Weight Watchers Point Plus
Weight Watchers introduces Points Plus. As of 01/2011, they
have changed to the new plus system.
So what is it and what does it
mean for new and existing members?
If you are like hundreds of other members trying to lose weight, you
have transitioned to the
new and improved points system.
Perhaps you are a new member and want to reach your weight loss goals
but need to understand the system a bit better.
So you may be
wondering what it's all
about, how it's calculated and why it's a better way of assigning foods
a points value.
This page will give you an overview of some of the major changes in the
program and how points are calculated for the foods you eat.
and understanding the program will help you lose weight and reach your
goals. You can read all about WW Points Plus by scrolling down the
This article is broken down into a few pages. This first page gives you
the overview. The next pages go into more detail on the food points
calculation and the allowances.
You can use the links below to read just portions of the plan. If you
want to read the entire article, use the next/previous buttons on each
Before diving into how the new points plus calculation works, let's
some of the changes.
are not Created Equal
One of the major changes for the new points calculation is calories -
or lack of calories in the calculation.
The prior method put a heavy
emphasis on calories in determining the final points value for a food
Basically, on the old method a small bag of
pretzels had the same
points value as an apple.
The problem was that there was no incentive
to select the healthier and more nutritious apple over the bag of
With the new points plus method, calories are no longer in the
Instead, other nutritional values, such as carbs and
protein, are now considered in addition to fat and fiber. Calories are
not used at all.
Freebies On Points
With the old method, there were several food items that ended up
calculating to a zero points value. However, some fruits and veggies
still had a points value to them based on the old formula.
Now with the new points plus system, most
veggies and fruits are zero
points - or freebies.
Fruits, while on the old method usually
calculated to a points value, on the new most of these are
zero. I say most because there are exceptions.
fruits are all zero points. In addition, frozen or canned fruits are
also zero provided there are no additives. This means no added
It must use only the fruits own juice to be considered a
freebie. If you are not sure, then check with the Weight Watchers tools
or your leader.
If you are still unsure, always error on the
conservative side and calculate the points as if it were not a freebie.
most veggies are zero points, there are a few that are not. Items like
potatoes, lentils and beans, while in the veggie category, are not
vegetables that have a points plus value include
parsnips, chick peas, and corn just to name a few. Check with the
Weight Watchers etools or your leader if you are unsure if a veggie is
zero points or not.
So why are many fruits and veggies now zero points on the new system?
Well this is one area of concern and confusion for
many. While I use the points plus system, I am
not claiming to be an expert here. But I will attempt to explain why
these items are totally free on the new method.
the zero points value does not count as zero in all cases. If you use
fruits or vegetables in a recipe, say peppers in your sauce or grapes
in a fruit salad, then you need to include these values into the
points calculation for the recipe.
The reason for this is you need to
count the overall nutritional value for the full recipe. Fruits and
veggies will add protein and fibers (and other nutrients) into the
Whew! not sure I explained that very clearly.
Here's some comments on this subject from Weight Watchers forums that I
found that may explain it better.
always been our policy
Weight Watchers to incorporate the nutrients of vegetables (and now
fruit) into recipes. Why? A few reasons.
1) Vegetables and fruit add fiber and other nutrients, and without
including them it can impact the Points value.
2) Our recipes are often featured in articles and magazines nationally
and as a result we need to disclose this info to ensure the appropriate
calories and nutrient content are displayed if evaluated by
organizations outside of Weight Watchers.
3) Since many non-Weight Watchers recipes include nutritional
information these days, we want our calculations to match those you may
do for recipes you find in other places. We don’t want to unfairly
advantage our own recipes.
4) Once you start combining vegetables and fruits with other foods, you
change the experience of eating them. Few people “pig out” on carrots
but might on carrot cake. To ignore them in recipes would place our
member at risk for abuse potential.
another reason behind the freebies for fruits and veggies has
to do with their nutrient composition as compared to other foods that
may have the same calorie count.
These types of foods are higher in
fiber than say a piece of bread. Your body works harder to process
foods higher in protein or fibers than it does foods higher in carbs.
This means that you are burning away those calories faster. On the
other hand, a piece of bread is higher in carbohydrates and fat, and
your body does not work as hard to process these types of calories.
That means they are more likely to be stored - and these stored
calories can turn into fat.
it is assumed that we will be less likely to "pig out" on
veggies and fruits versus chips and cookies.
So even though the fruits
and veggies have calories, etc., we probably won't eat more in a day
than our body can process efficiently so that the calories are not
stored as fat.
If you are not following the points
plus plan, then check out how to calculate the original points values
Free tips and recipes monthly. What
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Weight Watchers Points Plus Restaurant List
Eat out at your favorite restaurant knowing the points plus values for
the menu items you order.
Weight Loss Workouts
Add exercise to your diet plan to help you lose the weight. Use these
example workouts to get you started now.
Control your portion sizes in order to reach your weight loss goals.