Faceoff: Jawbone UP24 vs. Weight Watchers

This isn’t really fair because it’s really an apples to oranges comparison. It’s not apples to apples because I’m not comparing Weight Watchers Active Link to Jawbone UP24. I’m comparing Jawbone food tracking component to Weight Watchers app.

For the purposes of full disclosure, I’m a die-hard Weight Watchers Lifetime member. I did this experiment for curiosity sake. I logged in my food intake for one weekend day into both the WW app and the UP24 app. It was a pain in the tuck-us to do both.

What I love about Jawbone UP24 is the nutritional analysis. Here’s the display on the day that I tracked:

IMG_1870I absolutely am smitten with this. I love the focus of the daily tracking on green, yellow, red light foods. Green light foods = go. Eat these. Yellow light foods = proceed with caution. These are the ‘Don’t over due it’ items listed above. For me today, that was hard pretzels, baked potato, rolls. The red light foods = pass on these items. Which obviously, I tanked on today!! I am not a fan of any off limits foods, so I think this approach is realistic. The ongoing monitoring of the nutritional content helps to guide food choices through out the day.

There were some things that I just didn’t love. I found the input screen a bit difficult to navigate at first. It’s best to add a whole meal at a time and make sure there is a bit of time between entries. This is because the display is a clickable timeline of meals. When entries are too close together, they overlap. When I went back to edit an entry, it was too close to another entry, and I was never able to select the one I wanted.  Also, I found that the listing of recognized UPC codes for easy scanning entry is limited. None of the items I scanned today were recognized. And the final item that I didn’t love, was that even of the listed items, some of the nutritional content wasn’t available. I ate a cookie – no biggie, it’s Christmas!! The cookie was listed by brand name. Even though I ate a homemade one, I selected it thinking it would make tracking nutritional content more available. The UP24 app just logged “you ate something good” and omitted calorie, fat, etc. This would seriously hinder calorie counting efforts if that was my purpose.

So to be fair, what do I love about WW app? Well, that’s pretty easy. Perhaps since I’ve been using it for nearly 5 years, it’s super easy to navigate. There’s a huge bank of UPC codes so nearly everything I scan is recognized, except Publix items. This doesn’t bother me, but another lady in my meeting room really loves Publix and she finds this irritating. You might too if you are a loyal Publix shopper. I enjoy the earning of Activity Points to eat 🙂 Finally, I love my WW app because it’s worked so well for me.

IMG_1869

After experiencing the UP24, I would like to see more nutritional content feedback. Someone I know, and I’m not naming names, used to eat 9 Hershey kisses for breakfast. As long as they didn’t go over on points, there wasn’t any huge alert that this was a bad idea. Clearly it is a horrible idea. WW does offer Good Health guidelines which are to be checked off to keep you nutritionally on track but this lacks the specific nutritional analysis of UP24.

I also enjoy the ability to enter recipes into the WW site to determine point values of new items. This is easily done in the website instead of the app, but it’s stored and can be logged forever more in the app or on the site.

UP24 does an outstanding job at fitness tracking. WW does an outstanding job at food tracking. Combining the two gives me the best of both worlds. Great news is now they are compatible and Jawbone can feed activity points directly into the WW app!

The deciding factor for me is the 5 years I’ve already invested in WW. Like many who have had success with a particular method, I’m hesitant to try something new in fear of backsliding. I’m pleased with the fitness and sleep tracking of UP24. They make it worth every cent. If I weren’t a WW member and I was looking to trim down, I’d definitely try out the food journal component of Jawbone UP24 as an added step to modifying my lifestyle.

Simple Start or Dumb Move?

Random message board and meeting room chatter seems to be mixed as to whether this new introductory period “Simple Start” in the Weight Watchers program is a good idea or not. However, most of that chatter seems to me to be coming from folks who haven’t tried it yet.

I’ve been a Weight Watcher lifetime member for about 3 years now, having lost 35 pounds under the earlier Points program. I’ve transitioned to Points Plus and now giving this Simple Start a try for the recharge benefit. Each time there’s a change, negative chatter appears. But I haven’t been disappointed by Weight Watchers yet. And if the ladies in my meeting are any indication of how well this Simple Start works, I’m on board! One lady signed up two weeks ago so she received the Simple Start plan. At her second weigh in she was down 11 pounds. ~ In two weeks! I think that is one heck of a motivator.

I could stand to lose a pound or two, most of us can. But that’s not really why I’m trying it out. I like the food choices. During the month of December, I spent a lot of time surfing the net and exploring ways of eating that fall in line with my priorities: whole food, heart healthy, low sugar… I’ve spent a lot of time at My Humble Kitchen’s 25 Day Grace Filled Journey to Real Food, 100 Days of Real Food, and Whole 30. You know what I notice about the food list for Simple Start? It’s unbelievably similar. There are some differences. Weight Watchers promotes fat free dairy. And I’m a fan of raw dairy, so I’ll have to find some internal reconciliation on that. And also, the WW list allows for a small treat each day – and lets just face it, I need that. Call me weak, or a sugar addict… I don’t care I own it.

So anyway, I’ve decided to give it a shot. I’m on day 2 and haven’t chewed anyone’s head off yet. Yesterday wasn’t too shabby. But it was the first day, so of course I had a little extra enthusiasm. Day 2 didn’t kill me. I went to Krispy Kreme for a donut. And had a fantastic dinner of Sittin’ Chicken, Smashed potatoes, & green beans. Here’s the recipe if you choose to join me. Oh and here’s your disclaimer: I’m not a WW expert. I’m no longer an employee. I’m just a member that loves it. My recipes may or may not be in full accordance with their plan, but it works from me. Enjoy!

Chicken Sittin'

Sittin’ Chicken

1 Whole Roaster Chicken
Cooking Spray
Garlic Herb Seasoning from Mrs. Dash

Heat oven to 450º Stand chicken up on a Pampered Chef Fluted Pan. Spray chicken with spray. Sprinkle with seasoning. Place on bottom rack in oven. After 45 minutes turn oven temp down to 350 and continue baking until a thermometer inserted at the meaty part reads 165 or above.

beans

Green beans – stick in the cast iron and cook until slightly browned. If needed add a bit of vegetable broth.

potato

Smashed Potatoes

4 potatoes, peeled & diced
1 onion diced
1 T butter
1/4 c fat free milk
1/3 – 1/2 c fat free sour cream

Boil potatoes & onions. Smash with butter, milk & sour cream. Yum.

And now, I’ve sat on this post for a full week… so I can give you the results of my first week on Simple Start. I stayed the exact same. No loss. Why you ask? Probably because I mostly fell off the wagon on Wednesday. And I have a donut addiction. Yes. I bake and eat donuts almost daily. This could be seen as a positive. I bake and eat donuts everyday and don’t gain weight. See – I’m a glass half full kind of girl 😉 Anyway – I’m getting back on the Simple Start wagon. I’ll let you know how it goes.