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A Look into the Numbers: Calories vs SmartPoints

The other day, I was talking to my friend, Brianna, about some data collection. Right now, she’s using the iTrackBites app’s Carb Concious Plan (aka Weight Watchers Points Plus which is a completely different plan than what I’m following). She is also double tracking calories alongside her points/bites (whatever).

I told her that it would be kind of fun to collect data on her points and calories and see how the numbers work.

Then, I figured I should see where my numbers line up. People often ask how many calories are in a point. The truth is, that depends on what you’re eating.

Last week (May 10-16), I ate every single one of my daily and weekly points.

PointsCalories
301334.7
371436.1
351362.3
301308.1
361543.5
311161.7
461523.8

Now, the calorie totals don’t include foods that I don’t track: 0 point produce (my only 0 point foods on Green), my multivitamins, and the drizzles of oil I use for cooking.

My highest point day, Saturday, was a 46 point day. However, my highest calorie day was on Thursday, when I ate 10 fewer points. Now, it wasn’t a huge calorie difference (only 19.7), but 10 points is a pretty significant number. I generally aim for roughly 10 points per meal.

I tracked 9,671.2 calories last week over 245 points. That comes out to an average of 1381.6 calories per day (35 points) and 39.47 calories per point.

To be honest, none of these numbers really surprise me. Saturday, I had a 600 calorie, 29 point cake. That high sugar dessert probably accounts for the fact that my calorie total was lower on Saturday than on Thursday despite eating more points. On Friday, my lowest calorie day, I was unable to get into the kitchen to make dinner. Instead of cooking something, I spent 7sp on one of my favorite protein bars. Had I made chicken or salmon with potatoes, I would’ve eaten about double the calories with points left for dessert.

There are people who complain that WW is too low in calories. The truth is, it really depends on how you spend your points. I ate some kind of dessert or snack every day last week, but I also ate chicken, eggs, salmon, quinoa, avocado, and a TON of veggies.

It’s not the plan. It’s the choices you make.

My numbers probably look a little different this week. Instead of spending 29sp on dessert, I spent 16 on an almond butter and jelly sandwich with a smoothie for breakfast and 20sp for a Chinese carryout meal of Moo Goo Gai Pain, pork fried brown rice, an egg roll, and duck sauce (all of which I weighed out on my food scale). That leaves me with 2sp for my griled chicken and veggie dinner and 8sp to spend on some kind of dessert. At a glance, my 20sp lunch is already about the same number of calories as the 29 point cake I had last week, so this is probably going to be a higher calorie day than last Saturday.

At some point, I may start tracking my 0 point fruits and vegetables so I can get a better idea of my real calorie totals on WW, but I’m not quite ready to do that yet. Right now, I think this is enough data for me.

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