Weight Watchers Points System

The Weight Watchers points system is extremely ingenious in that it provides a means of analyzing and categorizing foods according to their nutritional value.

This is of tremendous benefit to the dieter who now has a logical system to enable him or her to control daily calorie consumption without the need to completely or severely restrict carbohydrates or fats. The dieter has complete freedom to eat the kinds of foods that are enjoyed, so long as their total point value does not exceed the daily allowance.

The Weight Watchers point system was derived by taking into account the important aspects of food, the total calorie value, the saturated fat content, and the fiber content. The exact formula to achieve a point value for a specific food seems to have varied somewhat over time and is a trade secret. It is generally agreed though that it approximates to the following:


P= (c/50) + (f/12) – (min(r, 4)/5)

Where:
P=points
C=calories
F=fat grams
R=dietary fiber grams

Note: min(r, 4) equals the number of grams of dietary fiber or 4, whichever is smaller. In other words: maximum 4 grams of fiber are counted.

In simple terms the point value of a food will give you a good idea of how fattening it is likely to be. A food such as lettuce or cucumber which is very high in fiber but very low in fat will score 0, whilst a food such as roast beef, which has much more fat and little fiber will score 8 for the equivalent quantity. A dieter can easily see which foods can be eaten in abundance without worry and which have to be rationed.

On joining the Weight Watchers program a member is given a lot of useful information including a points book listing over 15000 foods with their point value, plus a calculator to enable one to assess the point value of any specific food. This is done by inputting to the calculator information from the food product label with regard to fat, fiber and calorie content.

As well as the points guide given to members, Weight Watchers has a number of points-related publications that are useful, for example:

Once you have had a little practice with the point guide list and the calculator you should find it fairly quick and easy to assess different foodstuffs and can therefore plan your daily meals armed with the necessary information.

By pre-planning what you want to eat for the day you will be able to focus on healthy choices, instead of just buying whatever comes to hand or whatever looks attractive on the supermarket shelf. Learning to anticipate hunger, along with having healthy nutritious food choices available, is easier when foods are listed in the Weight Watchers point list. Use of the Weight watchers point list or calculator is the tool you need to make losing weight as easy as pie!

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