Over 40% of Americans are obese. That is the highest it has ever been! Obesity is a huge health concern among doctors. Risk factors include osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, gallbladder disease, high cholesterol, stroke, and coronary heart disease.
Millions of Americans enroll in weight loss programs every year, hoping to shed the weight. One of the best-known programs is Weight Watchers, which has been around since the early 1960s. Weight Watchers steers you toward weight loss by creating a calorie deficit.
Aside from their regular point values, Weight Watchers recently released a group of what they call "Power Foods" as the plan's core. This Weight Watcher Power Food List has changed the plan for the better.
How Does it Work?
The central idea of the Weight Watchers program is a points value system. You are assigned a daily personalized points goal, and you track each food you eat, which is assigned a point value.
Fewer points are assigned to healthier, more filling foods, and less nutritious foods have a higher point value. Foods that are dense in nutrients with a lower point value allow you to eat more of them.
It's the goal of the program to help you make healthier choices.
How Are Power Foods Determined
Power foods are based on their energy density and their nutrients. Foods with high energy combined with low nutrients are usually not power foods. The most filling and healthiest foods are considered to be power foods.
For example, a donut would not be on the list. Foods that are low in calories, fat, and sugar will be at the top of the power foods list.
Why Do They Matter?
Power foods allow you to eat more with the points you are assigned each day. If you choose more power foods, you will lose weight quicker as they are lower in sugar, calories, and fat.
Most fruits and vegetables are zero points and considered a power food, meaning you can eat as much as you want.
What Foods Are on the List?
There are over 200 hundred foods to choose from, so you have plenty of options. Whole grain, such as millet and barley, is on the list. Though most vegetables are on the list, french fries do not make the list as they are cooked in high-fat oil.
Lean meats include chicken, fish, lamb, and even lean ground beef. Several non-fat dairy items make the list.
Power Food List
The following is a list of Weight Watchers Power Foods that all contain zero points. You can eat as many of these a day as you want.
Power Food Fruits
Fruits have always been considered off-limits in many diets as they can have a high glycemic index and a lot of sugar. But that isn't the case anymore for Weight Watchers.
Most fruits are now free of points and included in the power food list. Just not having to count points is a blessing in itself. Including fruit on the Weight Watchers Power Foods List is crucial because it gives people just starting a lot of choices.
Remember, there are those of us who haven't had a piece of fruit in our lives! So fruit respectfully gives people a chance to ease into healthy eating and still enjoy the flavor.
- Currants (Fresh)
- Dates (Fresh)
Fruits Not Included
- Dried Fruits
Power Food Vegetables
The same goes for plenty of vegetables that used to be considered taboo in dieting. Many are dense in carbs and sugar, but Weight Watchers had taken the time to rethink things.
Vegetables are incredibly important to a diet and not just green ones. Vegetables can be prepared in several tasty ways, and they are a great introduction for those of us who have always turned them away.
Not limiting them encourages people to explore their options when introducing vegetables to their diet.
- Winter Squash
- Snow Peas
- Water Chestnuts
- Summer Squash
- Hearts of Palm
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brussel Sprouts
- Leafy Greens
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Jerusalem Artichokes
- Bell Peppers
- Green Beans
Vegetables Not Included
- Pickled Vegetables
- Prepared Vegetables with other ingredients, like butter or oil
- French Fries
Power Food Legumes, Grains, Cereals & Rice
Beans and grains have always been an important part of a diet and offer many vegetarians other options. Beans have a large amount of fiber and protein and give sustenance to a diet.
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Canned & Dried Lentils
- Wild Rice
- Cream of Wheat
- Cream of Rice
- Brown Rice
Power Food Dairy
Though some dairy is full of fat and sugar, not all of it is! You can easily enjoy dairy as long as you stick to low fat or limit your portions. Some of us (like me) are milk addicts! I can't imagine not having milk in my life!
- Fat-Free Cottage Cheese
- Fat-Free or Light Yogurt
- Fat-Free Cheese
- Soy Milk
- Skim Milk
- Soy Yogurt
- Fat-Free Sour Cream
- Fat-Free Ricotta
- Low Fat Buttermilk
Power Food Lean Protein
Protein is a must in the diet as well. Even if you are vegan, you can still get plenty of your protein with beans and tofu or veggie burgers. And for those of us who eat meat, chicken and fish are excellent choices for packing full of protein.
- Black-Eyes Peas
- Vegetarian Burgers (less than 2 grams of fat)
- Fresh Fish |& Shellfish
- Kidney Beans
- Lean Beef
- Refried Beans
- Tofu Burgers (less than 2 grams of fat)
- Frozen Fish & Shellfish
- Split Peas
- Cannellini Beans
- Black Beans
Protein Not Included
- Fish With Breading
- Canned Fish or Shellfish
- Processed Meats (Ex Hot Dogs)
Power Food Breads
Slices of bread are not totally off-limits, and as you will see further down, I have listed several kinds of bread that can be enjoyed on the Weight Watchers plan.
- Flats & Thin Sandwich Bread
- Light Bread & Rolls
- Light English Muffins
- Light Hot Dog & Hamburger Rolls
- Whole Grain Bread
Power Food Soups
Low fat or lentil soups are very good on the Weight Watchers plan, and some don't have any points at all.
- Reduced/Low Sodium Broth
- Tomato and Vegetable Base Soups
Power Foods Desserts
Desserts don't have to just be jello! Fruit counts as well. And further down, I have provided some low-point cookies and snacks as well.
- Sugar-Free Jello
Power Food Condiments
Most of these condiments can be enjoyed without having to keep track of your serving.
- Fat-Free Mayonnaise
- Fat-Free Sour Cream
- Seasoning Blends
- Fat-Free Salad Dressings
- Cocktail Sauce
- Minced Garlic
- Flaxseed Oil (2 teaspoon)
- Sunflower Oil (2 teaspoon)
- Vanilla Extract
- Hot Sauce
- Sugar Substitutes
- Safflower Oil (2 teaspoon)
- Everyday Seasonings
- Canola Oil (2 teaspoon)
- Soy Sauce
- Taco Sauce
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Fresh Herbs
- Fat-Free Salsa
- Almond Extract
- Fresh Garlic
- Olive Oil (2 teaspoon)
- Steak Sauce
- Teriyaki Sauce
Food With Points
Aside from zero points food, there are Weight Watchers foods with a low point value that can be considered as well. And if we tried to live on only zero points foods, we would most likely be really hungry and have mad cravings.
With Weight Watchers, no food is totally off-limits. You don't need to subject yourself to nibbling on carrots or celery all day. As long as you don't overindulge, low-point foods can include cookies, chips, or a piece of cheese.
While eggs and bacon may be no points on Weight Watchers, they can get pretty boring if eaten every day. Sometimes a bowl of cereal is really what is needed to hit the spot.
There are several kinds of cereal you can enjoy on Weight Watchers. Just be sure to measure accordingly (by the cup) and add in the points for the amount of milk you are using.
Low Point Weight Watchers Cereals
- Quaker Puffed Rice Cereal. This is fat-free and sugar-free. One cup is 1 point.
- General Mills Kix Cereal. This childhood staple is only 4 points per 1¼ =3 cup.
- Cream of Wheat Original Cereal. This hot cereal is made with ground wheat and is 3 points for 3 Tablespoons.
- General Mills Cheerios. Another childhood favorite, this is 3 points for 1 cup.
- General Mills Fibre One. The original bran cereal is 2 points for a 1 cup.
For most of us, a cup of coffee is not only a great way to start the day, but it's even a relaxing afternoon drink as well. The majority of people put cream in their coffee, but that can also use up your points for the day.
If you can switch to a coffee creamer with lower points, you can use your points towards something else.
Low Point Weight Watchers Coffee Creamers
- Walden Farms Coffee Creamer. This is calorie-free and comes in yummy French Vanilla, Mocha, Hazelnut, and Original. 1 tablespoon is zero points.
- Coffee-Mate Fat-Free. This comes in two flavors for the fat-free: Vanilla and Hazelnut. They are creamy and full of flavor. 1 tablespoon is 1 point.
- Silk Original Coffee Creamer. This is dairy-free, full of sweetness, and has 1 point per 1 tablespoon
- So Delicious Coconut Creamer. This coconut milk creamer can be enjoyed in French Vanilla, Original, or Caramel. 1 tablespoon equals 1 point.
- Silk Almond Creamer. These are gluten and dairy-free and come in Sweet & Creamy, Vanilla Almond, Caramel Almond, and Hazelnut Almond. 1 point for 1 tablespoon
Salads are almost a given when it comes to Weight Watchers. They are generally zero points, and you can mix them up any way you like. But a salad on its own is pretty boring.
Salad dressings are something that you can still enjoy as long as you stick to low-point dressings. Yes, they do exist!
Low Point Weight Watchers Salad Dressing
- Ken's Steakhouse Balsamic Vinaigrette is gluten-free and has ⅓ fewer calories than most dressings, as well as 50 percent less fat. It's only 2 points for 2 tablespoon
- Skinnygirl Poppyseed Dressing. This is fat-free and sugar-free and is delicious with a burst of lemon and plenty of poppy seeds. It is zero points for 2 tablespoon
- Hidden Valley Greek Yogurt Dressings. These come in Spinach & Feta (yum), Ranch, Lemon Garlic, and Cucumber Dill. They are only 2 points per serving.
- Kraft Fat-Free Catalina Dressing. This is a sweet dressing with a tomato and spice flavor. It is only 2 points for 2 tablespoon
- Bragg Apple Cider Vinaigrette. This is fat-free, certified organic, and has only 1 point per 2 tablespoon
Peanut Butter is really good for you and does not have to be off-limits on Weight Watchers. It's packed with protein and can be used for way more than sandwiches alone.
Here is a list of Weight Watchers-friendly Peanut Butter.
Low Points Peanut Butter
- Tru-Nut Powdered Peanut Butter. This is gluten-free and vegan and comes in original as well as chocolate flavored. There is 1 point per 2 tablespoon
- Peter Pan Whipped Creamy Peanut Butter. This whipped variety is a few points less than non-whipped, which is interesting. It's still fairly low in points at 5 points per 2 tablespoon
- Nuts 'N More Peanut Butter Spread. This is becoming quite popular on Weight Watchers, and it's only 5 points for 2 tablespoon
- Spread the Love Naked Peanut Butter. This is organic, gluten-free, and vegan-free. It's 6 points for 2 tablespoon
- Lakanto Peanut Butter Powder. This is naturally sweetened with mono fruit. It's gluten-free and vegan-free and a lot sweeter than other peanut butter powders. It's only 1 point for 2 tablespoon
Protein Bars are just about everywhere, and they are a convenient and easy way to get in a meal. Thankfully, plenty of them are acceptable on the Weight Watchers plan, with plenty of flavors to choose from. Here are some Weight Watchers Protein Bars sure to help with your journey.
Low Points Protein Bars
- Quest Bars are arguably the most popular brand of protein bar out there. They are sold everywhere and come in a huge variety of flavors. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Birthday Cake, and Mint Chocolate Chunk, to name a few. They pack around 20g of protein! The point value averages around 4 or 5 per bar.
- Fiber One Protein Bars can be found in any supermarket, and they come in some yummy flavors, like Peanut Butter, Caramel and Cookies, and Creme. They contain 6 grams of fiber and work out to be about 5 or 6 points per bar.
- Protein One Bars (by Fiber One) are about 90 calories and pack 10 grams of protein. They can be found in Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter, and Strawberries & Cream. Each bar is only 2 points.
- Weight Watcher's Own Protein Bars. These can easily be found online, and they come in Snickerdoodle (sounds good!), Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Triple Chocolate. They have 7 grams of protein and are only 3 points per bar.
- GNC Lean Bars are sold in packages of 5 and boast 13 delicious flavors. Some include Blueberry Yogurt, Birthday Cake, and Lemon Meringue. Most bars contain 15 grams of protein and are between 5 and 6 points.
Who doesn't love bread? I know I do! But most bread has carbs, and carbs have always led to a lot of Weight Watchers points. However, that is not the case anymore.
There are plenty of different breads you can enjoy on Weight Watchers that are fairly low in points. Bread is not only good for sandwiches but toast.
Maybe you really love a piece of bread with your cereal or soup? There are also gluten-free options as well so everyone can enjoy that good old bread and (low fat) butter.
Weight Watchers Low Point Breads
- Weight Watcher Whole Wheat Bread. The company's own bread is only 1 point per slice!
- Pepperidge Farm Light Style Soft Wheat Bread. This is my favorite bread, hands down. It always has been. And it's only 1 point per slice.
- Nature's Own White Wheat Bread is just 2 points for one slice
- Brownberry Organic Thin Sliced Rustic White Bread. This is delicious bread and has 2 points per slice, but they are big slices!
- Schmidt Old Tyme 647 Wheat Honey Bread is only 1 point per slice.
Snacks are important as they keep us going through the day, whether it's a late afternoon burst of energy you need or something for a long trip. Cutting snacks out totally will only result in binge eating later on!
Each of the snacks listed is under 5 Weight Watchers points.
Five Points or Fewer Weight Watchers Snacks
- Simple Seven Hummus Chips. These have less than fifty percent fat than regular potato chips, include no artificial flavors, and are gluten-free. A 1 oz bag is 4 points.
- Yasso Toffee Caramel Bar or Yasso Chocolate Chip Frozen Greek Yogurt Bar. These bars are also gluten-free and are 5 points each.
- Hippeas Vegan White Cheddar Puffs. These come in various flavors, like bohemian barbecue, vegan white cheddar, and sriracha sunshine. A 1 oz bag is 4 points.
- Built Bars. These have gained popularity in Weight Watchers. They are delicious and come in several different flavors, including Orange Chocolate Creme, Mint Chocolate Creme, Double Chocolate Moose, and Coconut Chocolate. Each bar is 3 points.
- Skinny Cow Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream Bar. These bars are delicious and only 5 points for one bar.
- Pop Chips. These are gluten-free and come in Sour Cream and Onion, Sea Salt, and Barbecue. Each bag equals 3 points.
Just because everyone deserves a cookie, or two, I wanted to include them because no one should have to do without cookies!
As long as you carefully track the points and don't go overboard, you can enjoy them on Weight Watchers.
Low Point Weight Watchers Cookies
- Oreo Thin Crisps are a great low-calorie snack that you can easily take with you if you are on the go. They usually come in boxes of 6 bags. Each bag has 4 points.
- Annie's Bunny Shaped Grahams are organic and tasty and have only 3 points for about 20 pieces.
- Reko Pizzelle Dulce De Leche is an awesome Italian yummy that can be found in most grocery stores. They go great with coffee and are 5 points for six cookies.
- Murray Sugar-Free Shortbread Cookies. These also go great with a cup of coffee or tea. 4 points for five cookies.
- Mini Nilla Wafers. I grew up with these and they are still one of my favorites! These are 3 points for 10 cookies.
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