Six Small Tweaks to Keep On Track

Use these tips to stay within your Points Budget to help you lose weight.
Published February 22, 2018

Sometimes you just don’t have the time—or the motivation—to plan meals, and to keep your eye on the prize.

The following six tweaks can be applied to your current routine, whether you’re a little laid-back or a go-getter who never runs out of energy, to make sure you log more Blue-Dot days.

Keep (zero Points) food close

Laziness may determine food choice, suggests a study published in Appetite. Undergraduates at Saint Bonaventure University in New York were separated into three groups: one that sat with apple slices within reach and buttered popcorn roughly 6.5 feet away, one with the popcorn within reach and the apple slices 6.5 feet away, and one with both snacks within reach. Even though the participants told the researchers they preferred to eat the popcorn over the apples, they ate whatever was nearest them. And guess what else: participants ate 30 percent more apples when they were closer to them, consuming approximately 2.5 times fewer calories than those with popcorn at the ready.

Pass the cream and sugar station

Order all your drinks unsweetened—plain latte instead of flavoured, plain iced tea, plain coffee. Besides cutting the calories in your drinks, you will also save time—no stopping to tear open packets or pour in milk, or worse, cream.

Make water your go-to drink

Sure, we have all heard the advice about making sure we are drinking enough water, but this essential no-calorie fluid that makes our body hum can also assist the most lackadaisical to lose weight in two ways.

If you keep drinking water all day long, the extra calories you burn running to the bathroom contribute to your overall daily calorie burn. Not up to the frequent potty trips? Drinking one to two cups right before you eat may help you eat less at the meal.

Grab yogourt for breakfast

This is an easy, no-cook breakfast option that gives your body nearly 20 grams of protein, plus plain nonfat yogourt is a zero Points food. And the more protein the better, says research that found when a high-protein breakfast was consumed subjects stayed fuller longer, which may help keep the weight off.

Don’t drown your food

Bypassing dips and dressings can help shave off SmartPoints. Most creamy dips can rack up Points.

Choose alcohol or dessert, not both

If you start dinner with a glass of wine and end it with dessert, you've bookended your meal with extra SmartPoints. Consider that a glass of wine is 4 SmartPoints, and a half-cup of vanilla ice cream is 7 SmartPoints—if you have both, you consume 11 Points, or about