Think Weight Loss Friendly at Snack Time
Whether you're looking to drop a few or a lot of pounds, snacking can actually help you attain your goals. The key is to choose your snacks with the same care and attention as you choose the rest of your diet. Mindless eating is not snacking – it's a good way to sabotage all your efforts. Here are some healthy snack suggestions from the Metabolic Research Center.
Good Protein Snacks
Protein should top the list when you're looking for a snack food. Protein helps you feel full, helps keep your blood sugar stable and pairs well with plenty of low-calorie, healthy munchies. Peanut butter and celery sticks come to mind, as does an apple with a couple of slices of good-quality Cheddar cheese. Nuts and seeds offer crunch as well as some protein – almonds, for example – and are nicely portable when you're on the go. Jerky can be another flavorful and portable protein option.
Good Fiber Snacks
Fiber is the next important quality in a snack. Slow to digest, it helps stabilize the blood sugar and promotes intestinal function. Many high fiber foods also have the “crunch factor,” which makes you more aware of what you're eating and may be more rewarding than snacks that are bland and soft. Raw vegetables like carrots, celery, bell peppers, jicama, radishes and green onions are all good choices. Apples and pears are also high in fiber and come in a wide variety of flavors and colors.
It's easy to get busy and then suddenly feel ravenous, so plan your snacks into your meal plan and prepare them ahead of time when possible. Whenever possible, treat your snack like a meal. Use a plate and eat at the table. Arrange the food for eye appeal. Eat slowly and chew your food well. These strategies help to prevent mindless eating and can help you achieve your goal of weight loss while eating real food.
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