I’ve been a huge fan of Weight Watchers for years. Of the 65 or so pounds I’ve lost over the last 5 years, I can credit the program for helping me shed at least 40 of that (the rest is thanks to P90X).
No surprise that it’s incredibly popular.
The idea is that you get an allotment of daily “points” to eat along with flexible weekly points. And if you follow along correctly, you shoud lose weight.
The thing is — it costs $US19.95 per month. For the basic plan.
This is why an app in the iOS App Store called “iTrackBites” is so sneaky (also available for Android but the app is much worse). It lets you do Weight Watchers without paying that huge monthly price.
I’ve been using this app for a few months after years using Weight Watchers, and I can say quite plainly that it does nearly everything the official app does. And it’s just a one-time cost rather than monthly. It’s even built on what seems to be the Weight Watchers plan, complete with “Daily Points,” “Weekly Points,” “Activity Points,” and many other features.
Weight Watchers assigns point values to different foods based on their nutritional information. These same values are used in iTrackBites.
We reached out to Weight Watchers to ask them if they had any comment on the app. They told us that they had no comment at this time.
It’s $US3.99 in the App Store with additional features inside you can pay for that are not necessary. You may end up shelling out around $US10, but when you consider that a Weight Watchers base membership is $US19.95 per month, it’s a bargain.
Here’s how it works.
Here's a breakdown of the main screen. As you can probably tell, it's very similar to the official Weight Watchers app.
The 'Pocket Guide' and USDA food lists are the go to databases to look up the foods you eat and add them to your daily log. But there are a few other useful databases to search in as well (some of which costs an extra dollar or two to access)
Once you're inside one of the databases, you just search for your foods and the corresponding point values show up. Many current Weight Watchers app users are going to wonder if these databases are as good as the official app. I won't lie, the answer is no. But they are still very solid and do pretty much everything you would need (at a much, much cheaper cost).
You can also create your own foods easily enough if you can't find them in the tracker. I use this a lot when I know the points value of a recipe and want to quickly add it.
As you can see, the beer database is very helpful (Although in the end, most regular beers are 5 points and light are 4).
It's very easy to create favourites and then access them for quick tracking. If you're like me and tend to eat similar stuff every day, this is a feature you will use constantly.
Just like the Weight Watchers app, you can track activity in iTrackBites. You can either search for it in the database ...
It also has a similar 'Healthy Checks' section where you can track your nutrient types throughout the day.
Another easy and useful way to add foods to your tracker is the barcode scanner option. It simply uses your phone's camera to snap barcodes on packaging and find out the points value.
You can adjust your plan or input any weight change into the app through settings. The app easily adjusts your daily points allotment based on whatever you change the weight too. You can also customise your values.
And that's really all there is to it.
It's Weight Watchers without Weight Watchers for a fraction of the price.
But to be clear, the app does not associate itself with the company at all.
From its official website: 'iTrackBites is not affiliated or endorsed by any weight loss system, but it was designed to be compatible with any weight loss system you may be using.'
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