Weight Watchers' PointsPlus system is based on the protein, fat, carbohydrates and fiber content of foods. The company's previous points system was calculated by focusing on the calories, fiber and fat of foods.
Weight Watchers switched its points method in 2010. At the beginning of each week, PointsPlus participants are given an allowance of 49 points. As they progress through the week, they subtract points according to the corresponding value assigned to various foods until they each zero. In simple terms, the PointsPlus system's food values reflect the energy available to participants after they have processed particular foods. The body expends more energy processing high-protein and high-fiber foods.
The company urges those participating in the PointsPlus program not to deviate from the rules, noting that reverting to the old points system in any way would render the program useless. The new system, according to the company, is far more complex than the old system. For example, while the old Weight Watchers points system did not count fruit, PointsPlus does. The PointsPlus system also steers participants toward choosing foods higher in protein and fiber than in fat and carbohydrates, as the former foods are more filling and less likely to lead to weight gain.