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  • Weight Watchers vs. Do It Yourself

    I’d really like to lose some weight – not a whole lot, but enough to make a difference in how I feel and look. I know this is the worst time of year to do it, but there’s never a good time, so why not start now? The sooner I reach my goal weight, the happier I’ll be.

    I have been toying with the idea of joining Weight Watchers Online. I don’t have time to attend meetings, let alone exercise, but I know that simply eating fewer calories will make a huge difference. I even asked around to see how hard it is to learn to follow their points system and the verdict was, not that hard and eventually it will become second nature.

    But I can’t help feeling that it’s silly to pay $60 for three months for a target calorie (points) maximum and a place to track my daily, weekly and monthly progress.

    On the other hand, I’ve failed completely at tracking my calorie intake on my own with a notebook. For one thing, I don’t want to tote the notebook around everywhere I go. But by the time I remember to enter what I ate, I can’t remember. It’s also way too easy to conveniently “forget” when I eat more than I think I should have, especially because I’m usually entering it all at once instead of throughout the day. If I did that, I could see my calorie count soaring and it would be easier to remind myself to eat something lighter.

    So I’ve been thinking for the last week or so that I should find an online calculator where I could keep track of my eating, but haven’t gotten around to searching yet. Fortunately, I subscribe to many wonderful blogs, and NCN wrote yesterday about Fitday and how he’s using it to do exactly what I was thinking of doing. I love that it’s completely free.

    I now have no excuses. I’ve signed up for Fitday and will start tracking my calories tomorrow! When I lose my first 10 pounds, I’m taking the $60 I would have spent on Weight Watchers and buying some new clothes 😀


    1. I would also suggest checking out the Sparkpeople site at http://www.sparkpeople.com. Food tracking, plus exercise, support forums, special interest groups, blogs, lots and lots of stuff, and it’s free.

    2. I agree with willow. Check out Sparkpeople.com.

    3. I’ve used both Fitday and Sparkpeople. Both have very user friendly formats I think. If you’re looking for only an online calculator for calorie and exercise intake then Fitday is perfect. However, if you’d like forums, challenges, earning points, etc. along with the calorie and exercise calculators then sparkpeople is more what you want. And they’re both free! Good luck. I hope those pounds just melt off for you!

    4. Chief Family Officer says:

      Thanks for the recommendation, everyone! Sparkpeople sounds great, and I checked it out, but unfortunately, it won’t let me register because I’m still breastfeeding. I guess I’ll have to stick with Fitday for now.

    5. MoneyCommonSense says:

      I have used Fitday for a few years and love it. I love that you can add the nutritional value for your own meals. This is very useful because the free part of their food search doesn’t have a lot of exotic foods. I have added indian, thai and several other types of dishes that were not there.
      I give it a thumbs up!

    6. In Recovery says:

      That’s one great thing about WW, they happily accomodate nursing moms. But, I think the meetings are the most important component of WW, so if you can’t attend meetings, another choice is a better way to spend the money.

    7. I did WW Online for 6 months in college and lost over 15 pounds, so I recommend it to all my friends if they want to lose weight. Of course, if you find something similar for free, that might be good too. Then again, it might be the mental aspect of “I paid for this, I better use it” (which is how I manage to drag myself to the gym).

    8. I agree with the previous commenter on the meeting portion of weight watcher. They are very up front about the fact that members who stay for meeting lose 40% more weight. I stick to the plan when I stick going to meetings.

    9. Chief Family Officer says:

      The meetings make a lot of sense – I just don’t have the time right now! I am doing okay with Fitday – not great, but okay. I’ll reassess in a couple of months and see how things are going. Thanks, everyone!

    10. Jim Purdy says:

      “… there’s never a good time, so why not start now?”

      I agree completely. We can always find lots of excuses for postponing the start (or restart) of a diet. The best thing is just to start now. Right now! Thanks for sharing your comments with us.