I joined Weight Watchers a few months ago and while I like the program I find the constant pressuring by leaders to use the additional 49 weekly points is frustrating. Every time I've gone over the daily points I've gained weight. One leader said the program allows for an extra 7 points per day and I should be eating them either each day or in different increments throughout the week. One leader suggested I wasn't calculating the points correctly if I was gaining weight (I use their online program and weight item or calculate points online which should avoid error). One was finally honest and told me that not everyone can eat the additional 49 points per week and lose weight. It's difficult to figure out the calorie count, but on average it works out around 40-50 calories per point. I don't understand why Weight Watchers isn't honest in letting their members know not everyone can use those extra points and lose weight. I've talked to other members who have said if they use some of the extra points occasionally it doesn't seem to affect their weight loss, but no one I've talked to eats them on a consistent basis. Of course, men seem to be able to eat loads of points and have humongous weight loss each week regardless.
The bottom line is experiment and see what works for you. The leaders are great for advice, but it's not a one size fits all program and you have to find out at what point you can lose the pounds. Sometimes you need to change it up and use a few extra points or eat a few less if you aren't losing. I do agree that having the extra points does make the plan less restricting and helps you plan for an event or a larger meal.
Here are some sites that gives differing opinion on whether adding 49 additional weekly points works or not.
3 Fat Chicks
Blog to Lose
Less of a Better Me
Weight Watchers Forum