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Weight Watchers Points Calculation Tips

Updated on February 26, 2017
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I remember being a skinny kid and wishing I could be bigger. Be careful what you wish for! ...

Why Points?

Most dieters start their weight loss journey counting calories. Calories essentially measure the energy effect of the food we consume. Taking in more calories than we need to function, leads to greater body mass.

Yet, looking at the caloric content of food doesn't take into account the nutritional quality and effect on our well being. The magic of the Weight Watcher's point system is that it gives us a metric that takes into account food quality as well as energy content.

What Are the Choices in Points Calculations?

Successfully following the Weight Watchers plan requires daily accounting of points eaten against points allowed.

You need several tools in your points toolkit to accurately and easily calculate points. So what are your choices?

  • Buy a weight watchers smart points calculator. But where is the best place to buy one?
  • Get a smart points app for your smartphone.
  • Use an online calculator. But where?
  • Do without a calculator. Get your Weight Watcher points from other sources.
  • Design your plan to minimize the need for points calculation.

Calories are Complicated - Smart Points Are Simple

Energy balance is the relationship between energy in (food calories taken into the body through food and drink) and energy out (calories being used in the body for our daily energy requirements).
Energy balance is the relationship between energy in (food calories taken into the body through food and drink) and energy out (calories being used in the body for our daily energy requirements). | Source

You can follow the plan without your own calculator, but it requires more work and use of other resources, especially online resources.

A lot depends on the dieting lifestyle you will follow with Weight Watchers, which is affected by your personality and resources.

  • Not everybody has ready access to a computer 24 x 7.
  • Many dieters follow the Weight Watcher Plan by themselves, no meetings.
  • Many have to approach the process very frugally.
  • Some dieters don't want to cook.
  • Some weight loss seekers thrive on pre-packed foods with WW points on the box.
  • Many plan followers thrive on ingredient shopping and cooking nutritious meals.

Lets look at some of the choices and how you can put them together and have success with the Weight Watchers smart points plan.

The Right Cookbook Eliminates Points Calculation Issues

If you have a good cookbook, with easy meals designed for smart points followers, you are halfway home! Having the right WW cookbook on your shelf means that you always have meal choices available. No need to calculate all of the ingredients. No puzzling out the nutrition information on the labels in the grocery store aisle.

The Internet is awash in recipes, many of those are recipes with WW in mind and include points estimates. Be careful, because many of those recipe point counts are for the old plan. Be sure to verify the point count is for smart points.

Apps For Your Smartphone, Android, or iPhone

If you have a smartphone, and carry it with you regularly, then get an app to support your weight loss plan.

Smartphone apps can help with:

  • points calculation
  • food tracking
  • weight tracking
  • fitness tracking

Be careful! As you sift through the apps listings, make sure the app covers the smart points program. There are a lot of apps out there for the old plan. Look for protein and carbohydrates on the calculator screen in place of calories.

Weight Watchers has a great mobile app that is an extension of their online site.

Great for the grocery aisles.

Weight Watchers Mobile App for Android and Iphone
Weight Watchers Mobile App for Android and Iphone | Source

Online Smart Points Calculator

Many of us live in the virtual world, so online is an easy option. There are many sites offering online Weight Watchers points calculation.

Studies have shown that there is a high success rate for those that use an online weight loss plan consistently. Regular tracking is key and the online programs make it easy to connect and enter you foods.

Weight Watchers Online is an obvious choice. You'll have access to the calculator, and all of the other resources Weight Watchers has built-in.

No Cooking Tonight!

For those non cooking days, or for dieters that don't want to cook, there are options.

Restaurants - some restaurants, like Applebee's, are WW friendly and have meals featured for WW with points calculated. If the menu doesn't have WW points, look for heart friendly items; or vegetarian choices as these are generally decent choices with lower points. Get sauces and dressings on the side so you can ration them into your dish. Get a to-go box with the meal and package half of the generous portions to get them off your plate before you start eating.

Pre-packaged meals - grocery stores offer lots of Weight Watcher food items. As you find ones that you like, stock up the freezer and cupboard so you always have quick meal options when you can't cook.

I've Found This To Be A Great Tool To Get Accurate Points Values. Very Useful For Adapting Recipes.

4 stars for Weight Watcher's Points Calculator

Useful In The Kitchen, and The Grocery Store.

Where Can You Buy a Smart Points Calculator?

The easiest and most convenient route is to buy a new smart points calculator.

You can buy your calculator at a Weight Watchers Meeting. You'll probably get a decent price there. If you are going to attend WW meetings anyhow, then it's win/win.

However, if you were not planning on attending meetings, you need to figure in the cost of joining and a meeting cost or shop elsewhere.

You can buy your new smart points calculator online. There are many options here. Amazon offers choices and generally good pricing pricing and easy return.

Wherever you buy your points calculator, be sure to inquire about the return policy.

Whichever route you follow, read on for some ideas on how to manage the points tracking process that may alter the way you design your own weight loss plan.

Not All Points Are The Same!

Jean Nidetch co-founded Weight Watchers in 1963. The first points program wasn't introduced until 1997.

The PointsPlus plan was started in November 2010 and created quite a stir. Not only did specific foods points values change, but food guidelines (e.g. fruit) changed.

SmartPoints was introduced at the end of 2015. SmartPoints are calculated based on calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein. Fat and sugar push SmartPoints values up. Lean protein can lower SmartPoints.

Weight Watcher Founder, Jean Nidetch, in Times Square, New York City
Weight Watcher Founder, Jean Nidetch, in Times Square, New York City | Source
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