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Weight Watchers or counting calories?

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Old 11-12-2009, 01:36 AM   #1
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Default Weight Watchers or counting calories?

First off, I apologize if this isn't in the right place. I wasn't sure where to ask!

I'm looking for some advice on which plan would be better- counting calories or doing weight watchers? I've done both in the past and find them to be very similar. They're pretty much the same concept right? Counting calories seems a bit more lenient but I get confused when it comes down to carbs and fats, etc... and WW seems to help with this a bit. WW also tells you how many calories/points to add back for excercise, something I'm totally lost on when counting calories.

Also, I was reading around and it seems like most people who have lost weight and/or maintained around 3fc count calories and don't really do a program type thing.

Any advice on which route to go? Does anyone know if a lot of people have been sucessful and maintained with WW? Thanks! =]
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Old 11-12-2009, 01:57 AM   #2
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Both programs have positives and negatives, and both have forums here and active maintainers.

It seems to me that Weight Watchers is better for those who need some concrete guidelines...WW does that with the healthy guidelines in a way that calorie-counting alone doesn't. It also encourages exercise and vegetable consumption, two very healthy habits, with Points values. The accountability of a weekly weigh-in and the group support can also help people stay on track.

Of course, calorie counting does have fans here, and does have some advantages, the primary one being that it's free. And most people who have been successful with calorie counting eventually move to healthier foods anyway, simply because it's so much easier to be satisfied on a lower number of calories if you're eating a lot of veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and etc. I personally like that calorie counting is fairly simple...you don't need a special calculator or tools to figure out the calories in a food (you can read nutrition facts labels or find calories for unlabeled foods fairly easily on the web).

For me, calorie counting was the way to go, for a couple reasons. One, I eat so many veggies that making them "free" would be a bad idea. I eat hundreds and hundreds of veggie calories a day, and I do need to count them. Two, I already had a support network (hello, 3FC!) and a ton of support at home, so I didn't need the meeting to keep me on track.

Both plans will work if you follow them. If you're more the type to figure things out on your own, you might try calorie counting, if only for the free factor. If you need more guidelines, specifics, and group support, give WW a try.
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Old 11-12-2009, 04:20 AM   #3
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My opinion is counting calories. If you have regular access to a computer, if not get the formule for WW pts. online and you can use it free! I'm all about free. I use Daily Plate and it keeps track of everything and breaks down proteins/fats/carbs. They are similar in being you can eat what you want, just be accountable. Good Luck girl!
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:43 AM   #4
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WW for me as I need the accountability. Support and motivation are easy to find here but when I was calorie counting it was too easy to simply not log on. The WW meetings are a bit hokey at times but just knowing that I have to weigh in helps keep me focused.

Good Luck!
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:29 AM   #5
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I second Mandalinn's opinions. I've done both. CC works best for me with where I'm at in my life now, but WW taught me a lot of good habits.
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Old 11-12-2009, 09:46 AM   #6
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Having done both, I second Mandalinn's opinions too.
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Old 11-12-2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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I'm partial to exchange programs. A way to count calories, and also count food groups. My husband and I are diabetic (my blood sugar numbers have recently gone from prediabetic to actually diabetic), and exchanges are still often recommended for diabetics.

I like the flexibility (nearly as flexible as calorie counting) and yet the built-in reminder to get in food groups I tend to otherwise avoid or skimp on - and the reminder to limit food groups I tend to overdo.
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:36 PM   #8
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For me calorie counting is much more appealing just because WW's packaged overly-processed food offends me (just as Kraft's South Beach and Atkins food does). I guess that's because I'm not just counting calories but also really look at my marcro/micro nutrients. I think WW is probably good for many people for starting out (encouraging veggies and spices, not overeating, as well as the key support system) but to me it doesn't seem the best way (I've never joined). But I have two WW maintainers in my workplace and one of them has made the jump to trying new, more healthful "whole" foods and she still uses the WW framework to help her. I know they both like the accountability, as well.
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Old 11-14-2009, 01:46 PM   #9
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Weight Watcher's program does not require, encourage or even endorse use of the Weight Watcher's products - either those in the store, or those sold in the weight loss centers (in fact, I believe they're actually separate companies - and I think the magazines and books are also a separate company).

In the Weight Watcher's program, whole foods are emphasized more and more (especially with each new incarnation of the program).
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