Healthy and effective nutrition plans are a lot like jeans—it can be hard to find the right fit, but once you do, it’s hard not to happily shake what your mama gave ya.
That’s why, year after year, Weight Watchers is easily one of the most popular diets out there. (Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it… and Oprah approves!)
The current Weight Watchers points system, called SmartPoints, assigns users a daily points target based on their current weight and goals. Each food is then assigned a points value, based on its nutritional makeup, and users are encouraged to track their intake online or via the Weight Watchers app.
You can look up pretty much every food in existence in the WW database—or calculate points on your own if an item is not listed.
By sticking to your daily points goals, the company says you’ll lose weight at a safe and healthy rate.
“I think the point system works for many people because it is a way to keep track of food intake and be able to compare foods based on nutrient quality, not just calories,” says registered dietitian Sonya Angelone, R.D.N., a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Sure, it may be a bummer to discover that one piece of chocolate cake weighs in at a whopping 25 points—especially if you’re striving to consume no more than 30 points daily. But there are lots of foods that won’t wipe out your entire points allowance in a single sitting, too.
“There are plenty of satisfying low-point foods,” Angelone says. “It’s all about flavour and how they are prepared.”
Need proof before committing to the plan? Here are five flavour-packed foods that come in at little (to absolutely no!) points.
Beyonce and Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be the only she-roes keeping hot sauce in their bags. It turns out that the spicy condiment comes in at zero points.
“Salsa, hot sauce herbs, and spices can liven up almost any food plan,” says Angelone, who suggests exploring different flavour varieties (think: chipotle, green pepper, and habanero) to find the right red hot for your tastebuds.
Okay, so it isn’t shocking that veggies are low in points, but get this: carrots, tomatoes, green beans, asparagus, broccoli, onion, leafy greens, and radishes all add up to zero (that’s right, ZERO!) points. So go crazy!
Just pay attention to how you cook them. After all, just because the veggies themselves are free of points, it doesn’t mean that olive oil you fry them in is!
And here’s another zero-pointer. Weight Watchers’ system guarantees that you can eat all the fruits you want without any point repercussions… although Angelone warns that there is such a thing as having too much. “Unlike vegetables, the calories in fruits can add up,” she says.
After all, fruit is rich in simple sugars, which, over time, add up. But unless you’re mowing down a whole apple tree every day, we wouldn’t worry about it.
Clocking in at only one point, hard-boiled eggs are a perfect protein-rich snack or add-on to otherwise low-protein meals.
So, for instance, when you do eat one of those zero-point apples, pair it with a hardboiled egg, and the protein will help to minimise any blood-sugar spikes as well as keep you feeling fuller, longer, explains Justine Roth, R.D.
We often think of bacon as an oily breakfast treat and, generally, a diet no-no. But Angelone notes that, with turkey bacon, you can take part in the bacon-everything zeitgeist and still stay true to your point system.
Five slices of turkey bacon, for instance, counts as a mere five points. That’s only one point per slice!
This article originally appeared on Women’s Health US.
Looking to get healthy this January? Don’t crash diet, read about how to lose weight well, and the best macros for fat loss.