Calculating Food Energy: Calories and Smart Points

I have to recognize I am not a huge fan of calories counting. In fact, it’s annoying and stressful task; a kind of heavy duty as for me. Also, it’s not very easy to count calories accurately. We all are looking for perfect accuracy, aren’t we? So, finding only close match leads to some frustration. As a result, we tend to give up on calorie counting and on attempts to lose weight altogether.

Besides, you should think long term about the weight loss process. Are you ready to count calories every day of your life? If you are not, then do not even bother starting. Anyone can restrict his calorie intake thanks to a temporary diet, but when you stop, you will gain it again. Actually, your success here is measured by not only the amount of weight you have lost but rather on how long you keep it off.

It is well known that Weight Watchers program uses the own point-based system. Every food is given a certain point value based on nutritional value. That means it is no longer necessary to count calories like most of other diets require you to do. Instead of this, you have to keep track of points.

The information about the Smart-points value of different food products is available through Weight Watchers apps and online. Naturally, the exact formula for Smart-points calculating is not available. However, you can find a few variants of a rough formula made by mathematic enthusiasts. I have found that this one looks most close to the original Smart-point formula:

Supposedly this formula could be applied to any food or recipe with nutrition facts information. But fruit and vegetable exception makes it impossible in many cases to calculate Smart-points scrupulously. For instance, restaurant disclosure data includes veggies in the numbers.

Depending on your weight, your goal, age, gender, and your level of activity you are allowed a particular number of points per day.

Also, it is interesting to know how Points system evolves over time. Initially, Weight Watchers point system stimulated to cut fats and consume fiber. Point Plus system added protein in the equation. In December 2015, Smart Points replaced Point Plus. The new scheme still guides users toward an eating pattern that is higher in protein. The distinctive feature of Smart Point system is stringent penalizing for high-sugar and high-saturated fat consumption. Obviously, now calories content is not the one and only criteria to base your food choices on. For instance, fiber in your meal will keep you feeling full longer, which can prevent you from ingesting more calories. But fiber is absent in the Smart Point formula. That’s why most fresh fruits and vegetables are zero points in the Smart Points system.

On the other hand, point restrictions for eating pastries and cookies are pretty high on the new program. Of cause, there were some people who had worries that Smart Points system lacks flexibility in a food-point assignment. However, can you disagree with the fact that an apple and banana are much healthier and more nutrient-packed choices than cake and candy bar?

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