WW Points Plus For Alcohol
Calculating Weight Watchers
Points Plus for alcohol is not the same formula as for foods. While we
it was (because the points would be reasonable), sadly they are
When determining the points values of alcohol, you need to consider the
amount of alcohol in the beverage.
While the foods use
protein, fats, carbs and fiber to give you the points plus values,
alcohol uses a different approach when figuring the values.
reason for this different method (which is explained below) is that
alcohol is metabolized as sugar in the body.
So even if the carbs and
calories seem low, the amount of alcohol can get you on the points.
Before you pour yourself a little bit of spirits, keep reading to make
sure that drink won't put you over your allowance.
Points Plus For Alcohol/ Sugar Alcohol
the introduction of Points Plus, the formula to calculate values on
foods changed. While the old system only considered calories, fat and
fiber, the new method encourages healthier choices by taking into
account carbs and protein in addition to fats and fiber.
By rating the importance of the nutrients that make up the calories,
the values for two foods items equal in calories would come up with
For example, a 100 calorie snack pack of chocolate chip cookies (higher
in fats and carbs) would have a higher points plus value versus a 100
calorie Cobb salad higher in fiber and lower in carbohydrates. This new
method then encourages people to make better food selections.
With this same concept in mind, Weight Watchers
changed the way points plus for alcohol is calculated. Rather than
just taking the macronutritents of fat, fiber, protein and carbs, they
are also taking into account the amount of alcohol calories.
Since alcohol is metabolized as sugar in your body, similar to the way
fats are metabolized, the alcohol content is weighted heavier than
normal carb or protein calories.
Because of this, the formula for calculating points plus for alcohol
needs to take into consideration the alcohol in grams for your
For foods that contain sugar alcohol, which reduces the amount of
sugars, the formula also takes this into consideration. So items like
your sugar free cookies, candies, etc., cannot be calculated using the
basic food formula, but would need to use the formula for alcohol /
sugar alcohol content.
So let's take a look at the formula. First, here is the basic formula
used for foods.
s = (protein/10.9375) +
(carbohydrates/9.2105) + (fat/3.8889 - (fiber/12.5)
Now let's look at the formula for items that have alcohol or sugar
alcohol in them.
Alcohol / Sugar Alcohol
s = (protein (g) /10.9375) + (carbs (g)
/9.2105) + (fat (g) /3.8889 -
(fiber (g) /12.5) + (alcohol (g) /3.0147) - (sugar alcohol (g)
For items that use sugar alcohol, it would be fairly easy to calculate
the points since this is readily available on food labels.
However, for alcoholic beverages, the amount of alcohol in grams is not
always listed. So how would you determine the points if not all the
information is available? Well there is a way using the basic
macronutrient information which is discussed in the next section.
How to Calculate Points Plus for Alcoholic Beverages
are many times when people may want a drink or two for special
occasions. While drinking while trying to lose weight is not
recommended, it is acceptable to have an occasional drink without
ruining your diet.
If you are on Weight Watchers and counting points plus, then knowing
the values to track is important to stay within your allowance. But
what do you do when that bottle of beer does not show the grams of
Well, there is a formula for calculating points plus for alcohol that
will work and is fairly accurate. So you can get the points for that
drink. Here are the steps to calculate the points plus values;
- Multiply the total carbohydrates in the drink by 4. This
will give you the calories from carbs for your drink.
- Subtract these calories from the total calories in the
drink. This will leave you with the calories from alcohol.
- Divide this number (calories from alcohol) by 7. This will
give you the alcohol grams.
At this point, you could just calculate the points using the formula in
the above section.
However, if you want to use your points plus calculator (which only has
input for carbs, protein, fat and fiber), then follow these steps below;
- Add the alcohol grams to the total fat grams in the drink.
Most often the drink will have 0 fat grams.
- In the WW Points Plus calculator input the alcohol grams +
fat in the “fat” box.
- Put carbs in the carbs box and any protein or fiber in
their boxes (if the drink has these elements).
- Then just hit calculate to get your Weight Watchers Points
If you want to give this a try, use this calculator to find out
the WW points plus for alcohol.
Note: The above link
will open in a new window.
Calculating Points Plus for Mixed Drinks
While the above method works for alcoholic drinks like beer and wine,
it doesn't work for mixed drinks. This is because you have the "mixer"
in the equation.
So if your drink of choice is a rum and coke or a 7 and 7, then you
have the mixers (soda) to take into consideration.
If you use calorie free mixers like diet sodas or diet juices, then all
you need to calculate is the points plus for the alcohol in your drink.
However, if your mixer has some calories to it, then you need to figure
out the total points for your drink.
To do this you have to calculate each component separately.
calculate the points plus for your mixer and then the points plus for
alcohol. Then just add the two together to get the total for your drink.
So enjoy your drink and toast to your weight loss success by knowing
the values in your drinks.
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