If you’ve attended a Weight Watchers meeting anytime within the last seven years, you know about their Flex weight loss program. (They also offer what’s known as a “Core” plan, but that’s for another article).
How it Works
Weight Watchers‘ popular Flex program is based on spending down points. Each food has a point value which you spend whenever you eat it.
For example, each day I have 24 points to spend within 24 hours. (This number is based on my weight. If you weigh less, you have fewer points, while if you’re heavier, you get more points because your body requires more fuel to burn fat.
Like an Allowance
I like to think of it as an allowance I deposit in my food checking account. Each time I spend a point, I subtract it from my “checkbook,” narrowing the points down as I go throughout my day.
Just as money, I have to be careful not to spend all my points at one time. (However, the beauty of points program is that if you do find yourself in an awkward situation, you can use your points and still be safe.
Subtracting the Points
For example, once we were guests at a friend’s house and they offered pizza. Although the pizza was loaded with calories, I took a slice, subtracting the points, feeling good I didn’t blow my diet that day.
I try not to spend 20 points at a breakfast smorgasbord, only to have four points left for the rest of the day. A good balance is to divide it up into about 5 points for breakfast, 5 for lunch, and 10 for dinner, totaling 20 points.
That leaves me with four remaining points for snacks. I don’t know about you, but it’s after dinner I usually get in trouble as all those high point goodies call my name as I chill out in front of the television set.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are tons of tasty, low point snacks that can fill you up, satisfying your cravings. Why not reach for a 2 point snack food, such as a granola bar, rather than a piece of pecan pie?
A 2-point food is around 100 calories, with about 1 gram of fat and 1 or more grams of dietary fiber; a 1-point food is roughly 50 calories.
100 calorie snacks
Just about any grocery store now features the 100 calorie snacks, ranging from cheese nips to oatmeal cookies. The key is moderation. I can’t handle a box of chips or cookies.
But I can handle an individual packet worth about 2 points (or 100 calories.) I’m also thankful for the 100 calorie mini popcorn bags, as I hated having to calculate the points for a regular bag. Of course, you need to be careful to check labels to determine the exact number of calories, fat grams, and grams of carbs.
Here’s a Rundown of Some of My Favorite Low Point Snacks
Low-fat ice cream bars, any 100-calorie packet food, Jello non-fat pudding (individual cups), fat-free Yogurt cups, granola bars (check labels as some are more calories.), reduced calorie dairy shake, ¾ cup of low-fat cereal (again, check labels for specifics).
Going even lower (1 point or less)
Most fruits, one tablespoon of low-fat peanut butter, most veggie burgers, ¼ cup fat-free cottage cheese, two slices of fat-free cheese.
Less than a point (less than 50 calories, be sure not to go over 50 calories for a total.)
Fat-free, sugar-free Jello cups, diet soda (0), sugar-free Popsicle’s, 40-calorie fudge pops, Wasa crackers, Rice cakes.
This list is just a start. At your local Weight Watchers’ meetings, I’m sure you can discover many more low point snacks as you continue to drop those pounds in time for the holidays.