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Weight Watchers Points vs Counting Calories

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Hi All.

I was following the Weight Watchers Plan (for a short time) and counting points.  If you're familiar with the plan, each food item is assigned a number of points - based on the calories and fiber and fat.  Well, I was assigned my daily number of alloted points, based on my weight, and I found that, unless I really planned out my meals, I ran out of points before running out of day.

Well, I stopped counting points and began counting calories.  I'm new to Calorie Count, but I was checking the number of calories each food item has and now I find that I seem to have far too many alloted daily calories - in other words - I have far too much food to consume to reach the alloted amount.

If Weight Watchers simply converts the calories into points, why am I having 2 different reactions?  Can anyone help me with this?

I'd appreciate it!


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Please clarify... WW is giving you too many calories... or is it that your daily intake goal on CC is higher than your WW points were?
I sat down with a diatition and according to my measurements, I can have 1400 calories per day, but he has done so much research He planned out 400 calories per meal, and at least 3 hours in between,  He said your body needs the 3 hours inbetween to break the food down.  If you don't get your 1400 calories in, your body thinks it is starving and wont loose weight.   I went to walden books and bought a book ($7.99) Calories Fat and Carborhydrates.  *****a plus is ever 7th day is a free day...... I have lost 34 lbs, but I am stuck right now.  I am loosing inches, but weight is kinda at a stand still.  But I really love the calorie counting!!!  Good Luck

Sorry - I don't mean to be so confusing.

I weigh 338 pounds.  For my height and weight, WW alots 38 points per day (in addition to 38 points to be used throughout the week, any way you like).  I use the WW method of calculating the points, and I'm out of points before 5 pm!

According to CC, I can consume 1950 calories per day and still lose weight.  I don't come close to that in an average day.

I think there must be something I'm not doing correctly, but I've been logging my food and counting the calories.

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Okay I am going to say this and all you Weight Watcher's fans do not kill me. WW is probably wrong. The problem with points is that they assume that caloric value of a food. Not all brownies are created equal. So... you may very well consume 1950 or more....and not realize it. The thing points really does is teach you portion control. I would go with what CC tells you. You may also me looking at the intake needed to maintain your weight not lose it. If you really feel is is too high, cut it by 500 and see what happens. I am 213 now, and 5"4. My intake is 1750. So yours does not sound that off. I too have recently noted that I am not able to reach 1750. I posted about it earlier. I think I will talk it over with my dietician...maybe you should too.

if you add in your flex points to your daily points you come up with about 43 points per day (if you were to split your flex points). WW is about 1 point per 50 cals -- which gives you about 2150 calories per day. (edit:  amount of fiber can influence number of calories per point up or down -- 50 is considered an acceptable average)

If you weight 338 lbs -- 2150 per day is NOT unreasonable. You would probably lose weight on that, if you spend any time doing any activity. If you are completely sedentary, then 1950 will still help you lose weight.

Reaching the higher calorie counts is not as difficult as it may seem -- even while eating cleanly. A handful of nuts or some peanut butter on an apple will easily add a number of calories, in a very nutritious manner -- without sending you into a tailspin.

I've done both WW and CC -- I prefer CC, with WW I was ending up jamming 10 points worth of junk food into my body before I went to bed, just to meet my minimum -- with CC, I may still end up with a bowl of cereal before bed, but I am looking at the overall nutritional values rather than just the points I may get.

When I used WW, I noticed that on average 1 point is about 50 calories.  However, some foods that have 30 calories are 1 point and some food that has 80 calories is 2 points.  Basically WW is just an estimate.  I am personally having a much better time getting through the day by counting calories than I did with points.  It is much easier to plan your day too.

Thanks, Everyone, for your input - I really appreciate.

It was ALOT easier to put this weight on than it is to take it off!

I need all the encouragement I can get!

Thanks, again!

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Yeah I did WW for awhile but the whole counting points thing was waay too confusing for me. I'm liking CC alot better and its been really easy for me.
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Everyone please remember that WW takes Fat and Fiber into consideration. Therefore, if a food is high in fiber but low in fat WW allows you to consume more of that item; so, an item maybe high in calories but low in points because it has more fiber, etc.I have lost weight using both methods and I must say one is not better then the other.  I am taking the calorie counting option this time because it’s FREE! :)   Good Luck 


 I count calories, but if you eat healthy and watch your portion control, they both work, weight watchers, has a thing that you have to move it and your entering all the information, and that by the nutrition label on that particular item will tell you  what the points are. they're both work the same way. just what ever is more comfortable for you. weight watchers gives you more freedom to eat snacks, but then your points are gone cause you  ate to much of the wrong foods all in one day.
you also gotta remember that on WW most vegetables are 'free' but after counting calories for a while you will know that some veges will really add up calorie wise if you are eating lots of them, especially carrots!

The YOU diet is almost exactly like Weight Watchers Core plan.  I have done both the core plan and their flex points... and I highly recommend the core over the flex.  With the flex you are pentalized when you eat healthy because stuff like cheese, meat, milk, etc are so high in points and for only a mear 2 points you can eat a skinny cow or baked chips or some other item so I never ate  the healthy stuff.

With the core you can eat lots more food.  You don't have to count points, calories, or portion size.  You can eat whatever you want off the long list of foods until you are satisfied.  It's harder to get started with but much better once you get going.

Vegetables:What's Included
    • Fresh, frozen or canned (without added sauce, fat or sugar)
    • Tomato paste, puree and sauce

    • Vegetables cannot contain ingredients that are not Core Foods (e.g., regular refried beans, pork & beans, corn in butter sauce, dried tomatoes packed in oil, French fries and sweet pickles are not Core Foods)
    • Vegetable juices are not Core Foods
Fruits:What's Included
    • Fresh, frozen or canned fruits (without added sugar)

    • Canned fruit must be packed in water or juice (not syrup) and drained before eating
    • Unsweetened applesauce is a Core Food, but sweetened applesauce is not
    • Dried fruits are not Core Foods
    • Fruit juices are not Core Foods
Soups:What's Included
    • Fresh, canned, frozen or homemade soups made only with Core Foods
    • Bean soup (e.g., lentil soup, Navy bean, split pea soup)
    • Bouillon
    • Broth-based soup
    • Tomato soup
    • Not soups that are creamy or made with noodles unless they are whole wheat noodles

    • Cream soups or soups made with noodles or rice are not included as Core Foods, unless they are whole wheat noodles  or brown rice
Fat-Free Dairy Products and Dairy Substitutes:What's Included
    • Fat-free milk, cheese and sour cream
    • Soy milk, cheese and yogurt (plain)

    • Weight Watchers Smoothies or fat-free, sugar-free instant hot cocoa or reduced-calorie dairy shakes is limited to once a day
Egg and Egg Substitutes:What's Included
    • Whole eggs, egg whites and egg substitutes
Ready-To-Eat Cold Cereal:What's Included
    • Puffed wheat, puffed rice, shredded wheat, and 100% bran cereals that do not contain added sugar

    • Cold cereals are limited to one meal a day and must be eaten with fat-free milk or fat-free plain yogurt
Cooked (Hot) Cereal:What's Included
    • Cooked (hot) cereal

    • Any plain variety that does not contain added sugar
Grains and Starches:What's Included
    • Whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, potatoes, and grains
    • Starchy vegetables (e.g., peas, corn)

    • Whole-wheat pasta or brown rice or potatoes is limited to one meal a day
Lean Meat, Poultry, Fish and Meat Substitutes:What's Included
    • Beef, lamb, pork and veal:
      • At the meat case look for cuts from the "loin," "round," and "leg"
      • Organ meats
    • Poultry – Chicken and turkey:
      • Fresh, frozen, or canned.
      • Organ meats (e.g., chicken livers)
    • Fish and shellfish:
      • Fresh, frozen, or canned, any variety
    • Meat substitutes:
      • Dried beans and lentils
      • Tofu, any type
      • Vegetarian burgers, frozen
    • Beef, lamb, pork and veal:
      • Choose visibly lean cuts and trim any excess fat
      • Ground beef with no more than 7% fat or ground turkey or ground chicken is limited to one meal a day
      • Processed meals such as deli products and hot dogs are not Core Foods
    • Poultry – Chicken and turkey:
      • Trim any visible fat before preparing and remove skin before eating
    • Fish and shellfish:
      • Canned varieties must be packed in water, broth, or tomato juice (not packed in oil)
Oils and Condiments:What's Included
    • Fat-free salad dressings
    • Fat-free margarine
    • Fat-free mayonnaise
    • Nonstick cooking or baking spray
    • Extracts, flavorings, and herbs
    • Select other condiments and extras

    • Include 2 teaspoons of olive, canola, safflower, sunflower, or flaxseed oil each day
Beverages:What's Included
    • Coffee (without sugar)
    • Tea (without sugar)
    • Diet soft drinks
    • Club soda
    • Seltzer (plain or flavored, unsweetened)
    • Water

    • Beverages containing alcohol are not Core Foods
cappuccino, made with fat-free milk
club soda
cocoa, hot, instant, sugar-free, fat-free
coffee substitute or cereal beverage powder
coffee, instant, decaffeinated or regular
dairy drink mix, reduced calorie
hot cocoa mix, Sugar-free fat-free
ices, fruit water, reduced calorie with aspartame
latte, made with fat-free milk
lemonade, low calorie, powder
milk, evaporated, fat-free
milk, instant nonfat, dry powder
milk, nonfat dry
seltzer, plain or flavored, unsweetened
soft drink, diet cola
soft drink, diet root beer
tea, black
tea, herb
tea, instant, unsweetened
tonic water
the you diet seems so easy, but when it says one potato or rice for one meal a day- how big of pot can u have?? how much rice?? u can actually eat however much u want?? the only thing is that i love the roast beef deli thin sliced meat- y is that bad- like 60 cals a serv???  What about whole grain white bread and pasta rather then wheat?? I just dont like wheat unless i HAVE to eat it cause at restaurants you just know their white bread isnt whole grain!!  I am breastfeeding my almost 3 month old son and i just dont know if i want to try weight watchers - would u reccommend it? im like 178 and 5'4 and i am back to my prepreg weight - obviuously overweight before :( - but im not sure which methods work for me? its just hard w/ a baby and a 2 yr old!!! This YOU plan seems really good though!!
The YOU guidelines would work while breastfeeding but you would have to make sure to add extra calories into your day for breastfeeding.  The YOU basically just has you eating healthy foods and you eat until your satisfied (not full).  The 100% whole grains does make a difference with your body telling you your satisfied and staying satisfied longer.  I don't know about whole grain white bread, I don't think I have ever heard of it.

Choosing healthy foods and keeping up with a newborn and a 2 year old... you probably won't even have to diet.  Sounds like a built in weight loss plan!
Original Post by tonyalc:

Hi All.

I was following the Weight Watchers Plan (for a short time) and counting points.  If you're familiar with the plan, each food item is assigned a number of points - based on the calories and fiber and fat.  Well, I was assigned my daily number of alloted points, based on my weight, and I found that, unless I really planned out my meals, I ran out of points before running out of day.

Well, I stopped counting points and began counting calories.  I'm new to Calorie Count, but I was checking the number of calories each food item has and now I find that I seem to have far too many alloted daily calories - in other words - I have far too much food to consume to reach the alloted amount.

If Weight Watchers simply converts the calories into points, why am I having 2 different reactions?  Can anyone help me with this?

I'd appreciate it!


From the magazine MOM AND BABY (Fall/Winter edition):  THE ZONE is called the best - there are four plans.  Jenny Craig (costs moneY; Weight Watchers (costs money) South Beach (costs money), and THE ZONE WHICH IS FREE.

Go to:  Zoneliving.com - it's just like CC in that there's no cost, but you'll get SPECIFIC DIETS that are suited for a new mother with pounds to lose.

The diet focuses on:  Primarily fresh fruits and vegetables, then a few grains.  Protein of some type AT EVERY MEAL.  Limited foods are:  pasta, potatoes, bread, sugar, corn, and peas as well as dried fruits and bananas.  These are NOT prohibited - just limited.  You can get all the information at this site.

You'll have meal planning; recipes, and message boards.  They also have a BOOK - cost is $18.

This program is VERY STRUCTURED - it will require discipline, but it's a good opportunity to practice your OWN discipline, since you'll soon be disciplining your child, so you might as well 'practice what you teach'.  Diane

i was restricting to much down to 1550 cals and nothing was happenin but when i just concentrated on eatin the healthy choices i went from 185 to 178??? so its hard for me to know how many cals i am burning- but just knowing which healthy foods are best are a big help- for instance corn- i guess isnt the best?? thanks everyone for your help and info
Don't forget that many foods are 0 points under weight watchers. So even if you ran out of points, you didn't have to starve for the rest of the day.

In fact, hasn't Progresso recently come out with a 0 pt soup line?

Hello Lessin08, and Everyone!

My cal intake is 1750. This is something that I alotted for myself. After doing some research, and calculations to lose 20 pounds. For now, as I want to get back under the 300 mark for starters.

I have only been counting cals since this past Wednesday. But actually started dieting the Sunday before. With the Special K plan. Which led me to doing counting cals instead.

Unless I missed it somewhere? Lessin08, You stated that you weigh 213 now. May I ask how long ago you started counting cals and what you weighed at the start, please?

Today, doing 1750 was not my best day. It has not seemed to be a problem, and I still don't find it to be a problem. I just got started on the wrong foot today, and it through everything off. But I will CONTINUE ONWARD...Laughing.

I almost can not believe that something so Classic, is this easy, very affordable, and enjoyable. Heck, after all the other diets I have been on. I often wonder what took me so long to arrive???...ha! WinkWink Because before recently. Someone could have tried, and did try a year ago, to convince me otherwise, and I would have given, and did give, them the palm of the hand to speak to.

Now I call it..."The Lose Weight Classic". Laughing

I realize that I am just beginning. But even so, I don't feel even as frustrated as I did between Sunday and Wednesday doing the Special K plan. Infact, I do not feel any frustration whatsoever by counting cals. For the first time in my life, this...is a very good thing!

Keep up the good work Peoples!








The problem I had with my 3 tries at WW over the years was plateauing after a 20 pound loss. 

I realize now that I was going into starvation mode.  I'd stick to the plan and lose the weight, then stall.  The instructor would give me advice and I'd stick to that but still no loss.  Then the people would assume I was cheating.  So I'd cut back even more and maybe would lose a half a pound in two weeks.  They still thought I was cheating and all the guidance I got was about how to stick to the plan.  So I'd keep cutting back until I couldn't stand the starvation and lack of progress.  Then I'd quit and gain it all back.

I remember the first time somebody here told me to try eating more.  I thought he was nuts.  But upping my calories really did work.  I'm maintaining at a higher level than before and I never feel hungry.

Not everything works for all people.

I've been doing both.... for a week and a half and lost 5.5lbs so far .... and in a little book I track them side by side... so you have points and make sure you dont go over and track cal and make sure your not too low or high... for ww though veg are free but still have cal content and healthier choices will make your points go further... so instead of say 2 burrito's at 8 pts a pc. have a cup of rice(4) plus like 2 cup steamed veg w/ seasoning and 3 oz of fish or lean meat(1-5 pts)... i use shrimp often b/c its low cal and low pts so I can have lots w/out being hungry after... but I'd recomend adding extra veggies as they bring up the cal with out sacrificing your daily points... so you wont go in starvation mode...

also i find that planning the day and the points (vs cal) helps a lot

I even when i go to work or school i prepare it all too so and pack it in tupperware... so I have no excuse to just grab something from a vending machine... this i find has made the biggest difference... plus then you dont spend money on all that food thats really not helping you cause

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