Monday, May 7, 2007

Weight Watchers vs. SparkPeople

For the past couple of months I've been using Sparkpeople ( to track my food, etc. and I have let counting points go during this time. I just wanted to compare the two plans for a while to see which I liked the best.

For those of you who don't know what Sparkpeople is, I'll give you the general overview:
  • When you start sparkpeople, you set up a personal profile with basic personal information (weight, height, age, gender, etc) along with a goal weight and a desired timeframe in which you would like to reach your goal weight (within reason). Based on what you enter, sparkpeople calculates your daily calorie allowance and a weekly amount of calories you must burn. If you follow the guidelines the site sets for you, you will achieve your desired goal.
  • You track every calorie you eat and all of the exercise you online through the sparkpeople site.
  • Sparkpeople also has message boards, articles, recipes, calculators, etc. posted online for you to use, much like the weightwatchers website.
  • Sparkpeople is a completely free program to use online.

I had quite a bit of success using sparkpeople and I did like it quite a bit, although I found I didn't use many of the extras on the site like the message boards, etc. I basically ate the food I was used to eating while following the WW plan. I found out that you end up eating about the same amount of food you would eat per week using sparkpeople as you would counting points.

The big difference for me was this: sparkpeople limited your caloric intake to the same amount every single day, with no room for flexibility by banking calories I earned doing exercise or eating extra calories on a given day. Generally I have to say that I like WW much more for this reason, as well as many other reasons.

One more thing I'd like to mention is that it sure is nice to be able to eat as many vegetables as I'd like without having to worry about using some of my daily calories to eat them!

Just wanted to let anyone who was interested know what sparkpeople was all about. I have rededicated myself to using the WW program as of this morning, happy to be counting points again and not worrying about counting calories. So much easier!


Tricia said...

This is very helpful...I am contemplating going back to WW as well. I've also tried eDiets but I don't think I like it much!

Anonymous said...

Thanks I was in the midst of choosing between the two. Now I'm definitely going to do WW. Thanks!

Unknown said...

Thats helpful. I think WW limits your intake. I feel I am eating more calories in SP but its more balanced nutrition.

Well have to try both out and see what works!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. I also was trying to choose between the two. I really think the new WW ProPoints is great free fruit and vegetables. There is no way you couldn't eat healthy with that.

Anonymous said...

I just compared the WW points and the nutritional intake of sparkpeople. I am currently doing BOTH. If I stay within the guidelines of sparkpeople (low calories 1200) I am OVER my points in WW's significantly, about 8 points a day which equals your total flex points! I am definitely sticking with WW's since I have lost almost 30lbs. now on it! The $ is worth it to me.