The Points Diet
- Foods low in calories and fat, but also high in fiber, will have fewer points than higher-calorie food. Generally, when you follow the Points System Diet, you will track your points in a journal to make sure you don't go over your daily allotted points.
Everyone has a different amount of allotted points per day. Daily point allotments are calculated based on your weight, age, height, activity level, gender and whether or not you're a breastfeeding mom. A slightly overweight woman who has a low activity level might expect to have about 25 points a day. Weight Watchers recommends using your allotted points every day. When you don't eat all of your points, you might not get adequate nutrition, which could set you up for weight loss failure.
Those on the Points Diet are also encouraged to eat certain food from the basic food groups. These foods are still accounted for in your daily points, though. Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables, two to three servings of milk, two servings of oil, six glasses of water and two servings of lean protein. The program also emphasizes whole grains.
A benefit to the Points Diet is that, though the plan emphasizes healthy food choices, you can still eat what you want, as long as you're counting points. For instance, you could have a few sodas a day (three points per 12 ounces) or a large, calorie-laden meal and probably still lose weight--as long as you stay within your points. However, Weight Watchers recommends focusing on more healthy, filling foods to keep hunger at bay throughout the day.
In addition to your daily points, when you follow this diet, you also have weekly allowance points. You can use these points any way you like. For instance, you could use them all in one day for a special night out. Or, you could choose to spread them throughout your week.
You can also earn activity points by exercising. Activity points are based on how long you exercised and how much you exerted yourself. For instance, a 30-minute walk on the treadmill could earn you one or two extra points for the day, depending on your weight and how fast you were walking. You can use these points only on the day you earned them; activity points don't accumulate. Or you can choose not to use your activity points and lose weight a little faster.