A critique of Weight Watchers’ eTools tracker

Last Thursday at weigh-in, I forgot to pick up my little paper tracker. (You can be sure I’ll grab a handful today!) As a result, I made my first effort at using e-Tools off of the Weight Watchers website. It was certainly an educational experience, and I was glad it was there when my paper tracker wasn’t.

What I liked:

  • more incremental and accurate tracking of points. Not only did some servings of foods merit a half point, which I wouldn’t have thought to give them, but enough of some foods (like black coffee) will earn you a point.
  • flexibility. Not only do they have a good-sized database of foods to draw from, but they have a place where you can enter foods not in the database and  its known points. And if you left your calculator in your car, there’s one right on the e-Tracker.
  • it tracks your week for you, pulling weekly points and exchanging activity points as needed. The running total for the week at the top was awesome.

What I didn’t like:

  • more incremental and accurate tracking of points. YIKES! Whatever happened to my dream world in which coffee was FREE?!
  • the activity tracker. Maybe I just don’t know how to use it effectively, but I do a varied workout, not just one thing for an amount of time at one intensity. I wanted to be able to enter the parts of my workout and have them tallied for a whole, but it didn’t do that. The only way to get my whole workout to count was to do it myself the way I did for the paper tracker, and then enter it as workout 1 or whatever, x amount of points.
  • it tracks your week for you. OK, maybe you’re supposed to use up your weekly points and THEN exchange your APs, but that’s not how I do it. I was actually a bit shocked when e-Tools did it that way. I would much rather view those weekly points as my cushion and my special treat bank (you know, like a birthday party or a date with hubby at a nice restaurant?). My AP points were earned THAT DAY. I should be able to eat them THAT DAY. It just makes so much more sense to me.
  • it restarts your week the day you weigh in. If I weighed in early in the morning, that would be fine with me, but I would far rather my weigh-in be the culmination of my week’s tracking. I weigh in at night, and I start a new tracker the next morning. On e-Tools, I haven’t even seen the results of my week’s efforts, and it’s already tracking the next week. Now, I know I could trick it and tell it I’m weighing in on Friday, but I shouldn’t have to.

So there are the ruminations of an e-Tools newbie. I can see me using it again as a back-up, but I still think my primary tracker will be the little paper one I can carry in my purse.

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1 Comment

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One response to “A critique of Weight Watchers’ eTools tracker

  1. Thanks for the critique. I haven’t tried it yet, I probably won’t. I’m having trouble accurately assigning points to my activity. I know I’ve changed things like parking farthest away from where I’m going so I have to walk more. In fact, I’ll park down the block from a patient’s house and hoof it with all my stuff when it’s possible. Not possible with the ice and snow on the ground right now. I’ve been walk/running for 30 minutes each morning. I warm up, then walk briskly for a minute, run at top speed (for me) for 2 minutes, recover by walking slowly for 2 minutes and so on. Interval stuff. I don’t know how to mark my AP for that. I’ve been giving myself 2 points AP daily for that routine.

    I chart my extra 35 points the same way you do, as a cushion for something special. I’ve only had to dip into it 1 week.

    I’m still losing. Lost 2 pounds even last week. I’m at a total of 8.4 pounds lost since 1/12. YAY

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