I love sushi. I can't imagine life without it. I'm also a lifetime Weight Watcher. You might think that Weight Watchers and trips to your favorite sushi restaurants are incompatible. You'd be wrong!
With the Weight Watchers Point System, every food you love can be part of the menu including sushi. It's about learning to manage your daily points budget and making smart choices from the option of sushi menu items that work for you and your weight loss.
How Many Calories & Weight Watchers Points Is Sushi?
Which sushi you order will have a big impact on the calories and WW Points value you consume. Did you know that many specialty sushi rolls share the caloric value and total fat of a burger from your favorite fast food restaurant? Obviously NOT an excellent choice when you are watching your waistline!
You'll want to stay away from spicy/crunchy/mayo/sauce options or be prepared for the higher calorie content associated with these high fat and deep fried choices.
There are even significant calorie differences between a spicy tuna roll and a non-spicy one.
And with Personal Points, WW New Points Plan, there can be points variation from person to person depending on ones customized zero point foods list. This is a departure from the original points system that offered no personal customization.
Which Sushi Rolls Are High in Calories?
Rolls with the some of the highest calorie counts include:
- Those including crispy tempura batter dripping with oil
- "Spicy Rolls" laden with chili spiked mayonnaise
- Philadelphia cream cheese rolls (300-350 calories and 13 Personal Points: 8 pieces)
- Spicy tuna rolls (300-350 calories and 9 Personal Points)
- Shrimp Tempura Roll (450-500 calories and 10 Personal Points: 6 pieces)
- Eel Roll with high sugar sauce (350-400 calories and 9 Personal Points: Typical 6-piece sushi roll)
- Dragon Roll (450 calories and 8 Personal Points: 1 roll)
- Spider Roll (400 calories and 10 Personal Points: 6 pieces)
- Dynamite Roll (370 calories and 8 Personal Points: 1 roll)
What Sushi is Good on Weight Watchers? Is sushi OK for weight loss?
Absolutely. Consider this: Just 3.6% of the Japanese are obese with a BMI over 30 compared to 32% of those of us here in the United States.
The traditional Japanese diet consists of high consumption of vegetables with their associated dietary fiber, soybean protein, fresh fish such as sashimi and sushi (fish atop a small mound of rice that has been gently flavored with rice vinegar.)
The Japanese clearly demonstrate how sushi can be the basis of a healthy eating pattern. So it's a good idea to order traditional sushi when you're wanting to eat healthy.
Traditional Japanese Sushi Approximate Calories & WW Points
Sashimi: Thin slices of fresh raw fish. A typical piece of salmon sashimi has about 36 calories. If not a ZeroPoint food on your plan, 4 pieces of salmon sashimi are about 7 PersonalPoints. (For some Weight Watchers fish is a zero points food.)
Nigiri: An oval-shaped mound of rice with a slice of (usually) raw fish on top. A typical piece of salmon nigiri has about 37 calories and 1-2 Personal Points.
Maki: The original sushi roll consisting of sushi rice and fish or vegetables wrapped in nori (seaweed). These don't have as much rice as some of the fancy specialty rolls. A typical make roll consists of 6 small pieces. One piece of traditional maki roll has 20-28 calories. An entire salmon maki roll 6 Points.
Hand Rolls: A cone-shaped roll of rice, fish and vegetables wrapped in nori. A typical tuna hand roll has 140 calories and 3 to 4 WW Points.
So what should you eat the next time your are out at your favorite sushi bar or Japanese sushi restaurant?
Lowest Calorie Sushi Rolls / Low SmartPoints Value Choices include:
- Vegetarian Avocado Rolls (150-175 calories and 8 Personal Points) ( one of my favorite low-cal vegetarian rolls)
- Avocado Cucumber Rolls (175-225 calories and 4 Personal Points)
- California Rolls (175-225 calories and 6 Personal Points)
- Nigiri Sushi 6 Pieces (150-160 calories and 4-6 Personal Points)
- Sashimi 4 Pieces (150-170 calories and 0-6 Personal Points)
- Rainbow Roll (450-500 calorie and 10-14 Personal Points: 8 pieces)
- Salmon Avocado Roll (300-325 calories and 6-8 Personal Points: 8 pieces)
- Tuna Roll (175-200 calories and 4 Personal Points)
Good Appetizer Choices
Miso Soup: A traditional Japanese soup made primarily of miso paste (affiliate link), dashi (broth), and additional ingredients such as vegetables, seaweed, and tofu. A 1-cup serving has about 85 calories and 2 WW Personal Points.
Edamame: These steamed pods of soybeans are tasty healthy way to take the edge off your hunger. They are high fiber, low fat and good protein. The pods take time to open and pop in your mouth too. Each 1 cup serving has approximately 120 calories and 2 WW PersonalPoints.
Sunomono - Japanese cucumber salad that typically includes cucumber and wakame seaweed tossed in a sweet & tangy dressing. A ½-cup serving has about 35 calories and 1 WW Point.
Seaweed Salad - This Japanese Seaweed Salad (a.k.a. "wakame") is perfect when paired with a tray of sushi, or your favorite Asian soup! Each standard serving has 65 calories and 1 WW Point.
More Ideas for Eating Sushi While Avoiding Weight Gain
- Order rolls without rice
- Choose a cucumber wrap (Naruto style)
- Substitute brown rice which is a whole grain for white rice
- Avoid the extra sauces with lots of fat and calories like eel sauce which has 42 calories per tablespoon. and Spicy Sauce which is mayonnaise mixed with Asian hot sauce which has 99 calories in a single tablespoon.
- Wasabi and Pickled ginger add just 1 Weight Watchers Point while providing good flavor.
- Opt for low sodium soy sauce (with the green lid) instead of regular (with the red lid)
- Have a simple house salad with ginger dressing, always a good choice.
How Much Sushi Should I Eat in a Sitting?
It's always good to do some pre-planning before you arrive at the restaurant. Check with the WW App food list to verify the points values of your favorite sushi options so you have a game plan ahead of time.
A friend at a WW Meeting had the same issue a few weeks ago and chose the following:
- Sashimi. All 0 points for her.
- Miso soup. 1 cup = 2 points.
- Edamame. Steamed with sea salt and it’s delicious and 0-2 points.
- Nigiri. She wanted a little bit of rice and this was great because 4 pieces of salmon nigiri was only 2 points.
This, with sashimi, soup, and edamame and she was satisfied for very low points.
More Sushi Calorie & WW Points FAQs
How Many Weight Watchers Points in a California Roll?
A typical California Roll has 6 Personal Points.
How many WW Points is Sashimi?
If fish is 0 Points for you on the WW new system then sashimi would be 0 Points. If fish isn't one of your Zero Points foods 4 pieces of salmon sashimi is 7 Points.
What is considered one sushi roll?
If you order a roll at most sushi restaurants, you will be given a 6-8 piece serving, typically considered one roll, as a meal.
How Many WW Points is an Avocado Roll?
The avocado roll, with 4 Personal Points values, is also a great choice. These low-cal vegetarian rolls make a good follow-up to sashimi for a filling meal.
How Many Calories is in 8 Pieces of Sushi?
There are approximately 300 calories in 8 pieces of sushi. Of course there will be some variation depending on the sushi you choose.
How Many Calories is One Roll of Sushi?
That depends on the type of sushi roll, size of the sushi roll and even who made the sushi roll. For example a traditional tuna maki roll could be as low as 160 calories, a shrimp tempura roll could have 450-500. That's a huge variation.
What is the lowest calorie sushi?
Some of the lowest calorie sushi options include salmon, shrimp, albacore, mackerel or scallop nigiri and a more traditional roll such as tuna maki, cucumber or California.
Is sushi a healthy lunch?
Sushi can be a quick & healthy lunch time meal, especially when your order comes with vegetables and lean proteins food in fish which keep you fueled for hours. But your meal can quickly become carbohydrate and fat and calorie heavy depending on the roll you choose.
Grocery store sushi can be also be a good option for a quick and healthy lunch relatively low in WW Points.
Is sushi better than fast food?
Sushi can be a better choice than fast if you choose healthy types of sushi.
Healthy low calorie, low points options would include tuna sashimi, salmon sashimi, yellowtail sashimi. Nigiri sushi, and hand rolls, which have less rice, more protein and no cream cheese, mayo or fried crunchy bits are also good menu options. Another good pick would be one of the healthiest sushi rolls: a tuna maki roll or a California roll. Side options like miso soup and edamame are another good pick.
How Many Weight Watchers Points is Sake?
Sake is a popular beverage option when eating sushi. According to WW there are 6 Personal Points in 4 ounces of sake, while a 3 ounce saketini cocktail has 7 Points.
MAKING WW FRIENDLY SUSHI AT HOME VIDEO
In this great video from Nikki Gets Fit, Nikki and Adam show you how to make WW friendly sushi at home.
Weight Watchers Sushi Recipes
I would eat it sushi all of the time if it wasn’t so expensive or difficult to come by. I spend part of my year in rural northern Wisconsin, more than 50 miles from the closest sushi restaurant or Chinese food.
That's when I’ll make an easy variation of it at home with one of my favorite WW Friendly Sushi Inspired Recipes. You can get all the flavors of sushi for a lot less money and minimal effort when you deconstruct the sushi and serve it in a bowl 🙂
California Roll Bowl - If you love sushi but don’t want the hassle of making it, you should try this California Roll Bowl!
It has all the flavors of a California roll but it’s much easier to make. Just chop everything up and add it to the bowl! (Keeping On Point)
California Roll in a Bowl - If you’re craving sushi, this California Roll in a Bowl is a simple way to get your fix! Creamy crab salad is mixed with crunchy cucumber and fresh avocado, all served on top a tangy rice-cauliflower combo. The perfect hearty, no-cook meal or the summer. (Lite Cravings)
California Roll in a Bowl with Cauliflower Rice - Even sushi skeptics can appreciate the classic California roll, thanks to the cooked crab (no raw fish here) and yummy avocado. We swapped out carby white rice for cauliflower rice, and served up the whole thing in a bowl… No sushi rolling skills necessary! (Hungry Girl)
Spicy California Shrimp Stack - These EASY, Spicy California Shrimp Stacks will satisfy your sushi craving, and they taste SO GOOD! Layered with cucumber, avocado, shrimp and brown rice (instead of sushi rice), then topped with a spicy mayo – YUM! (SkinnyTaste)
Spicy Shrimp Sushi Bowls - As much as I love sushi, it's one of those things I never make at home. Honestly, I think I am just a bit too lazy for all the rolling and precise knife work involved. However these quick and easy spicy shrimp sushi bowls are a whole other story. They are so easy to make and taste seriously delicious. Plus they can easily be customized to include all your favorite sushi flavors. (Slender Kitchen)
Easy WW Cucumber Salad - A super simple, flavorful, low calorie recipe, this Weight Watchers Cucumber Salad is a quick and easy version of the sunomono salads often served in Japanese sushi restaurants. Each serving has 0 Points. (Simple Nourished Living)
Sushi Salad with Wasabi Soy Dressing - If you like the flavors of sushi, you are going to love this sushi salad! A wasabi soy dressing tops arugula, smoked salmon and pickled ginger for a fantastic meal. (Cookin' Canuck)
Lazy Sushi - No lie….this is one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. Personally, I’m not a huge sushi fan, but my husband loves it. Last summer we were in Grand Haven and he got me to try a bite of his sushi. For the first time I actually liked it. Probably because there was a fried shrimp in it. Fried food = yum!! Instead of frying the shrimp I decided to bake it. It was still delicious!! Especially with the spicy mayo. (Keeping On Point)
If you like this Guide to Sushi Calories & Weight Watchers Points, you might also like:
- 101 Essential Weight Watchers Links & Resources
- A Lifetime Weight Watchers Guide to Intermittent Fasting
- Weight Watchers Favorite Frozen Foods
- Skinny Cream Cheese Shrimp Cocktail Dip Recipe
- WW No-Cook Tex-Mex Shrimp Roll Recipe
*Points® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
Martha is the founder and main content writer for Simple-Nourished-Living.
A longtime lifetime WW at goal, she is committed to balancing her love of food and desire to stay slim while savoring life and helping others do the same.
She is the author of the Smart Start 28-Day Weight Loss Challenge.
A huge fan of the slow cooker and confessed cookbook addict, when she's not experimenting in the kitchen, you're likely to find Martha on her yoga mat.
This post contains affiliate links to products I like. When you buy something through one of my Amazon links or other (affiliate links), I receive a small commission that helps support this site. Thank you for your purchase!
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What a great post! Much needed & very appreciated!