How to Choose Weight Watchers Snacks
Weight Watchers snacks are a key part of the popular diet program’s success. When you join Weight Watchers, no foods are off limits so you can choose to eat whatever you want between meals. But if you want to slim down effectively and keep the pounds from coming back, you’ll use approved Weight Watchers snack ideas and keep your SmartPoints values in line.
While you’re on the Weight Watchers program, you should calculate SmartPoints for your snacks and meals. You don’t bother with fat grams or calories. “The new SmartPoints plan makes healthier eating simple by translating complex nutritional information into one simple number,” says Laura Smith, Product and Food Program Innovation Manager at Weight Watchers.
Laura explains that each member has a daily SmartPoints target personalized to their weight, height, gender, and age. “We encourage members to plan for snacks to fit into their daily SmartPoints target goal.”
The specific formula for calculating SmartPoints values is available to members when they join. In general, snacks that are packed with good nutrition and low in empty calories are the best snacks for Weight Watchers. “The new plan nudges members toward a pattern of eating that includes more lean protein, fruits and vegetables, less sugar and less saturated fat.”
- Foods with higher amounts of sugar and saturated fats have higher SmartPoints values.
- Foods with higher amounts of protein have lower SmartPoints values.
- Many lean proteins like chicken and seafood are lower in SmartPoints values.
- Sweet treats like muffins, cookies and sugar-sweetened beverages are higher in SmartPoints.
- All fresh fruits and most vegetables are zero SmartPoints.
While you’re on the Weight Watchers Program, you can purchase snacks through the program or you can make your own. As you might expect, when you prepare your own snacks, you can save some money. But sometimes, the bars and treats provided by the company are the most convenient way to keep your diet on track.
If you’re looking for the best Weight Watchers snacks, consider these choices recommended by Laura:
- Chocolate Pretzel Blast Mini Bar (2 SmartPoints). Laura says this treat is best for dieters with a sweet tooth. You can purchase them at a Weight Watchers meeting or online and you don’t have to be a member of Weight Watchers to buy them.
- Sweet and Salty Toffee Twist Snack Bar (4 SmartPoints). If you like sweet treats but still enjoy a salty, crunchy treat at snack time, this bar might be best for you. Laura says that crunchy snacks and mini bars like these are fan favorites. You can buy them on Amazon.com, at the Weight Watcher site, or in meetings.
- Hummus Snack Packs (3 SmartPoints). This grab-and-go option comes with protein crackers so you get 8 grams of protein in each serving. And you can choose either a classic hummus flavor or a roasted red pepper style hummus for an extra kick.
- Air-popped Popcorn (2 SmartPoints per 2-cup serving). If you prefer to make your own snacks at home, popcorn is one of the best Weight Watchers snacks. Air popped popcorn is simple, convenient, and easy to carry. And if you don’t like plain popcorn, Laura recommends that you flavor it with a bit of coconut oil, sugar and cinnamon, or go savory with lime juice and chili powder to taste.
- Mini Packs of Peanut Butter or Almond Butter (6 SmartPoints). Many healthy eaters love peanut butter, but it’s easy to eat too much of it. So pre-portioned packs of nut butter are perfect Weight Watchers snacks. Brands like Justin’s provide mini packs that are easy to carry and provide just the right amount.
- Freeze-dried Fruit (1-2 SmartPoints per 1/4 cup serving). According to Laura, freeze-dried fruit can satisfy a sweet tooth and need for crunch. Eat a handful alone or sprinkle it on top of oatmeal or plain non-fat Greek yogurt for a heartier, flavorful snack. But she recommends that you steer clear of brands that have added sugar in the ingredient list.
- Homemade Ice Pops (2 SmartPoints per serving). This snack idea is perfect on a hot summer day when you need a refreshing snack. Laura recommends the recipe for Raspberry Yogurt Pops in the Weight Watchers Family Meals cookbook. Or you can make up your own recipe. Blend 2 cups fruit of your choice like banana, strawberries, and peaches in a food processor with ¼ cup of unsweetened almond milk, pour into ice pop molds and freeze for at least 4 hours. According to Laura, “you’ll have a refreshing snack easy to grab when you need it that doesn’t have added sugar or preservatives.”