What's the Difference Between PointsPlus and SmartPoints?

Weight Watchers®’ new program, Beyond the Scale, promises to help you “lose weight, get healthier and live happier!” This major shift in the way members view and log food and fitness can get confusing, but here’s what you need to know.

weight watchers beyond the scale smartpoints
(Photo: Weight Watchers)

1. SmartPoints™ are the new PointsPlus®. SmartPoints values are generated from the calories, saturated fat, sugars and protein in food. The value is initially determined by the calories, then protein lowers the point value and saturated fat and sugars raise it. The final value is a balance of these factors! In the past, PointsPlus values were calculated using the total fat, carbs, fiber and protein in food.

>> Read more: 12 Nutritionists Spill Their Top Secrets for Weight Loss

2. It’s not just about weight loss. As the name suggests, the initial goal of Weight Watchers was to help people lose weight. But the new Beyond the Scale Plan Guide says that, while PointsPlus revolutionized weight loss, “its primary focus was the number on the scale, not the foods that fuel you.” SmartPoints will still help you lose unwanted pounds, but you may also experience having more energy and seeing your clothes fit better!


3. Forget all the values you’ve memorized. If you were using PointsPlus, the SmartPoints plan can be an adjustment, especially if you have all your go-to foods’ values memorized. For example, a cup of cooked pasta (regular or whole wheat) equals 4 PointsPlus, but 5 SmartPoints. Sugary sweets may be the biggest shock in point values, though, as a tablespoon of granulated white sugar went from 1 PointPlus value to 3 SmartPoints!

oprah weight watchers

4. Some recipes’ SmartPoints might be different than what the calculator shows. Fruits and most veggies are still zero points, but this now includes recipes! For example, if you’re making a vegetable soup, instead of including the calories and nutrition of the veggies in the total value, those ingredients are deemed zero points and removed from the calculation. If you’d like the most accurate values on the recipes you put in, you may want to use this system for logging nutrition.

fruits and vegetables

5. WeightWatchers wants to get to know you better. With the new SmartPoints system, your daily points allotment is personalized by your assessment answers after joining the program. And your weekly points are now customized, too, rather than the previous one-size-fits-all number.

>> Read more: How To Measure Weight Loss Success: Ideal Weight or Ideal Measurements?

6. You don’t get to eat your FitPoints™. Until now, if you wanted that piece of chocolate cake (which is 23 SmartPoints!) you’d have to rack up 23 FitPoints and your work would cancel out your indulgence. In the new Beyond the Scale plan, FitPoints are simply the unit of measurement for your activity and are meant to be viewed as completely separate from your food. Each week, you’re given a personalized FitPoints goal and it’s meant to “inspire you to keep moving, consistently and frequently, each week.”


Have you tried Beyond the Scale with new SmartPoints and FitPoints? Share your experience in the comments below!

>> All of our recipes have SmartPoints values in the nutrition panels. Check them out here!