Weight Watchers calculates its PointsPlus values using four factors: protein, total carbohydrates, fiber and fat, all measured in grams. These are plugged into Weight Watchers' proprietary formula to get the total points for a particular food item.
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PointsPlus System Goals
The point of the PointsPlus system is not to count calories. It seeks to motivate Weight Watchers members to make healthy choices to lose weight safely. The system encourages members to reduce their caloric intake but still eat nutritiously to feel satisfied.
PointsPlus and Calories
Weight Watchers' new points program, introduced in November 2010, no longer uses calories as part of the point calculation. Weight Watchers states that the intent of the new program is to utilize advances in nutritional science to focus on the available energy in food after you consume it. The new program takes into account how much energy your body uses to digest food. Using protein, carbohydrates, fiber and total fat gives a better assessment of this total available energy.
With the old program, point totals were figured by calories and adjusted up or down based on the total fat and fiber in food. Under this program, 25 points approximated 1,250 calories, assuming the fiber and fat in the food basically offset each other in the formula.