|1. Eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits each day.|
|2. Choose whole-grain foods, such as brown rice and oats, whenever possible.|
|3. Include two servings of milk products – low fat (1%) or fat-free – each day.|
|4. Have some healthy oil (olive oil, canola, sunflower, safflower or flaxseed) each day.|
|5. Ensure that you are getting enough protein by choosing at least a serving or two of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, or dried beans each day. Many dairy products are also good sources of protein.|
|6. Limit added sugar and alcohol.|
|7. Drink at least 6 8-ounce glasses of water a day.|
|8. Take a multiple vitamin-mineral supplement each day.|
If you actually follow these, you have to spend a serious chunk of your points allowance on them. For example:
- 2-3 servings of fat-free or lowfat dairy, 2+ points
- 2 servings of oils, 2 points
- lean protein, 3-6 points
- 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables, 2 points
I find it hard to do all of these every day, though. The one I consistently fail on is the dairy servings. I get maybe one serving a day.
Personally, I don't want more structure. I think that tracking points and trying to stay within the allowances is difficult enough. I think that as you follow the plan, you learn that a Pop Tart for breakfast isn't going to satisfy you as much as an egg and some wholegrain toast. I try to focus on real food and avoid all the processed diet products. Even if they're low in points, they don't satisfy me or seem very healthy.
But if someone wants to spend all of their daily points on pumpkin fluff, that's their choice. I'm keeping my eyes on my own paper.