What is the Points Diet? Benefits and risks


The points diet, like any diet, provides various benefits but is not without risks, later on we will explain in detail everything related to this diet.

Its name already gives a clue about what the Points Diet is , a weight loss plan in which the premise is to classify the different foods and give each of them a score.

It is a complete plan to lose weight and ideal for those looking for a regime that is not always the same, especially it is recommended for people who usually start one diet after another and abandon them because they are boring. In the case of this diet, each day it is necessary to add the points of the foods that are going to be part of the menu, but without the total of the sum exceeding or falling below certain predetermined parameters.

On the other hand, the number of points will depend on the nutritional needs of each person and this is obtained by making a calculation that takes into account the age, height and height, in addition to relating all this to the kilos that you want to lose.

The Points Diet program is simple to follow , although it is necessary to do calculations on a daily basis, but it has the advantage that the food is adapted to the personal tastes and lifestyle of the person who performs it.

Despite being a good method to lose weight, it is recommended to follow the Points Diet under medical supervision to avoid nutritional imbalances, being a flexible diet with countless food options that make it perfect for those who like to eat a variety of dishes.

How is the Points Diet done?

The Points Diet plan is easy to follow because each food has a certain score and each person, after doing a simple calculation, will obtain the number of points per day that they can consume to lose weight.

Let’s see how the calculation of the Points Diet should be done with a practical example that serves to better understand the basis of this plan:

A woman who weighs between 61 to 70 kilos and an average height should not exceed 18 points per day, while between 71 to 80 kilos the maximum would be 20 points and between 81 to 90 kilos should not exceed 22 points.

Taking the same previous example, but applied to a man, the 26 points are established as a base up to a weight of 80 kilos and from there every 9 kilos that is increased it would be necessary to add two points to the base of 26 to maintain a logical balance .

In order to make the calculation, it will also be necessary to take into account age and physical activity, but that will be developed in the section that indicates how to make the exact calculation of the Points Diet .

Doctors and nutrition specialists recommend not performing the Points Diet beyond four or five weeks, unless it is followed under strict medical control that allows us to observe if the person does not suffer from some type of nutritional deficiency, not being indicated for children under 12 years of age or pregnant women.

There are some foods, such as fruits, vegetables, coffee and some sweets that do not score, this means that it is allowed to eat the amount you want, while others, with a high fat content, should be eaten in moderation, examples of them They are cold cuts, pizza, breads and pasta.

Another thing to keep in mind is that when choosing foods it is necessary to be careful and aware of achieving a healthy and balanced daily menu , hence the choice should always be foods that not only respect the score but also the Nutritional Pyramid that recommends 30 % fat, 50% carbohydrates and 20% protein.

What to eat on the Points Diet?

With the Points Diet it is possible to design each menu with the preferred foods as long as they are not within those restricted or prohibited, therefore being a flexible plan that can be adapted to almost any lifestyle, especially since it is not a diet. strict full of prohibitions and represents a good proposal for people with overweight.

Before detailing the foods that are allowed or restricted in the Points Diet, it is necessary to clarify that each one depends on the calories, fiber, proteins, carbohydrates and fats that they contribute to the body.

The choice of food is free as long as the total does not exceed the daily points established through the calculation.

Allowed Foods

Here’s a list of allowed foods based on your score:

Food contributes between 0 and 2 points

All kinds of vegetables and fruits come in here, but as long as it is a single piece and if more than one is eaten, the total varies between 1 and 2 points.

  • Grapes: 1 point
  • Cherries: 1 point
  • Dates: 1 point
  • Pineapple juice: 1 point (each glass)
  • Skimmed milk: 1 point (each glass)
  • Quail egg: 1 point
  • Cookies: 1 point
  • York type ham: 1 point (every 3 slices)
  • Butter: 1 point
  • Honey: 0.5 points
  • Peas: 1 point
  • Milk chocolate: 1 point
  • Yogurt: 1.5 points (skimmed)
  • Canned mussels: 1.5 points
  • Burgos type fresh cheese: 1.5 points
  • Tuna dumplings: 1.5 points
  • Norway lobster: 1.5 points

Food contributes between 2 and 4 points

  • Semi-skimmed milk: 2 points (each glass)
  • Squid: 2 points
  • Smoked salmon: 2 points
  • Fresh cod: 2 points
  • Peanuts and pine nuts: 2 points
  • Egg: 2 points
  • Pasta: 2 points
  • Poultry pate: 2 points
  • Almonds: 2 points
  • Potatoes: 2 points
  • Wine (one glass): 2 points
  • Vanilla flan: 2 points
  • Lentils: 2.5 points
  • Banana: 2 points
  • Hake: 2 points
  • Chicken croquettes: 2 points
  • Tuna: 2.5 points
  • Turkey luncheon: 3 points
  • Chorizo: 3 points

Food contributes between 4 or more than 4 points

  • Ice Cream: 4 points
  • Beer: 6 points (one beer)
  • Beef entrecote: 8 points
  • Pizza: 4.5 points (per serving)
  • Spanish omelette: 5.5 points

Foods to be eaten in moderation

The foods on this list are almost forbidden due to the number of points they contribute and therefore should be eaten in moderation as long as the menu items are managed well, there is no problem to indulge.

  • Cookies
  • Sausages
  • Candy or trinkets
  • Fizzy drinks and sugary or alcoholic soft drinks
  • All sausages except York Ham or turkey
  • Fatty cheese
  • Sugar
  • Chocolate
  • Sweets in general
  • Salsas
  • Butter

In order to get the daily points we need to know these data about our body: Our weight, the level of activity we have every day, our height and finally, our age. Once we know all these data we will start to calculate our points.

How to do the math on the Points Diet?

 To know the daily points that are needed in this diet it will be necessary to know some data such as weight, age, height and level of physical activity. With all this information, the necessary calculations will be made to later plan the menu for each day, there are also online calculators that make this task easier.

Before starting the diet it is necessary to know the weight and for a woman it will start from 15 points and the maximum will be in relation to the initial weight but never exceed 22 points. In the case of men, remember that the base is 26 points up to a weight of 80 kilos and from 81 kilos every 9 kilos that is increased, 2 points will be added to the base of 26.

Regarding age, in order to know how many daily points the menu should make up, it is necessary to add 4 points if they are between 17 and 26 years old, while from 27 to 37 years old, 3 points will be added; Between 38 and 47 years old, two points must be added, and finally, between 48 and 58 years old, 2 points will be added.

Regarding height, it is necessary to take into account that if it is less than 1.55 meters, no point should be increased, but from 1.56 to 1.80 meters, 1 point is added and for those who measure more than 1 , 81 add 2 points.

Activity Daily physical activity must also be taken into account for the calculation of points, and therefore a sedentary person will not add any while those who perform tasks where they are standing most of the day will add 2 points and in the case of being a person who does physical exercise will add a total of 6 points.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Points Diet

The points diet has as an important factor being a method to lose weight without starving and in this it is necessary to focus the point of success if you really want to lose kilos in a healthy way.

According to the principles established by the WHO (World Health Organization) on healthy diets, it could be said that this is because well designed, it is healthy and balanced in relation to the calories that are ingested and expended daily.

Likewise, increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, reducing the consumption of all types of sugars.

However, like any weight loss plan, the Points Diet has its advantages and disadvantages, so it is necessary to carry out an analysis and nothing better than to take into account the following:

Advantages in the points diet:

  1. It has the ease of exchanging food and provides some freedom, although certain limits need to be taken into account.
  2. It proposes a variety of foods and it is possible to select among them to design each menu.
  3. Allows you to follow the diet even at a party or when eating in a restaurant.
  4. It allows foods that in other diets are prohibited, especially those that have some fat and carbohydrates, although they should be consumed moderately.
  5. It adapts to the lifestyle of each person and the daily needs according to the activities that are carried out.
  6. Helps to achieve hormonal balance and provides Omega3.
  7. It is a plan that allows you to reach an optimal weight without sacrifices.
  8. It is a balanced diet.

Disadvantages in the points diet:

  1. It is a plan that requires time and also control, therefore many people abandon it because they do not see results in a couple of weeks.
  2. Counting the points can become a boring task and it is necessary to keep notes to avoid making mistakes in the calculations.
  3. It can become a monotonous diet because despite the fact that it appears to be varied in foods, once it starts, people notice that they are always the same foods at different times.
  4. The points diet does not clearly teach how to learn to eat or change eating habits unless you have the accompaniment of a nutrition professional who establishes the necessary food guidelines, otherwise there is a risk of recovering the quickly lost weight.

Examples of the Point Diet

The Points Diet can be a bit complicated when designing the daily menu, so it can be useful to have some examples that always make it easier to understand the mechanism of this weight loss plan.

18 Point Diet

Breakfast: (4 points)

  • 1 boiled egg (2 points)
  • 1 glass of semi-skimmed milk (2 points)
  • 1 orange (0 points)

Average Morning: (2 points)

  • 1 banana (2 points)

Lunch: (4 points)

  • 1 chicken croquette (2 points)
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (2 points)
  • 1 apple (0 points)

Snack: (3 points)

  • 1 cup of skimmed rice pudding: 3 points

Dinner: (5 points)

  • 1 small can of tuna in water (2.5 points)
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (2 points)
  • 1 apple (0 points) with 1 teaspoon of honey (0.5 points)

20 Point Diet

Breakfast: (5 points)

  • 1 cheese omelette (3 points)
  • 1 glass of semi-skimmed milk (2 points)
  • 1 orange (0 points)

Average Morning: (2 points)

  • 1 Cappuccino without sugar (2 points)

Lunch: (8 points)

  • 1 chicken croquette (2 points)
  • 1 portion of rice with 1 chorizo ​​(4 points)
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (2 points)
  • 1 green leafy salad without dressing (0 points)

Snack: (1 point)

  • 1 cup of skimmed milk chocolate (1 point)

Dinner: 4 points

  • 1 serving of German salad (4 points)
  • 1 apple (0 points)

22 Point Diet

Breakfast: (5 points)

  • 3 slices of turkey ham (3 points)
  • 1 vanilla flan 100 grs. (2 points)
  • 1 orange (0 points)

Average Morning: (4 points)

  • 1 small vanilla ice cream (4 points)

Lunch: (6.5 points)

  • 2 servings of marinated mushrooms (2 points)
  • 2 portions of cream of leeks (3 points)
  • 1 natural yogurt (1.5 points)
  • 1 green leafy salad without dressing (0 points)

Snack: (1 point)

  • 1 cup of semi-skimmed milk chocolate (1 point)

Dinner: (5.5 points)

  • 1 serving of spinach with cheese (3 points)
  • 1 glass of semi-skimmed milk (2 points)
  • 1 apple (0 points) with 1 teaspoon of honey (0.5 points)

32 Point Diet

Breakfast: (10 points)

  • 3 slices of turkey ham (3 points)
  • 30 grams fresh cheese (2 points)
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (2 points)
  • 1 glass of semi-skimmed milk (2 points)
  • 1 fruit jelly (1 point)

Average Morning : (4 points)

  • 1 Cappuccino without sugar (2 points)
  • 4 Maria cookies (2 points)

Lunch: (8.5 points)

  • 2 servings of marinated mushrooms (2 points)
  • 1 slice of whole wheat bread (2 points)
  • 2 portions of cream of leeks (3 points)
  • 1 green leafy salad without dressing (0 points)
  • 1 natural yogurt (1.5 points)

Snack: (3 points)

  • 1 cup of skimmed rice pudding (3 points)

Dinner: (6.5 points)

  • 1 croissant (4 puntos)
  • 1 glass of semi-skimmed milk (2 points)
  • 1 apple (0 points) with 1 teaspoon of honey (0.5 points)

Points Diet Recipes

It is always practical to have some recipes to follow the Points Diet more easily. Here are some simple dishes to prepare and enjoy for both lunch and dinner.

German Salad (4 points)

A delicious salad that you can incorporate into your lunch or dinner to enjoy sausages in a different way.


  • 2 potatoes (2 points)
  • 1 turkey sausage (1 point)
  • 1 small onion (0 points)
  • pickled gherkins (0 points)
  • 1 teaspoon of light mayonnaise (1 point)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard (0 point)


Wash, peel the potatoes.

Cook the potatoes and the turkey sausage.

Cut the potatoes, sausage, onion and pickles into cubes.

Mix all the ingredients and add the mayonnaise and mustard.

Marinated Mushrooms (1 point per serving)

In addition to mushrooms, you can use any seasonal mushroom and if you combine them you will get delicious and varied flavors.

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 500 grams fresh mushrooms (0 points)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil (2 points)
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (0 points)
  • 1 small onion (0 points)
  • 4 teaspoons of lemon juice (0 points)
  • 2 lettuce leaves (0 points)
  • parsley (0 points)
  • celery (0 points)
  • 1 clove of garlic (0 points)
  • pepper (0 points)


Wash and cut the mushroom heads, place them in a container with the lemon juice and let them marinate, while the rest of the recipe is prepared.

Chop the onion and garlic and sauté in a pan with oil, adding vinegar and pepper to taste

Simmer for 5 minutes

Remove from the heat and add the mushrooms, celery and parsley

Mix all the ingredients well and leave to rest in the fridge for one night.

Serve decorated with the lettuce leaves.

Leek Cream (1.5 points per serving)

This is the cream of a lifetime that you can garnish with minced parsley and freshly ground black pepper plus a few drops of olive oil.

Ingredients  (for 4 people)

  • 4 leeks
  • 1 onion
  • 400 grs. of patatos
  • 8 teaspoons of cream
  • 2 teaspoons light margarine


Peel the onion and cut into cubes

Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes

Wash and cut the leeks

Place all the ingredients in a pot with water and cook until tender

Once the ingredients are cooked add the light margarine and the cream

Process everything until a cream is obtained and serve.

Final Recommendations on the Points Diet

As final recommendations on the Points Diet, it should be noted that it will be effective as long as the food combinations are adequate and combine healthy meals with physical exercise, not using dietary supplements or laxatives.

It is important to choose each menu with logic making daily meals balanced and if you are hungry during the day it is advisable to increase the portion of fruits or vegetables that have a score of 0 and serve to satisfy hunger due to their high fiber content, avoiding fats, fried foods and battered foods.

It is recommended to eat baked or grilled fish once a week and vary the combination of foods creating different dishes every day to avoid becoming a boring diet.

Drink at least two liters of water throughout the day and do not skip any of the meals, in addition to not saving more than 4 points in a day, since otherwise the plan will be unbalanced and the metabolism will begin to slow down , whereas if one day the planned points were not reached or the maximum allowed was exceeded, it can be corrected by increasing or decreasing the points the next day.

The results of the Points Diet depend on each person, their way of eating and planning each menu, but if it is done well following the instructions it is possible to lose up to 500 grams per week and if daily physical activity is added, they can lose weight up to 300 grams plus.

The Points Diet is a relatively simple plan to carry out since it does not require much effort and with which you can lose weight in a healthy way and not suffer from the “rebound” effect, a simple and healthy bet to lose those extra kilos.

Sources and References:

  • Dr. Francisco Belda Maruenda, specialist in Family Medicine
    Diet de los Puntos
  • Redalyc (Scientific Information System)
    Healthy Eating
  • Gale Academic OneFile
    Self-control in eating behavior


Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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