Day 50 of the 20 lb struggle
What’s your favorite snack?
Most of us think of snacks as something fun to eat and not really part of our regular diet. Snacks like chips, pretzels, cookies, crackers and candy can be a good way to put on pounds and add inches. They are usually high in calories and low in nutrition.
BUT. For those of us on a weight-loss diet snacks have a vital and necessary function. They help us to control hunger by providing healthy alternatives when we get hungry between meals. Having a healthy snack before going to a party or an event where you know you will be tempted is a good idea because it takes the edge off your hunger and allows you to be thoughtful about your food choices.
Some lo-cal snacks, though, often leave me feeling unsatisfied. Celery, for example, is great if you need to chew. But honestly, I could eat 10 stalks and still not feel like I have eaten anything. So I have put together a short list of snacks that I think work great for weight loss diets.
(1) Fruit: Fruit is my own personal favorite snack. It is high in nutritional benefit, readily available and satisfying. What I also like about fruit is that there are so many varieties that you don’t have to get bored. Here are just some of the choices that make great fruit snacks that will tide you over and help reduce your appetite: sliced or cut up apples, pears, peaches, melon, or strawberries; blueberries; bananas; and grapes. Sliced bananas and grapes can be frozen in plastic bags and used as a frozen treat. WARNING: You have to watch your calories and your portions or you will defeat the purpose of healthy snacking.
(2) Protein: A small piece of cheese, a slice or turkey breast, or a glass of skim milk can work nicely as a healthy snack and will reduce cravings.
(3) Sugarless gum/hard candy: Many people feel that chewing gum and sucking candy can help with the cravings that hit all of us who are trying to stay on track and loose extra weight. BEWARE: More than just a few pieces of sugarless candy or gum a day can lead to serious digestive problems and pain.
(4) Popcorn: Although air-popped popcorn can be a low-calorie snack, most of us seem to like the convenience of microwave popcorn. But, these little bags of popcorn are loaded with fats and salt. A good alternative is to make your own microwave popcorn.