Snacking can be very detrimental if you are trying to lose weight or it can be great. Many experts recommend eating lots of small meals or a healthy snack throughout the day instead of the traditional 3 larger meals to lose weight. It really all depends though on what type of snacks you are eating. If you go for candy bars, cookies, potato chips and other types of sugar filled, fatty snacks then you are not headed down the path to weight loss. But there are plenty of healthy snack ideas that can turn yummy snacks into weight loss boosters.
According to assistant director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, Susan Bowerman, RD, eating a healthy snack can boost your energy and give your body the nutrition it needs as well as contribute to losing weight. For example, protein helps build muscle which can increase metabolism allowing you to burn more calories and fiber helps curb cravings for fatty and sugary foods as well as assisting digestion. Bowerman advises sticking with a 200 calorie or less healthy snack that combines ten grams of protein and five grams of fiber foods for weight loss. This could include a fruit and a protein food like an apple or around 15 grapes and some milk or low cal yogurt or half an avocado with low fat cottage cheese. Get some omega-3’s going for your brain in the protein/fiber mix by adding three ounces of tuna and five to six whole wheat crackers or about 15 – 20 almonds. For a great low calorie sweet treat try a pear topped with Ricotta cheese and cinnamon.
Some other healthy snack ideas that give you protein and fiber include:
- Steamed edamame (soybeans)
- Carrots and hummus
- A boiled egg with about 15 spears of asparagus
- A slice of cheese with some air popped popcorn
- 2 teaspoons of peanut butter and 5 celery sticks
Convinced yet that you can snack your way to weight loss? Give some of these healthy snack ideas a try and see if eating several small snacks such as these help you get through the day without feeling deprived, starved, or left with cravings for unhealthy foods. After all what have you got to lose but maybe some weight?
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