The Weight Watchers PointsPlus plan allows you to lose weight without counting calories or purchasing special diet food. The program is based on a point system that assigns points to everyday foods, as well as recipes and meals in the Weight Watchers database. Weight Watchers assigns you an individual PointsPlus value allowance to stay within each day, and you plan your meals accordingly. This gives you the flexibility to eat the foods you enjoy.
How the Program Works
Weight Watchers assigns a PointsPlus value to foods based on how nutritious the food is. It takes the protein, carbohydrate, fat and fiber content into consideration. Foods that are nutrient-dense are assigned a low PointsPlus value, and foods that are less nutritious have a higher PointsPlus value. This allows you to eat what you want as long as you stay within your PointsPlus target, but encourages you to make better food choices. If you choose healthier foods, you'll be able to eat more.
How Many Points You Get
The minimum PointsPlus value you're assigned is 26. To come up with your daily point total, Weight Watchers uses a proprietary formula. It assigns points to individual components -- gender, age, height and weight. You also get an additional 49 PointsPlus values per week that you can spread out or use all at once. In addition, PointsPlus values are assigned to various forms of physical activity. When you engage in physical activity, you add the points assigned to that activity toward your daily PointsPlus total.
Adjusting Your PointsPlus Allowance
Contact your Weight Watchers leader to discuss what changes, if any, you need to make. If you go several weeks without losing, or consistently lose less than 1/2 pound weekly, your leader may advise you to lower your allowance. If you're losing too quickly -- more than 2 pounds weekly on average -- your leader may recommend increasing your PointsPlus target. When you reach your target weight and are shifting into maintenance, you can add six PointsPlus values daily. Your leader may recommend more or less depending on your situation.
Example of a Day on Weight Watchers
Let's say your PointsPlus allowance is 26 per day. If you have 1 cup of fruit with yogurt -- PointsPlus value of 3 -- for breakfast, that leaves you with 23 points. For a snack, you can have 1 cup of chicken noodle soup and three small cookies for a PointsPlus value of 6. If you have 3 ounces of chicken and 1 cup of black bean soup for lunch -- PointsPlus value of 4 -- you're left with 13 points for dinner. In this example, you can have a filling dinner and still be well within your target range.