How Does the Weight Loss Point System Works?

Weight loss plans that use a point system assign point values to foods. Dieters who follow this type of plan eat whatever they want, as long as they don't exceed their point allowance for the day.

Points vary depending on the diet plan. One of the most popular diet plans that uses a point system is Weight Watchers. The company's original points system assigned point values to foods based on calories, fat and fiber. In 2010, Weight Watchers introduced a new system, Points Plus. This system assigns point values to foods based on protein, carbohydrates, fat and fiber.

The point system works for weight loss by creating a calorie deficit for the dieter. Since it also takes a food's nutritional content into account, the point system encourages dieters to make healthy food choices. Foods with equal calories can have different point values if one is more nutritious than the others.

These diet plans typically calculate a dieter's daily point allowance based on that dieter's height, weight, gender, age and physical activity level. As the dieter loses weight, the point allowance decreases to continue the weight loss. Some plans offer a set amount of flexible points per week, that the dieter uses at any time. Unused points on these plans don't roll over to the next day.