Weight Watchers SmartPoints: Everything You Need to Know

Everything You Need to Know about SmartPoints

SCROLL DOWN TO SEE A SMARTPOINTS LIST FOR 50 COMMON FOODS

What are SmartPoints?

SmartPoints® (formerly known as PointsPlus) is the food rating index of the Weight Watchers Program. Often referred to as Weight Watchers points or “food points”, every food is assigned a SmartPoint value for an average serving size of that food.

What is the difference between calories and SmartPoints?

The SmartPoints number for each food is based on that food’s calories per serving AND the source of those calories (favoring protein, and punishing sugar and saturated fat).

How exactly do I use the SmartPoints system?

When you sign up at Weight Watchers, you will be assigned a daily SmartPoints target, based on your weight, gender, age, goal weight, etc. You will also be given a weekly SmartPoints allowance as a back-up, to supplement the daily SmartPoints (don't worry, we'll explain this all below).

The SmartPoints target is similar in concept to a daily calorie limit: you must not exceed it if you want to lose weight.

How many daily SmartPoints® will I get?

This is based on things like weight, height, age, and gender. For example, a female that weighs 150 pounds may be given a allowance of 30 daily SmartPoints®. This means that the goal is to not consume more than 30 SmartPoints® for the entire day.

How many SmartPoints is the average food?

It varies widely. A banana is zero points, while a large bagel is 11 points. Healthier foods get lower points, while "fun" foods get high points.

"Bad foods" like a slice of pepperoni pizza is 10 points. Worse yet, 1/2 cup of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream is 14 points (and who eats only half a cup!)

But...if you're willing to eat only healthy foods, you can easily stay within your SmartPoints budget!

Some foods are zero points (free).

Free foods include fruits, vegetables, and certain high-protein items such as a hard-boilded egg, or a chicken breast (must be skinless, boneless, and grilled). Stick with these foods and you'll never be hungry on Weight Watchers. Unfortunately, if you were able to stick with these foods, you probably wouldn't need Weight Watchers in the first place! :)

For all of the less-than-perfect foods that you eat, you'll need to keep them within your SmartPoints budget when you log your foods on your Weight Watchers account.

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What are WEEKLY SmartPoints® and how many do I get?

In addition to your daily SmartPoints allocation, you will also get  a separate weekly allowance of SmartPoints®. The weekly points act as a back-up reserve. Should you have a bad day and consume more than your daily SmartPoints® maximum, then SmartPoints from your weekly reserve  would be tapped to make up the difference.

For example, a female who weighs 150 pounds would receive 35 weekly SmartPoints®. This means that if her daily Target was 30 SmartPoints®, and she ate 40 SmartPoints® for the day, those extra 10 points would then be deducted from her weekly balance. She would then only have 25 weekly SmartPoints® left over. The object for the dieter is to make it through each week before hitting zero weekly SmartPoints in her account. If she does, she’ll probably lose at least one pound that week.

A dieter has free reign on how to use these weekly SmartPoints® such as saving them a weekend restaurant date.

Can my weekly SmartPoints be rolled over (used in the future ) if I don’t use them all today?  

Neither your Daily SmartPoints nor your Weekly SmartPoints can be rolled over to the next day or week. But remember your real goal here is to lose weight, and if you have lots of unused weekly points at the end of the week, you’re  probably going to lose more weight than if you had used them all.

Does exercise get me a larger SmartPoints allowance?
Yes, indirectly. Exercise earns you FitPoints (about one point for every 10 minutes of moderate exercise). You can set up your Weight Watchers account to automatically swap your FitPoints for extra SmartPoints, allowing you to eat a little more.

SmartPoints List for 50 Common Foods

Food

Amount

WW Points

    1.   Almond milk, plain, unsweetened

8 oz.

1

  1. Almonds

¼ cup

4

  1. Avocado, raw

medium

3

  1. Bacon, cooked, crisp

3 slices

5

  1. Beef, ground, 90% lean/10% fat, cooked

3 oz.

4

  1. Bread, any type (white, wheat, rye, Italian, French, pumpernickel)

1 slice

2

  1. Butter

1 Tbsp

5

  1. Cheerios Original toasted whole grain oat cereal

1 cup

3

  1. Cheese Wedges, Laughing Cow Spreadable, Swiss, Light

1

1

  1. Cheese, cheddar or colby

1 oz.

4

  1. Cheese, cheddar, shredded

¼ cup

4

  1. Chicken breast, cooked, without bone, without skin

3 oz.

2

  1. Chicken breast, grilled, skinless, boneless

3 oz.

2

  1. Corn, yellow, on the cob

medium

3

  1. Creamer, half and half, regular

2 Tbsp

2

  1. Deli sliced turkey

2 oz.

1

  1. Egg

1

2

  1. Egg whites

3

1

  1. Feta, crumbled

1 oz.

3

  1. Fish, salmon, Atlantic, farmed, cooked

3 oz.

4

  1. Ham, cooked, lean

3 oz.

2

  1. Honey

1 Tbsp

4

  1. Hummus

2 Tbsp

2

  1. Mayonnaise, regular

1 Tbsp

3

  1. Milk 2%, reduced-fat

1 cup

5

  1. Milk, 1%, low-fat or light

1 cup

4

  1. Milk, skim (fat-free)

1 cup

3

  1. Oatmeal, cooked

1 cup

5

  1. Olive oil

1 tsp

1

  1. Olive oil, extra virgin

1 tsp

1

  1. PB2 Powdered peanut butter

2 Tbsp

1

  1. Peanut butter, smooth style, with salt

2 Tbsp

6

  1. Pork, chop, cooked, lean, without bone

3 oz.

3

  1. Potato(es), white or red, cooked

½ cup

2

  1. Potato, baked, plain

medium

5

  1. Rice, white, long grain, cooked

1 cup

6

  1. Salsa, fat-free

2 Tbsp

0

  1. Saltines (crackers)

5

2

  1. Shrimp, cooked

3 oz.

1

  1. String Cheese, Sargento Light mozzarella

1

1

  1. Sugar, white granulated

1 tsp

1

  1. Sweet potato, cooked

½ cup

3

  1. Tortilla chips

12

4

  1. Tuna, canned in water, drained

3 oz.

1

  1. Turkey, breast, skinless, cooked

3 oz.

1

  1. White wine

5 oz.

4

  1. Wine, red

5 oz.

4

  1. Yogurt, Greek, plain, fat-free

1 cup

3

  1. Rice, brown, long grain, cooked

1 cup

7

  1. Yogurt, light (artificially sweetened)

1 cup

4

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The FitPoints System: How It Works

SmartPoints tracks food, FitPoints tracks activity. In Weight Watchers, every physical activity – such as walking, cleaning, and dancing – has corresponding points. You then have to keep moving in order to accumulate points and reach the weekly goal.

related article: WW FitPoints: Everything You Need to Know, Including the Correct Way to Swap them for more Smartpoints.

Summary of the SmartPoints System

Weight Watchers designed this food points system so its clients would be encouraged to eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, while cutting back on sugar and unhealthy fat.

If you have a penchant for fatty meals, sugary temptations, desserts, chips, or bread, you’ll have to change your eating habits or you'll blow past your daily points target and quickly consume your weekly back-up points.

If you can adjust to eating healthier foods, you're gold! You won't be hungry if you stick to the healthier choices.

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