Understanding Weight Watchers points

weight watchers

The Weight Watchers Points system is a very useful tool for anyone looking to lose or control their weight, whether or not you are following the Weight Watchers programme in a structured fashion.

Weight Watchers have allocated points via a strictly patented calculation that involves calories, fat and fibre levels in food, so that points can be assigned to a wide range of food items, whether they are naturally occuring or processed/produced meals. When joining the programme, members are assigned a daily points target by their leader. Points can be saved/carried forward for a few days, eg to save up for a weekend treat (though obviously one is discouraged from accumulating masses of points and converting the lot into wine or chocolate!)

Extra Weight Watchers points can also be 'earned' through exercise and activity, to add to the daily allowance. Also, certain foods are also rated at zero points, and great news for veggies a lot of these are fresh veg! All of the following foods are zero-points rated:

    • asparagus
    • beets
    • broccoli
    • brussel sprouts
    • cabbage
    • cauliflower
    • celery
    • cucumber
    • eggplant
    • endive
    • escarole
    • green or wax beans
    • greens
    • hearts of palm
    • jicama
    • lettuce
    • mixed green salad (dressing has points)
    • fresh mushrooms
    • okra
    • peppers
    • pickles (unsweetened)
    • pimeientos
    • fresh pumpkin
    • radishes
    • sauerkraut
    • scallions
    • spinach
    • sprouts
    • spaghetti, summer and zucchini squash
    • tomatoes
    • turnips
    • watercress
    • A lot of other vegetarian foods including fruit are rated at 1-3 points per serving, so you can load up on them fairly freely within the programme - or any weight loss plan. Unsurprisingly its the heavier starchy stuff like potatoes and bananas that will cost you more heavily, as it were.

      Points calculators for a huge range of foods are available to Weight Watchers members / customers, both in printed form and on their website.

      In terms of a daily points allowance, this is obviously set by your group leader, but typically ranges as follows:

      Weight Daily points range
      up to 150lb / 68kg 18-25
      15-174lb / 69-79kg 20-27
      175-199lb / 80-90kg 22-29
      200-224lb / 91-102kg 24-31
      225-250lb / 103-114kg 26-33
      over 250lb / 115kg 28-35

      You will see that the targets overlap and span quite a range, this is because a series of factors are taken into account in setting an individual target for Weight Watchers points per day, including your gender, age, activity level and weight loss goals.

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