Keeping track of what you eat has been one of the most effective weight-loss and weight-maintenance strategies that a lot of successful weight and fitness programs are based on. Some programs work better than others, with a person’s preference and level of commitment being significant contributing factors.
Some programs, like Weight Watchers, have outlasted countless diet and fitness fads and continue to have a loyal following. More recent schemes, such as MyFitnessPal, become successful because they take advantage of the latest technologies. Let’s take a look at how these two weight-loss and management programs measure up against each other.
Weight Watchers vs MyFitnessPal – In a Gist
Weight Watchers’ simple formula involves the assignment of different point values – called SmartPoints – to foods based on their calorie, fat, protein, and sugar contents, among other factors; food quantities/portions are also taken into consideration. After entering your personal data – height, age, gender, current weight, and weight-loss goals – you are assigned a daily points maximum.
Healthier foods (mostly foods that are higher in protein) are assigned lower SmartPoints; unhealthy foods (or foods that are high in sugar and saturated fat) have higher points; and over 200 foods are given zero points, regardless of weight or measurement. No food is off-limits with WW’s SmartPoints system; you only have to stay under your daily maximum points limit. Your allotted points limit gets adjusted as you lose weight.
WW’s points system allows for a flexible diet, so it’s easier to commit to for most people. You have more freedom to choose what to include in your meals and snacks.
MyFitnessPal is a food diary app that also keeps track of food intake. After you enter your pertinent details, you are given a personalized daily calorie and macronutrients target. And then you will log every ingredient, meal, and beverage you consume throughout the day.
The MFP app will keep a running calculation of your daily calorie, nutrient, and vitamin consumption based on your food log. The goal is to stay under your daily calorie limit and be able to analyze your eating patterns and find out where you need to make improvements. As a food tracking app, MFP also does not impose any specific restrictions aside from allotting a daily calorie limit.
Weight Watchers vs MyFitnessPal – How are they the same?
All members have access to a personal assessment and tailored weight-loss plan; 24/7 online chat support; an online database of thousands of WW-approved foods and recipes; fitness videos and workout routines; barcode scanner; and the SmartPoints food and activity tracking app.
A database of recipes and restaurant foods for easier logging and tracking of ingredients and meals.
Membership upgrades include: weekly strategies and support from WW experts and other members; and one-on-one WW personal coach.Food logging and tracking system can be tedious and time-consuming.
WW emphasizes portion control, food choices, and physical activity through the SmartPoints system.
Users have free access to an average of 12 million food options; workout tips other health and wellness tips; a barcode scanner; and a community section to share updates and tips with other users.
There’s also an option to join a MyFitnessPal 101 Plan, which offers coaching and actionable tips. The Recipe Discovery tool lets you import any recipe from the web, automatically add each ingredient, and calculate nutrition information for your food diary.
Paid upgrades include the MyFitnessPal Premium Plan subscription, which includes advanced tools for food tracking; more customization options; upgraded coaching plans; and priority customer support.
Food logging and tracking system can be tedious and time-consuming. MFP emphasizes portion control, food choices, and physical activity through their customizable tracker.
Weight Watchers vs MyFitnessPal – How are they different?
Paid plan – from basic to upgrades. Also offers a FitPoints feature which sets a weekly goal and logs each activity. WW has their own brand of packaged foods, including frozen meals, chocolates, low-calorie ice cream, and oatmeal.
Emphasizes slow, consistent weight loss every week – between 0.5 and 2 lbs per week. An adaptable and flexible plan that encourages healthy choices and whole foods, but also allows members to indulge in their guilty pleasures within reason – as long as they fit into their allotted daily points.
The flexible SmartPoints system and zero food restrictions may not be an effective strategy for people with little to no self-control. Members have access to WW magazines and newsletters.
Free plan, with optional paid upgrades. MFP can be connected to and synced with activity tracking devices and fitness apps, including other Under Armour suite of apps: MapMyFitness, MapMyRun, MapMyRide, and Endomondo; as well as Fitbit, the Lumo Lift, and the Polar Loop.
Emphasizes accountability and honest and consistent tracking to achieve consistent weight-loss. The designated calorie quantity limit/goal does not provide restrictions for the quality of calories consumed.
But the app also provides a database, a community, and experts to help users make healthier choices. Gives access to MFP Essential Guides that educate users on Nutrition & Weight Loss and Workout & Wellness topics.
Weight Watchers vs MyFitnessPal – Highlights
WW is one of the few weight-loss programs backed by randomized controlled trials and scientific studies, which are all featured on their website.
WW is a good option for individuals with dietary restrictions, such as those with food allergies or who are vegan.
MFP is basically an online calculator for calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients.
MFP provides users with relevant data to help them see and analyze their dietary patterns so they can make adjustments where needed.
Stripped down, both Weight Watchers and MyFitnessPal help promote weight loss through the strategy of food and fitness tracking. The popularity of both programs can be attributed to the tailored plans every user is provided and the relative flexibility users have with regards to their food choices, which make it easier for users to stay committed to their weight-loss goals.
As a health and fitness strategy, food and fitness tracking through either Weight Watchers or MyFitnessPal offers a number of benefits. Users become more mindful of what they eat. The more they log and track their food choices, the more conscious they become of what they eat and when and why they eat them. This means that they also gain a better understanding of their eating behaviors.
Regularly tracking their food consumption can also lead to greater interest in nutrition. As users become aware of their dietary patterns, they may become more motivated to learn about how they can make improvements where needed. When used alongside a fitness tracker, users will also get a clearer picture of how active their lifestyle is.
With Modern Fit, you will know exactly what you will be eating and the exact macros for each meal. Their coaches can take your lifestyle and preferences, and formulate a personalized meal plan that comes with recipes and a grocery list. Your coach will even give you a tailored fitness plan to help supercharge weight loss, and leave you in the best shape of your life. Get Modern Fit today!