The PointsPlus® Program and WeightWatchers.com: 15 Essentials
Here’s a quick guide to the changes you’ll see on WeightWatchers.com.
1. You are now following the PointsPlus™ program
We have converted absolutely everything — the foods, recipes and meals in the Weight Watchers database, the information on WeightWatchers.com, the Meeting room books and products, the Weight Watchers products you can buy from the grocery store; everything — to PointsPlus values.
2. PointsPlus values and POINTS® values are not the same thing. At all
The PointsPlus program calculates the PointsPlus values of any food or beverage in an entirely different way from the POINTS program. It takes into account how the nutrients in food are processed by the body. We now use protein, carbohydrate, fat and fiber numbers to calculate a PointsPlus value. Calories aren't in the equation anymore because they don't give us a very accurate picture of how much energy is available to the body from a food choice. It actually takes calories to digest foods - some more than others.
3. Not all the foods in your "Favorites" have been converted yet
When you first logged on to WeightWatchers.com on or after November 29, you were asked to convert (or delete) any foods that you'd created in your Tracker and tracked in that current week to PointsPlus values. There might still be others - marked by a red exclamation point in your Tracker - that will still need converting before you can use them again. Just click on the foods, and you can either enter in the nutritional information from the product label (or from the manufacturer's website); search for a similar food in our database; or delete it.
4. You won't be able to use your "Recently added" foods list for a couple of weeks
These won't be available for approximately two weeks after the switch to the PointsPlus program. This is because the recently added feed uses the Plan Manager tracked data. Since we let you look back at two weeks of your tracking history in your tracker, the recently added section has to be disabled to ensure you don't track these outdated items that use the old calculation.
5. You have a new daily PointsPlus Target
Whatever your daily POINTS Target used to be, it's now higher. The minimum per day is now 26. Don't worry that this will cause you to eat more and gain weight; the PointsPlus values of many foods are also higher.
6. You have a new weekly PointsPlus Allowance
Everyone gets 49 weekly PointsPlus values to use any way you want. Save them up for a splurge, or use a few at a time every day. It's up to you.
7. All fruit, and most vegetables, are free
You don't need to count the PointsPlus values for these items. However, it's important to pay attention to how satisfied you feel when you eat these zero PointsPlus value foods. They do still contain calories. Our research has shown the amount a person is likely to eat following this plan, and we've taken this amount into account in your PointsPlus budget.
8. Fruit (and vegetables) in recipes still contribute toward the PointsPlus values
Just as we've always done with 0 PointsPlus value vegetables, even 0 PointsPlus value fruits contribute toward the total PointsPlus values of a recipe, whether it's a Weight Watchers recipe or one you build yourself in the Recipe Builder. Recipes add up the nutritional info for all their ingredients. If you ate fruit only, save it as a "meal" rather than a "recipe."
9. Filling Foods are now Weight Watchers Power Foods
We took our Filling Foods - those that had a low energy density (that is, a lot of their bulk came from water or air) and that were healthy - put them into categories (such as "beef," for example) and ranked them using a special formula unique to each category. The winners are the Weight Watchers Power Foods. They are they healthiest and most filling foods in the category, and have the lowest energy density, as well as the lowest fat, sugar and sodium content. Just look for the green pyramid.
10. Not all Filling Foods are Weight Watchers Power Foods
There are some foods that, while they have healthy properties, they don't meet all the criteria we set for Weight Watchers Power Foods. Avocados, for example, may have lots of healthy fats in them, but the fact remains that they are simply still very high in saturated fat. And many canned vegetable soups no longer make the grade because of the high amount of sodium they contain.
11. There are no half PointsPlus values
All PointsPlus values are now whole numbers.
12. There is no more Personal POINTS Quiz
We automatically calculate the number of PointsPlus values you need to eat each day in order to lose weight - or maintain your loss, if you are at your goal weight. Every time you log a weight change in your Weight Tracker or at a meeting, your daily PointsPlus Target will be recalculated to make sure you're eating what you should.
13. There are no SetPOINTS (or PointsPlus) values anymore
You won't find these numbers in the PointsPlus Tracker anymore.
14. You can now choose to swap activity PointsPlus values before your weekly PointsPlus Allowance
Previously, your activity POINTS values didn't start being swapped for food POINTS values until you'd used up your weekly POINTS Allowance. Now, you can choose to swap your activity PointsPlus values first, and even choose to "use or lose them," meaning that if you don't swap activity PointsPlus values on the day you earn them, they won't roll over to the following day. Just change the settings in your Plan Manager. Remember that neither can be rolled over from week to week.
15. We no longer offer the Original Tools on WeightWatchers.com
Weight Watchers is always working to improve our user experience. All of your tracking needs are taken care of in the Plan Manager. We also offer tracking on our iPhone app as well as our mobile website that is available on the BlackBerry, iPhone, and Windows 7 devices.