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Understanding Weight Watchers PointsPlus

The Weight Watchers PointsPlus program replaced the Momentum program in late 2010, making this the biggest change in their innovative weight loss program in 13 years. The PointsPlus program combines the latest nutritional science with the proven Weight Watchers approach to develop an effective method for making healthy, satisfying choices. All this gives you an edge that can help you reach your weight loss goals.

With Weight Watchers, every food has a PointsPlus value, which takes into account a food’s protein, carbs, fat, and fiber. The goal with the PointsPlus program is to encourage you to eat more nutrient-dense foods, like veggies, fruits and lean proteins. PointsPlus also features Power Foods, select foods that have exceptional nutritional value and satiating power. Power Foods include such healthy noshes as a banana or low-fat Greek yogurt with berries. There are plenty of Power Food ideas and recipes on the Weight Watchers website.


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As a Weight Watchers member, you’ll get a daily personalized PointsPlus values goal, so you know how much to eat to lose weight safely while feeling satisfied. On the PointsPlus program you can eat anything you like as long as you stick to your daily PointsPlus values goal. And true to the Weight Watchers unrestricted food plan, there’s plenty of room for treats and extras as long as you stay within your PointsPlus values range.

If you’re a Weight Watchers Online or Weight Watchers eTools subscriber, you can use the PointsPlus values calculator tool to find the PointsPlus values of restaurant foods, and you can also consult the Eating Out Guide. Weight Watchers Meetings members can also use the A-Z food list found in the Pocket Guide, or purchase the Complete Food Companion, and the Dining Out Companion to help them plan for their night out.

As a quick history lesson, here is how the previous POINTS system worked:

At the end of 2010, Weight Watchers expired the POINTS program, and replaced with the PointsPlus program, a significant overhaul based on Weight Watchers expertise and nutritional science findings.

The POINTS System helped you understand the role food plays in your weight loss, much like the new PointsPlus program does. Every food has a POINTS value (now called PointsPlus values), and each individual had a daily POINTS target that varies (as the current PointsPlus program does). You and your counselor, or via Weight Watchers Online determined the healthy target POINTS range (this is still done with PointsPlus) based on gender, height, weight, activity level and other factors including whether or not you are a nursing mother.

There is no set eating plan, you have the flexibility to choose any foods you like, so long as you don’t meet and do not exceed your daily POINTS (this is still true). You can use the handy tracker given to you at meetings or available in your online account (or via eTools) to keep track of your POINTS (and now PointsPlus) consumption each day. If you want more POINTS, simply introduce more activity into your lifestyle (these are called activity points).

The POINTS were based on a proprietary calculation of the fiber, fat and calories in a food. The higher in fiber, lower in calories and lower in fat a food is, the lower POINTS value it receives. Just like in golf, you want to maintain a lower score.

See how it all works for yourself by joining Weight Watchers today.

DietsInReview.com is a paid affiliate of Weight Watchers. This article is in no way sponsored.

February 27th, 2008