Food & Nutrition

Is it worth the SmartPoints®?

Asking that question can help you make smart food choices everyday. Here’s how to work out the answer.

Is it worth the SmartPoints?


Fact: you make more than 200 food-related decisions every single day, some of them without even thinking about it. Many of those decisions come easily and consciously – choosing a banana instead of an apple for your morning snack, scheduling lunch with a friend, making a last-minute stop at the supermarket to pick up salad ingredients for dinner.

But some decisions are tougher. What if there’s a plate of muffins in the work kitchen, or your friend suggests Thai for lunch, or the supermarket has a special on choc chip cookies? It’s at times like these, when you’re presented with unexpected decisions, that it can be useful to ask yourself: is it worth the SmartPoints?

The fact is, every food you decide to eat, whether it’s a treat or a healthy food, should be worth the SmartPoints spend – whether for health or pleasure. Here are a few tips to help you do the maths. An individual food or meal doesn’t have to hit every mark, but it’s worth asking yourself:


Is it necessary to spend them?

And we don’t just mean whether you can afford them. Ask yourself whether it’s worth spending 3 SmartPoints on 3 teaspoons of olive oil when you’re roasting some vegies, when you could just spend 1 SmartPoints value with a couple of quick sprays of oil, and wind up with the same result. In other words, think about how you can lower your SmartPoints spend without affecting the flavour.


Can I afford it?

It’s all well and good to eat something because you know you’ll enjoy it, but it also needs to fit in with your weight-loss plan. Make sure that you’ve budgeted for the food in your daily or weekly SmartPoints Budget. If you can’t afford it then choose an alternative or give it a miss and plan for next time.


Does it taste good?

It’s not worth eating something if it doesn’t hit the mark in terms of how it tastes. It’s less likely to be satisfying and you could have spent the SmartPoints on something more delicious. So don’t just eat for the sake of eating – every mouthful should be enjoyable and worth every bite. Sometimes that will mean swapping diet or low-fat versions of foods for the real thing. It’s just a matter of eating less, while really relishing the taste.


Is it better than another choice?

Foods in the same ‘category’ aren’t created equal. If you trade a ½ cup of white, boiled pasta for the same amount of the wholemeal variety, you’ll spend the same 3 SmartPoints, but will feel fuller for longer. Plus you’ll squeeze in some wholegrains, too.


One last point to ponder: It also pays to ask, ‘Is this food worthy of me?’ You might eat something because you don’t want to waste it, or because it’s there, or because someone else is eating the same thing. But what does that say about your attitude towards your body? Always try to give it the high-quality fuel it deserves!