Health & Fitness

Battle of the Brands: Weight Watchers Mobile versus Free Smartphone Apps.

Weight Watchers has seen a loss of their customer base in the past few months due to the proliferation of free calorie-counting apps for smartphone.  Is this the end of an era for the weight loss brand?

Dieters are increasingly using their smartphones to get healthy.  Inexpensive apps to count calories and keep track of exercise are readily available.  Many people are turning to free apps such as MyFitnessPal to meet their health goals, leading to a loss of Weight Watchers’ customer base, the Wall Street Journal reported in August 2013.

Sure, it’s convenient having a free app to count calories and keep track of exercise, and, of course, the savings can’t be beat.  But, for many people struggling with their weight, a simple calorie counting app may not be all that they need.  That’s where Weight Watchers comes in.

Successful weight loss requires more than just calorie-counting

The Weight Watchers 360 plan, which includes cognitive and behavioral tools to conquer weight loss in addition to a sensible diet and exercise, provides a framework of wellness in which to thrive. The program is based on scientific findings which show that all calories aren’t alike – for example, that 300-calorie glazed donut is certainly not nutritionally equivalent to a 300-calorie bowl of oatmeal with fruit and brown sugar.  The Weight Watchers Points system, a proprietary formula for calculating daily calorie targets, reflects this insight — and that’s what most free calorie-counting apps are missing.

Weight Watchers Mobile Tools

Weight Watchers Mobile is a smartphone app — available on iPhone, iPad, and Android — which features a collection of tools to aid in weight loss.  In addition to stories of successful weight losers and recipes, the app features several features helpful for anyone seeking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  The Tracker has a database of the Points values for several thousand foods, including foods found at fast food and chain restaurants, as well as a calculator for Points earned through exercise.  The app also features “Cheat Sheets” for dining out.  In addition, WW Mobile features a Barcode Scanner which conveniently allows you to check the Points value of food items in their database simply by scanning the UPC code found on the package.

Tracking diet and exercise on a budget

Want to lose a few pounds, but don’t think you have the funds for a Weight Watchers subscription? While a monthly eTools subscription is required to access these and other features in Weight Watchers Mobile, taking control of your health doesn’t have to break the bank.  Weight Watchers offers many discounts to new and continuing customers, and Weight Watchers Lifetime members enjoy free access to eTools.  Check with your local Weight Watchers store to find out about ongoing promotions. Some sites that publish the current deals and discounts for Weight Watchers are WeightLossTriumph and FalseDad.

If a diet plan like Weight Watchers isn’t in your budget, the next best alternative is, indeed, to spring for a healthy living app like MyFitnessPal – but make sure you brush up on how to get the most caloric bang for your buck (I recommend this article from on how to make smarter food choices).


Article written by Sheeva A, freelance writer who studies the weight loss industry and its trends.



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