Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What are Food Points, and How Do I Use Them?

Before I started keeping track of what I ate, a friend talked to me about how many "points" she consumed everyday. I was at a loss by what she meant by "points", but after learning about the point system it made a lot of sense to me. It has helped me to choose healthier foods and snacks and to better monitor my eating habits.
You begin by finding out how many points your body requires each day. This process can take a bit of effort for those who aren't reading this blog. :) I have added easy tools to this web site so you can come back to again and again to determine how many points your body needs and how many points are in the foods that you eat.
Across the top of the page, you will find a "Points Calculator" and an "Allowed Points Calculator". Begin by calculating how many points your body requires by using the "Allowed Points Calculator". Once that is complete, you have the number of points you body requires each day. You should revisit this calculator as your inputs change (for example: lower weight or more activity).
After figuring out how many points your body requires, you should use the "Points Calculator" to determine how many points you are consuming in the foods you choose to eat.
This system really helps to keep you mindful of what you are eating. Now instead of going for the potato chips, I choose healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, or other foods that have very few, if any points at all.
This information may be useful when you see the points that I have provided on the recipes published on this site.
In the end, it's all about making healthy choices. Whenever you make healthy choices you will feel better both physically and mentally. This is not to say that sometimes I don't completely blow it by selecting the "not-so-good-for-me" foods and desserts; but that's ok. You can always start again and it won't take long for you to have found so many low-point foods to eat that you seldom feel the need to reach for that chocolate cake or bag of chips.