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Weight Watchers finally clues in: All calories are not created equal

Weight Watchers unveils its new Points Plus program: Weight management is more than just counting calories!


Weight management comes down to calories in, calories out, right? The big picture, most of us understand intuitively, is considerably more complex—and includes how certain kinds of calories (refined carbs) spike insulin levels and trigger cravings for more … while others (like those from nutsand whole grains like oatmeal) satiate more, for longer periods.

My mom lost a lot of weight with Weight Watchers several years ago, but she steadily gained it back, and I always suspected it was because the Points program didn’t teach a healthy, nutrition-based way of eating for life.

So I was thrilled to see that Weight Watchers has introduced a new PointsPlus system that will help its clients choose better foods by looking beyond calories to nutrients, fiber, protein, carbohydrates, and fats—all of which have been shown to affect metabolism and ultimately, body weight.

In the new PointsPlus system, a 100-calorie apple, for instance, is now zero points, while a 100-calorie cookie will rack up points. All fresh fruits and most vegetables, in fact, now score zero points (exceptions are some dried fruits, potatoes, and corn). The new plan takes a stand for unprocessed foods, fruits, and vegetables, says David Kirchoff, Weight Watchers president and CEO. Bravo!

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