don't use it but a lot of people like it

And there's a WW app for PDA phones (iphone, blackberry,etc)

*edit- I checked at my last meeting. They do have calculators, they cost $10
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:03 PM   #14
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I lost the majority of my weight on WW....when I first started trying to "diet" I went to CC first but got overwhelmed. WW's points system was a lot easier for me to handle. I did try doing WW 3 times previously *but* it wasn't WW's fault....I just was not ready to commit.

Now I CC. Those numbers are not overwhelming for me anymore...I tried it this time for the soul reason that WW does not have an iphone app with the capabilities that I wanted. I tried a CC tracker app from the daily plate & was hooked I *heart* my iPhone!

Both are pretty much the same and don't let anyone else tell you different, I'm still mindful of my fiber & fat intake plus I'm now watching my sodium.

Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2009, 03:43 PM   #15
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Default Thanks for your input :)

Thanks everyone for your responses! It sounds to me like it's a matter of preference. For me it's daunting to count up all the ingredients for a sandwich or stir fry for example. The WW point system sounded like a simpler alternative, but now I'm not so sure! I'm getting the hang of CC now, but I tend to do it backwards, ie: add up after I eat rather than planning it all out ahead of time.

Eventually I will try planning ahead, but my personality may rebel against too much structure I also like the idea of learning about WW's program covertly through internet etc... I cannot afford to join officially, although I'd like to, at least for the meetings and support. Thanks everyone!
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