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Sparkpeople vs Weight Watchers

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SparkPoints: (57)
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9/4/12 2:49 P

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I find counting points a lot easier than counting calories, and back when I could afford the WW meetings, I really enjoyed the support. I also enjoyed the fact that the weekly WW meeting was "me time" when I could focus on my health and goals (and chat with other women, which I don't get much otherwise).

Now, I'm using the SP forums for support and getting my Me Time at a local community center, though I plan to go back to WW when we have more cash flow.

BICKEY11's Photo SparkPoints: (7,633)
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9/4/12 2:04 P

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Let me put in my 2 cents. WW = pay me to do all the work for you, and SP = I'm free, but you may have to do some math.
Sure you may get POINTS for exercising, but when you exercise on spark, you get calories. If you eat within the given range everyday, you should still lose. That range is a weight loss range, not a maintenance range. So technically, every calorie you burn, you can eat. Just like WW. Its really no different.
As far as teh freggies (which i think is BS since they used to COUNT on WW), if you weren't counting them before, then don't count them now, count everything else. And know if you eat an apple, you're going to need to burn an extra 100, or skip an extra 100 calorie pack of nuts. Again, like I said. I've done WW of old and WW of new. I think the freggie thing is B.S. and if you've not been losing weight at the rate you've hoped, its likely because of that. Personally my budget can't afford WW, but with all the changes they've made, i've become skeptical on its practices, so I'm good with Spark. It works.

My goals show that i'd like to go from 148 to 118, while 118 is completely unrealistic and unnecessary, i'd LOVE to get there and indulge on some fatty foods occassionally :)

 Pounds lost: 5.0 

Posts: 918
9/4/12 1:16 P

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Spark people all the way never lost this much weight any other way. I never feel deprived on SP. This program is a life style change that i will be able to stick with the rest of my life.

I know I can do it.

 current weight: 260.8 

MPRILL's Photo Posts: 903
9/4/12 1:08 P

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I did WW before the point system and did really well. But never got the hang of the WW food points system when I tried again a few years ago and spent most of my time trying to figure it out - which was a waste of my time.

I think SP is better at setting you up for long term success by easing you into lifestyle change and stressing consistency over time. It's probably why I keep coming back.

WW gets expensive over time. I like that the tracker here is free and you can now pay if you want added help but it's not required.

The community at SP is much better, I like having a blog where I can write and get helpful responses and I really have begun to enjoy doing challenges which I never thought I would try when I first started.

- Marleen (mprill)

"Things must change, we must rearrange them" - Depeche Mode

 current weight: 336.2 

CMCOLE's Photo Posts: 2,667
9/4/12 7:43 A

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The money I used to spend for WW Online now goes to pay for an exercise class.
A better investment, in my opinion - because I track my foods here, for free

Posts: 1,447
9/4/12 7:38 A

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You can go to various WW meetings, held anywhere you happen to be (but you weigh-in just once a week) and that's a benefit of membership. They do all cover the same topic each week, and that topic changes every week. Recently, a topic was changing things in your life to become less sedentary, and why you should become less sedentary. This topic ties in with the 'move more' aspect of WW. The different leaders have their own varying styles - I really am a huge fan of one leader and I attend her meetings, but if some other is more convenient, time-wise, I'll go, and I haven't had a bad experience. At meeting, the leader talks about the topic, discusses strategies and weaves motivational talk into the topic. Members who have had measurable victories get congratulated, they discuss what they did right to make it happen. Anyone who has had any kind of accomplishment, big or small, has a chance and is invited to share. Sometimes, that is, 'I went to a high school reunion, a wedding, and a picnic, and I didn't gain any weight this week.' Recently, one man went on a weekend boating trip and lost five pounds anyway. There are a lot of reports from people that their doctor took them off medications. This happens with any weight loss, I've come to believe, not just WW weight loss! Still, it's inspiring to hear.

Also, at meetings, questions are asked and answered, problems discussed, even if off-topic for that week's meeting.

Lately, WW has been selling a pedometer with a connection to the website. If you buy their little gadget, you can plug it into your computer and have your measured activity level tracked online on the website (to access the website, which tracks your weight automatically when you weigh in at meeting, you have your password). They don't market stuff aggressively. I have a pedometer already, so I'll pass on it.

The website has excellent topics - the current topic (from the meeting), articles about nutrition and the science supporting WW's approach, and really good recipes from members (there are many). Also, message boards with WW from all over, discussing just about everything.

I use the website to track my food and calculate points. There is not only nutrition information there, and also in the weekly booklet you get that ties into the meeting's topic, but nutrition information is woven into the talk at meeting. The thing about WW letting you eat what you want is that they want you to lose weight, not have to eat certain foods. They tell you that eating certain foods (more protein and fiber and less fat, I think) will help you to succeed, and even make you feel better while dieting. I know vegetarians who attend the meeting I do. The leader is available after meeting to discuss an individual's questions or dilemmas, and also, there's a rotating 'refresher' class spanning a few weeks that sums up all the points - good when you feel like your efforts are starting to scatter.

RACKMYBRAINS's Photo Posts: 435
9/3/12 3:02 P

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I'm curious... what all happens at a WW live meeting? Is it a set topic with a leader or counselor? Do they have a specific philosophy on weight loss, like OA? Is there any nutrition training or fitness training? Or is it more just a support group with random people?

WALKINGCHICK's Photo SparkPoints: (28,292)
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9/3/12 2:25 P

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Despite SP being US based, I've found the programme much more interesting and fun to do and I've found linking with people all over the world who are trying to lose weight and make healthy lifestyle changes like me has been enormously inspiring.
I've been a WW follower over many years, but as mentioned previously, they only really work if you stay for the meetings and have a great leader. I never stayed for the meetings as on a couple of occasions when i did stay, I found them to be a bit condescending, and very unhelpful.

I've 'met' so many people with lifestyle issues similar to my own on SP, and this has helped me to work harder at sticking to the straight and narrow - WW? Nah.....thanks anyway.

Happy sparking! emoticon

 Pounds lost: 22.0 

NSHUNIA's Photo Posts: 23
9/2/12 12:26 P

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i just canceled my weight watchers program. I like the program but the difference between sp and weight watchers is i can monitor what foods have a high cholesterol/ sugar content so i can avoid for the next time or alter it. It also will tell me the totals for the day when it comes to how much fiber and calcium i ate for the day. When its important to monitor these things for everyday health, sparkpeople is the way to go. emoticon

 current weight: 223.4 

Posts: 2,000
4/26/12 9:11 A

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I've done both and found I prefer Spark because I had a hard time sticking with the points thing after I lost weight on WW (this was with an older points system, not the new one). I feel like long term with what I'm doing now will work better for me.

 Pounds lost: 13.2 

HEALTHY_SB's Photo SparkPoints: (5,417)
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4/26/12 8:32 A

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I am a lifetime WW member. Not a big fan of WW online only. WW is a lot about the meetings and I found that its a crap shoot. It really depends on the leader. A good leader is inspiring and brings a good group to the meetings. I was lucky to have an awesome leader after having each of my kids.

I will say that I am not a big fan of the newest points plus program. I am doing SP for tracking these days.SP is more work but ultimately keeps me honest.

"Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired." - Jules Renard-French author/philosopher 1864 1910

 current weight: 160.0 

CMCOLE's Photo Posts: 2,667
4/26/12 7:10 A

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I joined WW online just after Christmas.
It was on special, where I didn't have to pay the enrollment fee, but had to pay for three months (which worked out to a similar price of enrollment fee + one month).

As I had fallen into bad habits regarding food choices, it was a way of getting back on track.

However, here's the difference I have determined:

1. WW does not really give you any menu guidelines (as someone here said, you can eat celery, yogurt, and the rest of your points could be unhealthy choices, and you'd still be within your points range). Unless you're self-disciplined enough to not do that, you're likely to be disappointed (or unhealthy).

2. The "community" (except for one particular board I visit quite regularly) is not terribly supportive - it's mainly a "look at me, and hear me gripe" type of posts. I know that also can occur on SP, but there is a wider range of posts one can enjoy without all the negativity.

3. The cost per month, for their tracking system doesn't really made sense, financially. I can do the same (and more) on SP, and get a "real" view of what I eat - not just points, but real nutritional values.

4. If I still want to track my points, I can do so, but I really like seeing a bigger picture (calories, sodium, protein, carbs, fibre, fat).

5. While I don't often use the suggested menus that SP gives; I like the fact that they are an option for days I go blank, and cannot think of something good to eat emoticon

So, while both sites/programs have their positives and negatives; I think SP outweighs WW in the online community. I don't have a meeting to attend, so cannot address that aspect of WW.

PVANDEVOORT's Photo SparkPoints: (13,435)
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4/26/12 7:04 A

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SpartkPeople works for me! Some people need that weekly weigh~my thought is if you have the correct mindset you will succeed either way. You have to make better eating habits/choices for life or trust me the weight will be back. I belonged to them all:) Nutri systems, weight watchers, and 2 other off the wall groups. Hmm did great but once I thought I could eat whatever I wanted I was right back to square one. I am the thinnest I have been in my adult life size 8/ 130. The tools are here @ Sparkpeople for FREE, use and you can succeed. I am here to cheer you all on. GOOD LUCK Tell yourself nothing tastes as good as thin feels. I had this on my frig during my diet.

Nothing tastes as good as being fit feels...

152 Maintenance Weeks

WENDIBUGG's Photo Posts: 655
4/26/12 6:58 A

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I do WW but use spark to track food, exercise, and weight also.

March ~ 7 lbs goal met actual (9.4 lbs)
April ~ 5 lbs goal met actual (5.4 lbs)
May ~ 7 lbs goal met actual (7.2 lbs)
June ~ 3-4 lbs goal met actual (3.6 lbs)
July ~ 2-3 lbs

 current weight: 130.6 

SPACEBOT1's Photo SparkPoints: (25,521)
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4/26/12 6:00 A

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Weight Watchers teaches you nothing about healthy, balanced, nutritional eating. Their mantra is that you can eat anything you want as long as it's within your points. Which is why most of the members on their message boards will post about how they eat 2 sticks of celery and a low fat yoghurt for their main meal so that they can have 20 points worth of wine and curly wurlys in the evening.

 Pounds lost: 47.5 

TIME2BHEALTHY's Photo Posts: 24
4/25/12 11:38 P

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WW has something like Sparkpeople, but you have to pay for it before they will let you even see it. It felt like I'd be buying a pig-in-a-poke, you know. So I just stayed with Sparkpeople when I started again. This time it's been successful and I'm so happy!

 current weight: 146.0 

SparkPoints: (20,610)
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4/25/12 9:23 P

BARRISTER2011's SparkPage
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I think they are both good. I did Spark People because I needed a change plus SP is free.

 Pounds lost: 0.0 

PATTIMET's Photo Posts: 445
4/25/12 8:51 P

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I did WW early on. It's an easy plan to follow and it works. But if you think about it - a lot of things are guesstimites. Your free veggies, those don't count - they still have the same calories that they have on spark. You just don't have to count them - When you calculate your points - did you ever notice that items with 2 different calorie counts had the same point value - it's all about guidelines and teaching you to eat within a calorie range. And yes, there will be days when you go outside that range. I think the calorie range is larger on SP. On SP you also can know that you are eating the right types of foods. If you are very active it will recommend that you increase your calories.

Good luck with what ever choice you make.

 current weight: 181.4 

DORAYAKI's Photo Posts: 15
4/25/12 7:55 P

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My friend recently joined WW and pulled out her phone to show me her app. She had asked me to join with her when they had a deal on, and I was tempted but thought I'd be better off getting back into Sparkpeople, since I did lose weight when I was using it everyday, and and put it all back on and then some when I stopped.

I pulled out my phone and showed her Sparkpeople, she was jealous! It does everything her WW app does, only mine is free, forever!

I think they're both good, I know quite a few people in real life who have lost weight with weightwatchers. I don't know anyone in 'real life' who has used sparkpeople, but I joined because an online friend had lost her baby weight and was looking fantastic. So glad I did!

 current weight: 180.0 

SparkPoints: (1,935)
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4/25/12 5:00 P

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I do both. Originally, I started with WW online and have had a lot of success. I like that you don't have to measure and weigh everything fruit and veggie wise. But then I had several weeks of no movement and decided to calorie cycle and I joinIed SP so I could have an accurate calorie count. Personally, I think the two programs work well together. I don't love having to track on two sites, but that is about the only down side I can think of. I like the emphasis on the good health guidelines because I think that helps conceptualize what a healthy diet should look like. Even though the same informaiton is available on SP, I found it easier to find on the WW site. Overall, happy with both sites.

REDDAY1210's Photo SparkPoints: (3,902)
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4/25/12 9:02 A

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Sparkpeople works!! WW works!! Well the old plan works better, but it works. I just started back following the old WW plan, after failing miserably at the new Points Plus Plan. Its easier to track food with WW, but SP gives you true ranges in all area specific to you. And you can track so many other things. SP has so many things to offer challenges, teams, communities!! SP keeps you more motivated and involved in your weight loss journey. I would suggest to do both.



 current weight: 201.0 

JAMGIRL8's Photo SparkPoints: (22,268)
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4/25/12 9:00 A

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I prefer SP, I rejoined WW last year and lost about 10 pounds in 6 months on the new program, not quite the results I was going after. I enjoy the community here.


You can live your life in two ways, one as though nothing is a miracle and the other way, as though everything is a miracle! Einstein

TINYCURLS's Photo Posts: 401
4/25/12 8:44 A

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I like spark more. I've done WW online/site. There is more interaction online on Spark and more information. Also, I like seeing the calories and nutrional values of food. I've learned a lot on here.

 current weight: 273.0 

CMCOLE's Photo Posts: 2,667
4/25/12 8:14 A

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a co-worker directed me to a points calculator that you can use, if you cannot access the WW one online, and don't have the portable version

MYSTEE55's Photo SparkPoints: (2,247)
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4/25/12 7:17 A

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I rejoined WW in January and have had limited success. I don't like the new points plus program at all. I don't think I am alone in this train of thought. A couple of years ago I lost 40lbs under the old plan. I would like to lose more but, am not sure that WW points plus is the way for me. I have decided to track calories instead and find that SparkPeople is much easier to use and is free to all members. Weight Watchers Etools are only accessable to those who prepay. I think it should be free for all. That's just my opinion.

 current weight: 176.0 

SparkPoints: (614)
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4/12/12 11:08 A

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Spark people has more information about health and well being too.

COOKIE352's Photo Posts: 442
4/12/12 9:49 A

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I have tried weight watchers several time meetings and online, i prefer sparkpeople.


 current weight: 249.9 

Posts: 9
4/12/12 9:06 A

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I use both WW and SparkPeople. I find it easier to track my food using WW. I dont regularly track nutrition in SparkPeople but when I am curious about my true calorie count I do use Sparkpeople. I do however track my activity in both. I have been successful in loosing weight using both. Going to the WW meetings helps to have people to share my journey with in person. I love the articles and the challenges that Sparkpeople have however.

AMPROSKE1's Photo SparkPoints: (29,010)
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4/12/12 8:50 A

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I know a lot of people that have had success using Weight Watchers. I myself tried it for 3 months before coming back to SP. I did lose about 5 pounds in about a month using WW, but during my Spring Break I gained 2 pounds back and it was very discouraging because I never went over my points and I was exercising. I tried to stick with it, but was often to busy to track online daily and ended up canceling because I didn't like having to pay to lose weight when it wasn't really working for me.
I did like some of the things that Weight Watchers helped me to improve with my diet- zero points for fruits and veggies truly encouraged me to eat them more often.
But SP is free and it has way more to offer and the website is much easier to use than WW. WW didn't have nearly as many foods in their list of things to track so that is also a plus for SP.
Both are great, but I do like SP better.

 July Minutes: 276

NICHOLE_4's Photo Posts: 1,354
4/12/12 7:49 A

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Sparkpeople is FREE!

 current weight: 258.0 

LOSTLIME's Photo SparkPoints: (74,331)
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4/12/12 7:03 A

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I am a member of WW but never use it anymore. So I am going to cancel it.I use Spark all the
time. I find that this site is a lot easier to follow than WW.

 Pounds lost: 6.0 

LISAGOULDIE's Photo SparkPoints: (19,238)
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4/12/12 1:08 A

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I like SP because it is about "real" people. They don't pay celebrities to use their program & film commercials like WW. I LOVE SP because it is about ME, it is a fabulous network of people that care about your success, empathize with your failures, motivate you to do better, and educate you. I've done WW, JC, bought every book, taken every class. It wasn't until SP I started seeing results. SP is my lifestyle now. It is not a diet. 3 years and 42 pounds later, I am so happy. 58 sparkly pounds to go. I love SP!

 Pounds lost: 19.0 

PIPPAMOUSE's Photo Posts: 437
3/9/12 12:22 A

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How great to get other opinions. I was actually thinking about joining WW before I decided to give SP another shot. I hadn't been very active on the site in my previous attempt. This one I decided that I would create that community atmosphere and be involved before I decided to join WW. So far I haven't regretted my decision to stick with SP.

 Pounds lost: 39.0 

KEELY128's Photo SparkPoints: (202,717)
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3/8/12 7:16 P

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Sparkpeople wins but Weight Watchers works great too

 current weight: 167.0 

HILDY02's Photo Posts: 231
3/8/12 5:51 P

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I too, have done both programs and have liked weight watchers more recently, although I have been successful on both programs. Weight watchers is only really done "correctly" when a person follows the good health guidelines each day. If that is done, the macronutrient breakdowns look a lot more balanced. I find a lot of people "do" WW, but fail to eat enough power foods. It sounds like you do a nice job at eating plenty of fruits and vegetables at all times, though, which is great!

I find that my social life and spark people were a tough combo, I love the flexibility of eating all of my DP and WP in one sitting, if I so choose, and knowing that I am still on plan! I used to try and do a lot of calculations to see what overages in calories I had and try and make up for it later in the week which actually led to some problematic cycles of feasting and famining for me last year.

I have sometimes gone over on the weekend and see that negative balance in the red, but I chose not to get discouraged and instead use it as a motivator to try and exercise extra that week to see if I can get it back in the positive. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't!

I too, had a tendency to get overly obsessive about weighing things, I find WW points to be easier due to not having to weigh and measure vegetables when putting together a recipe. I tend to stick to one or two servings max with fruit per day which I also think has helped me see consistent results.

I do love that Spark People is free, but I would rather pay for the added flexibility and personal support that WW offers me, and so I do. I think either program, however, would provide results, it's just a matter of preference.

"I did" is better than "I will" any day!

Working on turning my "I am" into an "I did!"

Here are my mini goals and rewards as I head to my goal weight:

159lbs go to a movie

154 lbs get a massage and enjoy fitting into my pants again!

149 lbs take a "sick day" from work and relax all day! Take a hike!

145 lbs GOAL WEIGHT! $250 on new clothes!

 current weight: 185.5 

MSDEE7679's Photo SparkPoints: (7,109)
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3/8/12 3:47 P

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What I like the best about's free. Also, the boards are strictly about the weight loss journey..not my dog, cat, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, BFF, etc (you get the meaning). What I hated most about the WW boards had to do with the messages that did not pertain to weight loss. Also, I've found that there is no drama or arguments on SP...thank goodness. Just my thoughts as I too am a former WW. Now as for weight loss, I've shed 27 lbs using SP. With WW, I was not able to accomplish this. I think the reason has to do with seeing the actual nutritional value in the foods rather than thinking of thing in point value.

 current weight: 260.0 

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3/7/12 2:00 P

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I use both websites, although I do not track on SP. I use SP for the wealth of info and support. For myself, I prefer to track using WW. It is less overwhelming for me to track points instead of calories. What I love most about WW is the weekly points allowance. I love being able to splurge a bit on the weekend and the math is done for me.

If you ever go over your points on WW, try not to let it get you down. Ups and downs are part of life. My biggest downfall has been an all or nothing mentality. If I had too many bad days, I had a tendency to throw in the towel and give up. If we are going to be successful and make this a "lifestyle change" then we have to learn to accept the bad days and move on without letting it crush our efforts.

TORTISE110's Photo Posts: 4,106
3/7/12 6:41 A

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I like tracking calories and nutrients in sp. Have a better idea of what I am eating and what I need to be healthy.

Go slow to go fast.
Maintaining since September 15, 2012

94 Maintenance Weeks

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3/7/12 6:19 A

SBNORMAL's SparkPage
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both are good

MARITIMER3's Photo SparkPoints: (104,085)
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3/7/12 2:47 A

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There's no reason you can't do both, except that it will take a lot of time. From my experience with both programs, I prefer SP because I feel that it teaches me more; i.e., about the range I should be eating for calories, fat and protein, which I never learned in spite of many years at WW.

Eastern Time Zone

 Pounds lost: 4.9 

ANGELICSOUL64's Photo SparkPoints: (13,403)
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3/6/12 11:37 P

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I'm a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and I also love using Spark.

I enjoy going to the WW meetings and getting to hear others stories, get motivation and to also feel like a part of a group.

I use the nutrition tracker and fitness tracker on Spark, love to read the message boards, such as this one! :-) I like to read the blogs and basically everything on here.

I also have a log book at home, that I have made a spread sheet in, using my data from Spark and have a colum for Weight Watcher point amounts.

I sound a little over the top, but it works for me. When I get a little behind tracking on Spark, I still have my own log book to keep myself in check.

I also like to go to the calories burned vs calories eaten report here on Spark. Gives me an idea of where I am.... to the good or...... I gotta buckle down....

Anyway, I like using both methods. I hope that you find the combination that works the best for you!

Take Care,


 current weight: 158.0 

Posts: 2
3/6/12 10:56 P

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I too am currently using both SP and WW online. It's kinda hard to track both but I'm going to try it for a week and see where I am.

What I like best about SP is the meal plan. It's simple to use and makes meal planning much easier for me.

CORTNEY-LEE's Photo SparkPoints: (50,009)
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3/6/12 10:47 P

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I was not much of a fan of WW online - I thought the online community was very lacking. What I did like about WW was the meetings. I realize that being an online member means that you don't go to meetings, but that is what I liked best.

As for Spark, I also enjoy it too. I find I like counting calories better than points. I am not a fan of the WW Points system anyway. I liked their old program from the mid-1990's. I lost a lot of weight using that system.

 current weight: 126.6 

SUZZQ4LIFE's Photo SparkPoints: (26,701)
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3/6/12 9:51 P

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I believe in SparkPeople. I love the trackers and finding recipes on site. The best part is that it is free to anybody. It is also nice that I can access Spark at any time of the day. The articles are also so helpful. I believe in keeping things short and to the point.emoticon

 current weight: 148.2 

COCHESE321's Photo SparkPoints: (45,822)
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3/6/12 9:41 P

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I was a Weight Watcher for 5+ year this past time. I recently switched to SP. I had a heck of a time trying to find (and never could - I gained 30 lbs doing it) that "sweet spot" between DPs, APs and WPs where I would lose again. I had originally lost 113 on Momentum.

I like that, on SP, there is nothing free and nothing hidden. I track my fruit, but not so much the veggies. I aim for the bottom of the range and just don't worry about it. On days where I burn off a LOT more calories than I had planned (today, my plan was 565, I burned 1100) I allow a bit more. I find this much easier and I am losing again. I have done on SP what I have not done on WW for 1 1/2 years - lost 6 weeks in a row.

Both are good programs. I have done them simultaneously when trying to find that sweet spot and to track my vitamins. Best of luck to you however you decide to proceed.

I can't do anything about my genes, but I can sure do something about my jeans!

-- Sue --

 current weight: 190.0 

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3/6/12 7:54 P

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I've always eaten a lot of freggies on either plan. The difference was, I was so anal about weighing everything. I figure, it's ok if I go "ok, that looks like two cups of lettuce." I don't need to weigh it out every time.

I've also realized that with a workout, I can actually eat a bit more than what Spark has me eating. I'm going to edit my calorie range.

I figure, I'll have my goal range. Then, there will be that little bit of wiggle room before and after the range where it won't hurt me if I'm in that range. Then, I'll still have up to 1,000 or more extra calories as my "yellow zone." It's for those extreme situations or treats where I might not GAIN weight (aside from water weight), but I'll be maintaining.

Twitter/Instagram: @FtSoLK (From the Scales of Lissa Kristine)

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 current weight: 194.6 

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3/5/12 2:23 A

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I like the calorie deficit report on spark - if you burn 500 extra calories then you can look at the daily report and see if you still have a loss after maybe eating a bit extra. The program says not to look at the daily - it's better to look weekly or over time... but I find it to be a good guide.

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3/5/12 12:49 A

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That's actually what I was thinking. I tend to overthink and stress initially before coming to my senses soon after.

I figure that it probably won't make that much of a difference if have some grapes and estimate it to be a 1 cup serving when it's really a little more. They're grapes. I'd have to REALLY overeat them to gain weight.

I'm probably going to double track for the next week (or at least for a few days) so I can figure out what else I need to work on. I've done both Spark and WW and have been successful on both, so it's a matter of finding balance.

I will say one of the brighter spots when it comes to Spark is that if I eat 8,000 calories over my limit one day it won't stare at me for the rest of the week. If I ate all of my weekly points, and then some on Monday on WW, I would see a negative red number on the top of my tracker for the rest of the week. Talk about demotivating! It's easier to start fresh the next day on Spark.

Twitter/Instagram: @FtSoLK (From the Scales of Lissa Kristine)

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 current weight: 194.6 

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3/5/12 12:30 A

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You can use some part-way approaches.

Eg for freggies, you could track most of what you plan, eg you know you're going to have a large apple at tea time tomorrow so you put "large apple" in the tracker. But if you have the odd one or two now and then you could skip tracking them if you feel it would drive you insane to "have to". Just as long as you're not having more than 1-2 servings of fruit a day that you're not tracking, and you know you're tracking most other things pretty well.

Remember that fruits are very high in fructose and healthy carbohydrates, so their calories can add up quickly if you don't track them!

Try to stick to the lower-ish end of your range. This would give you up to 350 other calories that you can eat and still be "in range" without having tracked them - that is 2-3 servings of large fruit!

As for exercise, yeah it's not going to adjust your goals daily for you, but if you want to keep it in mind, you can always think "well, I did 400 calories of exercise today that wasn't in my exercise plan, so if I go over my range by 200 today I'm still creating a deficit". Just remember this is only for UNPLANNED exercise - planned exercise is already accounted for in your suggested range so you shouldn't be exceeding it because you 'exercised today'.

You can always try these sorts of "track most things" approaches and see how you get on. If that helps you feel less insane about tracking every little thing, AND you get the results you want, that's perfectly fine. We sometimes have to adapt - you don't have to use the goals 100% accurately 100% of the time.

Stick to the 90% rule - 90% accurate, 90% of the time. As long the things you aren't tracking aren't purely the high-cal junk food, you'll probably still be mostly on track and mostly achieve your goals.

Deb, in New Zealand

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3/4/12 11:40 P

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So, I'm a member of Weight Watchers Online, and I really do love the plan. However, Sparkpeople has a much more supportive community.

I've been considering cancelling my membership, but I'm hesitant. There are a few things that I really love about WW. For one thing, the free freggies (not counting avocados, olives, or startchy veggies). Sometimes, especially if I'm in a hurry, it's easier to just grab some fruit and eat it. On Spark, I was weighing EVERYTHING to make my calorie counts as accurate as possible and it drove me insane.

The other thing I love about WW is the fact that it will adjust automatically. If I were to, say, work out one day it would automatically give me activity points that I can swap out for food. Sparkpeople will give me extra calories if I say I'm planning on burning a certain amount each day, but it doesn't update automatically.

(The lack of the weekly allowance is also a bummer, but I suppose there will be days when I go over my ranges, and that's life. Doesn't mean I'm not on track overall).

On the other hand, if I have a huge binge and eat way too much, Sparkpeople won't have a negative number staring me down for the rest of the week. It's easier to start fresh the next day on Spark.

So anybody do both Spark and Weight Watchers? Any converts? I'd love to give Spark another go, but I want to figure out this balance between the programs as well.

(Looking back, I suppose I can find a balance. I highly doubt it'll hinder my weight loss too much if I go "this looks like a large apple" rather than weighing my freggies).

Edited by: FTSOLK at: 3/5/2012 (00:12)
Twitter/Instagram: @FtSoLK (From the Scales of Lissa Kristine)

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 current weight: 194.6 

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