3 Reasons Why I Use My Fitness Pal and Not Weight Watchers to Track My Food

3 Reasons why I use My Fitness Pal and Not Weight Watchers to Track My Food

The best way to change your eating habits and lose weight is to hold yourself accountable to the food you are eating. Tracking your food is the most effective way to do that. Without tracking it’s easy to think you are eating healthy – or within your means. However, if the scale is not budging or goes up then too much food is usually to blame. When you do not pay attention to the food you eat then most likely you are eating too much. This has been my experience every time my weekly weigh in does not go in my favor.

I hear over and over again that tracking food is tedious and takes too much time. Yes it will take time and some effort. But…I am here to tell you that tracking your food is essential to losing weight. To make changes to your eating habits you must pay attention and be intentional with your food. Tracking helps you do just that. Once you are comfortable with food portions and creat a structure for yourself then you can ease up on the tracking a bit. However, if you are struggling with your eating habits then tracking your food can provide a nice frame work and structure to keep you focused and intentional.

Two popular programs/and or systems people use to track their food are Weight Watchers and My Fitness Pal. There are other programs but those are the two my readers use most.

Anyway, I am often asked if I recommend one program over the other or why I chose My Fitness Pal over Weight Watchers. So in this post I am going to share the 3 reasons I prefer My Fitness Pal over Weight Watchers. Please note this is all based on my experience and by no means am I saying Weight Watchers doesn’t work or I don’t recommend it. Many people love Weight Watchers and rightfully so – it is sound weight loss program that many people can embrace and stick with. I am just speaking on what has worked for me. At the end of the day you need to find the system that works best for you.

My Fitness Pal is free

You can use My Fitness Pal completely free of charge. This was and still is huge for me and I know it is for a lot of my readers too. Let’s face it we like free. However, even though the MFP website and app don’t cost a dime they do not lack any features. They have a huge food database, an awesome recipe builder, progress reports, different apps you can utilize, a community forum, blogs, and tons of other features all free of charge. Everything you could possible need to help you lose weight can be found on My Fitness Pal free of charge.

Weight Watchers also has a great feature rich website and app along with the opportunity to attend weekly meetings – but it costs money. I pay about $20 a month. **please note I am a Weight Watcher member for educational purposes only and to calculate points for my recipes. I like to keep informed on the resources my readers are using.

Besides Weight Watchers meetings and the live chat feature I don’t see much difference between the two websites. If those two things are important to you then it might be worth it. However, in my opinion both websites offer the same basic type of weight loss tools.

My Fitness Pal is super easy to use

The MFP website and app are simple, functional, and easy to use and understand. After you sign up it doesn’t take a lot of effort to navigate and figure things out. I think this is important because most people prefer weight loss not to be complicated. As soon as losing weight becomes confusing most likely you will get discouraged – I know that is how I am. Even as My Fitness Pal evolves and changes their website I find it easy to follow and use.

The Weight Watchers website is a little bit clunky to me. It is still easy to navigate but there is lots of information and many different pages to sift through. This can get a little overwhelming for those just starting out. However, don’t let that discourage you because Weight Watchers definitely provides a lot of great information.

I prefer to track calories over points

This is a big reason why I chose MFP over Weight Watchers. Personally, I prefer to track calories and basic nutritional information over points. I am going to be honest – the points system confuses me. I do figure out the points for all my recipes – because my Weight Watchers readers want that -but I still get confused on the number of points a person should have for meals and snacks. For example, my raspberry overnight oats recipe is 322 calories and 8 weight watchers points plus. Well..I don’t think 322 calories is too much for breakfast. In fact, I think that is about average. However, some of my readers on Weight Watchers have said the 8 points is too much for breakfast. So I get confused with how points should be distributed throughout the day. Also, there are activity points and then fruit doesn’t count towards points. And then every now and then Weight Watchers goes and switches the whole point system up. My brain goes into overload. Therefore, I stick with simple and just track my calories. Calories never change.

I also think it is easier to eyeball the calories of a food rather than try to figure out the points. But that’s just me. Some people love the structure of the points system and if it works for you then stick with it.

Those are the 3 reasons I choose to use My Fitness Pal instead of Weight Watchers. Again, you need to use the program or system that you are most comfortable with. What works for one might not work for another. We are all different people with different needs and learning styles.

With that said, it is important to understand that nothing will work if you don’t work. You can sign up for every program and system under the sun but if you don’t change your lifestyle then you will never lose weight. My Fitness Pal and Weight Watchers are programs that provide the tools to keep you accountable with the food you eat. You have to be consistent with using those tools. But I know you can do it! So keep moving forward.

What about you? Do you use My Fitness Pal or Weight Watchers? I would love to hear your feedback on both of these systems in the comments.

Are you ready to start your weight loss journey? If so, check out my ebook Organize Yourself Skinny for my 5 strategies and some secrets to creating a healthy lifestyle and losing weight. I also provide a bonus 4-week make ahead meal plan to get you started. Read more about it here.

 

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Comments

  1. Mary Lou L says:

    I find WW website harder to use too and their scanning of foods is way more limited as well. That was one of my biggest complaints. That and the cost!

  2. I’m a lifetime WW member, but I track on both of the websites. I link MyFitness Pal to my Fitbit.

  3. Completely agree. I have recently started WW, and I am very annoyed at the sad database of food they have compared with My Fitness Pal. I am paying $45 a month for meetings and use of the tools, but I often wind up looking things up on MFP to put in the points tracker. It’s a waste of time and money.

    On a more positive note: Thank you so much for your awesome site, your relateable openness, and the mason jar salads that I love just a touch too much. (I can’t help but taking a picture after I make them- they’re so cute!) 🙂

  4. I totally agree with you and I was a weighwatcher member for over 30 years! I like the idea of simple math and I agree that My Fitness Pal is so much easier to use. It also syncs up with my Fitbit and that is even better. Counting calories, making wise food choices and exercise is really the only way for me to be successful. Thank you for your blog.

  5. I like the weight watcher program and that veggies and fruit are free foods but I hate their online food diary. MFP has a larger database and is easier to use. I’ve heard that calories are the only thing to use when trying to lose weight. It all gets so confusing but I need to start somewhere again and I think this time I will try one thing…tracking on MFP and see how that goes!

    • I lost 50 lbs on WW, I think it’s a great place to start. I just wish I could track my total fat/sodium/protein intake on WW like I can with MFP.

  6. Kimberly O. says:

    You CAN track your Weight Watcher’s POINTS on My Fitness Pal! Here’s a post on how to set it up: http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/822197/how-to-track-weight-watchers-points-on-mfp/p16

    You won’t see the POINTS values until you add the food to your diary. (So if you are looking up a food’s POINTS value, it will only show after it has been added.) Also, this will only display POINTS on the web version, not the phone app.

    I prefer to track my calories and protein intake. When I was doing WW, I did like how simple the POINTS made it seem, but it really seemed like such an extra step to calculate the POINTS. Calorie information is basically “in your face” for most foods that you have the packaging for. 🙂

    • Teresa (Tc4IowaState) says:

      I am using that formula and on Firefox and it is a nice on the home computer. I love MFP and this wonderful site. I am really trying to get a grip on moving in the right direction on my weight loss and really glad to see this post about the difference. I need to stay the course and not jump ship back to WW. I miss my fun meeting I went to but I don’t miss getting up at 5:30 to get to the meeting at 7am on Sat anymore. The people at the meeting was very awesome.

  7. I really enjoy your website! You’re honestly one of my favorites. And, I absolutely agree with you regarding Myfitnesspal. It has been my ‘go to’ for years, especially because of it’s immense data base for both food and fitness. I also have linked it to my Fitbit which is an added bonus! Truely love your mason jars – you’ve got me going crazy when it comes to those. I am a canner, so I’ve always got jars! Cheers! Joy

  8. Wendy Campbell says:

    Like you I never understood the points – it seemed like an extra step for me – it is nice to see that someone feels the same way too!

  9. I tried MFP and I didn’t lose weight with it. It was very discouraging. When I switched to WW (online only), I lost weight immediately & although slowly, consistently. I am now down 45lbs. I prefer the flexibility of WW with plus points. I would sometimes struggle to stay within my calories with MFP if we attended a potluck or went to a restaurant. With WW,you can use your plus points for those times. Either choice is great but for me, WW has changed my life.

    • That is awesome! Thanks so much for your comment. I love hearing everyone’s perspective.

    • Wenwoo10 says:

      I totally agree with this post!! I am a lifetime member with WW! I tried MFP as well and didnt lose weight either, joined WW and lost 36lb to get to my goal weight! WW rocks!!

    • Teresa (Tc4IowaState) says:

      Great job on you loss and I struggle at 10lbs loss. I love how everyone can do one or the other to loose weight and it works.

    • Michelle Smith says:

      Same. MFP is very structured with their calorie system. I could only use 1200 calories in a day, period. Going out to eat with family or friends at most restaurants was a hard no! I couldn’t lose any weight with them either, not sure why. Switched to WW, and not only did I lose weight immediately and steadily, but I stayed motivated because I could still go out and enjoy meals with friends and family using the weekly points. Also, I ate way more fruits and veggies since most of them are zero points. I rarely ate fruit under MFP because of the calorie cost. Using 10% of my daily calories on a banana? No way. It’s weird, because I definitely feel like I ate more with WW, but I still lost weight.

      • Doc Sarah says:

        Michelle

        I totally agree with your statements about WW. I lost 60 lbs years ago,maintained until quitting smoking and menapause when an alien from the blubber planet entered my body.

        I thought I should try something new at this stage of my life. MFP was a choice but the calories never seemed to be enough. I am now back on WW and have lost 4 lbs in the past 2 weeks. Just bought a treadmill so my fitbit is happy with my steps goals being met. I do use MFP to figure out some recipes on occasion but my go o weight loss pal is still WW.

        Whatever works as long as it is healthy!!!!

    • I agree with all of the above. I also tried the calorie tracking only method and was unable to lose weight with it. I feel like Weight Watchers encourages me to chose healthier options, like eating a banana instead of a processed item with the same amount of calories. That is what I like about it. Not all calories are equal. I do wish there was a free option that worked similarly to Weight Watchers though. For those paying $45-$50 for WW, the online only option is a much better deal at $20!

  10. I love MFP linked with my Fitbit. I think an important part of losing weight is being totally honest with myself from looking in the mirror and what I put in my mouth. As you said, the calories are there and don’t change. I am not a fan of any diet that says “you can eat what you want, even dessert.” Because, I think one should focus on eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and calories add up fast when one is trying to lose weight. Points is a euphemism for those darn calories. I count every single calorie I eat and am doing really well on a major weight-loss and get fit project. I like to think of MFP as the honest, no-gimmick way to a much healthier lifestyle. FREE and EASY are really hard to beat, too.

  11. Excellent article. Thank you for this. I am currently a WW member but the monthly cost is an issue, but I love the weigh-in accountability part of the WW meetings. I feel like that has been a huge part of my weight loss success. But not sure I can afford to keep paying close to $50 bucks for that. I might have to start using MFP. This was very helpful. Thank you again!

  12. Larry Goodin says:

    My Wife And I Are On Weight Watchers And Have Both Lost A Considerable Amount Of Weight. The Points Plus System Seems To Be Working For Us At This Time,But I Am Always Interested In Trying To Learn New Ways Of Eating Healthy And Keeping My Weight In Check. It Has Taken Me A Long Time But I Believe I Have Finally Realized That If I Don’t Take Responsibility For My Own Health And Eating Habits No One Else Will,And I Would Like To Thank You For Your FB Page OYS And For Always Including The WW Points+ Info In Your Recipes,You Have Really Been A Blessing And Inspiration Thank You So Much

  13. I like WW Simply Filling – THAT plan is easier than even counting calories. Just stick with the list of Power Foods – all other items have to be logged as points. It links with my WW ActiveLink (and also with FitBit I am told). I signed up for MFP too, but I never use it. I also love the blogs on WW. The best thing is that I have only 2# to goal and I really believe I can continue to eat this way…meaning that I won’t have to RELOSE this weight.

    • I lost 35 lbs using the simply filling technique! I am 1 pound away from goal. It is a healthy way to lose and maintain. The bottom line is healthy food choices and reasonable portions.

  14. Mary Pape says:

    I’ve been following you for some time. My problem with your menu’s in advance is that it is super heavy in Mexican cuisine. I’m not a big fan, actually I dislike it for the most part. Any suggestions?

  15. I have used MFP before and it is really easy! I personally don’t think it took too much time. 🙂

  16. Thanks for your input on the comparison between MFP and WW. I used MFP for over a year and lost 20 lbs, then hit a plateau. Three weeks ago I joined WW online and have lost 6 lbs already. For me I think the WW tracker helps me with portion control better, and knowing I paid for this adds some accountability. I’m 15lbs from my goal, and will most likely go back to MFP after I reach that milestone because it is free.

    Kimberly O thanks for the link on tracking points on MFP!

    • Marlene, I agree with the accountibility! I just joined Weight Watchers today so I”m hoping that because I am paying for it…I will be able to stick with it. I lack will power and it’s discouraging.

  17. I am a weight watchers member I do both online and meetings. I love it!!! I only found out about My Fitness Pal this week a friend of mine showed me. I think it’s awesome. Great for accountability. I know for me, I need the actually meetings and the threat of the scale each week to keep me honest.

  18. I ‘very done Weight Watchers in the past and it’s a great program but points are harder to keep track of then caleries. I use Sparkpeople.com great Web site and a reps that keep track of calories and exercise. There is a reps lot of info a vailable. Lost 50lbs. Always before a bad day would throw me off and I wound ‘ get back on track. Spark has changed food. I’ve learned that you need to alow yourself to give into your cravings ounce in awhile. You just have to make healthier choices the rest of the week.

  19. I’ve done both, but right now prefer WW. If I eat most fruit and veggies, I know it’s 0 points! If I eat a huge salad, it’s 0 points. But with MFP, I have to figure out the calories, and that is just too much work for me now. I would really prefer free over having to pay, but at this time in my life, WW is better for me. I was reading a book on weight loss by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, and he recommends taking your total amount of points allowed for the day, divide by 4. I’m at 26, so that would be about 6.5. So you would eat 6 or 7 points per meal (don’t forget you have weeklies) and then divide the last 6 points by 3 (am snack, pm snack, bedtime snack; or by 2 if you don’t eat before bed). That’s how he recommends you distribute your WW points. (Btw, he is the founder and medical director of, the Bariatric Medical Institute which provides non-surgical weight management.) Thank you for sharing this with us.

  20. Is there a way where I can import the recipes and/or food diary from Plan2Eat or from MFP to Plan2Eat? I would like to plan a week in advance and then adjust after the fact.

  21. Vivian Orasco says:

    I would like to Thank you for being an inspiration. I have about 20 pounds to lose and reading your blog helps me stay, or get back on track. Love the recipes and weekly meal plans. You’re a doll
    Vivian

  22. Your test for healthy eating is when you are invited to eat out and have to eat sensibly when others appear to have ‘have it all’! Hard work with a goal ahead is the key for success in any walk of life, as is summed up in the old adage of “No pain no gain”! Connecting with a diet tracker to stay committed is made easy with support from Careot App.

  23. I’ve not used MFP, but have successfully been on WW for the past 2 1/2 years. My understanding with WW is not all calories are created equal the the Points Plus system takes carbs, fats, proteins and fiber into account when creating points. The oatmeal breakfast is so many points because it’s carb heavy. WW helped me lose the last 10 pounds and keep it off!

    • So glad that you pointed out that WW points acknowledges fat, fiber and protein in their points. The research that goes on behind the scenes at WW is why I am ok with paying for it. I have gone to meetings before and those helped, but I like the fact that as a company, they have evolved and continue to consider mental notes as one is losing weight. My fave concept from the new points plus is that one may not tend to overeat on fruits and veggies, as they may on low calorie treats…hence the 0 points assigned to them. It really helps with making better decisions (and cravings). Ww’s online community and online food tracker could use a major overhaul, but they have really improved their apps (their kitchen app for the iPad is so real when calculating receives). And thank god they integrated with Fitbit!

      I have never used MFP, but I hear great things about it. And I applaud anyone who is taking a good look at their lifestyles and improving themselves.

  24. I love MFP! I have been using it for about 4 years now. I lost my first 25lbs just by using mfp, measuring, and staying within my calorie goal, BEFORE I started changing my diet or adding exercise. JUST eating proper portions and calories. It was my bible! I still use it every day.

  25. I stopped using WW for exactly the same reasons. In addition, I found that the points didn’t really correlate with the nutritional value of the food/drink. For example, a can of Diet Coke has 0 points meaning that, in theory, I can drink as many Diet Cokes as I want. Likewise, fruit and (most) veg have 0 points. Again – fruit is full of sugar and should be eaten in moderation. However, an avocado has a whopping 12 points (or similar). With an allowance of 29 points per day (not taking into account my weekly 49 indulge points), eating an Avocado would be something I would want to avoid.

    I switched over to MFP last November and haven’t looked back since. Not only do I get feedback on the vitamin content of my food, but I have lost weight steadily since. I do work out 4-5 days per week, but I found that being able to track calories (as opposed to points) has been more beneficial to me.

    Lastly, WW has a very limited database. Extremely limited – particularly in the UK. MFP has nutritional values for just about any kind of food you can think of. And if it’s not there, you can scan the barcode!! Plus, my PT can look at my diary and provide feedback. Plus I can track my workouts! Love that app!!!

  26. I’ve tried both WW and MFP, and honestly, I find them both to be tedious. I have been doing the 21 Day Fix (BeachBody) program – which is all based on portion control by using the number of containers allowed for the day, based on your current weight. I have found this to be so much easier. It also gives you a clearer impression of what an actual portion size should look like, so it’s much simpler to guage the correct amount of food to eat, even when you don’t have the measuring containers on hand. The videos that are included with the program are decent too. Besides anything Jillian Michaels, these have become my new go-to workouts.

  27. I used to use ww’s online but at least in Canada the scanner only acknowledges 1 in 10 foods! Also I was basically paying just to log my foods in. MFP is an amazing app that is simple and quick. Right now I also calculate pp but seeing the calories is definitely an eye opener.

  28. Deb Kolar says:

    I use weight watchers for the points but find fitness pal easier to use and I really miss the nutritional breakdown that fitness pal provides.

  29. Michelle says:

    MFP is my app of choice. Being diabetic means I have to watch carb counts and MFP makes that so much easier than any other app I’ve tried. Plus the database is so much more extensive. And I love that I can scan barcodes for foods I eat and make my own lists.

  30. I’m interested if following you on my fitness pal. Would you share your user name?
    Thank you

  31. I ju st joined WW and really don’t have ant problems with the pts. However, is it posdible to count points with my fitness?

  32. Jessica K says:

    So I’m a WW member for about a year now (down 25 lbs). I am an on again off again tracker and I definitely see success when I do. Their tracker is ok but I really like how the meetings contribute to my week. They have helped me tackle the emotional side to my eating program and I also like that I have a set time/place where people will miss me if I don’t go. It adds some accountability. I think whatever you do, as long as it works for you that”s the point. I’ve taken recipes from your site that I love!

  33. Mary Beth says:

    I use MFP because it calculates and tracks things like saturated fat – things I need to monitor for my health.

  34. Donna Damsgaard says:

    For years I tried tracking calories and even tried using MFP to make it simpler, but it didn’t work for me. I really liked the idea of getting something for free and losing weight without it costing me a whole lot of money. However, MFP didn’t work for me and I needed help in losing weight, so I joined Weight Watchers and lost 35 pounds. Since then I became a Lifetime member (I then got everything for free, including etools) and now I am a leader. Every penny I spent on WW has been worth it. Also, I love the flexibility of the Points Plus Values and the support you gain from attending meetings. The Points Plus system really isn’t difficult to understand if you take a little time and effort in learning about how it works – for me, it was an investment that paid off big!

  35. Donna Damsgaard says:

    Everyone needs to find a fit for what works for them in terms of weight loss support and strategies. I love Weight Watchers program it is the only thing that has really helped me to lose weight. I am sure MY Fitness Pal will help others with tracking calories if tracking calories is the system that works for the individual. Here is the big difference between My Fitness Pal and Weight Watchers e-Tools. My Fitness Pal is loaded with advertising all around your MFP site. Your Weight Watchers e-tools does not have advertising on your personal site. For me, I prefer Weight Watchers Points Plus System over counting calories and I love their e-tools because it is clean, only contains program information and it does not have advertising from other services or products displayed.

  36. I’ve used both and I have to say I much prefer WW. The reason is because I can easily stay within my calorie allowance on MFP and still eat nothing but crap. It is impossible to do that on WW because you are penalized so heavily for eating empty calories. There are a few things that I would like to see improved in WW. For example: I miss the nutritional breakdown offered in MFP (as others have mentioned), but my overall nutrition is far better on WW than MFP because it really forces you to cut certain foods out but still gives you flexibility versus just reducing the amounts you eat.

  37. I prefer tracking on MFP as well but enjoy and need the support from the WW meetings. I’m wondering how you decided what daily calorie goal to choose? Currently at WW I am allowed 26 daily points and 49 weekly bonus points. I would like to merge both programs by continuing to go to WW meetings for awhile but track on MFP ( calories not points) because as you said calories always stay the same and this is a lifestyle. Any advice with this would be appreciated. Thanks!

  38. I lost 45 lbs on WW 2 years ago and really liked the program. I like how it taught me to eat in moderation. The meetings were a big part of my success I think. I found an amazing and inspiring leader. I no longer live in an area with a lot of meeting options so when I tried WW again over the winter just on the app, I didn’t stick with it. I need some sort of personal aspect. So I downloaded the App Rise to work with a dietician. I wasn’t losing weight after a few weeks with her so I asked to add in calorie counting since I know I’m successful when I’m tracking. Since I already pay for Rise, I wouldn’t also pay for WW. And now after 2 weeks of using MFP I would agree with you on the differences in technology of the websites and apps. MFP is far superior an app. I didn’t realize how lacking the WW database was until I started on MFP!! It’s crazy. I did like counting points though. For some reason. Even if I did get frustrated that a bowl of oat meal was 8 points and still a whole grain like the recommend. I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to WW. I miss the groups, but the cost is becoming prohibitively expensive. But then again I’m not losing any weight right now so I suppose I would pay the $50/mo if I knew I’d lose 45 pounds again.

  39. I have found that having friends in challenges is really motivating (finally bought a Fitbit because my sister uses one), but I dont’t know anybody on MFP, even though I’ve been using it for months. I feel like I’m not as motivated to use it because of that.

  40. I love that since UA bought MFP, it integrates with their other apps, specifically for me MapMyFitness. I am such a cheater! I would over estimate my exercise and under report my weight. I don’t know who I thought I was fooling. Lol. But now with my WiThings scale and MapMyFitness –no more fibs.

  41. What are the 3 steps for Weight Watchers?
    1) Measure
    2) Count

    But what is the thrid one.

    Does anyways know??

    Thank you!

  42. i can’t afforded WW and the food you have to buy to lose weight…. Your plan is a much better choice for me. Just need to clean out the junk and buy some real food.

    • You don’t have to buy any special food for WW. Any food item can be tracked as long as you know what the nutritional content is. WW does have its own line of products, and they endorse some other products as well but you don’t need to purchase them to follow the plan.

  43. I use the FitBit app and have lost 30 lbs since May. The fact that the calories burned versus eaten turns RED when you are not meeting your goal for the day is motivating for me to get on the treadmill. I was a WW member for years and got tired of the gimmicky nature of the annual changes and the need to constantly sell you new materials, plus the $49.95 monthly fee.. Either the program works as designed or it doesn’t. I lost 62 lbs on the original points program, but regained and didn’t have any luck with the follow on programs. But FITBIT has worked for me and I will stick with it to goal.

  44. I just switched to MFP. I started off in august on WW and while I lost weight, I hit a plateau a few weeks ago. So I tried MFP. It was super easy, and I have been able to finally reach my goal weight. But what I love most is that it gaveme a clear picture of all calories, carbs, protein sugars and fats. It was an eye opener how much sugar you can eat like fruit, which is a freebie on WW. Sugar is hidden in everything and MFP clearly shows where it is. It gave me a clear picture of how I was eating and how many calories I still would have left to eat at the end of the night. It helped me make better choices. It incorporated my exerise and adds calories back. I just love the site and won’t go back to WW.

  45. I actually prefer Weight Watchers over My Fitness Pal. I find that giving vegetables and fruits 0 are the perfect way to get me to eat them. I stick to 2 fruits a day as I know not to spend an entire day eating fruit. 26 points a day roughly equals 1200-1400 calories. 8 points for breakfast is a lot because then you only have 18 left for the day. I usually spend between 5-7 for Breakfast, 7-9 for lunch and 10-12 for dinner. Weight Watchers is super flexible because you get that extra 49 a day which if you split amongst 7 days that’s 7 extra. so 33 points should run between 1400-1500 calories. I love Weight Watchers. I’ve lost 8 pounds in 4 weeks and I plan on losing more through the holidays. I think their mobile version is actually much simpler than my fitness pal. My Fitness Pal I’ve noticed too now charges for advanced nutritional information which used to be free.

  46. Ten years ago I lost 45 pounds on Weight Watchers and gained it all back plus five pounds. I am super busy (I know everyone is) and weekly Weight Watcher meetings were just too cumbersome. And I agree the ever changing points system was a lot to keep track of.
    I am using My Fitness Pal and finding success. I agree, calories are the easiest for me to count and I like the exercise feature as well. I’ve logged in for 105 days 🙂 and I’ve lost 13 pounds so far and have 16 more to lose to meet my first goal. Taking it one day at a time to get through the holidays with little or no weight gain 🙂

  47. Lo and behold, just this month Weight Watchers changed their whole points system again, and it’s worse than ever. PointsPlus worked very well for me, but you are right, they are confusing, unfair at times, and harder to calculate.

    When I was a member about 3-4 years ago pointsplus was brand new, but it worked for me. The recipe builder was good, the online tools were good, the database of foods was weak but grew over time and got to be much better than when I first started.

    Now I re-joined a couple months ago to lose a few more pounds, and they had put in a great mobile app that had a barcode scanner, the database was good, everything was great, but within a couple weeks of joining they completely changed the website (which sucks now) and this month they completely changed over to SmartPoints. I went from 42 points per day to 39, and literally every food I had been eating (and losing weight eating) is now 2-3 points more than it was.

    The new website and app are worse than the old, the program is even LESS intuitive, and I’m struggling to see any reason to continue with it. I have about another month on my plan but I’ll be cancelling.

    I’ve downloaded My Fitness Pal to see if it will work as a replacement and I am wondering why I paid for weight watchers again in the first place! It has all the same features I liked, and the app is better, you can actually create a recipe through the app whereas WW you need the website for that.

    The thing I liked about PointsPlus was that it subtly penalized you for eating sugary, fatty foods and give you an incentive to eat more filling whole grains, but if you really wanted a piece of cheesecake you could do it as long as you behaved yourself the rest of the week.

    I’m doing both for now just to make sure I like this app, but so far I really do. Calories is definitely simpler. It lacks the social engineering component that I found helpful in WW, but as long as I’m getting even half the results I got from WW for free, I’m willing to switch.

    • I, too am on Weight Watchers and am extremely frustrated by their new SmartPoints program. I have lost weight using the PointsPlus and cannot understand the logic of SmartPoints. I am thinking about cancelling and joining MFP but am nervous I will not be as successful. I like your idea of doing both prior to cancelling to determine success.

    • I have done WW my whole adult life and needed to lose weight again. I signed up again thinking if Oprah is behind it, it must be good. Imagine my surprise when a can of Coke is 9 points! A tiny container of yogurt was 7. Very disheartening. I’ll continue for awhile (only paid for 3 months), but I will probably go back to MFP. The WW website is horrible. You can’t import recipes and it’s just very user UNfriendly.

  48. Are you going to be incorporating the new WW Smart Pointsminto your program? I love your site. You’re my inspiration!

  49. I also prefer MFP over WW! I was a member of WW many years ago. It is a good program but over the years it has changed so much. I think the points system is confusing and unnecessary. I joined MFP and love it! Simple, easy, and free! The features are great! Simply track your calories and exercise without point coversion. It works for me👍

  50. I agree that it is individual preference as to which program works best. My struggle with WW is that my son is diabetic and they often don’t provide the full nutrition values in addition to points. It is double the effort to find the carbs in the food for insulin dosing when only points are listed. They are getting better though. The lesson I have learned from OYS regardless of which system works best for you is the key is planning, planning, planning.

    • Yes I’m so glad you said that about the planning because really that is key.

    • I am diabetic, and I lost 25 pounds on WW Points Plus from July to November last year. Then Smart Points came out and all the healthy fats I was eating DOUBLED in points. Since I can only eat very limited carbs, a larger percent of my diet must be fats… but fats (ALL fats) are so heavily penalized that I can’t fit all my nutrition into a day without going over my points, but I’m still under on calories. My weight loss flatlined the minute I start Smart Points, and in the last 2 months In have GAINED eight pounds. I’m sad, because I have been a WW lifetime member since the early 1990’s, but it is no longer a sustainable program for me. Not to mention that at meetings, in email, and on their website, they’re pushing their very expensive products and chemical-laden prepared foods.

      • jrochest says:

        There are ‘pirated’ versions of the old Points Plus system available out there, if you still want to follow the old program!

  51. I got a little frustrated with MYP. Maybe somebody can help. I would creat recipes of a meal I made but if I ate it again the a few weeks later I couldn’t find the recipe I created and had to renter it all again. What am I doing wrong?

  52. I like the fact that MFP is simple to follow & ecstatic that it’s FREE. I will stay with this program until I reach my goal. Thank you.

  53. I have been using MFP for several years and love the ease of getting through the program. I just wish I could really afford the yearly premium.

  54. I am a member of WW for the fellowship, in person meetings, and weekly weigh-in accountability. BUT, I track everything with MFP. I’m pre-diabetic so I like seeing my nutrient profile throughout the day. And the points system for WW isn’t exactly how I eat. I eat much more fat and that blows my points up. And I have to watch fruit and all carbs, really. So this is my system!

  55. I just completed a three month Weight Watchers membership and have switched to MyFitnessPal. Like you, I didn’t find the Points system useful and almost immediately started tracking calories and carbs on a separate spreadsheet every day. I only tracked Points out of idle curiosity and over the three month period, I averaged about 16 points per day less than the WW points assigned to me. If I’d eaten all the points I was assigned, I don’t know if I’d have lost much weight at all. I also recently started tracking Sodium. MyFitnessPal lets me track cals, carbs, and sodium easily and I don’t have to keep a separate spreadsheet for those now. The food database for MFP seems to be better than the WW one. I’ve already noticed that it has found several foods that the WW database didn’t. I find all the MFP apps to be better designed with better user interface. And of course it’s nice to save myself $45 per month.

  56. Tammi Holland says:

    I belonged to ww for many years losing .2 gaining back .2. This was a typical week. It wasn’t until I switched to mfp that I lost 50 pounds in one year and so far have maintained for four months. I plan to track forever so I will never gain the weight back. It’s the only way I am accountable!

  57. I agree. I find that you spend too much time trying to figure out the values nod not enough time choosing healthy foods that will last. I actually focus on the type of food and portion size. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and low fat meats. I lost 20 pounds without tracking or counting. The weight came off steadily each week.

  58. Me myself i like WW the reason it may be confusing is because different weights and activity levels get different points like for example i get 57 points and i dont get through all of them but for me an 8 point breakfast is not bad at all exp if i use fresh vefies or fruit as a snack in between meals say i had a 10 point lunch and a 12 point dinner thats using only 39 points of my 57 without counting activity so what im saying is we are unique and while 8 points might be to much for one person it isnt for another maybe they are spending points on snacks or drinks! Its not confusing if you do what it says to do for you! im on the points plus edition got a calculator not doing it thtough the membership and still having success….

  59. If this informations is posted elsewhere I apologize for the question….If WW says I get 29 points – What does that translate into on MFP settings? calories and Macro breakdown?

    Thanks!

  60. CBening says:

    Weight Watchers has updated their plan with Smart Points. Nutritionally, it exceeds their previous plans. I don’t want to think about calories b/c they are not all created equal. I have been back on WW for a few weeks and loving it. I am Online Only and I don’t find that they are pushing their products or processed foods. The funny thing I find is that people get so defensive about WW. To each his own. I used MFP a few years ago and I felt it was very inconsistent in the foods in the database but that’s just me. You aren’t just paying for an app with WW and the Connect part of the new app is amazing.

  61. Kandi F says:

    I did Weight Watchers for about a month and it did work for me. I also used the Dr. Max Powers Burn for about 2 weeks and even my friends have really noticed a difference. I am at that age where weight is really hard to budge. The Max Powers Burn combined with Weight Watchers has made a huge difference. Although I also have a load more energy.

  62. I use WW app (uk WW app) and find it simple to navigate around and it is quick, which for me is key, I don’t want to spend any more time than I have to tracking. In fairness I have only used MFP once for about 2 days and gave up, reasons; mainly because I was being lazy and did not want to give the time needed to learn how to use a new app. However, very tempted to use again. I am a WW member, so would use both until I get to gold. Downside with the WW app for me, is I am unable to link with my Apple Watch to track activity Smart Points.

  63. Robin Snider says:

    I have used both & currently track my food on my Fitbit app, liking it also 🙂

    • Colin Begg says:

      Yes, the Fitbit App is great for tracking food but their sleep tracking is a bit sparse. I currently run an app on the Apple Watch which occasionally doesn’t work but gives me deep and light sleep. Recently I bought my wife a Garmin Vivofit 3 and the sleep tracking by the Garmin Connect app is superb with the dark and light almost matching mine (we obviously affect eacjh others’ sleep. The Garmin Connect app links with MFP so I will return to MFP when I buy MY Garmin at Christmas! At least when my WW Online subscription finishes (see below).

  64. Marla Fulton says:

    I prefer Weight Watchers because the Smart Points system steers you toward more nutritious and healthier choices. You can eat 1500 calories a day of crappy food and you may lose weight, sure. But is it best for your health? No.

  65. I currently am a WW member. The new system called Smart Points, is a great tool. I also have used MFP as well. I do feel as though MFP allows me more food.
    I will say the MFP app is so much easier to navigate and works almost all the time where as the WW app always seems to be down when I need to use it.

  66. I’ve been using WW for a while now and love it. I love how WW can take a food or recipe and use the calories, protein, sugar, and saturated fat and convert all that info into one easy to track, easy to understand smart points value. I’ve tried keeping a food diary before and I’ve never been successful with it until I started paying for it. The meetings are a way for me to share my journey with others, make friends, and celebrate my victories, in a real life setting. It’s 30 minutes I carve out of every week for myself. WW certainly has areas where it can improve – the website and otherwise, but it is the most sustainable program I’ve found that I feel can help me achieve and maintain my weight and fitness goals.

  67. I find that calorie only offers me a ridiculously low calorie allowance that I just cannot maintain. With WW points there is always something I can eat if I am hungry and out of points (piece of fruit, veggies). And there are free (and almost free) apps on iPhone and Android that calculate WW points btw.

    I also agree with others that WW encourages healthier eating habits. More fruit and vegetables, fish, etc.

  68. I used MFP for months and I did see a weight change but now I’m gaining back all I lost.
    I’m now back on weight watchers. Personally 8 points for breakfast on WW is not too much it’s perfect for me. I think people that are saying that are probably holding their points for their dinner.., a common mistake made by myself when I first started.
    Why I prefer WW over MFP is that all fruits and veggies are 0 points on WW while MFP calculates the calories and using a simple banana in my smoothies were a killer for me especially with the sugar intake.
    Honestly I think we all have to find what works best for us.

  69. Colin Begg says:

    I used MFP for a few years and lost weight to a certain point. Then I got stuck at 11st 8lb and it wouldn’t budge, even when I kept within my MFP calorie goal every day. Calories is not the whole story, there’s good calories and bad calories.

    So after a recent cruise, I couldn’t get back to my pre-cruise weight with MFP, so I started a six month subscription of Weight Watchers with 40% discount. I’m already past the post cruise sticking point and down to my 11st 8lb in 3 1/2 weeks. I’m quite confident I will get to my original MFP goal of 11st (within my green BMI range) using Weight Watchers. When the subscription expires, if I’m there, I’ll restart using MFP for maintaining the weight.

  70. I’m late coming in to this discussion but I just joined WW and decided to use MFP simulataneously (which is a pain!) to see what works best for me. I’m pre diabetic, so I’m digging the nutritional breakdown. Also, because I don’t use “plastic” food (processed food), and prefer to cook my meals with whole foods, I find MFP much easier to use for calculating recipes. And yes, the MFP data base is much larger. Plus the WW site is buggy. I think when my month is up on WW, I’m going to cancel and stick with MFP. This is how I found your site, googling comparison of the two. Thank you for confirming what I’m feeling after only a few days of being on both programs! (That said, I’m giving both a full month to be fair.)

  71. I am late but I agree with your thoughts. I enjoy the free MFP app. You can adjust your calorie intake to whatever you want. I say that because I see that other posters thought they had to accept the calorie setting that MFP assigned. WW is great but I do not think it is worth the money. I enjoy the premise behind it though. I don’t agree with the 0 points for fruits because in my opinion, although a very healthy option, fruit does come with a sugar & carb count which equates to calories. WW has worked for me when I did it in the past but so has MFP and since MFP is free, I use that.

  72. Janice Robinson says:

    I’ve been on WW since August 22. In a little over three months I’ve lost 48 pounds. I don’t use any online tools. I just use their little calculator to find the points of what I want to eat and then eat it. If it’s a very high point food, such as candy, I cut the portion size in half. I have given up drinking any soda because it’s not worth the points and it was never something I felt like I had to have. There have been a few days when I still felt hungry after eating all my points, so when that happened I ate some vegetables. There have been a few weeks when I wanted a cupcake or something similar, such as pumpkin bread, so I ate one portion and counted it towards my weekly. I have eaten some of my favorite foods, salami, liverwurst, cream cheese and olives, ice cream (but lower fat ice cream), eggplant parmesan and still lost all this weight. I just eat much smaller portions than I used to. To me it’s not confusing and I love that it doesn’t put any food completely off limits, because the “forbidden food” syndrome has tripped me up in the past. I can stick with it and not feel deprived, it fits into my lifestyle, it works, so I love WW. I can’t be bothered with apps or websites and all that, I don’t need them and they just sound like they needlessly complicate things.

  73. Another alternative to either WW or MFT is an app that I just began using–iTrackBites. I think I paid about $4 for it. It is similar to WW and even allows you to pick the program you like–Smart Points, Points Plus or Classic. It figures out your point allowances–both daily and weekly, based on the same criteria that WW uses. It also has an activity component. There is a built in points calculator, a food list, a scanner feature that allows a user to scan an item to be logged, a feature that allows you to save your favorite items in another list so you can go to that easily for those items you eat every day. The log automatically figures how many points you use and subtract it from your daily allowance. It also shows exactly how many point are remaining. If an item isn’t in their data base, they ask you if you will enter the nutrition info (the same as WW uses to designate point values) and then asks if you will take a picture of the nutritional information. You can buy additional items, two of which are a restauant guide and a recipe builde–which are only a couple dollars a piece. I choose this because I like the WW concept of giving points based, in part, on how healthy the food is. I had bariatric surgery 3 years ago and lost 95 pounds. The first two years after surgery I maintained my weight at 138 pounds (I’m 68 years old and 5’7″) This past year, unhealthy eating habits gradually brought me to 150.9 pounds. I went from a size 8 (at which I was so proud of myself) to a size 10. That might not sound like much, but I am so scared that all my hard work is slipping away from me! I did not want to go back to WW meetings. I thought about doing the online version, but that is pretty pricey too. When I found the iTrackBites bites option, I figured the only think I had to lose was $4 to try it. Turns out I love it!

  74. I prefer My Fitness Pal over Weight watchers too. A Doctor recommended My Fitness Pal when I took my son to a Nutrition Class the hospital was offering. I already had Weight Watchers… but I wasn’t using it to it’s potential because I would get frustrated ( especially when I would scan a food and it wouldn’t be there, then you had to enter it all manually, ugh! I would just give up entering my food) My Fitness Pal was just easier for me and I love being able to Import a recipe from the web and let it do all the work! ( there are some flaws with some imports, but it’s much easier to change a few items rather than in put all of the items) Tammy’s right, there are a lot of good apps out there, but if you don’t use it… or work the program.. you are not going to see much progress. You have to use what works for you! The last reason that I prefer My Fitness Pal is you can use it for Free and the free side of the app really allows you to use the tools you need.

  75. I am enjoying using MyFitnessPal … especially since it syncs with my MapMyFitness and FitPlus usage. However, every time I go over the recommended base calories, because I “earned” more calories with exercise, I gain weight. So I think the base calories is too high for me.

  76. I hear ya on the WW! I have used it in the past with good success. However, after a spell of using the awesome My Fitness Pal, when I went back to WW I was so disappointed at the lousy food database. I literally quit WW the next day (of course still had to PAY for three months). For such a HUGE organization, and the money it brings in, it is unacceptable for it not to be the leader in the field. I recently started “Noom” which approaches weight loss from a psychological (“trigger”) perspective, as well as 1:1 coaching and group support. I think this may be the ticket for me…although I have already sent them a list of feedback as well to improve the app functionality. I think MFP has really set the bar high, free or paid apps included. Good luck on your journey, everyone!

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