A Comparison of SparkPeople and Weight Watchers Online Diet Programs
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A Comparison of SparkPeople and Weight Watchers Online Diet Programs

Spark People and Weight Watchers both have good diet plans. I think one of them is better than the other.

Spark People and Weight Watchers are two online diet programs that I have tried. I like both of these sites, but there are some differences that are worth discussing.

Everyone knows about Weight Watchers. They advertise and have been around for a lot of years. Their program is basically a points tracking program in which all the calories are calculated for you. They also have, what they call, a Core Program Plan in which you don’t count points. The Core Program has a list of foods from which you choose to eat. Weight Watchers Plans are flexible and you will lose weight following their program. I don’t like going to meetings. I have found, however, that it is much more difficult to try to lose weight on your own. Going to a Weight Watchers meeting is more successful normally.

The one drawback to using Weight Watchers is the cost. To sign up, they charge a sign up fee of $29.95 and then $17.95 per month subscription fee. This is the cost for the online program. On their site, at this time, they are offering two weeks free if you pay for a three month subscription and after the three months the $17.95 per month subscription fee will apply. That’s pretty expensive. They have a different pricing structure for going to Weight Watchers meetings which is a little cheaper than their online program.

Spark People is completely free. They have a very flexible menu planner and exercise tracker. Their diet plan counts calories and is done through their meal planner. The meal planner is extremely versatile, and you can tailor it to your personal likes. This is a major plus to me. You can also add foods not on the specific meal plan. It’s better, however to stay within the choices available through the planner. You can click on a food in the meal planner to see the other selections that you can substitute. It’s a good idea to follow the meal planner because it is set up so that you have a balanced diet. This is the best part of the Spark People site.

There is also a community of other dieters that you can connect with if you want. I prefer to find someone that I know personally, and try to motivate one another to lose weight. I have started to follow the Spark People diet and track both my food intake and exercise.

Both of these sites take a personal commitment and dedication to a healthier lifestyle to be successful. You can set goals, track your progress, and communicate with others. These are things that most people trying to be healthier need. Especially if you are trying to make big changes in your life. You can never have too much support.

I think, of the two plans, that Spark People is the best choice. The reasons I have for saying this, is that as long as you build a good support system, all the tools you need to be successful are available with Spark People without spending money. This is a remarkable site with a lot of wonderful tools.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SparkPeople

http://teedsblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/weight-watchers-vs-sparkpeople.html

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Comments (7)
Denise

I've used both, and as far as nutrition tracking and fitness tracking I'd say they are comparible enough. However, the online support received through Sparkpeople is phenominal. The online group at WW was just awful. Very little admin help, rampant with people that did not have to be WW folks to participate (take a moment to imagine the trolling) and on top of all that, you got to pay for it. Not so awesome.

Nick

This is really good info. Very interesting. I also found http://www.comparethediet.com which has some great stuff on diets and weight loss if your interested.

Nick x

Ranked #8 in Healthy Living

Very interesting and useful. Thank you. Thank you also for your friendship and support.

I had never heard of Spark People before I read your article. Between the information you gave and Denise's testimonial, I've decided to ditch the idea of using WW and will investigate Spark People.

have not heard of SparkPeople, but now I have. thanks for an informative article.

I am a Spark People fan too. I've been using their free website for a couple of years now and I love it. Voted up.

I have known about SparkPeople for years.  It is totally free, and it does provide good information.  However, as you said yourself, " Going to a Weight Watchers meeting is more successful normally."

Losing weight is difficult.  For me, the meetings, comprised of a leader who has gone through the WW program and maintained the weight loss (for 35 years, in the case of my leader) and like-minded folks who have the same goal as I do, are key.  I've tried to lose weight on my own, as well as with the help of the SparkPeople website.  Unfortunately, I was not successful. 

I am thouroughly enjoying the WW website.  There are meal planning ideas, a meal tracker, fitness ideas, success stories, a weight tracker - and it all syncs up with the weigh-ins at the meetings.  This has worked for me.  Three weeks in, and I'm down several pounds.  And I attribute it to my Weight Watchers meetings, the Weight Watchers website, and, finally, the mindset that I can succeed.  And its been worth every dime.

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