Fitness Minutes: (105,014)
8/1/13 4:41 P
I prefer Sparkpeople.
8/1/13 4:28 P
Dawn, that's wonderful that you have a buddy that you email daily. I will start looking for a buddy now.
Fitness Minutes: (97,416)
7/31/13 11:59 P
I joined WW in 1986 and became a lifetime member in 1987. I have always enjoyed the support and accountability of the meetings and was even a leader for 5 years. I like using SP for tracking, blogging, and participating in the community boards. I feel like SP is a great tool that can stand alone or be used in conjunction with any program out there.
Most importantly, you have to find what works for you. There is no "one" thing that is right for everybody.
Good luck with your weight loss journey.
7/31/13 12:21 P
The social support from WW was great and the points plan did allow me to "cheat" a bit with the unlimited fruits and veggies which I liked. But eventually I left WW entirely for SparkPeople because it gave me a more complete picture of my overall nutrition, 24/7 support and more information. I was a little bothered by the way WW still promotes "healthier" forms of processed junk food like cookies, chips, candy etc. under the WW brand. For me, WW was a great transition to a healthier way of life and SparkPeople was my maintenance place.
Of course, EITHER one is good if I stick to it. When I fell off the Spark and let my father's last illness and school overwhelm me, I abandoned Spark, old habits crept back and I gained more weight than I'd lost.
So anything that helps us to make positive changes today is fine by me.
PS ~ Now that I'm back, it's SparkPeople all the way. Thank you, SparkPeople!
I've never done the WW program. What's helped me is having a weight loss buddy. I found my buddy on the Leslie Sansone website (one of my favorite workout dvd programs). We moved over to SP because it was free and for all the resources. We email each other almost every day. Good luck.
Thank you everyone for you input. I think for the time being I am going to utilize both plans and see how it works out. I will continue to attend meetings and be weighed in, but I think I am going to use Spark for the tracking and community aspects. Maybe I can even double track for a little while and see how the two programs compare. Im glad I am not the only person to use more than one program at once!
Interesting idea about starting my own WW-esk group. I will keep that in mind for the future, as of right now I think I am too shy to be able to lead something like that. I also still need the guidance and motivation that my WW leader provides.
I agree that there's no reason you can't take the best parts of each and combine them into your own personal best. It's pretty common for people to do that, or even to combine three or four different programs. I personally use a different program for tracking nutrition; it's very similar to the one here but it's actual software that resides on my hard drive so I can track without having an internet connection. I track running distance on Nike+ because it's built into my iPod, so I didn't have to buy a pedometer or running computer. I suspect that there are more people here who combine things than there are people who don't, and I also suspect that combiners end up being at least a little more successful if only because they have more types of goals so it's easier to find a success!
And let me also say that the fact that you re-gained your weight doesn't mean WW failed. Regaining happens. It's a biological thing; it's harder to keep weight off than it is to lose it in the first place. Nobody really understands it, and most weight loss programs don't have successful maintenance programs. WW is, as far as I can tell, FAR better than other programs that shove you out the door the second you hit goal, but I think free programs where you can stay forever without paying even if you do regain would be more successful for long-term maintenance.
(We could also talk about re-defining success so that a person who regains some but not all isn't allowed to call him/herself a failure, but that's a topic for another thread.)
Here's another idea. Since 60% of America is overweight, there is a high chance you have other overweight people in your hometown. Start your own club, and hold each other accountable. You may be able to use each other's homes, or even reserve a library conference room for meetings. Somebody bring a scale, and you can all weigh in, and then discuss the time since the last, and how you felt, as well as any successes, or pitfalls that occurred.
Plus, f you can convince them to join Sparkpeople, you can get points for referring them..lol.
That way you don't have to pay for WW either, but get the same experience. Is there anything they do, that you can't replicate? Be the leader of your own weight loss team. Use Sparkpeople for tracking, or asking for help.
Fitness Minutes: (121,909)
10,701 7/30/13 9:51 A
I did both simultaneously for 2 yrs then dropped WW
Fitness Minutes: (105,014)
7/30/13 8:45 A
I failed in Weight Watchers three times. I also found the points business tedious. Tracking all the food you eat can be tedious too, but at least you're learning something useful about nutrition along the way. I know WW works well for lots of people and more power to them, but I greatly prefer Spark People and have had far more success here. I've lost more than 100 pounds and it didn't cost me a penny, and I feel "at home" on Spark People in a way I never did at WW. But you might find a mix of the two programs to be even more effective for you.
Fitness Minutes: (153)
7/30/13 7:15 A
You might want to try to find out what made you derail in WW. It may be helpful to go back to a meeting and talk to a leader. I wasn't successful with WW, but that doesn't mean that other people won't be. The decision is up to you. I guess it comes down to the program that is most suitable for you. It would confuse me to do both programs. I lost a lot of weight on Nutrisystem, but didn't keep it off. I have friends on the program who have kept it off. Whatever program you choose, it must become a lifestyle change or the weight will come back on.
Fitness Minutes: (66,716)
7/29/13 10:42 P
I've done Weight Watchers probably 10 times and while I loved the weekly meeting for the accountability, I found that most people just weighed in, listened to the leader and then left. The possible "support" just didn't seem to be there. And when I felt like I'd not had a bad week, well, I'd make an excuse to not go to the meeting so what was the point? And while I think the approach of WW is great (balanced, no gimmicks, etc.), back when I did it, I figured out ways to sort of cheat the system with points and before that, with "free foods".
Now, I have figured out that game playing fools no one but me. Sparkpeople keeps me accountable every single day when I log on to put my food and exercise in or check in on the message boards. SP gives me WAY more support than I ever got from WW or any other paid weight loss organization I have tried. And it's free.
Anyway, that's my opinion, and I know others love WW. I do too, but I love SP so much more.
Fitness Minutes: (4,007)
7 7/29/13 10:07 P
I agree with what everyone else said. Go with what works best for you, and it might be a hybrid of spark and WW. If it helps, with either you do need to plan for dining out, whether it is the nutritional info for Spark or points for WW. I found www.dwlz.com is great for both methods. She has a whole section on restaurants Hope that helps a little.
7/29/13 8:03 P
there are several sparks team for weight watchers :)
7/29/13 4:27 P
As I was only doing WW online, I didn't have as much accountability as those who attend meetings.
I found it better to check in here, and track my foods here, especially once I let my online subscription expire.
I, for many months, kept to the WW standards, but was tracking it here.
I have since altered my menu to make changes I prefer, which may have been happening while I was still following WW (like eliminating their processed foods in favor of making my own)
I agree that only you know what works for you. I'm a Sparker through and through for many of the reasons you mentioned (calories vs points, ease of tracking, etc) and find it sustainable and easy to maintain because of the education available here. So even when I stop tracking because life gets in the way, I've still learned thanks to Spark what a serving looks like, that the sample at the grocery store counts, and that exercising a little doesn't give me free reign to eat a lot!
On the flip side, me best friend at work did Weight Watchers and had great success with it, and has stayed at her goal despite minimal tracking these days. You could say she also got the tools she needed to be successful. I'm not sure WW would have worked for me, nor Spark for her - it was all about finding the set of tools that worked for each of us. You may want to follow both for a period of time, and decide which parts work for you and which you can eliminate.
I teach 3 different style weight loss programs and am the dietitian for Sparkpeople. I have people combining methods "all" the time. Do what works for you. I have many people in my weekly classes who use sparkpeople to log intake, fitness and for additional support and encouragement; yet that weekly weigh-in and meeting with their coach keeps them accountable.
Becky SP Registered Dietitian
7/29/13 1:17 P
I have been a member of Weight Watchers on and off for several years now. I have lost weight each time I have followed through with the program but I eventually get derailed and wind up gaining it all back. I have also been on Sparkpeople for a while now and have come to really enjoy the Sparkpeople approach. I am conflicted as to whether or not I should go back to WW or to stick with Spark.
Each program has it's pros and cons. For WW, I truly enjoy going to the weekly meetings and the accountability that the weight ins provide. However, I have grown tired of the points plus system and find it tedious to have to calculate a points value for each food, especially when it comes to eating out. With Sparkpeople, I like the tracking aspects; I feel that counting calories much simpler than points and gives me a better idea of how much I am eating. While I love the community aspect on Spark, I do miss not being able to attend meetings.
I am wondering if there is anyone that has tried both plans and might be able to give me some insight into which plan I should stick with or if I should try following both plans for the time being. I'm interested in any input you may have. Thanks!
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