Healthy Point Options for Dining Out

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Weight Watchers dining out points are tools designed to help dieters make wise choices while ordering in their favorite restaurants. This resource is perfect for dieters who enjoy eating out, even when their choice of restaurant includes fast food establishments.

The Point System

Weight Watchers points is an approach to selecting food items on an individualized basis. Dieters use their personal information, including height and weight to establish how many points they are allotted each day. No foods are off limits, but they are to be eaten in moderation, according to their point value.

For example, one slice of chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory has:

  • 1090 calories
  • 72 grams of fat
  • 102 grams of carbohydrates
  • 3 grams of fiber

This cheesecake is almost 8 times as many points at a much lighter alternative: hand-dipped cookie dough ice cream from TCBY, which has:

  • 160 calories
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 17 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0 grams of fiber

Foods that are higher in fat and calories are naturally allotted higher points.

Weight Watchers Dining Out Points

The system is an integral part of the Weight Watchers diet plan. Many dieters make common mistakes when eating out, including selecting items that appear to be healthy that actually contain high levels of fat and calories. Among the most deceptive are salads. The point system is ideal for helping diners make the right choices.

Finding information about the number of points in items offered in favorite restaurants is relatively easy, but it is necessary to calculate your points on an individual basis. Once you have established the number of points that you can have and still lose (or maintain) weight, the Weight Watchers dining out points are of great help.

Where to Find Point Values

Finding point values for restaurant menu items online is simple. One of the best resources is Dottie's Weight Loss Zone. This site offers a comprehensive list of popular restaurants along with the point values for many of the menu items in each respective establishment. The list runs the gamut from 1 Potato 2 through Zuzu.

Fast Food

Every now and again dieters are faced with last minute stops at fast food restaurants. This can be one of the most challenging obstacles in the decision-making process. Healthy options are available in these establishments.

  • Arby's
    • Swiss melt
    • Arby's melt
    • Grilled chicken filet sandwich
    • Santa Fe chicken salad with no dressing
  • McDonald's
    • Grilled southwest chicken salad
    • Fruit and walnut salad
    • One cheeseburger
    • Four-piece McNugget
  • Wendy's
    • Cesar chicken salad with no dressing
    • Junior hamburger
    • Ultimate chicken grill sandwich
    • Large chili

Dressings and Dips

One thing to keep in mind is the fat and calorie content of dressings. For example, one packet of bleu cheese from Wendy's has more points than are found in a McDonald's cheeseburger. Dips can be fattening components as well, with some having upwards of 7 points.

Don't Forget Beverages

A major pitfall for dieters is the tendency to drink high calorie beverages. Before ordering anything besides water or unsweetened tea consider that one vanilla iced coffee or one large Coke Classic from McDonald's has the same number of points as an entire grilled southwest chicken salad.


Applebee's is a great place to order if you are counting points since the restaurant has specific items that show point value. Unfortunately, the restaurant chain has many locations that no longer offer low fat menus because of a lawsuit against Applebee's over misinformation about fat and calorie content in some of their meals.

The misinformation was not slight, as the following indicates:

  • Cajun lime tilapia was listed as having 6 grams of fat, was found to have 12 grams.
  • Italian chicken portabella sandwich listed on the menu with 6 grams of fat, tested at 18 grams of fat.

This disheartening news may have many dieters reeling over the choices they make while eating out.

Healthy Choices

In spite of the Applebee's conundrum, Weight Watchers dining out points can help many diners make healthier choices at their favorite restaurants. The guide is a real wake-up call to many who go out to eat frequently, especially ones who think they are making wise choices.

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Healthy Point Options for Dining Out