PointsPlus® Values: Breaking the Code

Menu math can be perplexing. How much will that chicken marsala cost you? When is salad not a good deal? What if you don't have your Pocket Guide handy? Here's help!
PointsPlus Value SurprisesTopic Of the Week

Part of what makes the PointsPlus plan so versatile is the fact that you control your food choices. Whether you’re a newbie or veteran, though, you’re bound to encounter some curveballs with PointsPlus values, especially with takeout foods that don't have nutritional info listed, or restaurant meals, or your mom's famous spinach pie.

So how do you figure out how many PointsPlus values to track for a serving of, say, that famous lasagna from the Italian place downtown?
a) Snap and Track in the Mobile app
b) Portion estimating
c) PointsPlus Tracker on the Mobile app
d) Pocket Guide
e) All of the above
Answer: e. Any of these will help you make a reasonable guess. Even if it’s not precise, it’s better than no guess.

Here's why knowing the score pays off:
You avoid unpleasant surprises (and enjoy pleasant ones!)
If you don't check the PointsPlus value of a food before you choose it for a meal or snack because you think it might “cost” you too much, you might be missing out. Not all foods that might seem “bad” based on your assumptions are true PointsPlus hogs. And you might also be opting for “healthy” choices that are anything but! For instance, a main-course salad — with its generous bed of leafy greens, colorful chopped veggies and protein in the form of eggs, chicken or shrimp, for instance — might seem like a sensible default choice when you’re eating out. But other add-ins like cheese, bacon, croutons and creamy dressing — even in small amounts — can result in a PointsPlus value of 20 or more! A small slice of plain pizza, meanwhile, clocks in at an entirely reasonable PointsPlus value of 5, cheese and all.

You can create a go-to list of options
At your meeting this week, your Leader will ask you to come up with snacks for 2 to 5 PointsPlus value, as well as meals that come in under 10 PointsPlus value. The snack list could include such varied items as a regular store-bought chocolate chip cookie with a PointsPlus value of 3, a small handful of almonds with a PointsPlus value of 5, or a half-cup of carrot sticks for a PointsPlus value of zip. Dinners can span a quick Nicoise salad for 4 PointsPlus value to spaghetti with meat sauce for 10. With a wide range of choices, you're never at a loss (literally!) for PointsPlus values!

You can plan ahead
Take a few minutes now to look up the PointsPlus values of some foods you might want to incorporate into your meals and snacks this week. Did the numbers surprise you? Will you change your menu based on what you found?

More help with PointsPlus values:

Dining Out Detective
At that fancy Italian place, you’re facing a dish of chicken marsala, or a creamy panna cotta dessert. How can you figure out what your portion costs? See how to unravel the mystery of the Untrackables and make good guesstimates of PointsPlus® values.
When it comes to finding out the PointsPlus values for food and drinks, you have a host of options at your fingertips whether you’re home, at a restaurant, or shopping: your Pocket Guide, the PointsPlus Tracker, Shop and Eat Out guides, Cheat Sheets, and the mobile app — including the Barcode Scanner, your supermarket expert.
Frozen Choc PB Banana Cookie Bites
Sweet Bliss
So much for so little (just 2 PointsPlus value per serving): Frozen Chocolate-Peanut Butter Banana Cookie Bites are a luscious summer treat.
Next week’s meeting topic:
Is it possible to have fun with friends or family — and not eat? Sure it is! Try these smarter ways to socialize.


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