How to Snack Smart on Weight Watchers' "Beyond the Scale" Program

Weight Watchers' Beyond the Scale Program Is Challenging, but You Can Handle It.

Close-up of a boy's hand taking a peanut
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If you are following Weight Watchers, you know that monitoring calories are no longer a part of the process. Instead, you count Points. Each day, you have an allotted number of Points based on your gender, age, height, exercise level, and weight goal. Each week you have "Flex Points" that you can use in any way you choose. Exercise enough, and you earn more Points for food.

If you're losing weight, you have probably already realized that success comes down to finding foods that you can fit into your daily Points budget while still allowing yourself the occasional indulgence.

Things have gotten even tougher (for some folks) with the "Beyond the Scale" points system, which requires careful attention to every bite you eat.

What Makes "Beyond the Scale" so Challenging?

Many Weight Watchers members have worked hard to master the "Points" and "Points Plus" systems. They have their go-to favorites for meals, snacks, and treats--and they know exactly how many points they have available at the end of the day. The new system has kept some point counts the same, and even lowers points for certain types of foods (lean protein, for example). But other, ordinary foods that were once an "affordable" treat are now almost impossible to fit in--even every once and a while.

Here's how Weight Watchers describes the gist of the new "Beyond the Scale" approach:

  1. Calories set the baseline for how many SmartPoints a food is worth.
  2. We then factor in sugar and saturated fat (which raise the SmartPoints value)
  1. We also look at protein (which helps lower it)
  2. The goal: You'll start eating more fruits, veggies, and lean protein and less sugar and unhealthy fat. 

This all sounds great until you realize that a scoop of ice cream, a cup of rice, or a glass of wine can send your points count right through the roof!

Using Low Points Snacks to Manage Your Hunger

One key strategy for weight loss is hunger management. That's where snacks come in. If you wait until you're starving to eat, there's a good chance you'll overeat; if you snack mindfully between meals, though, you may never feel serious hunger pangs.

Whether you are looking for something sweet, crunchy or salty, you'll find a tasty treat here. The best part? These snacks are all worth 4 Points or less.

4 Points

  • Chex Mix, Traditional (1/2 c.)
  • Planter's cocktail peanuts (30)
  • Planter's dry roasted peanuts (35)
  • Cheerios Multi-Grain Cereal (1 cup)
  • Post Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds Cereal (3/4 c.)
  • Quest bars (most varieties)

3 Points

  • Apple slices with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Two stalks of celery with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • Broth-based vegetable soup (1 cup)
  • Enlightened brand ice cream bars (1 serving)

2 Points

  • Peanut butter banana roll ups
  • Enlightened brand chips (1 serving)
  • Egg (1)
  • Light microwaved popcorn (3 cups)

1 Point

  • Popcorn cake (1)
  • Hard candy (1)
  • Puffed wheat cereal (1 c.)
  • Gingersnap cookie (one small)
  • Fat-free hot dog (1)

0 Point

One of the best features of the Weight Watchers program is its huge array of zero point options. With a few exceptions, every fruit and vegetable you eat is a zero point treat.

That means that for zero points you can have an apple, a banana, a cup of grapes, a cup of strawberries, or a whole plate of crudites. Add a tablespoon of dip, and your hunger is history. It's very important, though, to remember the rule of moderation: a cup of cherries may be zero points, but a pound of cherries is a whole lot of calories!

To find more snacks your can work into your daily Points allowance, visit Calorie Counter and search for the nutritional information of your favorite foods, then calculate their Points value with your Points finder.

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