Weight Watchers has been around forever. It’s a sane, sound weight loss system that doesn’t need any introduction to most of us, struggling to lose weight. It has a sound track record that goes back decades and promotes a healthy way of living versus a diet.
As with most things nowadays, Weight Watchers no longer requires you to go to meetings in order to be with the program as they’ve taken it online. However, it’s not free. Actually, it’s rather costly for what it is, in all reality. It’s an online program that you follow on your own, keeping your own weigh-ins and measurements and exercise tracking on your own.
While one can see the costs in up-keeping data space and web design costs, it’s a little dubious as to why it is so costly when there is a perfectly wonderful online program that works on the same basis but, can be either free or a paid account…both of which are far less costly.
If you’ve never heard of this site before, it’s called “Spark People” and happens to be one of the best online weight loss programs that I’ve encountered thus far.
With the free program, you get all of the same trackers and more as Weight Watchers provides as well as a few extras. You also get discussion forums and the ability to connect with others who are also aiming for the same goals that you’re trying to obtain.
If you’re 50 and over and want to meet other 50 and overs, trying to lose weight and get healthier and into a healthier lifestyle, there’s a board and group for that goal. If you can name it, there’s a discussion on it and if you can’t find it, you can start it.
Spark offers your own trackers or, it will supply a meal menu for you with your own adjustable menu items. It tells you how much you’ve had in a day and how much more you can have, without going over your limit. You set the limit of how fast you want to lose and they do the calculating for you as to your particular weight, goal, speed, exercise ability, lifestyle etc.. It’s really all encompassing for free.
While Weight Watchers has developed the Points System, Spark operates on a calories level. Not much of a hassle or difference and honestly, having come from an age where calories are what we went by, it seems far easier to know the caloric value, fat levels etc., than to figure out points. Try going to McDonald’s and finding the point value for Weight Watchers food counts. You’ll get their charts with the caloric value as well as all of the other stats but, you won’t find Weight Watcher’s points values. You’ll have to pay for their charts to factor how many points you’re about to eat.
Some very eye-opening knowledge can come from counting calories versus points.
Did you know that you can have a grilled Southwest Chicken Sandwich at McDonalds for less calories than one of their dinner salads (using their dressing)? Wouldn’t you think it would be the opposite way around? Check out their website to find out for yourself. It blew my mind to realize that. I also realized that it’s ok to have a McDonald’s apple pie with my tea and not blow my calorie balance for the day.
I was astounded to go find out that ordering a toasted bagel in Tim Hortons was more calories (almost double) than having a jelly filled donut and, we don’t want to talk about the muffins.
Looking at caloric values can make you think smarter and be more aware that what you thought “should” be better for you, actually isn’t. Whereas, with a points system, you’re still not sure where you stand because not many places will post Weight Watchers points values but, pretty much all major restaurant chains have a website where their food values are posted…especially, fast food chains.
Would I put Weight Watchers down? Absolutely not! It’s a sound and well researched, time honored and healthy way to lose weight. However, it can bite into your wallet if you don’t have extra cash laying around month by month/week by week. This is where Spark can come in and keep you on track, without the cost. Of course, they will also offer you a Premium account, which does cost but, thus far, the free version has done well for me and a few others that I know who are now trying it out.
Take a look for yourself and see what suits you best. Both are wonderful, sane, healthy and lifestyle changing methods to a healthier, slimmer, fitter you.
Best of luck!