Smart Points Vs Points Plus

Smart Points vs Points Plus

December 15, 2015   101 Comments

Let's take a look at Smart Points vs Points Plus. What has Weight Watchers changed?

I don’t think it was very thoughtful of Weight Watchers to change their entire system right before the holidays. Most of us are simply trying to get through them without eating an entire wheel of baked brie.

Why does Weight Watchers even have points? I believe that WW has come to the conclusion that you can't simply eat less of any food and lose weight. For example, the calories in an apple come with fiber, water, micronutrients, and crunch. Compare that apple with a cookie filled with sugar, fat, and not much else and you can understand why they chose to create a “points” system.

PointsPlus, which I have calculated for years now, was focused on carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat. SmartPoints take into account calories, protein, sugar, and saturated fat.

What is the difference? Now, it seems that WW has decided that their members need to drop their overall sugar intake. A Pepsi is 10 SmartPoints! Sugar has become much more costly with the new plan. How they calculate sugar is huge when evaluating smart points vs points plus.

Protein now costs less in terms of points. My guess is that WW has looked at the research on protein and satiety (how full you feel after a meal) and come to the conclusion that eating more protein will lead to weight loss.

Finally, saturated fat is a bad guy. This means that steak should be traded in for leaner cuts of meat like chicken breast and fish.

The recipes on Snack Girl have been updated to reflect the new SmartPoints numbers but the philosophy here is still the same.

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Treats in moderation
  • Enjoy your food!

Check out my latest post about how people are doing on Smart Points: The Weight Watcher's Smart Points Struggle.

Visit my list of Smart Points Recipes for inspiration! The recipes are listed by Smart Points value to help you in your quest for staying on plan.

What do you think of Smart Points vs Points Plus? Do you like the new program?

The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints™ values for recipes are calculated by Snack Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints™ trademark.


Other posts you might like:


Weight Watchers Smart Points Review

The Weight Watcher’s Smart Points Struggle

I am hearing a bunch about Weight Watchers Smart Points and it is definitely a mixed bag....


Weight Watchers Recipes with Points

Top 10 Weight Watcher's Friendly Recipes

Over the last couple of years, I have had many readers join me who are Weight Watchers members. Snack Girl and Weight Watchers go together because we both emphasize fruits and vegetables.


Make Eating Well Fun and Easy! Subscribe


First 20 Comments: [ see all 101 ]

I am a member and a leader/employee for WW. I have been on WW since 2007. I started with POINTS, then PointsPlus, and now SmartPoints. I now love SmartPoints! I have been on SP since August. I was asked to be on it while they were piloting it and working on the tweaks. It took me a while to love it but when I realized that I eat much healthier on SP. I feel better in my body and my skin - I realized it was the way to go.

Someone said to me...
PointsPlus taught us HOW MUCH to eat.
SmartPoints teaches us WHAT to eat.

I can't agree more!

on December 15, 2015

I think Smart Points is really good. I have been struggling with PointsPlus for awhile. I'm hoping the SP will now get me where I need to be and get back to goal. I still have my treats, but different ones and not as often. This is only my first few days on it, but so far I'm liking it. It can be tough being a vegetarian because some of the plant or milk based proteins have gone up in points. But soy products have gone down or stayed the same. I don't avoid soy but I know some vegetarians do. Yesterday was my birthday and I was still able to have treats. I opted for 3 cookies instead of cake (only me and my boyfriend in the house so there would have been a lot of leftovers). I dipped into my weeklies, but that's what they are there form. Overall, I am liking the program. I'm definitely not going to buy ice cream or frozen yogurt as much. I stopped eating store bought bars for snacks and started making my own snack sized overnight oats. Takes a little bit more planning, but I feel like a new member again. :)

on December 15, 2015

Actually, whenever WW has a change (and this is the biggest in 50 years) it is ALWAYS at this time of year. I think it is a GOOD thing! Why? It makes us ALL more mindful of the things we are mindlessly shoving into our mouths at the holidays. Guess what? I had a brownie this weekend that skyrocketed to FIFTEEN POINTS (from maybe around 7?) That is a GOOD thing. WW is trying to "gently shove" us into making better food choices because sugary food (as you know some yogurt is more unhealthy than eating ICE CREAM due to the sugar count) will kill us.
I say kudos to WW for constantly evolving and forcing those of us like myself who have been complacent the past few years and "playing" with points (and not losing, not due to the program but due to OURSELVES), to re-examine ourselves.

on December 15, 2015

I am a lifetime weight watcher member since 2006. I am about 10 pounds over goal. I am glad they changed the program. I too started with points but when they changed to points plus, I could not lose any weight. Am hoping this new program will help me get back on track. .

on December 15, 2015

Thanks for summarizing the plan. I have only been going sporadically.

on December 15, 2015

While I have only been on it for one week I do really like it. Much healthier way of eating. And while it was take a bit of adjustment to figure out all our new points I think it's a good thing.

on December 15, 2015

I wish I could log in to begin the new point system, however, I've been unable to for the past week! Have "chatted" with tech support twice to no avail. Frustrated!

on December 15, 2015

I have lost 30+ pounds on WW and am 2lbs from goal. I am so upset WW changed the system right before Christmas. I just started a new job and between that & Christmas season it is impossible to really learn a new system. I have had all my go to things in place and have for the last 6 months loved what I am doing on the points plus system. While I realize change is a good thing, this is a horrible time to start a new system. I was thinking of leaving WW just after Christmas as I wanted to stay on track until after the holidays but now am looking into other things like fitness pal or something else. If I have to learn a new system I will look at them all. Many don't have the cost of WW either. Loved it but now frustrated.

on December 15, 2015

OMG! I LOVE the New SP WW program. It was just the kick in the butt I've needed. I've lost 60 pounds on WW, achieved Lifetime...and have done a little backsliding to where I've got 13 pounds to lose again to get back to my goal (set by my doctor btw, not the one WW set for me). This program has been a WAKE UP call to me to stop fooling around with too many treats/snacks and fattier cuts of meat...butter...sugar...gotta let it go. Otherwise, (yes, I've been fooling myself) how am I ever going to get to where I want to be? This is especially good for me around these holidays - so much temptation...this is just the help I needed at this time of year...I am choosing my treats carefully, wisely and thoughtfully...and hoping to see great results at my next WW meeting on Saturday. Thanks for reviewing the revised program. I feel like a new member again!

on December 15, 2015

I'm all in with the new program yet feel the lack of chocolate may derail me. 12 pts. Is a lot of points for one and a half ounces. Any ideas out there?

on December 15, 2015

I've done WW maybe 3 or 4 times, and each time I was successful, as it's been my go-to over the years when I've slipped. But honestly, every time I've considered going back, I find myself disliking all of the changes they've made over the years. It's all a ploy to make money and to sell more books and packets every time they change the language and points. I'm so tired of the changes... yeah, it's good for their business, but not for us veterans who've ingrained one program to memory. So, like Brenda said, I ended up looking into My Fitness Pal and the Value Diary apps to keep track of my progress and I've been very successful. I think I have new material from each of my returns, but I always go back to counting points the way I first learned it, and you know what, it worked then and it still works!! ...and so that's what I use. It's not worth the money nor the aggravation to keep learning new programs.

on December 15, 2015

Kathy Cromwell - I too am a chocolate lover - I ate up most of my weekly points on Saturday - and for what? Chocolate of course! I've just decided that I'll have chocolate on Saturday - and if it takes most of my weeklies..then so be it..SmartPoints worthy!

on December 15, 2015

I am a lifetime WW member and lost over 100 pounds. I think the new SP system is a great idea to help push us in a healthier direction but how the program was presented is simply unacceptable! My etools have not worked for a month!! I refuse to start all over tracking and building favorites and meals. I spent 4 years accumulating all that info to make tracking easier and not it is worthless. NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! Then take into account how much I have paid over the years and to now have to go through this??? Nonsense!! I don't blame people for leaving and going elsewhere. No one wants to pay top dollar for something and get nothing but a hassle. I am extremely frustrated with WW, the business, not the program itself which is good or the leaders or clerks who are generally wonderful at helping everyone. I think WW has been horribly mismanaged and some "Big Wig" heads need to roll before they lose all their clients!!

on December 15, 2015

I don't like that the healthy checks are gone.

on December 15, 2015

I'm frustrated. As you write, you voiced my main concern--how am I going to get through the four Christmases and my birthday next week? In my frustration, I have stockpiled vegetables and fruit...but I'm going in being okay with a gain next week.

This couldn't have waited till January? Like the other releases?

Finally--what's the new formula for these food characteristics being measured? Can anyone find it online?

on December 15, 2015

Well you can't please everyone all the time can you. To say that WW should stop making changes is ridiculous. If any business stayed stagnant they would not last long. We would all be better off if we applied the same outlook to our own lives. Embrace change and grow with it or you run the risk of being the old, dated fuddy duddy with your mom jeans and orthopedic shoes. Upset about losing points plus before the holidays? I'm assuming you have all the knowledge and tools to continue on points plus for as long as you wish, no? Seriously. It was time for a change. We all know sugar is not our friend. Higher sugar items should cost more points. If you're serious about weight loss and healthy eating you know this. Give it a try...and stay positive or complain. Your choice how you approach this but you might just like it. Good luck

on December 15, 2015

As others have voiced, I'm frustrated with tech problems with the overhauled WW apps for Android & iPad AND having to change everything after 3 years of creating go-to foods, recipes, & favorites under the now-defunct PointsPlus program.

But I'm giving it a chance. I've been at a plateau, and maybe the change will rev up my weight loss.

Still it's hard not to bemoan the waste/money spent stocking up on the previously-low-point foods still in my house, some of which have TRIPLED under the SmartPoints system - grrr!

on December 15, 2015

when i went back to ww after having hip surgery they made the choice for me. i could not use any of the tools i had earned and i could not get on ww,com.i am glad they are starting new.

on December 15, 2015

I lost 110 pounds on WW Points Plus. I gained 30 back after quitting smoking a little over a year ago. I was thinking of joining WW again in January, however hearing about the issues am uncertain. I used online tools only and there appear to be issues with them. It also seems as though there is no easy was to guesstimate points, so if the tools aren't working what is the point? At the moment I am using an Excel spreadsheet to track my points using information I have from when I was on the program. So, I am waiting and watching and listening to what others are experiencing before I make my decision.

on December 15, 2015

I am struggling with the new plan. I lost 85 lbs on points plus, and a few more on maintenance. I agree that sugar and saturated fat need to be counted and limited. I was already doing that with points plus. Now I feel like I am being punished if I have a treat (indulgence). I had a piece of cake at a birthday party this weekend and went into negative points.

on December 15, 2015

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