Why Points beat counting calories

Published 21 March, 2018 | Updated 27 January, 2023

An average woman needs to eat about 2000 calories per day to maintain their weight and 1500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week. An average man needs 2500 calories to maintain, and 2000 to lose one pound of weight per week. However, this depends on numerous factors. 

Have you ever wondered why it seems like you watch the number of calories in your food meticulously, always choosing the lower calorie options and sticking faithfully to your recommended daily calorie amount, yet don’t lose weight? The fact is, while the idea of calories in and calories out sounds simple, there’s a world of nuance and details below the surface.

  • Do you think you know how many calories your body needs on a daily basis by reading about them? Wrong.
  • Do you believe the treadmill when it says you burnt 300 calories? That’s a mistake.
  • When you eat food with a label that says it contains 200 calories, is that what your body has to work with? Wrong again.
  • Do you think you can tell how many calories you are eating in a take-away just by looking at it? Think again!

Weight-loss scientists understand that what a person THINKS they are doing in cutting calories to lose weight and what is ACTUALLY happening are two different things.  In fact, experts know that the difference between perception and reality is often “out” by about 25%.

WeightWatchers® has always been committed to taking the most credible, evidence based science and using it to help people  adopt healthy habits and lose weight as effectively as possible. Keeping to that mission, we have an accurate and effective weight loss programme.

Our simple, science-backed Points® system

Points are the foundation of the WW weight-loss programme.

Our Points system uses nutritional science to make healthy eating simple. Every food and drink has a Points value: one, easy-to-use number that’s based on four components: calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein.

Points are so much better than just counting calories because they nudge you towards a healthier pattern of eating, and with built-in flexibility, you can get on with enjoying life and the foods you love.

We know that some days you might eat more than others, and WW gives you the flexibility to do just that, with tools like rollovers.

With our proven Points system, you have everything you need to lose weight successfully; a personal daily Points allowance, along with a weekly allowance for added flexibility. By keeping to these allowances, you’ll create the energy deficit you need for a weight loss of up to 2lb a week.

With you our highly-rated app, you can track the Points in your food and drink with the Barcode scanner - it really is as simple as scanning barcodes. 

Ready to get started?

Take the first step to a healthier you by finding out your body mass index using this BMI calculator. It's a tool that takes into account your weight in relation to your height in order to estimate the percentage of body fat.