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For more than fifteen years we’ve been working with weight loss clients and one of the questions that we get asked the most is “what should I eat for a snack?”
There is a secret (actually, a few) to choosing the best weight loss snacks!
- Keep your snacks to less than 200 calories. If it’s more than this, suddenly you’re eating a meal, not a snack. Do this on top of already eating three full meals and before you know it you’ll have to undo your pants button and use a rubber band to tie it closed (or you’ll have invest in bigger clothes).
- The winning snack combines energy-revving, high-fiber, quality carbohydrates (think fruits, veggies, oatmeal, high-fiber whole grains, etc.) with lean proteins (like egg whites, non-fat or low-fat yogurt or cheese, poultry breast, hummus, tuna, nuts, etc.) which will extend the energy boost of the carbohydrate and keep you feeling satisfied longer.
- Eat your snack before you get too hungry. For most of our client’s this is about 2-1/2 hours after lunch-time. If you wait too long, your 200 calorie snack won’t fill you. You’ll gobble up those bites and be ready to take on the next few in the time it takes to tear the lid off a hummus container. We’re talking from experience!
- A baked potato (with skin) topped with nonfat/ low-fat cheese. (A baked potato is extremely satiating and the key is to stick to a 3.5 ounce potato [100 calories worth] and 1 ounce of cheese.)
- 30 pistachios with a piece of fruit (pistachios are known as the “Skinny Nut” since you get 30 pistachios for 100 calories; most other nuts you can only eat 10-12 of them for 100 calories. Plus, the pistachios are a good source of both protein and fiber for a long lasting boost.)
- Nonfat Greek Yogurt with a piece of fruit (If you are like our clients, this snack will be a staple for you; everyone seems to love the creaminess of Greek yogurt and that it feels like a real splurge.)
- ½ cup cooked oatmeal with one-half cup low-fat cottage cheese. Despite not being steel cut oats, it’s still the whole grain and much healthier than other options and a satisfying snack to boot! We also recommend the low-sodium cottage cheese since the regular variety tends to be high in sodium.
- A piece of fruit and a low-fat cheese stick or a hard-boiled egg (Our clients love those hardboiled eggs that come in packages so they can keep them at work, stink free! We love Eggland’s Best eggs so much that we even work with the company!)
- Fresh vegetables (carrot sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes) dipped in ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt (try mixing the yogurt with chives and garlic powder) or in hummus. (You can NEVER get too many veggies– trust us, we wrote The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure based on the research supporting this! 🙂 Veggies are so low in calories and packed with nutrients– they’re the perfect food to fill up on! Plus, they’re crunchy and refreshing in the summer time.)
- A veggie burger on one-half whole wheat English muffin. (This sandwich feels like a real meal and our clients love that they can eat this for less than 200 calories!)
As members of Pistachio Health’s Consumer Advisory Board, The Nutrition Twins help people to make healthy, nutrient-dense snack choices without breaking the calorie bank.
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For a Get Healthy Guide, check out The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure!