How to Calculate Weight Watchers Points With Vegetables

Vegetables have a Weight Watchers "points" value that ranges from 0 to 3 points per serving, depending on a particular vegetable's calories and fiber content. (Fresh vegetables do not contain fat, the third piece of the equation that Weight Watchers uses to assign point values to foods.) Determining the point value of various vegetables does not have to be expensive or tricky.

Step 1

Understand what counts as a serving. For leafy vegetables (spinach, lettuce) 1 cup is a serving. For other vegetables, a half cup counts as a serving. For frozen and canned medleys and blends, refer to the nutrition label.

Step 2

Learn how to read the nutrition label on the back of frozen and canned vegetables. Key information is the number of calories, fat grams and fiber grams per serving—and the number of servings per container. In general, the fewer the calories and the higher the fiber, the lower the point value.

Step 3

Use the mathematical formula Weight Watchers uses to determine a food's point value. The equation involves three steps: Divide the number of calories by 50. Then, divide the number of fat grams by 12. Add those numbers together. Then figure which is less: the amount of fiber or the number 4. Take whichever is less and divide that number by 5. Take the calories-and-fat number and subtract from it the fiber number to get the "points" value, which is rounded to the nearest whole or half number.

Step 4

Purchase a food companion booklet or "Pointsfinder" calculator from Weight Watchers, or an iPhone application that includes point values for vegetables—and keep them readily available.

Step 5

Learn which vegetables are zero points, so you will not need to calculate them. They include asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, raw carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, endive, escarole, green or wax beans, greens, hearts of palm, jicama, lettuce, mixed green salad, mushrooms, okra, peppers, unsweetened pickles, pimientos, fresh pumpkin, radishes, sauerkraut, scallions, spinach, sprouts, spaghetti squash, summer squash, tomatoes, turnips, watercress and zucchini squash.

Step 6

Memorize which of your favorite vegetables do have "points" values. Some examples:

One point: 1 cup each of artichoke hearts, cooked carrots, cooked onion, snow peas and winter squash.

Two points: ¼ cup avocado, ½ cup chickpeas or mashed potatoes, 1 cup corn, cooked parsnips or green peas.

Three points: ½ cup marinated mushrooms, or one 5-inch sweet potato or yam.

Warning

The zero-point vegetables are zero points only if you eat them without adding butter or sauces.

In case you consider ketchup a vegetable—it is made with tomatoes, after all—be aware that ¼ cup is worth 1 point.

Potatoes are a vegetable, but their variations can be high-point food choices for Weight Watchers. Some examples: a stuffed baked potato is about 10 points; a medium serving of French fries is six points; ½ cup of potato salad is seven points; just 1 oz. of potato chips is four points.

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