Looking For A Free Version of Weight Watchers?

April 12, 2012   71 Comments

Is your financial belt tightening as your actual belt is tightening? Unfortunately, Weight Watchers isn't free.

Weight Watchers Free

Neither is Jenny Craig, MediFast, Curves, Slimfast, or whatever other diet you may be trying and (hopefully) succeeding at.

I don't think spending money on Weight Watchers is a waste. You are committing to a program that will most definitely teach you something about the way you eat. Even if you don't lose weight - you will learn about what is holding you back.

I have been reviewing the latest program - New WW Changes 2020. There are three plans and I have written posts on two of them - WW New Plan 2020: Purple Review & WW New Plan 2020: Blue Review so far.

If you choose to go to the Weight Watchers meetings, you also get a community of people devoted to the same goals. This community can be invaluable when trying to do something as difficult as changing your eating patterns.

But, Weight Watchers can be expensive. Sometimes after not losing weight for a few weeks, paying for Weight Watchers can feel downright silly.

If you're short on dough, the first thing I suggest is trying to follow the program for three months. After you learn the program with a notebook and the informational books they provide you can get pretty far., myfitnesspal and Lose It! are free websites that provide almost the same service at that as the Weight Watchers online site. They don't use SmartPoints but they do use calories and have databases of calories in common foods. They will help you track your food intake, exercise, and weight loss goals.

The key is finding something that works for you and it may be a combination of technology, cookbooks, and friends.

Finally, the amount of work you put into your weight loss program is directly related to how much you will change. Sadly, none of these websites or apps will stop you from eating junk food BUT they can help you make the process of losing weight more fun.

Frankly, I find that food journaling in a notebook is super helpful. It's low-tech but it is fast.

How do you come to terms with how with the cost of Weight Watchers? What solutions have become up with?

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 71 )

MyfitnessPal is a great app. Easy to use and very helpful. I would recommend it to anyone trying to lose weight on a budget.

LoseIt! is an incredible app. It helps me break down all of my nutrition information and keeps me in control of what I eat. I recommend it to everyone. The community is really encouraging. If you're on LoseIt! Look me up!

Does myfitnesspal do all the stats and graphs like loseit? I'm trying to decide which to try and I Ike that motivating feature.

I do nutrition and fitness counseling and I always recommend ifooddiary to my clients because I don't want them to get stuck on numbers (calories, fat, etc.). This app is just like journaling (doesn't give any nutritional break down), except you do it on your phone. I want them to be more aware of their food choices instead of getting bogged down with numbers.

I haven't tried LoseIt!, but my husband lost 100lbs using MyFitnessPal and I lost 45. I like tracking what I eat now, so I know how much "fuel" is going into my body. I like tracking my iron and calcium intake, as well as fibre intake.

Weight watchers is a fantastic program, worth sacrificing something for. Trade an unhealthy habit for it. Like fast food, or trips to the ice cream shop. I quit smoking and that more than covers WW meetings and online tools.

myfitnesspal is the app that I use and have

lost 51 lbs. using it, tracking EVERY DAY what

I put in my mouth. It works. And it ALSO TAKES WORK to lose weight. why shouldn't it?? it's soooo easy to put garbage in your body...but feels soooooo much better to put healthy foods in your body instead, and seeing amazing results. love this app. who needs WW?? calories are REAL! Points are NOT!

Having just lost a great deal of weight on WW, I think it's money well spent. It's not a diet -- it's an education. However, if you want to learn about what you're eating, what foods or brands are better choices, and get point plus values as well, there's a free app called Fooducate that I highly recommend.

@Loni Yes, you can add in your weight and measurements as you take them and it gives you a graph of your progress. myfitnesspal also will give you an estimate of where you could be in 5weeks at the end of a day when you've completed your logging. Mind you it's only an estimate, but I find it can be a nice driving factor.

The tools have been somewhat useful for me, I just have to get used to using them. What I've found the most motivating for me is joining a gym and taking their classes specifically cycling. I enjoy getting to work out with other people, even if they're complete strangers. The instructors I frequent have even started knowing me by name I've gone so much. I would really suggest if you're serious about your commitment to weight loss to go out there and find people to do it with. In four months I've lost nearly 30lbs, and while I have a long way to go, I never would have gotten there without a serious support system that cares about my successes and pushes me back up when I fall and want to give up. :)

I use "The Ultimate Weight Watcher Diary" on my Android phone. I've been using it for 6 months and have lost 45 pounds! It's a great app!

I'm a long-time calorie counter (lost 40 lbs. in '91 and have kept it off) and think it's a great way to lose weight b/c you can eat real food (and budget for splurges when you "need" to). WW is great this way too - real food, real choices and tradeoffs - so that you're learning along the way and are not just snapping back to old habits once you're "done." I have used for years and years - not free, but not expensive, either - and it's on-line so you can access your food diary from wherever you are. But I agree w/you, too, that accountability in the form of meetings, friends, etc. is key - I find that if I announce to people my intentions, I feel more like I need to stick with them. When you're alone w/a Reese's, a food diary might not keep you from splurging, but a friend just might talk you out of it!

How timely! I've just cancelled my WW membership after 3 months and decided to do it on my own at home. Thank you so much for the great website information. And good luck to me!

Also there's, where you can set up a free account and track daily. They have a large database of foods and rate them A - F. If you sign up, you get a daily newsletter with good tips and "success stories" and interesting articles. There is also an MD that will answer questions emailed in.

I tried several free options to lose weight - apps and just writing a food diary myself - and I found that without accountability, I gave up after a week or two of being very gung ho. For *me*, the expense of Weight Watchers was worth it for the in-person meetings (the online-only version of WW wouldn't have worked for me either for this reason). I love the leader of my local group and I find motivation in both the people who are in the group and from simply knowing that each week I have to face the scale in the same place at the same time. Getting the stickers and keychains didn't hurt either. The points system was also easier for me to wrap my head around than counting calories. I lost weight with WW every single week and hit my goal in a relatively rapid fashion (and as a newly minted Lifetime member who no longer has to pay for the program - hooray! - I have maintained a 30 pound weight loss now for two months with no reason to think that won't continue because I am STILL going to meetings and using the e-tools). But this could also all be done for free if a group of people could be gathered to meet in the same place at the same time each week while all using the same app, I know! Anyway, there's my reason why for *me*, Weight Watchers (and Points Plus) worked over a free option.

Well... Weight Watchers can be free -- if you're a Lifetime Member! I lost 35 lbs with WW almost 13 years ago, and now I can go to meetings for free as long as I'm within 2 lbs of goal.

I recently put on some weight over the holidays & went back to WW to take it off - as Sarah says, it's the accountability that really works -knowing that you're going to the meeting and weighing in, and listening to the leader & other members. Their stats show that people who attend the meetings are 3x more successful than those who don't.

Definitely worth a sacrifice in your budget **IF** you are serious about it. If you join and aren't truly committed, WW (or any other program or app) won't work.

I just decided not to rejoin Weight Watchers at Work. I'm using MyFitnessPal. Money wasn't my main concern, not having my head in the game is the big issue. I discussed this in my blog post today.…

I use free online guides to keep my diet in check,whether it's for losing a few lbs.I gain on vacation or to maintain. Self magazine's website has a few great weight loss plans and tools that help keep you on track. I believe they even have a more detailed way where you can log in your activity/exercise along with what you eat. Many people don't take both exercise and nutrition into account but the two go hand in hand if you want to lose weight or stay healthy.

I love the Lose It! App. And I agree whole-heartedly that you have to find what works for you. And that takes some time...

I've used over the last few years. I lost 17 lbs in 2009 and have kept it off, thanks to all I've learned by tracking what I eat, and tracking my activities. Who knew there were 300 calories in a bagel? I no longer track everyday, but I continue to use my measuring cups, food scale, etc. to aid in portion control. But whenever I feel like I gained a couple of pounds, I jump right back on it! Thanks for the great post!

I used Sparks People. I lost a ton of weight using there guidelines. I stuck to there recommendations and the fat melted off. Thank you for sharing this information.

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