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Weight Watchers?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I'm thinking about joining Weight Watchers.

While I love SP, it has become white noise. I get emails daily, but I ignore them. Rarely do I see anything that sparks me to do anything.

I was completely against joining WW because I didn't want to pay to lose weight, but I think I'm at a point where I need additional, face-to-face help. Also, I am interested in learning about foods to eat before/after working out, and getting motivation that is a bit closer at hand. Right now, there is no one else in my life who is trying to lose weight in a healthy way, which is frustrating at times.

I also feel like WW is more about nutrition and less about a fad diet, which appeals to me.

So I would like input- tell me the good and bad of WW. Go!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I also agree with what the last commenter said - about going primal/paleo. It has helped me immensely and there are a ton of really great recipes out there. Might be hard though if you don't like meat. But there's always a way!
    2057 days ago
    You asked and I'll give my honest opinion. I would suggest you try something very different. emoticon
    I think as far as the diet, what is recommended on Spark and by WW is similar enough. And for me neither worked to lose the last 10 lbs. but would probably have worked to some degree to get the initial weight off. Almost any diet of relatively natural foods combined with moderate exercise is going to work better than the SAD (standard american diet) that consists of huge amounts of processed foods. But some diets may work much better for overall health.
    In my opinion neither the Spark recommended diet nor WW will get you the most nutritional benefit and make it easy to maintain in the long run. The reason is that both favor low-fat foods which by nature are usually higher in sugar and starch and they are not truly natural foods. Also, leaving out fat (which most recent science has shown not to to cause heart disease, diabetes and a host of other illnesses) will leave you hungry, meaning you then need to try to out-trick your body to deal with hunger. Many people then get into a mindset of "on the diet - off the diet (cheating)" which increases the chance of developing eating disorders.
    If you want to try something different, have much more energy, better athletic performance, no food cravings, improved brain function and normal blood sugar, cholesterol levels and blood pressure without drugs try going low-carb/primal/paleo.
    There are many very supportive teams on Spark for this, in fact you can even just introduce yourself and then link you spark blogs and people will be there for you with any questions and struggles along the way. If you would rather connect with real people in the real world instead of online join a local group that is not tied into the diet industry and selling diet products.
    Here is a book that has all the most recent science about low-carb nutrition:
    And here, by the same authors, the part about how this works for exercising:

    I will never go back to eating high-carb and happily eat a diet with veggies and fruit, grass-fed meat, dairy and eggs, nuts, seeds, but no sugar, grains or beans. After a few weeks I did not miss any of them.

    Best wishes,

    2057 days ago
    Hmm...interesting insight, Leigh. I was thinking about a nutritionist as well. I completely agree with you- I'm tired of thinking that I can eat more because I am working out so much. That's just not working for me. Instead, I want to know how to make the most of my workouts by eating the correct foods before and after them. I also need to know how to eat better "good" foods- due to my dislike for meats and cheese, I need to know alternatives so I can still get all of the nutrients I need.

    I will keep looking into it! Thank you for your input!
    2057 days ago
    You sort of know my history with ww, but as one other commenter said, it ends up like anything else.

    It is definitely a well proven program and really helps you to get your portions under control. In my experience, it's not horribly different than SP - but instead of counting calories you're counting points.

    Another fault of WW in the past (granted, it's been like 10 years since I've been successful on it so it could have completely changed in that time, and again, not horribly unlike SP) is the focus on low calorie and low fat foods. It's proven that those foods contain so many chemicals that they're actually harmful rather than helpful, and because they cost fewer "points" its really easy to fall into that mindset. The other focus that I see on both programs is that the calories burned DURING a workout are what matter, which isn't really the case. That mindset, in my opinion and for me, has made it okay to eat more. What really needs to happen is a shift to understanding what your body is doing at rest. That's when you're really burning fat.

    The upside is that, since it's something different, it will be more motivating for you. If you start up and have success, but burn out, you'll at least have the weight off and possibly it will be easier to keep it off. Plus, you have face to face accountability. It was nice to see the same people at the meetings each week, and when I missed a week they'd wonder where I was.

    So in my own experience, as you know, I've struggled a lot. Taking the money I would have put into WW and putting it into a consultation with an actual nutritionist was far more beneficial for me. Again, WW has it's upsides and if it motivates you then that is reason in itself to start it up. Just don't feel pigeonholed into thinking that's the only other option.
    2057 days ago
    Ha! I read all of the comments on the blog! I just don't read all of the articles because a lot of them are repeats (I've been on SP for about 4 or 5 years).

    I love the comments so far :)
    2058 days ago
  • DEEJON123
    since you say you don't read them anyway, I'll just reply to get the 3 points, thx.
    2058 days ago
    WW works, but it is like everything else. After a while you lose the desire to count all the points. The meetings are fun, but when you have a bad week or weeks it is easy to just skip it. You still have to pay for the weeks that you skip, too.
    2058 days ago
    I was on WW a while ago, two separate times. The first time I did meetings (I'm so old this was pre-internet), and years later did the online program. It's obviously a good and proven program, so I have nothing bad to say about it. I will just tell you my preference.

    I didn't like weighing in with a group of people. That's just my preference. The meeting things were good because we all talked, but my group was relatively quiet and didn't really want to share their "binge" stories or whatnot. (I like the somewhat anonymous feel of the blog where I can air my concerns).

    I did the online thing with a few friends. I need the community to help keep me going, which is why I enlisted their help (I now am more involved in the SP community which is why I'm seeing success).

    I did the points tracker, which was good for me at first but later confused me. I couldn't easily translate in my head the "point value" for each food I was putting in my mouth or cart, and soon I became so focused on points that I forgot about the health value of my foods. I knew I didn't want to live my life counting points, which later seemed irrelevant to my lifestyle habits. Had I done the calorie counter, I might have done better, but I'm not sure.

    Plus, I'm cheap. When I couldn't log in, I knew I was spending money on something I wasn't using, and then I felt guilty.

    If you need face to face time and coaching, I think joining a live meeting would be good. You will have your meeting times and appointments and will be held accountable with those. And maybe you can do the meeting thing with either the online WW site, or use the SparkPeople nutrition tracker so you don't have to pay for the WW online site, which will enable to you to be accountable daily by entering your intake and understanding what you eat.

    So, there you have it - my preferences. I wish you success in whatever route you choose!
    2058 days ago
    One of the good things about WW is that they don't restrict what you can eat. You can have whatever you want, you just have to count the points. So if you do well with no restrictions, it's a good thing. WW also has you weigh in in front of a group and then they clap for you if you lose weight. This is a great motivator for some, but others don't care for it. The core principals of WW and spark seem to be the same.. both use the support group aspect as well as tracking and counting either calories or points. Good luck!
    2058 days ago
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.

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