Weight Watchers (also known as WW through out this article), the famous diet and weight loss program that promotes a point system for meals in food in order to help dieters keep track of their food intake, recently decided to revamp their point system. This new point system is called Weight Watchers Points Plus. Although the old point system, typically called points, is still available in older books and recipes, the new system is now what the official Weight Watchers program uses. This new program is both online, in books, recipe pamphlets, and other WW material. Although the system of counting points remained unchanged, the revamped program introduced several new key features that require a little getting used to. I decided to try the new point system and see how it compared to the original program's system.
The biggest difference is how the points of each meal or food are tallied. Originally, it was mainly the caloric content of a meal or food that determined how many points the meal or food was. With the Weight Watchers Points Plus program, the formula is now determined by how nutritional the food is. For example, under the old system, a meal could be low in calorie but high in sugar, fat, or nutritionally empty preservatives and still only count as a few points. Under the new system, protein content, fat content, carbohydrate content, and fiber content are all important along with the total number of calories in determining the total number of points in a food or meal. I find that this new formula is superior to the old formula because it puts the focus on the overall nutritional value of the food, and not simply the number of calories. The program also explains that calories from nutritionally superior food are often processed better by your body, making them less likely to remain around and become fat stores.
Another new feature is the completely new point ranges. The point ranges have been raised overall. This is mainly because the WW Points Plus program assigns a higher number of points to foods and meals, now that the focus is less on calories and more on the overall nutritional soundness of a meal. I also believe this is part of a mental confidence booster. To me, it feels better to have 30 points (new system) instead of 18 (old system) even if technically I am going to be eating the same meals and foods to reach both totals.
One change that might frustrate WW followers is the removal of the daily target range calculations from their books. For someone to find their daily point range now, they must attend a WW meeting, purchase access to their online program, or purchase a Weight Watchers calculator. Personally, I find the last option the best. Purchasing the calculator is a onetime buy, and it will help you in the WW program in more ways than one.
Overall, the new Weight Watchers Points Plus system is an improvement!