Have you ever felt like giving a break to the routine of a fad diet that has already become an integral part of your weight loss program? Well, this is what Weight Watchers Reimagined, previously Weight Watchers, felt. Established in the initial 60s, this esteemed weight-loss brand has evolved significantly over the past few years.
Now known as Wellness that Works (WW), Weight Watchers as it is popularly known has changed the objective of its program from weight loss to lifelong wellness. This has brought a great shift in its point system, the main utility that made the brand popular since its inception.
The old point system was known as PointPlus through which one could gain a minimum set of points every day along with the choice to add up to three more. Each week, one could get bonus points. However, with the new system from WW, you get a chance to make your Smart Point budget as per your goals as well as lifestyle. Thus, it is common to ask how calculate Weight Watchers points.
The Weight Watchers points calculator aids in quoting points related to food as per what you had during the day. You are likely to find this calculator quite interesting if you have a goal of losing weight or sustaining a healthy body weight as per a healthy lifestyle.
Overview of the Weight Watchers Program
Weight Watchers is among the most esteemed weight-loss programs on the planet. It aims to aid in initiating and sticking to healthy lifestyle options such as consuming healthy fats for weight loss and adding sufficient protein for quality improvement of hair and skin.
This program is streamlined into distinct points. You as a participant, in the program’s app, need to note down things about every meal consumed so that the app can then monitor your progress. In short, doing so allows you to track how close you are to the set goal.
There are over 250,000 products on its official website using which the WW points calculator can figure out the points in any meal merely by knowing the calories and some nutritional contents that one can easily find from the packaging. This is exactly what the latest point system takes as input from the users.
The program also focuses on health sustenance and mental health. With this as also a part of its new objective, the program encourages its participants to prepare and consume meals instead of eating in restaurants and stay active daily. For such meals and snacks and even for effective exercises, the program gives smart points which is what the Weight Watchers calculator calculates.
The WW Point System
At present, two different point systems are visible on its official website namely, the PointPlus (old) and Smart Point (current). This means that there are three calculators of these names too.
Each user is allotted some amount of points that she or he can gain in a day as per different criteria such as weight, gender, and age. Users also get some Flex or Weekly Points that are valid for use for one week. These points give you the bonus of an occasional treat that cannot be attained if one only sticks to the daily points allowance.
Once you know the daily allowance, you can use the PointPlus or Smart Point calculator to know how much you have consumed for the day and deduct the same from the daily allowance. The answer should not be negative, meaning, your consumption in terms of point value should not be more than the daily allowance.
To know the daily allowance, you need to use the Allowance calculator on the website or app. This Weight Watchers calculator asks for gender, age, weight, height, and level of activity to calculate the daily allowance value as well as the additional weekly points.
For example, a female between 27 to 37 years of age weighing 80 kg and doing some light activity daily will get 23 daily allowance and 29 weekly points.
A shorter person living a sedentary lifestyle is likely to get 23 points daily, while more active and taller ones may get 29 points. The program also focuses on general weight guidelines. For example, for those weighing below 150 pounds, 18 to 23 points could be given. Similarly, for those between 175 and 199 lbs., 22 to 27 points could be allotted. For those over 350 lbs., 32 to 37 points could be given.
In short, the point system is centered on allotting a specific point value to each food item.
How to Calculate Weight Watchers Points using the PointPlus Calculator
The PointPlus system works based on the composition of the food’s macronutrients, which are protein, carbohydrate, and fat instead of calories at the time of allotting a point value. The original system was based on only calories, fat, and fiber. In short, with PointPlus, you track points, not calories. It gives at least 26 points daily to each user as per the starting point and health goals.
Nevertheless, if you still feel hungry after consuming the points for that day, you can gain one to three extra points. At the end of a week, the program gives 49 bonus points that you can use at once or in parts in the next week.
The system works by identifying the value of a food item. Although discontinued in 2015, it is still a popular WW program that many follow today because of its simplicity.
As per the age, gender, height, weight, and as per breastfeeding needs, WW determines the daily PointPlus budget or allowance. While it is not known how it is calculated, the three aforementioned macronutrients and the fiber content of a food item are used to figure out the PointPlus value.
Upon joining WW, you get access to its official website regardless of whether you are an online-only member or are a member of WW meetings. You also get access to the WW app. Both provide access to a PointPlus calculator for knowing the Points value of what you are consuming. The WW program offers a myriad of resources such as workshops, recipes, and personal online coaching as per the plan you buy.
When it comes to how to calculate points in Weight Watchers as per this system, the following are some formulae that you will come across online:
- (Carbs in grams / 9.2105) + (Fat in grams / 3.8889) + (Protein in grams / 10.9375) – (Fiber in grams / 12.5) = PointPlus Value in US and Canada
- (Carbs in grams / 9.2105) + (Fat in grams / 3.8889) + (Protein in grams / 10.9375) – (Fiber in grams / 35) = PointPlus Value in UK
For example, if you enter 15 as fat value, 20 as carbs, 2 as fiber, and 25 as protein in the calculator, you get 8 pts as the PointPlus value for the food item having these nutrients.
Now, the question is how to use the daily PointPlus allowance. As the PointPlus calculator is based on your weight and age, the allowance will change as you become older and as you lose weight. Daily, you start with a new set of Points. For instance, if your daily allowance is 30 PointPlus, fresh 30 Points will be given to you daily.
You now only need to track the value for anything you eat and then subtract the total points consumed from the daily allowance, which is 10. As nutritional value equals points, your goal is to consume the allowance each day.
Well, the best part of Weight Watchers is that you can eat anything of your choice that fits within this daily allowance. Although WW promotes eating stomach-filling items, you are free to eat anything you want. You still count the value for whatever you consume.
However, WW recognizes the fact that you can sustain weight loss if you consume balanced and non-confined meals. Thus, the exception to this system exists! WW gives you 0 PointPlus value for most veggies and fruits, which are termed as zero-point foods. Well, this is good but even they contain calories.
So, if you are consuming all the daily points and additionally eat an apple, two oranges, and three cups of spinach, you are less likely to lose weight as per your set goal. This is because you are simply consuming more calories daily. This does not mean not to eat them but have them in moderation.
Apart from the PointPlus allowance, you also get additional points for use, which you can use for a week such as all at once at a party or split them across in terms of a glass of juice at noon daily. You should use these points only after the PointPlus allowance is consumed.
Well, there are many opinions on whether these weekly points should be used or not. A few users use them only when required, while some use them each week.
The WW PointPlus program also gives you a chance to earn more points via its Activity Points. Just as there is a calculator for figuring out Points, there is also a calculator for allotting Points for your workouts. For instance, a specific yoga routine for an hour can earn you 4 more points. You can eat these points to promote weight loss.
How to Calculate Weight Watchers Point using the Smart Point Calculator
The Smart Point system is the latest system from WW, which works by allotting points to different foods as per the contained calories, sugar content, saturated fat content, and protein content. Unlike the PointPlus calculator, this Weight Watchers calculator considers calories instead of fiber and carbs.
The weightage or value is given to each of these factors differs. For example, saturated fat has a greater weightage than calories. Even sugar will have a higher weightage but more than calories. On the other hand, the protein will decrease the overall value in the Smart Points calculation. Thus, more protein means less smart value.
A food item can have equal values for protein and calories but fat or sugar is higher in one of the items versus the others, the overall smart value or points will be more. Giving different weightage to each nutritional item helps us in choosing a healthier item despite both having equal calories.
Well, tracking smart points is not identical to counting calories. In other words, consuming 120 calories of a pastry piece is not identical to consuming 120 calories of veggies and fruits that also give you different minerals and vitamins.
However, as this calculator does not consider these nutrients, the points are allotted as per the nutritional value. The calculator, for example, allots four points to a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 3 points to a tablespoon of almond butter.
Following is the formula that the Smart Point calculator of WW seems to use:
(Calorie count * .0305) + (Sugar in grams * .12) + (Saturated fat in grams * .275) – (Protein in grams * .098) = Smart Point Value
If you compare this formula with that of the PointPlus system, you will find that the value or weightage is quite less. This is because of the high sugar content considered here. Although carbohydrates are considered in the former method, it did not have any way to know whether a specific food item had good carbs or not. Replacing carbs with sugar, the Smart Point value can help in choosing healthier foods and carbs.
Every food item gets a computed value, except for the zero-value or zero-points items including tofu, veggies, and plain yogurt. As several items tend to have a higher value with this calculation, there is no need to worry. This system is likely to give higher daily as well as weekly allowances than the former one.
Weight Watchers has evolved in terms of how points are given to an eatable by considering different nutrients and other factors. The old PointPlus system considers total fat, protein, fiber, and carbs. Before this, calories, fiber, and fat were used to figure out the food values. Currently, with Smart Points, protein, sugar, saturated fat, and calories are considered to make healthier lifelong changes for diet and workouts.