WW PointsPlus Explained

by Anne Bennett on December 2, 2010

Weight Watchers’ new PointsPlus program is fundamentally different from the old Points system because of the way in which PointsPlus values are calculated.

In the old program Points were based on three elements: fats, fiber and calories. Calories are a measure of the energy that’s contained in a food before it’s eaten. The body uses some of that energy to process the food, and different foods require different amounts of energy to process.

PointsPlus values take calories and break them into their four essential components: protein, carbohydrate, fat and fiber. PointsPlus values also measure the energy in food after it’s been processed by the body. Its equation of protein, carbs, fat and fiber is more accurate than simply using calories as a measure of how much food we need to consume in order to lose weight.

This is where the new program trumps the old. Since it takes more energy for your body to process protein and fiber than it does to process carbohydrates and fats, the PointsPlus program encourages you to eat foods rich in lean protein, high fiber whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and limit your consumption of refined carbohydrates and fats.

What does this mean for you, innocent, unassuming carb-o-holic?  Let’s face facts–there are fast-food restaurants on nearly every street corner in America. It will always be extremely easy and cheap to get your hands on a double cheeseburger and fries. These places are permanently entrenched in our landscape, as are the 40,000 some-odd processed foods that line the shelves of every supermarket.

I feel it necessary to conclude with a no-nonsense caveat: weight loss programs can provide instruction, support, even recipes. But they cannot make you change the way you eat. They cannot stop you from turning your car into the drive-thru lane.

Ultimately, change must come from within.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gwyn December 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Love this explanation! I know a few people who are upset with the change & some who are boycotting it. This is an excellent way to explain why the new program is better & the benefits you’ll see if you do accept it!

amy December 3, 2010 at 7:42 am

Buzz kill! HAHAHA!

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