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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.

Sparkpeople.com, 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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71 Comments:

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

on April 12, 2012

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!

on April 12, 2012

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

on April 12, 2012

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.

on April 12, 2012

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.

on April 12, 2012

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.

on April 12, 2012

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!

on April 12, 2012

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.

on April 12, 2012

@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. :)

on April 12, 2012

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!

on April 12, 2012

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 CalorieKing.com 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!

on April 12, 2012

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!

on April 12, 2012

Also there's caloriecount.com, 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.

on April 12, 2012

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.

on April 12, 2012

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.

on April 12, 2012

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.

http://triumphstrialstribulations.blogspot.com/2012/04/weig…

on April 12, 2012

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.

on April 12, 2012

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...

on April 12, 2012

I've used fitday.com 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!

on April 12, 2012

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.

on April 12, 2012

I think weightwatchers.com online tools are worth the money, but right now money is tight and I've been using myfitnesspal and like it. Not quite as in depth, obviously, but very good!

Although, I just came across the book "The Metabolism Miracle" via NBC's The Biggest Loser and for only $8 I bought the Kindle version and got a comprehensive diet plan that seems PERFECT for me and my wacky metabolism that doesn't seem to respond logically to the standard "calories in must be less than calories burned" formula.

$8 one time for a lifetime of info and healthy eating is TOTALLY worth it to me! :-)

on April 12, 2012

Hey Guys,

GO TO calculatorcat.com & scroll down & in the left hand column is a points plus "knock-off" calculator...They are quick to say it's NOT WW but it works the same-have had friends whom are doing WW PLUS verify using theirs. There's een on w/it for what the points value would've been using the old WW for those who did that one for years & just need to see a comparison. I am journaling & doing just as well as my WW friends-lost 2.5 lbs in a week. Pray this helps & blessings to all!!

on April 12, 2012

Any apps for people who use the BlackBerry??

on April 12, 2012

For me, Weight Watchers is worth the cost because spending that money each month is a motivator to stick to the plan because my budget is pretty tight and I hate wasting money.

I also love the accountability of knowing that I have to step on the scale each week. For me the meetings are invaluable and I love the stickers, key chains, magnets, applause, and support I get for losing weight. My fellow members are also there with support and encouragement when I slip up and gain a little.

I have lost 95 lbs in the past year on Weight Watchers, and I never could have done it on my own. I can't wait to meet my goal weight (only 30 more lbs!) and become a FREE lifetime member. I am also considering working for Weight Watchers as a receptionist or a leader, so that they can pay me back all the money I have given them ;)

Weight Watchers is not for everyone, but if you stick to the plan, it does work.

on April 12, 2012

I am a MyFitnessPal.com Believer! So far I've lost 20 pounds by using their database and tracking applications. The phone app is convenient and super easy to use.

I wrote a post about it on my blog: http://collegecookingandironchefamerica.blogspot.com/2012/0…

on April 12, 2012

I reached my goal weight last December on W.W. I lost 62 pounds, went 12 pounds under my goal weight and go every week to a meeting, it's free now and I have lots of fun, still tracking, it was the best diet for me.

on April 12, 2012

I joined WW online just after Christmas, when there was a special (3 months; no initiation fee, as long as you paid for the 3 months up-front).

Now that I've learned the program, and I purchased a points + calculator online (keep in my purse for reference), I am going to let my membership online lapse.

We're on a limited income, so $21 + change per month is not worth it for me. I can still visit the online boards if I wish; I have a list of the power foods printed out and posted; I track my intake with Spark People site (was going to use fitday, but decided I liked the meal separation aspect of SP).

I am still a WW online member until month's end, but started using SP now, just to see if I could maintain my momentum. Otherwise, I'd have to come up with the funds and continue my online membership.

on April 12, 2012

I just skimmed the comments, so maybe it was mentioned before, but I am a member of the TOPS club, a low cost, fun international organization for weight loss. The membership fee is an insanely low cost: 26.00 per year. (We also pay 2.00 per month for local dues.) Look it up at Tops International, if interested, and they can find you a club in your area. It is non profit, meetings run by members.

on April 12, 2012

MyFitnessPal is amazing. So easy to use even without a smart phone. :)

It really helps you and is fun to look back at the report data to see how you are doing (workouts etc.)

on April 12, 2012

I'm so glad to hear you recommend Lose It! as I have used it since the day they came out with it. At the time, it was just a cute little FREE app I was able to add on my device (which your site won't let me mention) that turned out to become HUGELY popular! I'm amazed at how many people made that app grow into what it is today. AND IT'S STILL FREE! But I use your posts along with Lose It! to help keep me focused. I actually learned about you THROUGH Lose It! So thanks for mentioning Lose It! as I sort of feel like a ground floor member of the app.

on April 12, 2012

I love Sparkpeople! I lost 60lbs on my own and used Sparkpeople for the other 34. The community is super supportive, and there is lots of great info!

on April 12, 2012

itrack bites is a great app that is based on ww points and even has option of adding exercise points and using weekly points

on April 12, 2012

Constance make sure that WW doesn't automatically renew your membership after the 3 months. Check and see if you have to manually quit the program.

on April 12, 2012

To Christine who attends TOPS -- It must be wonderful to have a good TOPS group. I left TOPS after 2 years to go to WW; my group was more of a social get-together and the executive would go out to McDonalds after the meeting on Wed nights! But when it came down to it, no one wanted to change the way they did things and no one was interested in really becoming motivated to be healthier and lose weight! So sad; they were all such lovely ladies.

on April 12, 2012

WW is fantastic! I love that it taught me healthy habits. And I don't really feel it's that expensive. It's only $42.95 a month. And with that you get the meetings, all the online stuff, and all the super cool apps for your phone - including a barcode scanner where you can find out how many points a food is by just scanning the barcode. And with WW, you eat your own food. There is no extra cost to buy specific food. You need to go grocery shopping anyway so why not learn how to buy the right stuff. Also, I know WW has a special going on for people that sign up within the next couple weeks. They have a BOGO deal going on. Buy one month and get the 2nd month free. So it's $42.95 for the next TWO MONTHS! That is crazy inexpensive! That's about $5/week for the first 2 months. I highly recommend it. I have lost 60lbs and have kept it off for 5 years. The program and the meetings have really helped me on my journey.

on April 12, 2012

Plus WW is tax deductible!

on April 12, 2012

Plus WW is tax deductible! And if you reach your goal weight and become a lifetime member everything is free, including the online resources.

on April 12, 2012

My go to is fatsecret.com. They also have an app. HUGE food database, including restaurant food and you can create your own listings for foods you regularly eat. You can keep track of your daily food intake, your weight, exercise, goals. Participate in group or personal challenges. They have a huge variety of community groups and forums to appeal to any person - seniors, professionals, diabetics, special diets like Akins group, The Zone,Vegetarian, Vegan, Dukan, South Beach, Medifast, Lapband, Pregnant, etc ..., Plus groups that are made up of various age groups: 40's with 40 to lose, 30's with 100 or more to lose -- you name it - they have a group! All ages, lifestyle, locations, and all very supportive -- Journaling my food intake there has helped me keep my diabetes under control and lose 115 lbs and keep them off. I also have challenged myself to the exercise changes and now exercise every day! www.fatsecret.com -- FREE!

on April 12, 2012

Thanks! A couple of websites and apps I didn't know about!

on April 12, 2012

I have been using SparkPeople for about three months,and I absolutely love it. Since I am now in my thirties, I have found it much harder to stay trim without eating right and exercising. SparkPeople has helped me change my eating habits, commit to at least sixty minutes of daily exercise, stay motivated, and truly meet my weight-loss goals. It has been a lifesaver for me. I look great in my favorite clothes, am able to shop for fashionable clothes again, am happy with my body image, and I have lots of energy and feel great. Great article! You don't have to pay a fortune to be fit and healthy.

on April 12, 2012

There are so many great free healthy help sites out there ... explore them all and pick the one that is right for YOU. They are not one size fits all ... but there is one JUST RIGHT FOR YOU!

Remember - the key to success is not a diet but a Live-it !

on April 12, 2012

I use http://www.fatsecret.com/

it is very good :)

on April 12, 2012

I have lost 30 pounds on WW. I love it! Without the support from the weekly meetings I don't think I would have made it this far. Another website I use is exercise4weightloss.com it even lists restaurants and point plus values for their food. I use it along with WW. Good luck to all of us trying to lose. Deciding to do it is the first step. Stick with it, you are well worth it!!!

on April 12, 2012

FREE app: http://www.ichange.com/user/KayWilson

Easy app to use and it keeps track of protein, calories, carbs, exercise, water, sleep, and even your moods. Love it!

on April 12, 2012

Are the anroid ultimate weight watcher apps free standing from actual weight watchers them selves?

on April 12, 2012

WebMD has a food and fitness planner that I've been using. It's free, and it has many foods and exercises already listed. If one's not listed, then you have the option of entering the data and saving it as a "frequent food" or "frequent exercise". You can even make entries for entire meals and workout routines.

Link: http://www.webmd.com/diet/food-fitness-planner/

You do need a WebMD account to use it, but it doesn't cost anything and WebMD is a pretty good medical resource.

on April 12, 2012

I have also been a WW believer and the support of the meeting is the best, i live in a rural area where meetings are an hour away so Idont go, online wasnt working, so a free online i will try again, at least it doesnt cost me anything!

on April 12, 2012

My wife uses Myfitnesspal she loves it. I am about to start it with the Body by Vi Challenge

on April 12, 2012

I've been doing WW for 15 months. I've lost 42 lbs and have been at goal (actually below) for 5 months so I've been free for 5 months. I've learned so much and completely changed my food lifestyle. My husband has even lost 8 lbs due to the change in my cooking. I find the meet very beneficial. Check out you health ins at work. Some plans have a healthy lifestyle reimbursement program. They reimbursed me for the cost of the first 4 months, so I only paid for 6 months. Totally worth it. Never felt so good and healthy in my life.

on April 12, 2012

I have been using Lose it app. Think it is great. Keeping track keeps you thinking about what you are eating. Have lost 19 lbs. in 5 weeks

on April 12, 2012

I just wanted to say that I am a runner, and even though I was eating good foods and running more than ever, I was gaining weight. For me, the Lose It! App was a total game-changer. I now realize that I had no real idea about calorie intake, despite my efforts in the output. I set a goal to lose a pound a week (7 pounds total), and I have lost six so far. I love that I do not have to eliminate any type of food--I just have to be moderate. I know it's common sense, but this App helped me actually practice it! It even scans bar codes so there's no tedious entry. Love, love, love it. And kudos to my gynecologist, who is actually the one who told me about it!

on April 12, 2012

I have been attending WW since July 2011. I justify the cost because I'm not spending that money on the foods that got me fat. I pay for the camaraderie and lessons learned from the other people at the meeting. Yes, I actually go. It also keeps me honest. If I stop going, I will stop working on weight loss. It's working for me. I know it's a monthly expense I could let go, but it's not time yet for me. But - it's not for everyone.

on April 13, 2012

As a former WW member I tried sparkpeople and several apps, but myfitnesspal is the one that definitely worked best for me! Easy to use, great support from other members, and the food data base is the best I found.

on April 14, 2012

I LOVE the myfitnesspal app/website!!!

I was debating going back to weight watchers (its worked for me in the past) but did not want to spend the money. Then a friend told me about myfitnesspal. I have been using it for a little more than a month and have lost 8 lbs. I have even convinced my husband, mom, and a few friends to join! :)

on April 14, 2012

I have been logging ever bite of food since early January and lost 25 pounds using Lose It on my cell phone and now online, too. It is very fast and easy to track what I eat, as well as exercise. I need to watch sodium, and the commercial diet plans seem to ignore this and focus on other areas. This lets me follow a more healthful way of eating at no cost, and with none of the other things I wanted to avoid (group meetings with weigh ins, expensive processed foods, and etc.). I love the incentive badges and the message boards for private motivation and encouragement. My doctor is a big fan of it, too, and said she has a number of patients having great success with it. Try it if you are thinking about it. I'd say you have nothing to lose...but you do...and it won't cost you anything!

on April 14, 2012

As a WW member at goal and leader-in-training, I'm definitely biased in favor of paying for Weight Watchers. Once you are a lifetime member and within 2 pounds of goal, the meetings are free and you can get a free voucher for e-tools.

For me the accountability and support of attending meetings are key for my success. Studies have shown that people who attend WW meeting lose 3 times more weight than people who try to go it alone.

Of course, it's important to have your head in the game and be ready to do what it takes to lose weight or your money will be wasted.

on April 16, 2012

I use Prevention Magazine's health tracker. Love that it gives a breakdown of nutrition. I know exactly what my RDI for the various vitamins my body requires. So important when you are dieting not to be depriving your body of nutrients!

on April 23, 2012

Hey there! So just to mention an unofficial WW App, I have been using one called iWatchr. I believe it cost me about $2 (this is an apple phone app) and I think since I have bought one addition to it for $1 but I'm not sure. Most updates are free I believe. For this tiny amount, you get a points calculator (both old and new points) as well as a journal to track,a weight and appetite tracker and you can save foods to an alphabetized faves list. I find this app was a huge lifesaver.

I am familiar with the old points system, but if I could figure out how to calculate my daily points on the new system, I like that this app can transition with me onto the new system.

I have also used MyFitnessPal and I too, think it is a great app. It is functional, it is slick looking, and it is very low-hassle. You can also add your friends on there, and keep eachother accountable - but only if you want to! This app is free and I have to say as free apps go, this one is definitely top ten.

Now if only someone would create one of these apps where you could track 2 people's progress on one phone.. I would find that so helpful since my hubby gets different points than me, but I am the meal planner for both.

on April 24, 2012

Myfitnesspal! I've done WW and I LOVE MFP. In 30 days I have lost 8.4 lbs, and in 3 months my boyfriend has lost 24 lbs! I like it better than WW. I think it is important you know something about nutrition and healthy eating, also exercising before you use it. Go to WW for a few months if you do not, its nutrition 101 for dummies! If you are on MFP, feel free to add me ThePilotsGirl and thank you snack girl for your fabulous site!!

on June 2, 2012

I am going to check out some of these sites, I lost 4 pounds on WW but found I got tired of tracking points as I eat so many unconventional things or homemade things I was tired of estimating points, so like these site suggestions.

on December 23, 2012

I have been using Ultimate Value Diary on my I Phone and love this app.It goes well with Weight Watchers letting you add points as you have your meals to keep track. It also has a scanner that lets you scan products for points value, and much more. There is a cost, I have had it so long I forgot what I paid, but well, well worth it, 100 times over! I attached the web page so you can take a look at this.http://www.ultimatevaluediary.com/

on January 9, 2013

Download "ultimate value food diary" it does cost 2.99 but it beats paying weight watchers every month! Plus the app counts points (not calories) just like weight watchers. I love it, it's a must have for people who count calories and money!

on March 16, 2013

There is an app in both itunes and google play called Pts Plus Diary that is EXACTLY what you get with the WW phone app. Points calculator, recipe builder, bar code scanner, restaurant info, etc. It is a one time cost of 1.99. Amazing and more than worth it!!!

on July 23, 2013

I use a combo of myfitnesspal, sparkpeople and I also have a cool app that uses points like Weight Watchers. Ultimate Food Diary is only 1.99 on the App Store and is awesome.

on July 24, 2013

I've lost 76 pounds after joining Weight Watchers a year ago when I found a coupon code ($154 for one year - less than $13/month). I really appreciate all the comments, as I'm debating doing another year with WW (my loss has slowed and I still want to lose at least 30 more). I don't want to count calories and am used to calculating points, so thanks, in particular, to those mentioning free or low-cost Android apps using WW-type points.

on September 4, 2013

I need something free that i can follow with ease

on December 9, 2013

I used points plus diary app it cost a one time fee of $1.99 for endless use. It works the same as WW app. Calculates and counts points, searches food points, scan barcodes, counts activity points, extra weekly allowance points etc. I find it simpler and easier to use than the WW app. Even when I did have the subscription- I'd use Points plus diary app.

on January 6, 2014

You might also want to try Pertinacity. It's simpler and more accurate than calorie counting.

I lost 15 pounds -- and have maintained my lower weight for months since -- by using Pertinacity.

on July 10, 2014

looking forward to healthy eating

on January 6, 2015

I did Weight Watchers for about a month and it did work for me. I also used the Dr. Max Powers Burn for about 2 weeks and even my friends have really noticed a difference. I am at that age where weight is really hard to budge. The Max Powers Burn combined with Weight Watchers has made a huge difference. Although I also have a load more energy.

on July 20, 2016

I would like more info on snack girl thankyou

on May 24, 2019


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