Weight Watchers, now known as WW, has been a popular and effective weight loss program for years, and their point system is a cornerstone of their approach. It’s designed to make healthy eating simpler and more flexible.
The WW point system has changed and evolved over the years, and you might remember former systems based on PersonalPoints, SmartPoints, and ProPoints. The latest evolution of the point system simply calls them, “Points“ and makes tracking them simple.
While the name for points has changed and the program has been simplified, the WW points algorithm has not changed. Actually, a number of people tell me that the new point system is similar to the former WW Blue Plan.
Here’s today’s featured membership deal (view all) plus what Weight Watchers’ points are and how they can help you lose weight.
What are Weight Watchers Points?
Weight Watchers points are a way to assign a value to every food and drink you consume. These values are based on the nutritional content of the food, including calories, saturated fat, sugar/carbs, fiber, and protein. In essence, each food and beverage is assigned a point value to help you make informed choices about what to eat.
We actually made a points calculator here to estimate the WW points in any food based on nutritional info!
While no foods are forbidden, healthy foods are cheaper to encourage better choices. In fact, WW has thousands of recipes with points plus a list of about 200 zero-point foods that you can eat for free.
Weight Watchers points to calories? Calories are just one factor in calculating points, but we can estimate that one point is equal to about 70 calories.
What Are Zero-Point Foods?
WW zero-point foods are generally healthy and won’t count toward your daily or weekly points budget. Weight Watchers makes these foods “free” to encourage you to incorporate them into your daily menu without any guilt.
WeightWatchers Zero-point foods include:
- Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots
- Fish & shellfish (not fried)
- Poultry (skinless)
- Tofu and tempeh
- Fat-free cottage cheese and yogurt
- Beans, peas, and lentils
- Corn and popcorn
Healthy preparation of these zero-point foods is encouraged, and certain foods on the list may not be worth zero points if you are diabetic.
How Does the WW Point System Work?
There are a lot of fad diets out there, but the most important outcome of any diet should be sustainable weight loss that lasts long-term. For this reason, WW uses its point system to nudge you towards healthy habits and food choices that last a lifetime.
The Weight Watchers point system gives you a budget to spend on food each day and week in an effort to promote sustainable weight loss. While no foods are forbidden, those unhealthy cravings probably cost a lot of points!
The point system assigns lower point values to foods that are lower in calories and healthier, while foods that are higher in calories, saturated fat, and sugar get higher point values. On the flip side, foods rich in protein and fiber will generally have lower point values.
The WW point system encourages you to opt for more nutritious, balanced meals and is intended to promote healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
Every Food & Recipe Has a Point Value:
Weight Watchers has thousands of sortable recipes with point values that incorporate many zero-point foods and healthy ingredients to make the most of your points budget.
You can also find the point value for thousands of menu items at popular restaurants, and you can even scan barcodes for the point values of packaged foods.
If you found a recipe online that looks delicious, the chances are that WeightWatchers has a healthier version of it on their website or app!
How Many Points Can I Have Per Day, Week?
Your daily points allowance is usually 20 to 30 plus additional weekly points. Your point allowance is calculated based on factors like your age, gender, weight, height, and activity level. This information allows WW to calculate your individual metabolic rate and assign a personalized points budget designed to help you create a calorie deficit for weight loss.
The average number of points per day is 23, plus you’ll also have some additional weekly points plus earned activity points.
The number of points allotted varies for each person and is generally in line with the Harvard Health recommendation to consume 500 fewer calories per day (minimum of 1200 for women, 1500 for men) to promote healthy weight loss of about 1-2 pounds per week.
Beware of those diets that promise fast weight loss, as they are usually doomed to fail.
How Do I Track WW Points?
One reason WeightWatchers still leads the pack of similar app-based diets is that they make it simple to track points in the WW app whether you cook your own food or eat out at a restaurant.
Here’s how track food in the app or online:
- Type a food into the “My Day“ search bar
- Select the food you want to track
- Enter the serving size and meal time
- Click, “Track food“ and you’re done!
Tip: Track your points after every meal for an accurate total. WW estimates that this should only take about 5 minutes a day and will help you chart your progress.
FAQs About the WW Point System:
- Can I Eat Anything as Long as It Fits My Daily Points Allowance? While you have the flexibility to make your own food choices, it’s important to focus on quality. The idea is to consume foods that are lower in points but high in nutrients, such as whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables, to help you feel full and satisfied.
- What About Foods with Zero Points? WW assigns zero points to certain foods, such as most fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and some other low-calorie, high-nutrient options. These can be enjoyed without counting them towards your daily points allowance, encouraging healthier choices.
- What Happens If I Go Over My Daily Points Allowance? Going over your daily points allowance is okay, too. WW provides a weekly points allowance that you can use for treats or dining out. This helps prevent feelings of deprivation while still allowing you to make progress toward your weight loss goals.
- Are There Tools to Help Track Points? Yes, the WW app makes it super easy to track your daily WW points. You can scan barcodes, search for foods, and even create recipes to calculate point values. Make a habit of tracking every meal for an accurate points total and a better understanding of what you are eating
- Can I Rollover Unused Points? In most WW plans, you can roll over up to 4 unused points from your daily allowance into your weekly allowance. This provides flexibility in managing your weekly intake based on your specific needs and preferences.
- How Do FitPoints Fit into the System? FitPoints are a way to track your physical activity. When you exercise, you earn FitPoints that you can exchange for extra points to use for food. It’s a fantastic way to maintain a balanced approach to health and wellness.
- Is the WW Point System Effective for Weight Loss? Absolutely! Many people have achieved successful weight loss using the Weight Watchers point system as it encourages healthier eating habits, portion control, and a balanced diet which are all key elements for sustainable long-term weight loss.
- Can I Follow WW If I Have Dietary Restrictions or Food Allergies? WW is quite accommodating when it comes to dietary restrictions and food allergies. You can choose foods that align with your specific needs while still following the WW point system. It’s all about making it work for you.
Make the WW Point System Great Again!
There’s an acronym in marketing called, KISS, meaning “keep it simple, stupid!”
The Weight Watchers points system underwent a number of changes in previous years, and members complained that it was too complex. WW listened, and the new version of the point system is an effort to make things simple again.
Tip: The current WW point system is very similar to the old “Blue” plan which was very popular for its simplicity.
The Weight Watchers (WW) point system provides a flexible and adaptable approach to managing your food intake. It promotes a balanced, nutritious diet while allowing room for occasional indulgences.
If you aren’t sold on WW, I recommend NOOM, which is another highly-raetd app-based diet that has been called, “Weight Watchers for Millenials.”
I hope you better understand how the WeightWatchers point system works, and thanks for visiting Wonky Pie!