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Weight Watcher's PointsPlus Formula Unveiled

[Updated] Weight Watchers' uber-top secret PointsPlus formula has been revealed - not by WikiLeaks, but by the anonymous boffins at Wikipedia. According to the Wikipedia article on Weight Watchers, the new PointsPlus points are computed using the formula pp = max {round((p x 16 + c x 19 + fa x 45)/175) - fi x (2/25), 0}, where pp is ProPoints, p is protein, c is carbohydrate, fa is total fat, and fi is dietary fiber, all in grams. Got that? Weight Watchers is publishing reference books and calculators to help you out, but you have attend your local Weight Watchers meeting and pull out your wallet. How do the Wikipedia writers know the formula? Using the old Weight Watchers formula as a hint, they guessed that the new formula could be obtained by doing a "linear regression" on sample data.

More at Wikipedia | Posted 7 years ago by Mark

Previously: Weight Watchers New PointsPlus System

Tags: PointsPlus, Weight Watchers, Linear Regression, Mathematics

| Read the Comments (30) | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

Comments

Joe White commenter Joe White at 1:11 pm on December 2, 2010

You made a small error copying the formula -- the fiber component should be subtracted, not added.

Jerry Dye commenter Jerry Dye at 1:16 pm on December 2, 2010

When I try some sample items using your equation, the values are different than the WW points calculator??

Mark commenter Mark at 3:29 pm on December 2, 2010

Sorry Jerry, thanks, Joe. The error has been fixed. Give it a try and let us know if it corresponds to the Weight Watchers PointsPlus calculator.

erika andersen commenter erika andersen at 7:50 pm on December 2, 2010

Much simpler version of the same formula:

Points Plus = (Protein grams / 11) + (Carbohydrate grams / 9) + (Fat grams / 4) + (Fiber grams / 35)

Whizzy commenter Whizzy at 11:01 am on December 3, 2010

Erika: I love "simpler" but folks are finding that you need to subtract the fiber, not add. I'm assuming that's the same for your formula?

Jerry commenter Jerry at 11:40 am on December 3, 2010

Still some problems. I am using values of Protein=8, Carbs=25, Total Fat=5 and Fiber=6.

In both equations, (and subtracting the fiber component), the values were; Erika=4.58, Mark=3.22 and WW calculator=4. I do not have the "max" function available to me in my handheld and I believe it would round up Mark's 3.22 to agree with the WW calculator answer of 4. I can easily make a workaround for this but rounding up to the next integer seems a bit extreme when working with values so small, i.e., 3 or 4 points.

Jerry commenter Jerry at 12:37 pm on December 3, 2010

Found a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weight_Watchers#PointsPlus where the total fat is multiplied by 9/35 instead of 9/175. If I use the new value, it agrees with the WW calculator. I will proceed with some more comparative testing.

Argus commenter Argus at 6:44 pm on December 3, 2010

Erika's simpler formula is correctThe exact formula isPoints Plus = (Protein grams x 16/175) + (Carbohydrate grams x 19/175) + (Fat grams x 45/175) + (Fiber grams x 10/175)This simplifies toPoints Plus = [(Protein grams x 16) + (Carbohydrate grams x 19) + (Fat grams x 45) + (Fiber grams x 10)]/175In MSExcel for ProPoints in G2 I use =ROUND(B2*(16*C2+45*D2+19*E2+10*F2)/17500,0)where B2 is serving size (gm) C2 is protein (gm per 100 gm) D2 is fat (gm per 100 gm) E2 is carbohydrate (gm per 100 gm) F2 is fibre (gm per 100 gm)This is OK for Australia where nutrition labels give these amounts in gm per 100 gm

Denny commenter Denny at 5:26 am on December 4, 2010

The formula by ARGUS is correct EXCEPT the Fiber multiplier value is 14 (not 10) AND you must SUBTRACT the Fiber value (not add). I found this by using the WeightWatchers online calculator and entering values of 999 for each category. My spreadsheet now EXACTLY corresponds with the PointsPlus values calculations.

Denny commenter Denny at 5:55 am on December 4, 2010

I see the original formula in the article above shows "- fi x (2/25)" which is the same as 14/175. So the only error still in that original formula is that it shows for fat "9/175", but probably typo'd and meant to say "9/35" (which corresponds to 45/175). So the corrected original formula above would be "pp = max {round(p x (16/175) + c x (19/175) + fa x (9/35) - fi x (2/25), 0}"

Mark commenter Mark at 7:42 pm on December 4, 2010

Wow, thanks for the fact checking guys. I'll read all this through and try to fix the item.

The Wikipedia page seems to be changing daily now.

Added: I hope we have it right now. Where is that online calculator anyway? Do you need to join Weight Watchers online to see it?

Linda Langlois commenter Linda Langlois at 8:35 am on December 29, 2010

ok - so we found the formula but still I find it very difficult to estimate quickly the points without the calculator. Before we used the calories and divided by 50 that was giving us a good idea - what is the trick now?

Rick commenter Rick at 12:50 pm on January 31, 2012

OK. Enough - here's the formula. I've tested it and it works - every time!Fat grams x 9/35, plusCarb. gms. x 4/36.84, minusFiber gms. x 4/50, plusProtein gms. x 4/3.75It's not simple unless you have a very good memory or a programmable calculator. I discovered it using trial and error methods on large quantities of the individual components and comparing the results with the online calculator values.

Phil commenter Phil at 9:41 pm on May 7, 2012

Summary of RICK's PointsPlus Formula, sans typo, variables measured in grams:

(Fa x 9/35)+(C x 4/36.84)-(Fi x 4/50)+(P x 4/43.75)

brad commenter brad at 8:38 pm on August 14, 2012

To get a good estimate of points, divide protein by 10, divide carbs by 10, divide fat by 4. Add these values and subtract fiber divided by 10. This is not perfect, but I like the ability to estimate in a pinch. The fiber is the most inaccurate, so if there is a substantial amount of fiber, add a point to your estimate.

Elsie08 commenter Elsie08 at 10:30 pm on August 23, 2012

I think the quick and dirty trick is to divide the calories by 40 to get an estimate.

Linda7882 commenter Linda7882 at 8:54 am on September 29, 2012

Ok for us not so good math people, has anyone put this formula into an excel spreadsheet and willing to share. It would make things so much easier.

Queenie47 commenter Queenie47 at 6:42 am on October 25, 2012

Hi Linda,

I am inputting the data now...which is actually what led me to search for the formula and to this page. I don't mind sharing. Where can I send it?

:)

SAMDOTCOM commenter SAMDOTCOM at 8:44 am on November 19, 2012

How do I join this forum as a member?

How would i contact queenie47 to ask them for a copy of their Excel formula from their post on 10-25-2012?

Ruthann commenter Ruthann at 6:14 pm on January 11, 2013

=((B5/10.94)+(B6/9.17)+(B7/3.89)-(B8/12.49))

Points Plus Calculation:

Breakfast

Protein 6

Carbs 33

Fat 1.5

Fiber 0

Points Value: 5

B5 is protein

B6 is carbs

B7 is Fat

B8 is Fiber

put the formula in the points value box answer

wah la !

Jill commenter Jill at 1:26 pm on January 17, 2013

all sounds to good, but how do you know how many points you are allowed to eat per day? I had used the old points and don't know what I should eat in a day.

Sarah commenter Sarah at 10:34 am on February 20, 2013

Cripes people, just buy the WW calculator and save you relives the headache and time. Or better yet, go the simpler route and just count calories.

NT commenter NT at 3:42 pm on June 28, 2013

Thanks for the equation! I am currently using RUTHANN's and it's working like a charm!

TIPS: Download a (free) spreadsheet app to your ipod/smarphone/app-capable device and-- WAL-AH! A WeightWatchers calculator wherever you go!

I have also found the app "Lumen Trails" invaluable for keeping track of EVERYTHING to do with my diet. I can keep track of my daily point intake, grocery expenses, weight loss, -- and even generate cool charts and daily averages for each of those categories! And I can use the notes function of it to make my own quick-reference sheets of foods I calculated using my speadsheet app! (You can do all of this with the free version!)

Happy dieting, everyone~

LMN commenter LMN at 5:02 am on August 4, 2013

To the question of the number of Points Plus vs. Points: it would probably be safe to add 20% to the old number. Points Plus do seem to average out to around 40 calories and the original points were around 50.

magnoliasouth commenter magnoliasouth at 1:57 pm on October 26, 2013

For those looking for a spreadsheet, I made one in Google Drive, which used to be Google Docs using Ruthann's suggestion (love that name, makes me think of Northern Exposure). Please do not use it directly, but first copy it to your own Google Drive. It's better to copy to prevent someone accidentally leaving an error on the spreadsheet.Here's the link: goo.gl/hAu90tRuthann, maybe you know this and were kidding, but the term is voila or vwah-lah. I just thought you may wish to know if you didn't. I used to think it was what you said too. If you were just joking, then please ignore this. LOL! I'm not a grammar nazi and this was gently meant.NT, Lumen sounds like a great idea... the only problem is that it is only good if you like Mac products, which I do not. Since there is no Android app, most of us will not be able to use it. I just wish Lumen developers wouldn't be so prejudiced against Android because it sounds awesome. I would LOVE to have it. :)

Rosa Perry commenter Rosa Perry at 10:35 pm on November 20, 2014

Anyone interested - download iWatchr app from iTunes and there is Custom calculator which you can input

=((B5/10.94)+(B6/9.17)+(B7/3.89)-(B8/12.49))

dmcfaithful commenter dmcfaithful at 5:21 pm on January 1, 2015

Microsoft Excel formulas:For those of you who are trying to use Microsoft Excel formulas as a calculator for Weight Watchers PointsPlus, I had to make some minor corrections to what was published above in order to make them work. Those corrected formulas are as follows:Actual Points: =(((B5*16)+(B6*19)+(B7*45))/175)-(B8*(2/25))Rounded Points (the MAX formula isn't necessary): =ROUND((((B5*16)+(B6*19)+(B7*45))/175)-(B8*(2/25)),0)B5 is ProteinB6 is CarbsB7 is FatB8 is Fiber I also found another accurate formula from the spreadsheet that can be downloaded here: http://www.foodlady.com/WWxls.phpThis happens to be a more complete version of RUTHANN's formula, which is as follows:Actual Points: =(B5/10.9375)+(B6/9.2105)+(B7/3.8889)-(B8/12.5)Rounded Points (the MAX formula isn't necessary): =ROUND((B5/10.9375)+(B6/9.2105)+(B7/3.8889)-(B8/12.5),0)Curious which formula variation was correct, I performed multiple tests and comparisons and I compared those results with an official and physical Weight Watchers PointsPlus calculator. To my surprise, both versions of these Microsoft Excel formulas worked perfectly with no variation great enough to cause the points to not match the physical calculator results.The minuscule variations that I did notice between the two different Microsoft Excel formulas were only in the hundred thousandths position, which is so small that the results from those formulas never made any difference and would always match the physical calculator results. Just so you know, I’m an advanced Microsoft Excel user with a strong attention to detail, so I’m certain that the information in my post is accurate for anyone wanting to use Microsoft Excel formulas as a calculator for Weight Watchers PointsPlus.I hope this helps.David C.

dmcfaithful commenter dmcfaithful at 5:32 pm on January 1, 2015

Microsoft Excel formulas:

I'm posting this again with the hope of successfully using the "html br tag" at the end of each paragraph in order to add a line break.

For those of you who are trying to use Microsoft Excel formulas as a calculator for Weight Watchers PointsPlus, I had to make some minor corrections to what was published above in order to make them work. Those corrected formulas are as follows:

Actual Points:

=(((B5*16)+(B6*19)+(B7*45))/175)-(B8*(2/25))

Rounded Points (the MAX formula isn't necessary):

=ROUND((((B5*16)+(B6*19)+(B7*45))/175)-(B8*(2/25)),0)

B5 is Protein

B6 is Carbs

B7 is Fat

B8 is Fiber

I also found another accurate formula from the spreadsheet that can be downloaded here: http://www.foodlady.com/WWxls.php

This happens to be a more complete version of RUTHANN's formula, which is as follows:

Actual Points:

=(B5/10.9375)+(B6/9.2105)+(B7/3.8889)-(B8/12.5)

Rounded Points (the MAX formula isn't necessary):

=ROUND((B5/10.9375)+(B6/9.2105)+(B7/3.8889)-(B8/12.5),0)

Curious which formula variation was correct, I performed multiple tests and comparisons and I compared those results with an official and physical Weight Watchers PointsPlus calculator. To my surprise, both versions of these Microsoft Excel formulas worked perfectly with no variation great enough to cause the points to not match the physical calculator results.

The minuscule variations that I did notice between the two different Microsoft Excel formulas were only in the hundred thousandths position, which is so small that the results from those formulas never made any difference and would always match the physical calculator results.

Just so you know, I’m an advanced Microsoft Excel user with a strong attention to detail, so I’m certain that the information in my post is accurate for anyone wanting to use Microsoft Excel formulas as a calculator for Weight Watchers PointsPlus.

I hope this helps.

David C.

DM commenter DM at 10:23 am on March 5, 2015

NONE of these formulas is accurate. Use the McD filet of fish as an example and you will see that it is calculated at half as much as it should.

Piper French commenter Piper French at 12:35 pm on March 31, 2015

Find someone who goes to meetings and ask him/her to buy a calculator for you...simple. I went to one round and have been doing it on my own ever since...without a formula most of us will never understand. It's the only system I've ever been successful on and I basically live on it.

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