Weighing in on the SmartPoints Program by Weight Watchers

When Weight Watchers made the switch from PointsPlus to a whole new program, you can imagine it was met with some resistance. But a year later the SmartPoints program is proving to be an effective program for weight loss and weight management.

The SmartPoints Program

One of the key differentiators for Weight Watchers has always been keeping things simple. If a diet or eating plan is too complicated, it's just too easy for people to give up, throw in the towel, and go back to munching junk food.

Here's the simple version of the SmartPoints program works: You provide some basic information about yourself (height, weight, age, gender). Then based on a Weight Watchers algorithm, your recommended daily calories are calculated and assigned a SmartPoints value. And that's the magic number that helps you make food choices throughout the day.

What does a SmartPoints diet look like? Plenty of lean protein and fresh fruits and vegetables. You can eat other foods, but your available SmartPoints for the day will take a big hit.

A Smarter Way of Eating?

It's no secret that Weight Watchers old program was effective. The average person who followed the previous program lost up to seven pounds in a year, according to one study. But new data on the SmartPoints program shows people are losing slightly more weight by following the revised diet.

"After a year of being on the new Weight Watchers program, I can say that when I stick to it exactly...I lose weight," says blogger Tracie Rollins. "When I mess up and go off track, I don't do great."

In her review of the program, Rollins gives SmartPoints two thumbs up, and found that it's been an effective plan that's helped her improve her eating habits. But not everybody considers the change a complete win for Weight Watchers.

"SmartPoints is a well-varied diet program for the most part, with lots of support for followers," says registered dietitian and blogger Abby Langer. "Not bad for a commercial diet, but like all things not for everyone…"

Overall, it appears that the SmartPoints program is helping people lose weight. It's not as flexible as the PointPlus program, and requires a little more self-discipline and smart food choices to stick with the plan. But for most people, that's just the kind of program that can help develop healthy habits and lead to weight loss.

Want to know how to make the most of your available SmartPoints? Choose the right foods. You'll find well-balanced meals that fit your macros (proteins, fats, and carbs), and the Weight Watchers program on our Portion Control menu.