The Weight Watchers PointsPlus program takes in to account all of the nutrition information, not just the calories, of a food when assigning a points value. This newer system factors in the fat, fiber, protein and carbohydrate contents of each item.
The PointsPlus daily target is based on the participant's current weight, height and weight-loss goals. In addition to the daily points, participants receive an additional 49 points every week to use as they see fit. The newer PointsPlus program cannot be combined with the old Points program since the daily point limits differ, and the point values for each food are different.
For example, in the old system, a serving of air-popped popcorn and a soft pretzel had the same points value if they had the same number of calories. In the PointsPlus program, the soft pretzel has twice as many points since it has higher fat and carbohydrate contents than the popcorn. Most fruits and vegetables have zero points in the new system. The exceptions are avocados, which have a high fat content, and starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, which are high in carbohydrates.
With the newer system, it is also harder to guess the points for a food item, since the weight of the serving and nutrition information are required to calculate the points. Weight Watchers offers a points calculator in the company's online system, but users can also download a mobile app or purchase a physical calculator.