How to Figure (Old) WW Points

NOTE: This is the old Momentum Weight Watchers Points formula, not the new as of November 2010 Points Plus.

I followed this program for several months (and previous several years ago) with good luck, but when my activity levels changed greatly, I stopped losing. At that point, in February 2012, I switched back to plain old calorie counting for about a year. Then in January 2013, I went back to Points Plus. While I had bad luck with the P+ program when I tried it at the end of 2010, I am having good losses with it now.

Please follow the blog posts or the Weekly Summary page to see how this is going for me.

You can see information on the new Points Plus+ program here.

How to Figure Points Values

For those of you wondering, here’s how the Weight Watchers Points system works. (C/50) + (F/12) – (R/5).  C is calories, F is grams of fat, and R is grams of fiber. In plain English, you divide the number of calories in a food by 50. Then you take the number of grams of fat in the food and divide by 12. Then take the number of grams of fiber, and divide by 5. The number of grams of fiber are capped off at 4, so if it has 6 grams, you only use 4 for the equation. Then add your first two answers together, and subtract the third answer from that. That answer you now have is how many points are in the food item.

I know, it sounds horribly confusing, right? Here’s a secret- I set up an excel file to do all of the math for me. All I do is plug in the number of calories, and grams of fat and fiber, and it does the rest. If you’d like to see my file, grab it here. (right-click and download here.) There is also this file, which is better suited to tracking calories though it tracks Points as well. It also includes the Points values worksheet with many values included. (right-click and download here.)

Another helpful tip is to keep a page in your file that has the data for every food you eat. After a few weeks, you’ve got most of the foods you eat regularly in there already, so all you have to do is copy and paste the info into the sheet where you keep your daily totals. :)

And the last one is that (and this is rough, don’t take this as set in stone) you are using 1 point for every 50 calories you consume. That’s if there’s no fat and no fiber, so if you eat a bag of gummy worms with 300 calories, there’s your 6 points right there. If there are grams of fat, add the equivalent of 4 calories to the total for each gram. Fiber? Subtract 10 calories for each gram up to 4. Re-figure your points (divide the new number by 50) from there. That should help you do the math on the go.

How to Figure Your Daily Points Allowance

Lastly for today, I’ll copy and paste the formula for figuring out how many points you’re allowed to have per day.

  1. The first step is going to be establishing a baseline for weight watchers points depending on your sex and whether or not you are nursing. If you are female, give yourself 2 points to start. If you are male give yourself eight weight watchers points to start. If you are nursing give yourself 12 weight watchers points to start. This is the first step to calculate how many weight watchers points you will get on the plan so you can start losing weight.
    Example: I am a woman so I start with 2 points.
  2. The next thing you will do to calculate weight watchers points is to add to the number you got in step 1 depending on your age. If you are between 17-26 add 4 points to your weight watchers point total. If you are between 27-37 add 3 points; 38-47 add 2; 48-57 add 1; and over 58 add 0. This is because your metabolism slows as you get older so when you calculate how many weight watchers points you get.
    Ex. I am 32 years old so I add 3 which gives me a total of 5 points.
  3. Next, you will take the numbers you added together in step 1 and 2 and then adjust it for your weight and height. You are going to take the first two numbers of your weight. (You would add 19 if you weighed 197 pounds.) You will also adjust for your height. If you are under 5 ft you will add 0, between 5’0″ and 5’9″ you will add 1, and over 5’10” add 2.
    Ex. I weigh 194 pounds so I will add 19 points to my total giving me 24. Then since I am 5’8″ I will add 1 more point giving me 25.
  4. Lastly, you will calculate how weight watchers points you get by adjusting for your activity level. If you spend most of your day sitting down, add 0 to your weight watchers points total. If you are occasionally sitting but mostly standing add 2. If you are walking most of the time add 4. If you do physically difficult work, add 6.
    Ex. I spend most of my time unfortunately sitting around so I will add 0 which makes my point target 25. Now you have calculated your daily weight watchers points target.

The points total does have two stipulations. It will never fall beneath 18, or go above 44. You also have 35 bonus points to use as you want during the week.

For every 10 pounds you lose, you lose 1 point off of your daily allowance.

How to Figure Activity Points

Activity points, and how to figure them out. Its very simple, in short, 100 calories burned = 1 AP. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Get yourself a heart rate monitor (I use the Polar FT4, which is very basic) and use it. It will give you a great idea of how you’re really doing and make figuring activity points a snap!