Fitness Minutes: (15,800)
152 4/3/10 6:39 P
Used both, with success with both. Lost 70 pounds on WW when I was 17, gained some back as an adult (my issues) but learned a great deal.
My personal preference now is Spark. I'm not big on the point system for WW (I like the old system) . While a previous poster is 100% correct about not eating your points in cookies unfortunately way too many people I know on WW seem to think this way. They'll eat the junk and skimp on the clean food to make up for it. I know it happens here as well, but I like being held accountable by tracking my food (even if I don't sometimes) and knowing how many carbs, proteins, etc. I'm getting.
I think they're both excellent, you just have to do the work.
I've done WW a couple of times, having had great success each time. However, not staying on program brings all those nasty pounds back and I have nobody to blame but myself. I'm very comfortable doing the points plan and I have all the program materials but I'd like to try and give the points plan a go on SP. Since you guys seem to have experience with both WW and SP, is there a way to use SP to track my points, food, water, activity, etc.? Thanks to all fight the good fight!
3/22/10 1:30 P
One more thing - Weight Watchers does not teach you to eat your daily requirements of fruits and veggies, etc. Look at the Food pyramid I know I saw one on Sparks recently.
WW servings from my memory are not U.S. Guidelines for proper nutrition from what I read. They are what is set up for you to loose weight with points on weight watchers. I maybe be wrong but I don't think so. I remember other members posting that when people asked about serving sizes.
I'm done. Packing up my soap box and moving on :)
Have a birthday cake to frost and dinner to plan...
Edited by: 2PERSEVERE at: 3/22/2010 (19:23)
3/22/10 1:25 P
Good point 2PERSERVE.
3/22/10 1:15 P
Ok Sparks doesn't "teach" nutrition but it provides all of the necessary information to track your nutrients, calories (which are real life tools and free to track) and provides a wealth of information and support that WW does not provide.
If I can find a way to not have to uncheck email me with replies I will be happier. :) I see I can do it with this topic at least.
I prefer Sparkpeople and have had more success than with WW. To me, WW teaches points but SP is teaching me that I can eat in moderation and how to watch portions.
Fitness Minutes: (21,950)
3,865 3/22/10 1:01 P
Spark doesn't "Teach" you nutrition any more than Weight Watchers does.
You should follow the plan that works best for you. The WW points can be easier to keep track of for some people. Make sure you follow the required servings of fruits, veggies, healthy fats, etc; measure your servings, and track it well.
There are WW groups here on Spark you can check in with.
I joined WW twice. The first time, I lost about 20lbs in 15 weeks. This was a good pace. I gained it back when I started a new medication that made me hungry all the time. Sadly, I gained more than I had lost.
I joined WW again. This time, the weight would not come off. I went to a new medication, and the weight still would not come off. I ended up gaining weight.
I don't like the points system. I don't think that good nutrition is a goal. At my meetings, the more weight lost, the better. The leader didn't try to get people to slow down at all. We were encouraged to work healthy oils into our diets, but that was as far as the health lectures went.
It depends a lot on your leader, I give it that. I bet that there are leaders out there who are better than the leader I had, even though she was close to retirement and therefore probably very good at her job (or already retired and doing WW for fun maybe).
It's neat being there with other members. The odd part for me was that I'm "thin" compared to some other members. They treated me like I was crazy for wanting to lose weight. My BMI is too high, so yes, I do need to lose weight. They were just critical of me.
Report incorrect nutrition info Amount Per Serving Calories 73.8 Total Fat 0.5 g Saturated Fat 0.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g Trans Fat 0.0 g Cholesterol 0.0 mg Sodium 0.0 mg Potassium 143.8 mg Total Carbohydrate 19.1 g Dietary Fiber 3.4 g Sugars 0.0 g Protein 0.2 g Vitamin A 1.3 % Vitamin B-12 0.0 % Vitamin B-6 3.0 % Vitamin C 11.9 % Vitamin D 0.0 % Vitamin E 2.0 % Calcium 0.9 % Copper 2.6 % Folate 0.9 % Iron 1.3 % Magnesium 1.6 % Manganese 2.8 % Niacin 0.5 % Pantothenic Acid 0.8 % Phosphorus 0.9 % Riboflavin 1.0 % Selenium 0.5 % Thiamin 1.4 % Zinc 0.3 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
If you like Points fine - like points.
I like to deal with the real figures and for me real numbers and nutritional data are what will stick with me life long.
I know there are people who like Weight Watchers meetings. I personally have not met one person who went and stuck with them. Ran into a friend last week who said you couldn't pay her to go again after dealing with snotty, uppity receptionist who do weigh ins.
Yes it is a matter of preference. If you don't like details and a real life change WW is fine. If it works for you do it.
I compared both and this is what I chose for sound reason. For me. I have more to do in my life also than hop back and forth between message boards and programs. You loose focus that way and waste time.
I've just reached lifetime on WW. It took me about 4 years to get there and I lost 115 lbs with WW (about 75 prior to that as result of GBS).
I came here because as lifetime, I get meetings for free, but no discount on their etools. I also have issues with their lack of security on the message boards, but that's a different story.
WW is founded on principles of healthy eating. However, it is hit or miss as to whether or not the leaders are trained properly. Since I travel for work, I have had the opportunity to visit many different meetings. It is unbelievable how many leaders still teach old versions of the program or let members make flat out false statements and don't correct them because they don't want the confrontation.
As for rapid weight loss, WW does promote .5 to 2 lbs per week loss. Any faster than that, you get warning messages when you log your weight (doesn't stop an online member but it's better than nothing). If a meeting member is losing weight too fast, then the leader is suppose to address the issue and if it doesn't slow down, the member is suppose to be suspended. Sadly, leaders are given a some sort of incentive when members reach goal, life time, or when they have members who lose 100 lbs.
WW is a business - but it can be safe and healthy.
Fitness Minutes: (417)
213 3/22/10 10:42 A
WW is a great program I've done it and lost weight but I was in college at the time and I had a lot more time on my hands - counting the points and going to meetings takes more time - spark people uses the actual calories and the "meetings" are replaced by you getting on line when you have time and doing message boards and groups etc - so I have found that now that I have less time spark people fits into my life a lot better (much like my online MBA classes! ha!) Both teach good nutrition but in a different way but I think spark people is more realistic and A LOT more diverse and open minded about different diets like vegan/vegetarian. Also you can track diffent intakes like salt and carbs and fat seperatly which you cannot on WW because everything is lumped together in "points". So if you like to get a lot of data on what is working and not working in your diet then spark people is the way to go as well. (plus spark people is FREE) always a plus!
Edited by: FLIGHTRISK at: 3/22/2010 (10:43)
Fitness Minutes: (3,027)
462 3/22/10 10:41 A
It's a personal preference really. To me, I prefer SP over WW because of the community. That's what I rely on to help me stay motivated and on track. I'm not a regular at SP, yet, and I don't know anyone, yet, but I feel like I can post and ask anything without feeling like I'm an idiot or unwanted on the boards.
To me, the boards at WW were getting to the point of being downright rude. If you weren't a "regular" or if you asked a question that could be answered by reading something on the site (excuse me for not reading every article posted on WW and memorizing them), you often got slammed and told to get lost. That happened to me on more than one occasion.
Also WW provided the information for you to make healthy decisions regarding food choices, but didn't really help you figure out how successful you were in reaching those goals. To me, the ability to get feedback on my daily intake to see where I have holes in my nutrition is incredibly helpful, something that is not available on WW online program. I don't know about meetings.
And, SP is free. I love that because I'm pinching pennies everywhere I can nowadays. :)
I've done both and in fact just recently incorporated WW back into my program because I had hit a plateau with Sparks so I decided to shake things up a bit. WW is a good program and for me using Sparks in conjunction with WW is the best of both worlds. In the past when I was doing WW alone I did not always focus on the nutrition balance - just points. Now I have learned excellent habits with Sparks and am using these to be sure I am meeting my daily recommended levels of carbs, fiber, fats and protein as well as making an effort to watch my sodium intake. I lost about 10 pounds with Sparks before I hit a plateau speed bump and finally started losing again recently with the combo of Sparks and WW. I like this community and all the resources available to me to help keep me informed and on track and the Spark friends I have made are so very valuable to success.
Weight Watchers teaches good nutrition, just as SP does. And they advocate safe exercise and behavior modification, just like SP. In fact, their programs are very similar, except that WW uses a point system, and SP uses calories. Anyone who lost too fast on WW or didn't get proper nutirtion wasn't following the program correctly. WW doesn't push their own foods--they have them on shelves for sale at meetings, but never say you need to use them to follow their program. It's a convenience for some people. I never bought any and was never told I should. The one thing WW has that SP doesn't is the group meetings. Some people do much better with face to face group support and in-person weigh ins. Some don't. That's your choice. Both programs work if you actually follow them.
3/22/10 9:37 A
I have done Weight Watchers twice. I just came here from there. My take on it is this - First of all they track food and exercise by a point system that is impossible to figure out and if you want to track your food and exercise long term you will have to follow their EVer changing points plans.
They do NOT teach good nutrition.
I heard about sparks on weight watchers boards when my weight loss stalled. I entered my foods there and here for about two weeks. According to WW I was doing fine. Ate the right number of points, checked off my little daily check boxes for oils, dairy, vitamins, water. Here however I found out I was way - WAY under on protein, carbs and fiber. Hmmm
Since following my diet on Sparks I have more energy, am learning about nutrition, exercise and overall health. Sparks is not just about diet (or dieting). I think it offers a solid plan for lifelong success with weight and giving people the power to set and follow goals (if they don't already have that under their belt).
In a nutshell Spark is about life - overall life changes. It is a package deal.
Sparks is free. Yes they sell a book (and I am glad I bought it). Yes they have products you *can buy. Yes - they have advertisers and I am sure visiting those websites and purchasing is what keeps Sparks free. I think that is a wonderful thing. You don't have to "pay" a fee to use the tools and get great advice on how to loose weight safely, maintain etc.
My 15 year old is becoming a nutritional label reader now because he see's what I am doing (which includes sitting here entering NI for foods and recipes we eat). This choice I am making will impact him and those in his future home. WW meant nothing to him. Points. Points???
Off my soap box now & back to help wanted ad's.
Edited by: 2PERSEVERE at: 3/22/2010 (09:52)
Fitness Minutes: (10,959)
1,120 3/22/10 1:14 A
Actually, I think Weight Watchers is a VERY healthy program - IF you do it correctly. The previous poster seemed to indicate that she ate alot of cookies and junk on WW. But I maintain that if you are doing WW correctly, you would not be eating alot of junk. Maybe as treats, just like she does now. But WW REQUIRES that you eat 5 fruits/veggies per day, 2 healthy oils, 2-3 lowfat milk products (depending on age), and a certain amount of protein. They also suggest that you drink alot of water, just like Spark, and eat whole grain products.
And it's really hard to get all of those boxes checked off on your WW tracker if you are eating all your points in cookies.
Finally, you are supposed to eat all of your points every day - they are very much against 'crash' dieting and suggest a weight loss goal of 1-2 lbs per week in their materials. And they strongly encourage exercise as well.
Bottom line - WW is a good program. And you can hardly fault the PROGRAM if people don't do it correctly and eat all their points in cookies.
Spark won't work either if you do it wrong, after all.
Myself, I like WW because I like the meetings, plus, since I can obsess about the scale, I like WW because I am accountable to a scale, but don't hop on and off all day because...well...my scale is at my meeting location. I weigh once a week - that's it.
I like Spark mostly for fitness reasons. Many of the people in my WW meeting walk for exercise, but I'm doing a more hard-core program that includes running, spinning, and Beachbody DVD sets like Power 90, Turbo Jam, Slim in 6, etc. Alot of people here do those programs too, and so Spark is the better place for me to discuss those topics.
I also like Spark because of the day-to-day encouragement I find here. WW is only once a week - Spark is 24/7/365.
At the end of the day, either program will work, and both are considered by the medical establishment to be healthy programs.
You can do one or the other...or like some of us, you can do both at once...because they ARE very compatible.
Edited by: PKTREKGIRL at: 3/22/2010 (01:16)
Fitness Minutes: (22,718)
3,135 3/22/10 12:43 A
I'm so glad someone asked about WW versus Spark. I did WW three years ago and lost 35 lbs in three months. Way too fast, six months later my hair started falling out and after lots of blood tests it was determined I lost weight too fast and didn't get the proper nutrients. This is why I LOVE Spark, they concentrate on what your body needs, in nutrients, exercise, emotions, etc! They teach you a healthy lifestyle and I am sorry, but as WW sales their processed foods at the meetings and elsewhere how is that a healthy lifestyle - processed foods??? Spark doesn't want you to lose more than 1/2 lb to 2 lbs max per week, I stick with 1 lb a week and feel strong and healthy, and when I am hungry I grab something real, like fruit or vegies, not a packaged cookie. Yes, I eat a cookie now and then but it is homemade, with oat flour, flaxseed, etc. So I vote for Spark. If you are concerned about your health and not just losing weight Spark is the way to go.
I have done both and personally find I am more comfortable with spark people, but it is certainly a personal preference and I encourage you to try both to see what fits for you. What I like about sparkpeople, the ability to track a variety of nutrients. I find that I tend to eat more balanced this way. On WW I am too high on carbs and low on fat and protein as you can game the points system. But here I see a pie chart at the end of the day I see fat, protein and carbs and am more motivated to keep them balanced. Best of luck to you.
I agree with both. I also do WW but do not go to the meetings don't have the time but I have all the materials and have lost 22pounds. I love Sparkpeople as well and find that doing both keeps me so freaking motivated and that is truly what I need to suceed.
Done both myself. Like tracking here as it shows calories and other nutrients. Also like tracking my exercises here. WW-- I like the cameraderie of the meetings. Some may get a little hokey depending on who is running the meeting, but the information is extensive and does help.
1/25/10 4:48 P
There are lots of folks who belong to Weight Watchers who use SparkPeople. It all depends on what your goals and challenges are. Right now they are running a free registration special, so all you have to pay for is the weekly meeting fee. WW has a more structured eating regimen. While it's a little more complex SparkPeople's calorie tracking system, some people find it helpful to have stricter parameters. You attend weekly meetings where you weigh in and that can help keep you accountable. Many people also find the in person meetings, support and community very helpful.