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Smart Points Calculation

Weight Watchers Plan

The Smart Points calculation Weight Watchers latest method to give food values in order for you to make smarter selections. This new plan was introduced in 2016 and many are still trying to understand how it all works.

In addition to the change in this formula, there were changes made to other areas of the plan. The daily and weekly allowances were changed as well. The daily allowance is now individually determined so there is no set formula as each person is different. You must be a member in order to get your daily and weekly allowance.

Previously on the Points Plus system, the minimum daily allowance was 26 points. The new smart points now has a minimum of 30 points. The weekly allowance is also different for each person. Your allowance may be 42, 35 or some other number that is divisible by 7.

Using numbers that can be divided by seven makes it easier to divide up your weekly allowance across the days of the week.

Smart Points Calculation for Food

Weight Watchers has changed how points are given to food with various plans and calculations. With the Points Plus system, the nutritional values used were carbs, fiber, protein and total fat.

Prior to that, WW used calories fat and fiber to determine the values in the foods you eat. Now with the Smart Points, the calculation and the nutrition values used have once again changed.

As always, Weight Watcher's plan helps us to make lifelong changes in the way we eat and exercise. With this in mind, the new calculation once again helps guide us towards the right foods to help us stay healthy.

The new method of calculating food values includes using the following nutritional values;

  • Calories
  • Saturated Fat
  • Sugar
  • Protein

The value, or weight, given to each of these factors varies. For instance, saturated fat has a higher value in the calculation than calories. Sugar also will cause a higher point value as it is given a larger factor than calories as well.

Protein on the other hand will help reduce the points value. So the higher the protein in food, the lower the points value will be.

A food item can have the same value for calories and protein, but if the sugars or saturated fat are higher in one item versus the other, the points value will be higher. Giving each nutritional item different values in the calculation will help guide us to the healthier food item even though both have the same amount of calories.

Without futher ado, here is the Smart Points calculation.

Smart Points Food Value Calculation

(Calories * .0305) + (Sat Fat * .275) + (Sugar * .12) - (Protein * .098)

Prior to the Smart Points the plan was the points plus method. Below shows the Ptsplus formula so you can see how the calculation has changed.How has the calculation changed?

Points Plus Calculation

(Fat (g) / 3.8889) + (Carbohydrate (g) / 9.2105) + (Protein (g) / 10.9375) - (Fiber (g) / 12.5)

As you can see with the plus method, calories, sugar or saturated fat was used. In fact, the only nutritional value still used from the plus system to the Smart Points is protein. To demonstrate how certain nutritional values impact the points value, let's look at some comparisons.

Let's take a 16oz root beer float from A&W restaurant. The following is the nutritional values for this item;

Calories; 330, Total Fat 5g; Saturated Fat 3g; Fiber 0g; Protein 2g; carbs 70g and sugar 57g.

If we compare the points plus calculation to the Smart Points calculation, the food value would be as follows on the two different plans;

Points Plus value would be

(5g fat / 3.9) +(70g carb / 9.2) + (2g protein / 10.9) - (0g fiber / 12.5) = 9 points plus

The smart points value would be;

(330 cal * .0305) + (3g sfat * .275) + (57g sugar * .12) - (2g Protein * .098) = 18 smart points

As you can see, the value is doubled from one system to the other. This is primarily due to the high sugar content in this food item. Although carbs were used in the plus method (which is high due to the sugars) it didn't really allow you to determine if these were good carbs or bad.

By using sugar instead of carbohydrates, the values given now guide you to healthier carbs and foods.

While many foods will have a higher value with the smart points calculation, don't fret just yet. With this new plan you will more than likely get a higher daily allowance and weekly allowance than on the plus method.

In fact, the minimum daily allowance went from 26 points to 30 points. Each person's allowance is individual and is not a set calculation. This is also true of the weekly allowance.

Because the allowances are now an individual assessment, I cannot provide any guidance to what your allowance will be. You must be a Weight Watchers member in order to get these allowances.


The points values used on this site for recipes and restaurants do not use this same exact formula.

The above formula is patented by Weight Watchers International and use of this exact formula on this site would be an infringement.

Instead, an offline spreadsheet with a slightly different formula is used and the values presented on the restaurant pages and recipes may round up or down to a slightly different value than Weight Watchers points and points plus.

However, based on empirical data, the values presented on this site are a close approximation and in most cases are the same exact results as with the WW formula.

While many of the points values are exactly the same, those that are different are by only 1 point at the most. Be sure to check with your Weight Watchers materials for exact values.

Use this online smart points calculator to get the values of your foods using this new method.

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Additional Articles

Restaurant Points
Find your favorite place to eat out and view their menu items complete with nutrition and points values. You will find the Smart Points, Points Plus and the original points values for these restaurants.

Points Plus for Alcohol
The calculation for alcohol is different than for foods. Check out this article for a fairly simple way to calculate the points for your alcoholic beverages.

Calculate Points Plus
If you have not yet made the move to Smart Points, then check out this article on how to calculate food values using the points plus method.

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Free tips and recipes monthly. What do you have to lose...except some weight.....Sign up now.

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