Weight Watchers Points System Updated!

The Weight Watchers Points System has been recently updated in accordance with current nutritional developments. The new system now recognises that 'not all calories are created equal', something that the old system failed to do.

This improvement in the Weight Watchers program is well overdue and is a considerable step forward from the conventional 'Points System' which was really just a more easily manageable variation of calorie counting.

The old Weight Watchers program said that 100 calories from cake or biscuits was the same as 100 calories from a piece of fruit! It allowed dieters to eat whatever they wanted as long as they remained within their daily points allocation, which was based on their height, weight and age. Every food was assigned a certain number of points, which made counting calories much easier.

Weight Watchers Points System

However, common sense tells us that 100 calories from different food sources are not equal! Now, after more than a decade of using this out-dated approach, the Weight Watchers Points System has finally been revised.

The new Weight Watchers Points System now recognises the value of eating more natural, unprocessed foods. Furthermore, it also recognises the value of consuming foods that are high in protein and fibre (fiber), particularly because of the powerful satiating (appetite-suppressing) effects these nutrients have. Protein also requires the body to expend more energy during the process of digestion, which adds to the benefits this macronutrient offers.

The new Weight Watchers Points System still assigns a point value to foods but this time bases the points not just on calories but also on nutrient content. This is certainly a major step in the right direction for the Weight Watchers program. It also addresses the carbohydrate issue, which mainstream nutrition has ignored for years! This means that many carbohydrate sources are now given a higher points rating because they are more easily absorbed into the body and converted into body fat.

Even though the new Weight Watchers Points System is a dramatic improvement from the old system, it still needs to address the fact that calorie counting is somewhat limited in what it can achieve. The most obvious concern is the fact that a reduction in calorie intake results in the body decreasing its metabolic rate to accommodate this reduction. As a result, in a very short period of time the person's body adapts to the reduced number of calories and further weight loss will not occur. Therefore, in order to continually lose weight calorie intake must be continually reduced. However, this eventually leads to nutrient deficiencies and a greater likelihood of rebound weight gain.

Another flaw in the new Weight Watchers Points System is the fact that it allows an unlimited amount of fruit. However, Weight Watchers president, David Kirchoff, does warn members about the overconsumption of fruit stating that even though fruit has a PointsPlus value of 0, they shouldn't overconsume them. I discuss the issue of fruit in another article titled, Fruit Nutrition Facts.

The other major drawback of a 'nutrition-only' approach to weight loss or in the case of Weight Watchers, minimal aerobic exercise like walking, a loss of precious muscle tissue is also likely to result. A loss of muscle results in further reductions of metabolic rate, which also affects the ability to lose weight.

In order to keep progressing and improving the Weight Watchers program needs to include strong recommendations to exercise regularly and include some form of resistance exercise. Lifting weights or some form of resistance exercise is probably the most important of the muscle building tips that Weight Watchers should consider incorporating into their program.

Overall though, the Weight Watchers Points System and Weight Watchers program in general are very good at helping people achieve their weight-loss goals. The reasons for the program's success revolves around the fact that they have a system for controlling food intake, they have a system of accountability with their weekly meetings, and they provide members with a great support system both in person and on-line.

If you would like to find out more about Weight Watchers or would like to find a Weight Watchers group in your local area, please visit: Weight Watchers.

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