Points Plus Calculation

Weight Watchers Plan

The points plus calculation is used to put a points values on the food items you eat.

This new formula came out with the introduction of the Plus System in January 2011.

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 as what foods were zero points. Even the calculation for activity points were changed slightly.

The one are, however, that had people concerned, was the new calculation for foods. In the original method, the nutrition information used was calories, total fat and dietary fiber.

With the new points plus method, calories are not used at all. Instead, the nutrition information required is total fat, carbohydrates, dietary fiber and protein.

Points Plus Calculation

As stated above, the new points plus calculation does not use calories at all.

Instead it uses total fat, carbohydrates, protein and dietary fiber.

The value, or weight, given to each of these factors varies.  For instance, total fat has a higher value given than dietary fiber.

So an item can have the same values for carbs, protein and fiber, but if one is higher in fat, that item will have a higher points plus value.

Points Plus Calculation =

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

How has the calculation changed?

The old method used calories, fat and fiber only for the calculation. Below is the previous calculation.

Original Points =

(calories / 50) + (fat(g) / 12) - (fiber(g) / 5)

Note: only a max of 4 grams of fiber was used. Anything above 4 was not considered.

As you can see with the old method, no consideration was given for carb or protein content.

In comparing these two formulas, let's take a grilled chicken sandwich from Burger King. With mayo, this item has 470 calories, 18 fat grams, 2 grams of fiber, 37 grams of protein and 40 carb(g).

Points Plus value would be

(18 / 3.9) +(40 / 9.2) + (37 / 10.9) - (2 / 12.5) = 12 points plus

The old points value would be

(470 / 50) + (18 / 12) + (2 / 5) = 11 points

Although the difference in this item is not huge, it does demonstrate how taking into account the carbs and protein, and assigning different values to the various nutrients has an impact of the points value.


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 many cases may equate to the same results as with the WW formula.

The differences are generally negligible. Be sure to check with your Weight Watchers materials for exact values.

Pro Points

The points plus calculation shown above is what is used in the United States and Canada. A different method, called Pro Points, is used in the UK.

The new Pro Points formula is;

(Fat (g) / 3.8889) + (Carbohydrate (g) / 9.2105) + (Protein (g) / 10.9375) + (Fiber (g) / 35)

The major difference in this calculation versus the points plus calculation is how fiber is handled. As you can see, instead of deducting for fiber, this formula adds for the fiber.

This is based on the fact that the carbohydrate line on nutrition labels in the UK do not count the fiber. Therefore, the value of fiber needs to be included in the total value.

Use this online calculator to get the values of your foods using the points plus calculation.

Additional Articles

Restaurant Points
Find your favorite place to eat out and view their menu items complete with nutrition and points values. Both the plus values and the original values are calculated for each restaurant.

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 Original Points
If you are still following the original method and want to learn how to calculate the food points, then this is the article for you.