Weight Watchers has come out with a new beta tracker to enable members to track their food eaten, activity, and weight. To be blunt, it just blows. I mean, it is awful. It is sort of prettier than the old tracker, but the prettiness comes at the expense of functionality which is vastly reduced.
To be honest, I mostly track my food on MyFitnessPal and periodically I transfer over information to the Weight Watchers tracker so I can see how I am doing on Points Plus. Weights are synced automatically for most people at weigh ins at Weight Watchers (actually, once I got back to within 2 pounds of goal weight, I’ve found my weights don’t sync automatically, and I have to do it myself). And, I don’t record Activity there since my Fitbit syncs automatically as well.
Mostly I use the tracker to go and see how I am doing on weekly points and to sometimes look at the week as a whole to check out patterns of eating and activity. I also sometimes like to just look at the graph of my weight loss.
Unfortunately, most of what I liked about the old tracker is now gone entirely.
So, a few screenshots. Here is what it looks like when I open it up:
On the positive side, this is kinda pretty. The colors are nice. I do see in the circle that I have 9 Points Plus left. In tiny print below, it tells me that I have 49 Weekly Points left and 0 Activity points left. On the right are pics of some recipes and, up top, I can choose to look at my Favorites, go to quick add to simply add points for a food or calculate the points value of the food. I can also check out my Activity and Weight. The problems start when this is contrasted to what you see with the current tracker when you open it up:
Granted, this is not as pretty as the beta tracker. But you immediately can look at it and see how many points you have eaten for each meal (you can hit the dropdown to see what it was). You are told across the top, what you have used, how much you have left for the day, how many weekly points remain, and how much activity you have earned for the week and how much you have left. On the left, you get the calculator to calculate your points if you don’t know them. On the bottom you can quick add points if you already know the Points Plus. On the right, you can easily add Favorite Foods. On the bottom right you can track the good health guidelines. You can easily move to the activity tracker or the weight tracker. At the top where it gives the date you can move by arrows to a nearby date. But, you can click on the calendar and easily go back to a more distant day if you want to check what you recorded on that date.
To do those things in the beta tracker, if possible at all, is a lot more work. To record food you have to go to another screen:
So that is another click just to get to the log. Note that there is nothing on this screen that lets you easily add foods. On the right we have pictures of recipes that I care nothing about. That real estate could be used for the points calculator or for a quick add option or, like now, for favorites. The current tracker lets you from the first screen select a favorite, calculate Points Plus or quick add a food. You can’t do any of that from the second screen you have to go to on the beta tracker.
You can track, of course. You can select track and you get a list of recent foods you have tracked. If what you ate is on there, then you can select it. You can also look up a food in a search box.
But what if you just want to quick add the points for a food? You have to to the top of the page and select Quick Add and you can finally do that. And, what if you have a nutrition label and just want to calculate the Points Plus for the food? You have to go to Quick Add on the top and then go to calculator. On the current tracker, you can do that on the very first page you go to. You don’t have to hunt it down through multiple clicks.
The calculator is…OK. It is a little harder to add the data as you can type in the amount, say, of calories or you can hit an arrow to go up or down. It is really easy to hit the arrow by mistake and the arrows hide part of the box you need to type the numbers in. One interesting thing in the calculator is that you are now asked to input saturated fat and sugar, in addition to the calories, fat, carbs, fiber and protein. It doesn’t seem to make any difference in the points calculated now, but I suspect it will make a difference when the new program comes out early in December.
So, after finally being able to track the food I ate for lunch, I noticed some missing things. There was no longer a way to track the Good Health Guidelines. Something which irritated me is that there is no way to go back and easily look at past days. You can only move by an arrow one day at a time. So, if I want to look at what I ate 2 weeks ago, I have to hit that arrow 14 times! The old tracker let you call up a date on a calendar instead.
Even worse, you can’t see a week as a whole.
Look at how it is with the old tracker (this is an older image, not the current week):
I often used to look at this to see a week as a whole to get an idea of food patterns. I see no way to do that on the beta tracker. Possibly it is there somewhere. If it is, then it sure isn’t easy to find!
I then turned my attention to looking at the Weight Tracker portion.
I’ve always loved to look at the graphs from the Weight Tracker. Here are a couple of examples:
This was so motivating. Look at the bottom graph. This represents my entire period of weight loss from August, 2010 until early July, 2015. Yes, I had that big regain in the middle. But, I managed to get back on track and I seem from August, 2013 all the success I’ve had. It really is something I love to look at when things get tough.
Now? All gone. No graph at all!
When you go the weight tab, you instead get:
This took up my entire screen. Yes, it was nice to have the ability to quickly add a weight (we already had that, but still nice to have). But, I want to see the graph, not that meaningless picture. Actually, my first look startled me because it said my goal weight was 130 pounds. At first, I couldn’t imagine where that came from, but I think it imported it from Fitbit. I had set a goal weight in Fitbit of 130 pounds the other day (since I know I still have fat to lose), but that isn’t my Weight Watchers goal weight. So, I had to go change my goal weight in Weight Watchers to 145 pounds instead.
If I want to see my individual weigh ins, it is a pain. If I scroll down the page, I get a few weigh ins:
Again, this takes up the whole screen (after I’ve scrolled down) to get 3 months of weigh ins. If I load, more I get another 3 months. I then have to load more to get another 3 months. It is incredibly tedious. With the graphs you could click on a point and see the weight:
Or you could just get a list of weigh ins as well:
You could select the date range that you wanted weigh ins for and it was a nice, neat, easy to read list. Now, you have tediously add 3 months at a time and there seems to be no way to go to a particularly date or range of dates.
And, again, there is no weight loss graph! I just am dumbfounded that they take away the graph to, instead, give me some sort of image of an outdoor scene! The image is actually not even pretty to look at! More importantly, though this is taking away something that is both motivating and functional to give us nothing in return.
For any members of Weight Watchers reading this, go check out the beta tracker. There is a button where you can send feedback (and, I certainly did send feedback). Look for the things that have been taken away and tell them about it. I like the idea of having something that is visually more appealing. But, function should be improved not destroyed.