Do you think snacking isn’t good for you? Think again and check out five ways to snack and slim down at the same time. Impossible? Read on:
1. Spread out your calories. Snacking throughout the day and not skipping meals makes it much easier to lose weight. "If you spread your calories throughout the day, your blood sugar won't fall and you won't feel hungry," Lawrence Cheskin, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center in Baltimore said, "When you eat 100 calories here and 100 calories there, you'll do a better job of not thinking that you're starving yourself."
2. Think ahead. "Before you turn in for the night, cut up some carrot, celery and cucumber sticks, pack them in a snack-size plastic bag and refrigerate," recommended Barbara Rolls, a professor of nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University. This way you don’t have to think about preparing anything in the morning. Just drop them in your purse or lunch bag and away you go.
3. Portion control. After you get home from grocery shopping, divide your big, bargain-size snacks into single-size portions. “Count out 100 calories' worth of crackers or pretzels, and store each serving in a small plastic bag," says Rena Wing, a Brown University professor of psychiatry and director of the Weight Control and Diabetes Clinic at Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I. Preparing snacks this way prevents you from eating more than you should.
4. Soup it up. Broth-based vegetable soup is an excellent snack and because it’s water-based it fills the hunger hole. But again, plan ahead. Either buy heat-and-eat soup or do a homemade version filled with your favorite veggies and separate into single-serve containers and freeze. When you’re ready for a soupy snack, all you need is a microwave and a spoon.
5. Focus on your snack. Many people eat while they’re stressed or distracted and don’t even enjoy what they’ve just devoured. Take a breather with no distraction and concentrate on what you’re eating. You will not only taste it, but also satisfy that craving you were having five minutes ago.
Need some low-calorie ideas to keep you on track?