Weight Watchers has been around since 1963. The plan is based on a point system that gives a value to every food, along with having weigh-ins at weekly meetings which are meant to inspire and help members stay focused. For some, Weight Watchers has helped to instill better habits when it comes to eating. For others, the point system takes too much time to keep track of or feels too restrictive.


The Weight Watchers point system was designed to help members to learn to make better food choices, control portions and keep track of all food consumed. The end result is to maintain an energy deficit to encourage weight loss. The system encourages you to eat more healthy fruits and vegetables, while at the same time not requiring or restricting specific foods.

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The Weight Watchers system assigns point values to different foods based on their nutritional content, according to the book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Anti-Inflammation Diet” by Christopher P. Cannon. Based on your current weight, you are allowed a certain number of points each day, which changes as you lose weight. Fats increase point values for a food, while fiber decreases them. Vegetables and fruits tend to have few or no points, while sweets, pasta, rice, bread and potatoes are high in points.


Following the Weight Watchers point system is relatively easy and is nutritionally balanced. According to “The Ultimate Calorie Counter” by Sheila Buff, it is also flexible, considering the fact that as long as you stay within your points for the day, you are able to distribute them as you wish. You can also “bank” points for a special event or holiday. Weekly meetings often help members to stick to the system.


Though Buff notes that the cost for joining Weight Watchers and attending meetings is “very reasonable,” you need to make monthly payments to take part. Also, you must be relatively organized to follow the number of points you use for each meal. This program may hinder you from connecting with your body to determine hunger and fullness.

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  • Weight Watchers: Our New Program: The Next Level
  • “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Anti-Inflammation Diet”; Christopher P. Cannon; 2006
  • “The Ultimate Calorie Counter”; Sheila Buff; 2002

Author: Christine Garvin

Article reviewed by Elizabeth Ahders | Last updated on: 05/26/11
Comments: I was glad to find this easy to follow article on Weight Watchers and basics about the program and further options if you so inclined to find out more.
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Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/356739-explanation-of-the-weight-watchers-point-system/#ixzz1TzQiYccJ