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MyFitnessPal vs. WeightWatchers: Pros and Cons
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MyFitnessPal vs. WeightWatchers: Pros and Cons

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on January 2, 2023
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9 min

Do you want to lose weight? MyFitnessPal and WeightWatchers are programs designed to help you reach your weight goals. In this review, we explain each plan’s differences, benefits, and drawbacks so you can decide which one might work best for you.

MyFitnessPal vs Weight Watchers
MyFitnessPal.com / WeightWatchers.com

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A specialized program can be a great first step when losing weight.

As these programs tend to cost money, deciding on the most effective product is essential. Nobody wants to commit to paying a subscription and not get the results in the end. So, you must do your research before attempting a diet or weight loss plan to reach your goals.

MyFitnessPal and WeightWatchers (WW) are two esteemed apps. They both focus on healthy foods, calorie tracking, and exercise to help you get your dream physique while improving overall health. The only question is – how do you know which will bring you success?

This article will help you decide between these two popular concepts.

Summary

MyFitnessPal is a weight loss and fitness app that tracks your diet and physical activity. Users can easily count calories, macronutrients, and exercise calories to monitor their daily calorie budget. You can track your progress to stay on target and meet your goal weight.

WeightWatchers is a comprehensive weight loss plan that uses food tracking to help users manage or lose weight. It uses a simple point system with all food and drinks assigned a point value. The point system helps users make healthier choices based on calories and nutritional content.

MyFitnessPal

MyFitnessPal
  • Easy food tracking and calorie counting
  • The extensive food database is highly convenient
  • Creates awareness and helps users take responsibility for their diet
Our rating:
4.2
Learn More
Pros
  • Exercise and calorie tracking
  • Easy food logging
  • No food restrictions
  • Coaching available with the premium version
  • Huge food database and thousands of recipes
  • Emphasis on physical activity
  • Integrates with other health and fitness apps
  • Free version includes the main tools for calorie counting
Cons
  • Occasional issues with barcode scanning
  • Still requires manual input
  • Some users might misreport

WeightWatchers

WeightWatchers
  • Simplified point system to assess foods
  • Helps users make smart food choices
  • Customized weight loss plan
Our rating:
4.3
Learn More
Pros
  • Easy food logging
  • No food restrictions
  • Personal coach available with premium plans
  • Extensive recipe database
  • Encourages a balanced diet and regular exercise
  • Promotes slow and sustainable weight loss
Cons
  • Too much freedom for some people
  • Encourages weekly weigh-ins to track weight
  • Counting daily points can get tiresome

What Is WeightWatchers (WW)?

WeightWatchers (WW) is a customized weight loss program that aims to change the user’s relationship with food. It helps people lose weight through a specialized system that allocates different point values to food and drinks, making it easy to recognize healthy and unhealthy foods.

Rather than solely focusing on how many calories you eat, the unique system takes into account important nutritional factors, such as fiber, protein, and saturated fat content. No foods are off-limits on this diet – you just need to remain within your daily point budget.

The more points a food has, the higher it is in calories and unhealthy ingredients. You can eat as many zero-point foods as you wish, as these comprise low-calorie or zero-calorie foods. Tracking with the WW app allows users to master portion control and mindful eating habits.

What Is MyFitnessPal?

MyFitnessPal is a calorie-tracking app that supports people in reaching their nutrition and fitness goals. It is not a weight loss app per se, but it can help you lose weight by providing the tools to take control of your diet. Tracking your meals promotes more mindful eating.

You can use MyFitnessPal to create more awareness around your diet. The food log function allows you to record everything you eat in a day. You can see a complete breakdown of calories and nutrients to better understand how the foods you choose contribute to your weight goals.

Besides keeping a food diary, MyFitnessPal encourages users to exercise to improve overall fitness levels. So, whether you’re struggling to shift weight, tone up, build muscle, or simply want to invest in your general health, this app can support you in getting there.

MyFitnessPal vs. WeightWatchers: Main Differences

While MyFitnessPal and WeightWatchers help you work toward similar outcomes, i.e., reaching your weight and wellness goals, they have some key differences. Establishing these differences will help you better determine the best product to match your needs.

MyFitnessPal is all about counting calories and tracking nutrition. It is ultimately a tracking app designed for logging food intake and keeping an eye on what you’re putting into your body. Using the extensive food database, you must manually enter all your food and drinks.

A study found that using the MyFitnessPal app provides easy access to dietary information. You can quickly discover the nutritional content of foods, including carbs, sugars, fiber, and protein. There are no restrictions, but you are encouraged to meet your daily calorie goal.

WW is all about making wise decisions about the foods you eat. The points-based system is customized to meet your needs based on things like your age, height, and current weight. It is purposefully made to support people in losing weight or ensuring weight maintenance.

Calorie counting is vital for creating a calorie deficit, but WW focuses on nutrition data instead. This educates users on how foods and calories consumed affect their bodies differently. Food items might have similar calories, but their health benefits differ due to nutrients.

Another noteworthy difference is that MyFitnessPal is purely an app, whereas you can follow the WeightWatchers program without the WW app. You also have the option to meet up with the WW group in person and online to measure lost weight and monitor your progress.

MyFitnessPal vs. WeightWatchers: Benefits

Both programs offer benefits to users. With a mission to support you in making healthy choices when it comes to your diet, you can expect to improve your health with either of these apps. Still, it’s worth reviewing the primary advantages to see how they will deliver.

MyFitnessPal benefits

Below, you can find two benefits of MyFitnessPal.

#1 Enormous food database

With more than 14 million foods stored in the MyFitnessPal database, recording what you eat daily is easy. You can quickly go into the app and add your meals for the day, with plenty of options to ensure accuracy. For example, you will find a list of brands when you search for a food item.

#2 Helps you create a calorie deficit

Making a calorie deficit (burning more calories than you consume) is an optimal strategy to lose weight. You can quickly assess the number of calories in foods with this app. With a daily target, you can easily see whether you need to eat more or fewer calories to reach your goals.

WeightWatchers benefits

Here are two benefits of WW:

#1 Supports sustainable weight loss

With the WW diet plan, you can expect to lose weight gradually by eating a balanced diet. Losing weight slowly and steadily is always recommended to remain healthy and mitigate future weight gain. It prioritizes nutrition rather than restricting calories and banning foods.

#2 Offers a good support system

Many people enjoy the social aspect of the WW platform. You can join a community of people on similar journeys to your own and share advice, tips, and motivational strategies. Knowing you have support can help you stay on track and lift your spirits when feeling defeated.

WeightWatchers vs. MyFitnessPal: Cons

No health plan is perfect, and not everyone will have the same experience when using a particular app. There are always disadvantages that you should consider before purchasing a subscription or committing your time to a platform. See below to help inform your decision.

MyFitnessPal Cons

#1 Some of the features need improving

Many users experience tech issues when using the MyFitnessPal app. For example, some report problems when using the barcode scanning tool. It can only sometimes find the exact product you’re looking for, which can become frustrating and time-consuming.

#2 Some inaccuracies

Although the food database is extensive, it is not 100% accurate. It has gradually grown over time with the help of MyFitnessPal customers, meaning there is always room for possible mistakes thanks to human error. So, you cannot count on this app for complete and utter accuracy.

WeightWatchers Cons

#1 Freedom might lead to overeating

It’s great that WW doesn’t forbid you from eating certain foods. The point-based system allows for a flexible diet, with more freedom to eat what you want. However, there is no limit on zero-point foods. While foods with zero points are typically low-calorie, this freedom might lead some people to overeat.

#2 No calorie counting

On the other hand, following WW could potentially result in undereating. With a focus on points rather than calories, some people might need to eat more to meet their daily calorie intake. This could slow down the metabolism and make it more difficult to lose excess pounds.

MyFitnessPal vs. WeightWatchers: Cost

Price is an essential element when choosing a membership plan for losing weight. Improving your health and getting in shape shouldn’t break the bank. You should find a balance between the cost, features, and overall effectiveness. The right platform must fit your budget.

MyFitnessPal price

A free version of MyFitnessPal is available for those who want a simple device for counting calories. It is a fairly well-rounded app, but it does have ads. You can upgrade to MyFitnessPal Premium for full access to all features. At the time of writing this review, the pricing is as follows:

  • $9.99 per month
  • $49.99 per year (annual subscription)

WeightWatchers price

The price of WW varies depending on the type of program and how long you want to follow it. You will need to assess the key features to determine which program you want to try. At the time of writing this review, the current pricing is as follows:

  • Digital: $23 per month
  • Digital 360: $30 per month
  • Unlimited Workshops + Digital: Approximately $50 per month

Which Is Better: MyFitnessPal or WeightWatchers?

It’s tricky to suggest whether MyFitnessPal or WW is better because both have unique features to suit the needs of different people. One person’s experience with one platform could be completely different from another’s. It’s about finding a suitable match for your preferences.

MyFitnessPal is a great choice for self-motivators. It is a tool designed for counting calories and tracking your macronutrients. You can use it to take control of your diet with access to everything you need in one place. It promotes self-control and awareness of eating habits.

WW might be more beneficial to those who prefer to have a support network. You can access the WW support group to communicate with others throughout your journey to lose weight. Some people also prefer the point food system instead of monitoring calorie intake.

MyFitnessPal and WW vs. Alternatives

Perfect Body
WeightWatchers
MyFitnessPal
4.4
4.3
4.2

Convenient shopping lists1,000+ recipes to explore

Options to incorporate physical activity

Easy to find ingredients

Nutritionist-tailored meal plan

Reasonable pricing to suit different budgets

User-friendly app and website

Easy food logging

No restrictions

Promotes healthy and sustainable weight loss

Encourages exercise

Flexible program

Encourages portion control

Accurate calorie tracking

Easy food logging

Huge food database

Thousands of recipes

Encourages exercise

No restrictions

Connects with other health and fitness apps

No free trial available

Unsuitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women

The point system may become tiresome

Encourages users to weigh themselves regularly

Not everyone will enjoy the in-person workshops

Issues with barcode scanning

Food logging requires manual input

Risk of misreporting

Brand
Perfect Body
WeightWatchers
MyFitnessPal
Overall Rating
4.4
4.3
4.2
Pros

Convenient shopping lists1,000+ recipes to explore

Options to incorporate physical activity

Easy to find ingredients

Nutritionist-tailored meal plan

Reasonable pricing to suit different budgets

User-friendly app and website

Easy food logging

No restrictions

Promotes healthy and sustainable weight loss

Encourages exercise

Flexible program

Encourages portion control

Accurate calorie tracking

Easy food logging

Huge food database

Thousands of recipes

Encourages exercise

No restrictions

Connects with other health and fitness apps

Cons

No free trial available

Unsuitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women

The point system may become tiresome

Encourages users to weigh themselves regularly

Not everyone will enjoy the in-person workshops

Issues with barcode scanning

Food logging requires manual input

Risk of misreporting

How We Tested

In writing this review, we turned our attention to several key factors: quality, effectiveness, price, and brand reputation. We assess these components to give you a solid overview before spending money. These factors ultimately sum up the pros and cons of each product.

Quality

Both WW and MyFitnessPal are good-quality apps for weight loss and management. The built-in functions make calorie and food tracking easy to manage. There is no hassle or fuss, only clear information to help you make wiser food choices and build better habits over time.

Effectiveness

You might find both of these apps effective, as both promote a healthier lifestyle. Good nutrition and exercise are the most worthwhile strategies to transform your body and overall health. Generally, you will need to upgrade to premium features to get the best results.

Price

Pricing immediately impacts whether or not you will try an app. WW can become quite costly if you decide to upgrade for additional features. The MyFitnessPal pricing is reasonable, but some more inexpensive alternative apps might offer you a better deal.

Brand reputation

MyFitnessPal and WW are two well-established brands. Their missions are clear – these companies want to give you more control over your health and fitness. Neither tries to limit or restrict what you eat. Instead, they help you incorporate better nutrition into your lifestyle.

A Word From a Nutritionist

Smartphone diet-tracking apps and other programs offer timely assistance when trying to reshape your body and diet. Tracking calories, recording workout routines, and keeping a food diary are all practical steps for your journey. They can help you achieve your health goals sooner.

As all platforms offer something different, try to determine what you truly want from an assistant device. You might want to eat fewer calories, follow a low-carb diet, or increase your intake of nutrients. Think about what you want before committing to any membership plans.

Talk to your healthcare provider before attempting any diets. It’s crucial to find a safe and suitable plan that doesn’t harm your health. Avoid programs that promote rapid weight loss, as they can be dangerous. Look for something that encourages good, long-term habits.

Conclusion

Both MyFitnessPal and WW are great tools for tracking nutrition. They can support you in eating healthier meals as you can conveniently assess the nutritional value of certain foods. Both can offer long-term aid for building a healthy relationship with food and losing weight.

Still, there are other options you can try. Perfect Body is an app and website with more features to help you truly get your dream physique. You might find it better value for money, especially with the personalized meal plan developed by nutritionists for faster results.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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