How To Use Edibles with Weight Watchers PointsPlus

By Laura Moncur @ 12:26 am — Filed under:

Weight Watchers is launching a new program. In the UK, it’s called ProPoints, but in the States, they are calling it PointsPlus. The old Points system has been completely changed, which will change how you’ll calculate the new points on your Edibles program.

According to Wikipedia, the new PointsPlus formula is as follows:

PointsPlus Formula

Where pp is the PointsPlus value, p is the amount of protein, c is the amount of carbohydrates, f is the amount of total fat and b is the amount of fiber, all in grams. This formula is an empirical match to the Weight Watchers calculators and may not be exact; Weight Watchers has not published their actual formula.

This formula is pretty convoluted and very difficult to enter into the Edibles Calculator, so Mike converted it for me. This is how I entered it into my Edibles Calculator:

Edibles PointsPlus

Even if you’re using the Weight Watchers iPhone app, there may be a few days WEEKS when you won’t be able to track using your phone because the app won’t be available as soon as the program starts.

The App may not be available for a day or two after the new program launches. We appreciate your patience during this time. You can use the website for tracking, and everything else you usually do on your phone.

You might just want to try out Edibles to see if it works better than the official Weight Watcher app.

Update 12-02-10: Due to differences in food labeling in the US vs. the UK, the PointsPlus formula is vastly different than the ProPoints formula. I changed this entry to reflect the proper formula for the United States.


63 Responses to “How To Use Edibles with Weight Watchers PointsPlus”

  1. Joe Says:

    interesting. I just plugged into the formula some food I was eating on the old program and the points came out the same. I’m sure that will not allways be the case but I will be interested to see once I go to the meeting next week.

  2. Justin Says:

    I am not sure that formula works. For example. Try it with just fat and 37 grams of it.

    So: p=0, c=0, f1=37, f2=0

    So, 37/3.9=9.487 which rounds down to 9. But, if you put it in the online calculators, it comes out to 10. I found a better value to be 3.88 but it does break down at some point. I just do not know where. For example, 1000grams of fat comes out to 1000/3.88=263points but the online thing says 257.

    I have not had the time to play with the other numbers yet, but when I do, If I remember, I will post my results

  3. KCalla Says:

    Thank you SO much! It’s lining up with the points tracker on the WW site!

    I appreciate this! I am READY to go!

  4. Johnny Says:

    I played with online calculator for members and the factors for protein, carbs and fat seem close, but fiber has a reducing effect on the total pointsplus value. For Example 30 g carbs with all of it fiber (30g) gives 1 point, but 30g carbs with no fiber gives 3 points.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    The formula in the original post will work for UK ProPoints. But for American PointsPlus, the part that’s “carbs/9.2” will need to be changed to say “(carbs – fiber)/9.2)”, or your points will come out higher than they should.

    This is because in the UK, labels do not include fiber in the total carbs, and in the US they do. For example, if a food label in the US says 8 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, a label for the same food in the UK would say 5 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber.

  6. grauchy Says:

    I was trying to figure out the actual formula for US Points Plus. “Anonymous” posted that the correct formula for US should be:

    **** NOT CORRECT **** pp = (PROTEIN/10.9) + (FAT/3.9) + ((CARBS – FIBER)/9.2) **** NOT CORRECT ****

    The above does not work. If you plug in CARBS = 92 & FIBER = 46 the formula would result 5 but online I get 6.

    There must be an upper limit on Fiber credit but I haven’t figured it out.

  7. Meg Says:

    I find it funny that people are posting examples of it being “wrong” by using ridiculous exambles. What food has 92 carbs and 46 grams of fiber but no fat or protein?? You are using unrealistic examples!

  8. m ann Says:

    Meg, I think the point of using those types of numbers is it tests the value in whole numbers.

    We think that we should divide (carbs-fiber) by 9.2. It would make sense to use numbers like 92 and 46 since they are divisible by 9.2.

  9. Amber Says:

    Is this rounding off the numbers for everyone else or are you getting decimals?

  10. Rachel Says:

    Thank you so much!!! This is so awesome! Let us know if it turns out that this formula needs to be adjusted to account for some of those discrepancies mentioned above. Thank you!!!

  11. Rachel Says:

    Is there a way to program it not to round the points plus number? I also am wondering how exactly to input the formula for the US with the carb-fiber addition, if that is in fact the correct calculation.

  12. Justin Says:

    Okay, I played for a while and here is what works perfectly in all of my testing. Please post any and all cases where this doesn’t work. Round to the nearest whole number:

    (Fat)(35/9) + (Carbs)(175/19) + (Protien)(175/16) – (Fiber)(25/2)

  13. Justin Says:

    Oh, and to Rachel, the way I got this was realizing that there is a linear relationship (that is the 10 to 15 is the same as 1005 to 1015) and multiplying everything by 10,000 or 100,000 to avoid the round issues.

    I have a background in working out relations to unknown functions such as these. Of course, this one was easier than most.

  14. Justin Says:


    I flipped the fractions. It should read: (Fat)(9/35) + (Carbs)(19/175) + (Protein)(16/175) – (Fiber)(2/25)

    (I also corrected my spelling)

  15. brendar Says:

    Are calories not included the formula anymore?

  16. grauchy Says:

    Wikipedia now has the formula that Justin posted. I’m using that in my edibles app on my iPhone now.

    If you just want an easy way to roughly figure out points in your head I have just the thing.

    For the sake of rough numbers and estimating just assume the formula is:

    USE FOR ROUGH ESTIMATIONS pp ~~ (Carbs + Protein – Fiber)/10 + (Fiber/4)

    Part 1 (Carb + Protein – Fiber) Divide by 10 (Easy to just think of as 10%)

    Part 2 Fat divided by 4 (chop in half twice is nice or think of it as 25%)

    Part 3 Add Parts 1 & 2

    I tested on a few items and it works, especially because you have to round to whole numbers anyway.

  17. Grace Says:

    In grauchy’s above post I think the 2nd “Fiber” should actually be “Fat”, as in (Carbs + Protein – Fiber)/10 + FAT/4.

  18. Justin Says:

    The formula on Wikipedia came from me. I do not want you to just trust it because you saw it from two sources when they were both me. Still, I stand by that it works in all situations.

    Two of my major complaints about the new system is that it is less intuitive to know what points mean and that it is harder to calculate in your head. At least with the old one, when you did it in your head, you could look at the fat and then figure out if you are wrong. Now, it is not so easy. With that said, I like the assumption that everything is 10 except for fat and then that is 4. It makes things easy to gauge.

  19. Justin Says:

    Sorry to keep on posting but I have a slight modification to the “in your head” method that is a bit safer.


    (Carbs + Protien +3*Fat – Fiber)/10

    Really easy to do in your head!

  20. Slonic Says:

    Here is some further thinkering with Justin’s formulas:

    Let’s say that for in-your-head formula we use 2.6 instead of 3 (I got this from the full formula in post 14):

    Approx PP = [Protein + (Carbs-Fiber) + 2.6*Fat]/10

    If we consider that calories are calculated as:

    Calories = 4[Protein + (Carbs-Fiber)] + 9Fat = = {40[Protein + (Carbs–Fiber)] + 90Fat}/10 = = 40[Protein + (Carbs-Fiber) + 2.25Fat]/10

    (ok, so there is soluble and insoluble fiber and not all fiber is 0 calories, but it’s impossible to know and the difference is negligible. And we are already approximating the PP formula to have factors for protein, carbs and fiber all equal to 1)

    So our approx PPs are:

    Approx PP = [Protein+(Carbs-Fiber)+2.25Fat]/10 + 0.35Fat/10 = = Calories/40 + 0.035*Fat = = Calories/40 + Fat/28

    So, the in-your-head method becomes super simple:

    Calories/40, plus 1 additional point for each 28g of fat in the serving.

    For foods with less than 14g of fat per serving, calories/40 should be decently close.

    I think. But I haven’t tried it yet :).

  21. Justin Says:

    Slonic, You method relies on calories still which is risky. Also 28g of fat should add a whole lot more 1 point. I would be very careful with that one because it is not based on a simplified version the WW calculators. It is much more reminiscent of the old plan but again, they had 12 grams of fat to a point. 28 us HUGE.

    I do not have the time now, but you should confirm it with many labels. Check high-fat items, etc as well. I think you are pushing it.

  22. Rona Y Says:

    I’m not sure the new system does what it’s supposed to do. Ideally, foods like candy and potato chips (junk food) should increase in points by a substantial amount in order to discourage people from eating those foods. And fruits, vegetables, lean meats and fish, etc. should decrease in values.

    I tried punching the formula in to my recipe management points calculator. I know under the new program, raw fruits are supposed to be point free, but out of curiosity, I checked the points of some fruits and compared them with the old point values.

    Apple with skin 125g–before 0.7 pts, after 2.0 pts

    Banana 225g–before 2.9 pts, after 6.0 pts

    Some other “free” foods:

    Broccoli 1 cup cooked–before 0.1 pts, after 1.6 pts

    carrots 1 cup raw–before 0.4 pts, after 1.5 pts


    salmon, dry cooked, 172g–before 9.2 pts, after 9.2 pts

    tofu, firm, 1/2 cup–before 2, after 2.5

    But then I look at stuff like

    egg, scrambled 1 cup–before 9.6 pts, after 9.7 pts

    McD’s filet-o-fish–before 9.5 pts, after 10.6 pts

    Mayo 1 Tbsp–before 2.9, after 2.9

    It doesn’t seem like so much of a difference for “bad foods” in terms of point value, but supposedly free foods go up in point value by quite a bit.

    Maybe I’ll stick to the old way for now. Anyone with an ounce of sense realizes 5 points worth of potato chips does not have the same nutritional value as 5 points of salmon. Was the change really necessary?

  23. mike K Says:

    I am still confused. Does the formula from Justin calculate Vodka (1.5 oz) as 4 points same as WW or an apple as zero?

  24. Justin Says:

    The formula I posted calculated what the online Weight Watcher’s Calculator does. So, it may not calculate Vodka as 4, but neither would their calculator if you just plugged in the nutrition.

    The idea is that some food are special. For example, fruit and alcohol. If you enter the nutritional information for fruit into the online calculator, you will get the exact same thing as my formula. But, if you look up fruit, it will say it is zero.

    Think of it like taxes. Depending on where you live, you pay a flat percentage sales tax on most items. But, if you calculate the tax on gasoline with that percentage, it will be very different than what the state says you have to pay. That is because there are exceptions. Think of the Weight Watcher’s calculator AND my formula as that percentage tax calculator. As long as you are not in a special category (where gas and tobacco may be analogous to fruits and alcohol as exceptions), you can apply it.

    So, to summarize, the formula I posted should give you exact results to the online calculator based on nutrition. But, some items have an added or subtracted “excise tax.”

    I hope this helps.

  25. Justin Says:

    Also, Slonic, I am liking your formula more and more.

    Here is how I see it for in your head calculation: When you have all of the nutritional information, use the one I posted in Post 19.

    But, at some times you do not have all of that information. So, first make it fat/30 to be easier to divide, and then use it. If you are only given calories, use that and see how close it is to the next point value. If it is close, then use your judgement about fat and add one (or more) if needed.

    This is not great for many people who either a) do not like something that is a bit subjective, or b) people who do not trust their ability to judge fat.

    In general, weight watchers (and rightly so) does not give much tailoring and refinement to how each person processes food. As such, we should all be tweaking and refining with the scale as our feedback mechanism. Basically, do what works and is healthy.

  26. mike K Says:

    Thanks Justin – you are right. I am using the “Nutrition” I phone app. In there you can set your food score formulas. I am using your quick formula (Carbs + Protien +3*Fat – Fiber)/10 and it works pretty well. For fruits i prefer to use the 2 points per this calc since fruits have a lot of carbs which I focus on

  27. Confused Says:

    I guess I am not very smart because I am very confused what the formula is. I have been using edibles for a very long time for weight watchers with the Points system. But very confused how to enter this caluation on the Points Plus. PLEASE someone post the complete formula for Points Plus US way. THANKS so much.

  28. Justin Says:

    Mike, If you can set a formula, why not use the exact?

    To Confused, see my post in 14. That is the exact formula as the WW website does it. There may be exceptions but that is what the site does. Take any label for any food, enter into the formula from #14 and the WW site and you will get the same thing. Whether there are exceptions, has nothing to do with the formula.

  29. Confused Says:

    That’s what confusing to me. I enter exactly like post 14 and this is what I get:

    Result 0.38

    That’s ALL not place to enter carbs, protein, fat or fiber.

  30. mike K Says:

    Justin, Good idea. The App lets me only enter a fomula for each factor divided by a number I input. So for protein it is protein divided by 10.938 which is the 16/175. I’m not a math person so I had to calc the factor but now it works.

  31. Justin Says:

    i do not know anything about this app in question. just that this is the formula (or an extremely close match).

    Sorry I can’t help more.

  32. Heather Says:

    @Confused, I had the same problem until I noticed the note on the Edibles formula screen – you have to use < and > characters around the labels Fiber, Fat, etc.

  33. Confused Says:

    @ Heather. But what’s crazy is after I added the < and > around each one I got all the places to enter the values BUT where the results are 35.12 before I even enter anything. I never had problems before. I love edibles and use it daily…. I am sure its something simple, just to hard for me. haha

  34. Heather Says:

    I’m actually getting a weird Results value too – it says “nan” … and I entered it exactly as in the screenshot in the post above. I’m stumped too, so I’ll just hang out here in the hopes that someone smarter than me will post the answer 🙂

  35. Laura Moncur Says:

    Heather and Confused,

    I posted a screen shot of EXACTLY how I entered it in my Edibles program and it’s working alright for me. Check your formulas and enter them exactly like mine and you shouldn’t have any more problems.


  36. Confused Says:

    @ Laura will this be the same as the US PointsPlus because it works perfect when I enter it the same as the above picture? I just thought it was different for the US.

  37. Janelle Says:


    Laura updated her screenshot to reflect the formula Justin identified as the “probable” new WW Points Plus formula. (She did originally have the Pro Points formula though.)

  38. Confused Says:

    @Janelle.. OH thanks! and thanks SO MUCH everyone for your help.. I told you I was CONFUSED.. haha I LOVE edibles…

  39. Rona Y Says:

    Could someone please tell me what their calculators get for white wine? Using the new calculations, I get 1ounce of wine is 0.1 points, so 1 glass (assuming it’s 6 ounces) would only be 0.6 ounces. In a NYTimes article about the new system, however, 1 glass of white wine is supposed to be 4 points.

    Or are points for alcohol calculated differently?

  40. Rona Y Says:

    Oops. That should be 1 6-oz glass of wine should be 0.6 points, not ounces.


  41. Justin Says:

    Alcohol is an exception for calculators. Neither their calculator or the one posted take care of it correctly.

    See, the new system is based on the constitutes the final food energy, (Carbs, Protein, Fiber, Fat). This is fine for most things but it does not include energy from alcohol. On the old system, calories included everything so alcohol would still give you an accurate measure. So, you have to use their listings (but not their calculators)

  42. Rona Y Says:


    One more question–if fruits and many vegetables are “free”, then, for example, if I have a recipe for a fruit smoothie that calls for 1/2 cup of fruit and 1/2 cup of skim milk, then the final point count would just be for the other ingredients in the smoothie, right?

    For example, a smoothie of 1/2 cup 1% yoghurt, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries, 1T agave, and 2T flaxseed.

    New Point Method Count–7.4 points

    Not including fruit and skim milk–6.3 points

    If I only get 29 points a day, I’d rather count it as 6 points than 7!

  43. Justin Says:

    Hi Rona,

    The simple answer is, I really do not know. It isn’t entirely clear from their literature. I would ask your meeting leader.

    For the more philosophical answer: try it. Weight Watchers’ plan is a great guide for losing weight and they do a great job trying to make it fit for everyone using it. But, it may not be perfect. So, my answer to you is to look at it like a science experiment. Try counting it as 6.3 and do a similar thing when needed. If you are not losing weight, try counting it as 7.4, etc. Do you see what I mean? Use your weight loss trend (but not necessarily a single week’s weight) as a feedback. Weight Watchers will not tell you to do this and rightly so. That is because for a vast majority of people, they want something more concrete. And they want faster results as well. Saying that you will try something then wait and see can be scary. I have been very successful with weight watchers so far (around 45 lbs lost) but I still have over 100 more to go so, for me, I recognize that it will be a slow process. Of course, your mileage may vary.

    And, then there is always the safe answer. If you are unsure, and you do not get to ask your leader, count it as the higher one. Better safe than sorry.

    I hope this helps.

  44. Rona Y Says:

    @Justin–Thanks so much for the reply. I’ve never been a WW member (it’s much too expensive for me at this time–they don’t have the same prices and “specials” in Canada as in the US) which is why I seem to be asking pretty basic questions!

    I’ve been doing my own version of WW by using spreadsheets with the exercise formulae to calculate my exercise points, and a recipe programme I have that calculates WW points for ingredients and recipes. I started out with 20 points (using the old method) and slowly lost about 10 pounds, so I’m going down to 18, or rather, 29 points with the new method (I’ve updated the formula for my recipe programme, so I switched right away).

    Using your advice, I’m going to start out counting lower points for most foods and see how that goes. With only 29 points/day (plus the additional 49/week), if I count the higher points, I’ll barely get to eat anything! Then if I don’t lose weight, or heaven forbid I gain weight, I’ll start counting the higher points. I’ve only got about 10 more pounds to lose, so I’m hoping the new point system won’t stall or reverse my weight loss too much. I’m so close!

    Thanks again!

  45. me Says:

    Rona, You need to count the milk but not the fruit. 29 points plus the 49 extra should give you quite a bit to eat, unless you are living on processed foods and things that are generally not healthy. The new program is designed to move you toward healthier foods. Fruits and vegetables are free and the power foods are generally lower in pointsplus values. Good luck.

  46. Sue Says:

    So I had the formula from Wikipedia, but it didn’t round. I entered the one above exactly as posted (and a couple of the decimals are slightly different from the formula I was using), but it still doesn’t round. One result I got putting in miscellaneous numbers gave me a total of 4.09. Have I done something wrong. I double checked and I entered it exactly right.

  47. Rona Y Says:

    @me–I thought skim milk (up to a certain amount) was free? No?

    I eat very few processed foods, but when I was at 20 points with the old points, I found I was getting hungry much more quickly. I wasn’t eating a lot of refined carbs (I use Ryvita and German rye breads for my “starch”), and was eating mostly fish and vegetables (cauliflower, carrots, spinach, broccoli and asparagus, mostly). Even back then, my breakfast of oatmeal, milk, and muscovado sugar was 6 or 7 points–almost 1/3 my daily total.

    I like WW because it encourages me to eat more vegetables and it forces me to pay more attention to portion sizes, but I find it more difficult to adapt WW to the Asian way of eating. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons WW is not a success in Asia (there are other larger reasons, of course).

  48. Katrina Says:


    I’ve been trying to use your formula to convert my favorite foods into Points Plus… I saw a scan of one of the WW materials online and it says that 1 cup of plain instant oatmeal has 3 PP. When I use your formula I get 8.96. Here is what I am entering: Protein: 10 Carbs: 54 Fat:6 Fiber:8

    Here is how I entered the formula into Excel: =((B23(16/175)) + (C23(19/175)) +(D23(9/35)) +(E23(2/25))) B=protein C=carbs D=fat E=fiber

    What am I doing wrong?

  49. Scoobe Says:

    Rona Y Says:

    Maybe I’ll stick to the old way for now. Anyone with an ounce of sense realizes 5 points worth of potato chips does not have the same nutritional value as 5 points of salmon. Was the change really necessary?

    IMHO WW made the change to get back in your wallet. Under the new PP plan I was told that there is no “formula” to calculate how many points you were suppose to start with. I find that a little more than dubious. Under the old points system I would just enter my current weight, height, age, level of activity and sex. And at the end I would have my points. By making it harder to figure out and keeping it a secret how to figure out your starting points they have managed to find a way to be completely dependent on WW. So yes they had to change it.

  50. Justin Says:


    First of all, you should be subtracting the fiber, not adding. Second of all, I would also look at the servings to make sure that you are comparing raw to raw and cooked to cooked. Looking at my thing of oatmeal, which has the same information you posted, is for DRY. That will make a lot more when cooked

    Finally, the listed values are guides that are designed to fit a lot of varieties but there will be variation.

  51. Sharon K Says:

    Did anyone ever get this formula for US into an excel spreadsheet? I’m trying to do based on information I’ve gather from this thread, but can’t seem to do it.Thank you.

  52. Jeff Says:

    @Sharon K (#51) – Sharon, This is what I have in Excel, based on the formulas on Wikipedia (sourced by Justin):

    Cell:Contents A1:Protein A2:Carbohydrates A3:Fat A4:Fiber A5:PointsPlus

    B1: B2: B3: B4: B5:=MAX(ROUND(((16B1)+(19B2)+(45B3)-(14B4))/175,0))

    If you want to use the calculation that includes alcohol/sugar alcohol, make the following adjustments: A1-A4:same as above A5:Alcohol A6:Sugar Alcohol A7:PointsPlus

    B1-B4:same as above B5: B6: B7:=MAX(ROUND(((16B1)+(19B2)+(45B3)-(14B4)+(58.05B5)+(11.4B6))/175,0))

  53. Jeff Says:

    Okay, so it appears that WordPress does not like posts that contain the less than or greater than symbols, or the use of asterisks.

    Maybe this will work better…

    B1:<enter g of protein> B2:<enter g of carbohydrates> B3:<enter g of fat> B4:<enter g of fiber> B5:=MAX(ROUND(((16*B1)+(19*B2)+(45*B3)-(14*B4))/175,0))

    B5:<enter g of alcohol> B6:<enter g of sugar aocohol> B7:=MAX(ROUND(((16*B1)+(19*B2)+(45*B3)-(14*B4)+(58.05*B5)+(11.4*B6))/175,0))

  54. Paula Says:

    Re: Item 49. Yesterday I went to my first WW meeting. I was aware of the old points system, but had never followed it. So I’m not comparing. In the orientation, they said that YES something like potato chips may have the same points value as something healthy, and you have a choice, but the hope is that you would make the healthy choice. It’s up to you. For me personally, if I ate the equivalent points of chips instead of high fiber bread or oatmeal, I would be starving in a half hour. The high fiber keeps me satisfied for hours.

    Thanks everyone for the formula input. I think I got it figured out. It seems to be working, but I need to test it some more. I input it into Excel.

  55. Sue Says:

    I’m still looking for an answer to why the points formula I entered into the Edibles calculator on my iPod doesn’t round. Can anyone help? I entered the formula exactly as shown at the top of the page with the word “round” and I get decimals.

  56. Sandy Says:

    I got it to work with Excel. Here is what I typed in the cell where the calculation is to take place:


    Where the C column (row 2, in this case) contains grams of Protein, D contains Carbs, E contains Fat and F contains fiber.

  57. Alex Says:

    Based on the above formula the Excell formula would be.


    B1 = Fat B2 = Carbs B3 = Protein B4 = Fiber

  58. heather Says:

    I am really struggling with all of these numbers, etc. I am 5’2″, 146 pounds, female, age 40. What would be my points? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  59. Lori Says:

    So, how would you calculate alcohol in your head? I’m thinking just taking total calories (assuming it’s not a sugary or fatty drink) and dividing the calories by 30, or maybe 40. Any suggestions?

  60. Ken Says:

    I’m pretty sure there might be a fairly significant flaw in Justin’s formula in the original post (as of latest update). As an arbitrary example: Weight Watchers’ Breakfast Quesadilla comes with a predetermined PointsPlus value of 5 per serving, but when I plug in the data from the label (12g protein, 29g carbs, 7g fat and 7g fiber) into Justin’s formula, I get a result of 6 points. That’s a real world example that generates a 20% error. I’m pretty sure my math is right, unless it’s wrong. Do you guys get a PointsPlus value of 5 for those numbers when you do the calculations?

  61. Rona Y Says:

    @Ken–not sure if you’ll read this, but when I punch in your data in my excel spreadsheet (using the formula Laura includes in this post, but not rounding), I get 5.49 points, so really, both WW and Justin’s formulae are correct depending on whether you round up or down. IIRC, at .5 WW rounds up, under .5 they round down. I’m guessing they rounded down with the Breakfast Quesadilla (although really, they should be rounding up–eat two of those and you’re really getting 11 points, not 10).

  62. Andrew Planck Says:

    Does your Weight Watchers formula for Edibles also for for the new SmartPoints?

  63. Andrew Planck Says:

    Sorry about the typo. I meant, “Does your Weight Watchers formula for Edibles also work for the new SmartPoints?”

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