Weight Watchers “Smart” Points

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Eat what you love, smarter! 

If you follow Weight Watchers, or are considering signing up (like Oprah has), you may have heard the buzz. Weight Watchers has announced a new program – and a new “points” system. The new program has been designed not only to encourage weight loss, but better health and well-being.

As a dietitian, supporter of the Weight Watchers program – and especially of all of my wonderful weight watcher kochbook friends – I am excited to say that not only do I love what I am seeing, but that my books and recipes fit fantastically with the new program!

Here’s the skinny:

1. New “SmartPoints™” values are based on calories, saturated fat, sugar, and protein. PointsPlus® instead were based on the total amount of fat, carbs, fiber and protein in a food or recipe.

2. With SmartPoints™, after considering calories, the amount of muscle maintaining protein contained in a food lowers the point value, while empty calorie sugars and unhealthy sat fat increase SmartPoints™.

3. Good-for-you fruits and non-starchy veggies are still 0 points, but now (unlike previously) they also add 0 points value when added to a recipe (unless they are blended, like in a smoothie).

4. The great news is that my recipes have always been low in calories, fat (especially sat fat) and added sugars! Even better, after calculating over a dozen of my recipes “the smart way” the point value for lean meat entrees, especially those that have a lot of veggies, are actually less points than before! The Bourbon Chicken Stir-Fry recipe in my newest book for example was 5 PlusPoints, but is only 3 SmartPoints™ (for 1 ½ cups!). All of my non-starchy veggie sides, salads, and many of the soups in my books will also actually have LESS points when converted to SmartPoints™! Desserts that are heavy in fruit, like the Easiest-Ever Fresh Blueberry Pie or Easy Apple Pie Pastry Squares (also from my upcoming book Eat What You Love Quick & Easy), will have no change in point value, but alas other desserts will have more points (though not nearly the jump traditional desserts will have!). The bottom line is WW is encouraging members to eat, not just less, but healthier, and that is a good thing.

5. Will my new book have SmartPoints™? Unfortunately, the new program details were unveiled too late to make the switch, but no worries, I have you covered! A Smart Point Comparison supplement will be available on my website. I will also start adding Smart Point Comparison points to all recipes starting today and work backwards starting with those on the website.

6. Converting PointsPlus® or Plus Point Comparisons to SmartPoints™. There are 2 ways to do so. The first way is to use the recipe builder on the WW website. The second way is to use a a SmartPoints calculator with the information provided on my recipes (which all include values for saturated fat and sugar). Do remember however that the full nutritional value of fruits and all vegetables are included in the nutritional information which will increase the SmartPoint value when compared to using the recipe builder (or when comparing your results to mine).

Dare to Compare! Be sure check out my Guilt-Free Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip. It still has just 2 points per ¼ cup serving instead of the usual 8 found in the traditional recipe (or the crazy 34 points in an order of Applebee’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip!)

Questions? Feel free to “Ask”, and be sure to sign up for my monthly newsletter for more information, my monthly drawing, and recipes!

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