5 ways to reduce the Points value of your favourite recipes

Points savings begin in the kitchen! Reduce the Points in home-cooked meals with these insider tips.
Published 23 September 2020 | Updated 7 October 2022

“Wait—it’s how many Points?!”

You can enjoy your favourite foods without compromising on your nutrition goals. Switching a few ingredients in your go-to meals can have a big impact on the Points value without sacrificing flavour. Here are some of our top swapping tips to help you build healthier meals.

One of our members’ favourite tools is the Recipe Builder because it lets you create and store your favourite recipes for quick tracking, and it’s super easy to use.

How the WeightWatchers® Recipe Builder can help you save Points

It’s a tool that’s included with your membership and available on the WW app. Instead of entering every single ingredient in a recipe every time you want to track it, you can do it once and track it in three easy taps. Here’s how to create a meal and build a recipe in the WW app:

  1. Tap on Search. You’ll see the bar at the top of the My Day screen in your WW app. There will be a row of options to scroll through—choose 'My Food'.

  2. Click 'Create'. Choose 'Recipes', then click 'Create'. Take note of this screen—your saved recipes will live.

  3. Add ingredients. Fill in the details of your recipe: Add a name, ingredients, and any steps you want to refer back to in the cooking process. Tap 'Create' in the upper right corner, track the recipe, and you’re all set!

Tips for reducing Points values

1. Dial up the ZeroPoint foods

If you’re building a big batch recipe in the app and are shocked by its Points value, try playing with the ingredient amounts. Bumping up the ZeroPoint ingredients (i.e. fresh fruits and vegetables)) will increase the dish’s volume without increasing its total Points value. Meaning? You'll get more portions with fewer Points per serving.

2. Use a little less

If there’s an ingredient you really love and don’t want to swap it out completely, just use a little less. For example, see how the Points change when you go from one cup of mozzarella to a half cup.

3. Lighten up an ingredient

To reduce the number of Points per serving without overhauling a recipe, try replacing one high-Points value ingredient with a lower version. For instance, try reduced fat mozzarella cheese instead of full fat varieties.

4. Reduce the serving size

It doesn’t take an award-winning chef or registered dietitian to see that smaller portions of even the richest foods deliver fewer Points. If you’re used to eating a full cup of pasta, for instance, try serving up two-thirds of a cup. The WW Recipe Builder allows you to input the number of servings in each dish; the more portions a recipe makes, the smaller each serving will be, and the fewer Points it will have.

5. Eat lighter earlier in the day

If you want chicken parma for dinner—in all its cheesy glory—that’s totally fair and totally doable. Start by figuring out how many Points you’ll need. Once you know that, you can work backward to figure out where you can save some Points from other meals throughout the day. (Remember, you can roll over up to four unused Points per day into your weekly budget! That’s what those weeklies are there for!)

Classic recipes made healthy

Traditional cheeseburger recipes can be up to 20 Points value per serve. WW’s version of the classic is healthier by using prosciutto, reduced-fat cheese and extra-lean beef mince.

Classic butter chicken recipes can be up to 16 Points per serve. WW’s version of the classic is healthier by using oil spray, 99% fat-free plain yoghurt and skinless chicken breast.

The family classic pasta bake recipes can be up to 25 Points value per serve. WW’s version of the classic is healthier by using less oil, less cheese and a tomato-based sauce.