Ducks 'n a Row: How To Calculate Points In Recipes

22 June 2015

How To Calculate Points In Recipes

By Sinea Pies

weight watchers points plus, points, diet, weight loss

OK.  I finally did it. I have returned to the only weight loss plan that I can stick to successfully over a long period of time. Weight Watchers! I started --again --19 days ago at 152.8 pounds (I am short, guys--- 5'2") and now weigh 147.8. Five pounds off in 19 days and it shows...cuz I'm short! LOL

Now, mind you, I really have not been suffering. I have had dessert every day. I have gone out to eat three times and had 2 fullsize fish fry dinners and a steak dinner with all the trimmings. How? Just counted the points!


So, I have been humming right along. Enjoying staying within my 26 points per day. Not veering off too far and always leaving some bonus points that could have been used but NOT using them all. Perfect!  More info: Calculating Weight Watchers Points

Weight Watchers, diet, weight loss, lose weight, points plus

And then Father's Day shows up. Ugh. And my sweet hubby says that all he really wants is a Frozen Pink Lemonade Pie!  OK.  I can resist eating any myself but, when I bake, I really do like to have a smidge. Just a smidge. So, I decided to figure out what size piece I can have without destroying the good work I've done. Well, one tenth of the pie (a small slice in my estimation) is 12 points. THAT ain't gonna happen! I'd have to figure out a much smaller slice than that!

That was complication number one.

Number two? Date night. We go out to eat, or get take-out, every Friday night. Tonight is Red Robin night. Oh my goodness!  A cup of chili and a 'Shroom Burger are my favorites.  Cup of Red Robin chili is 6 points and the burger is 19. I can, and will, do that but that lemonade pie is lurking in the shadows 2 days from now. Gotta have a plan!

My Plan
That is why I decided to learn how to calculate Weight Watchers points in a whole recipe. I did it. I can have 1/16 slice of the pie for 8 points, if it really means THAT much to me. Guess what? Love that pie but it probably is not worth it. I can have a half cup of delicious Edy's chocolate ice cream for 3. That is what I will do. 

But just how DID I calculate those points? I will show you right now. Please, relax about the math. There is a link below to a free online recipe calculator by The Food Lady that you can use but, what if the lights go out? Or, what if the battery on your laptop runs low just when you need those points! So here's how to do this manually, just in case.

How To Calculate Weight Watchers Points In A Recipe 
1. Get out the ingredients. If you don't have them all on hand, the nutritional labels can be found online (if you have power, LOL.)
2. Find a blank piece of paper and a pen.
3. Make columns at the top of the page with these titles: 
Protein     Carbohydrates      Fat       Fiber           Servings
4. Write a list of ingredients down the right side of the page. In this instance, I was calculating my recipe for Lemonade Pie so I wrote:
  • Graham Cracker Crust
  • Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • Frozen Lemonade
  • Cool Whip

5. Next to each ingredient, write the protein, carbs, fat and fiber for that ingredient PLUS how many servings in the entire pie.* Note: you can find that information on the product's nutritional label or in a Weight Watchers Points Plus Pocket Guide (pictured below) 

So, if the crust says 1/10 servings then I will ultimately have to multiply each value of that ingredient by 10. i.e Fat 6 X10 = 60 grams of fat in the WHOLE crust.  

*That is your first goal. To determine the fat, carbs, fiber and protein of each INGREDIENT in the ENTIRE recipe. 

6. After you have done that for each ingredient, multiplying all of the factors by how many servings of that ingredient and writing them down, ADD each column up. You will have total fat, carbs, fiber and protein for the entire recipe. 

7. Divide the totals of all four by the size serving you want to know about. I started with a slice of pie that was 1/8 of the whole. So I divided them by 8 and THEN used a points calculator. 18 points! Yikes! I settled on 1/16 for 8 points or none at all. 

To discover the points in foods where the values are already noted on the label by a serving, you can purchase a Weight Watchers Points Plus Calculator or use a FREE online calculator.  To figure out points in a recipe that you are making use the ...

             Unofficial Points Plus Recipe Calculator

“Finally, a weight loss plan I can stick with and even eat pie!” 

Weight Watchers, points plus, diets, lose weight

easy desserts, lemonade pie, cool whip desserts
My Pink Lemonade Pie Recipe 
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Note: this author is an Amazon Affiliate. Anything that you purchase from Amazon through Ducks 'n a Row will result in a small commission for me. In advance, "thank you." ... Sinea

Photo Credits: Pixabay, Stockimages on FreeDigitalPhotos and o5com on Flickr CC
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