Eating a snack or two between meals can curb hunger so that you don’t inhale the dining room table when you finally sit down to supper. Snacking can also help you get in all the nutrients you need. On the flipside, grazing all day—particularly on foods of little nutritional value—may result in eating too much and packing on extra pounds. These 10 snacks are smart choices that can help you lose weight. Download a FREE Healthy Snack Recipe Cookbook!
One study found that people who chewed almonds thoroughly (up to 40 chews) felt full longer than those who chewed the same amount of nuts fewer times.
Grapefruit’s "diet food" rep might be justified: one study found that when people simply ate grapefruit with each meal, they lost up to 3 1/2 pounds over three months. Grapefruit may help manage appetite by lowering insulin levels, say researchers.
Keep chickpeas in the pantry. They have a meaty texture and a nutty flavor along with plenty of satiating fiber and a little protein—perfect when you’re watching your weight. Try roasting them for a crunchy snack, like in this recipe for Spiced Chickpea “Nuts”.
Toss grapes in the freezer for an easy snack. Because they’re sweet and you savor them individually and slowly, you’ll get a lot of satisfaction for just a handful of calories.
Include a treat every day. Believe it or not, giving yourself little treats may be the secret to losing weight—for good. Aiming to be “too good” sets you up to fail. If you like a glass of wine with dinner, make room for it. Prefer dessert? Skip the drink and go for a low-calorie chocolate treat instead. Try these 100-calorie chocolate treats.
Popcorn is high in fiber, low in fat and delivers some protein. A 1-ounce serving (about 3 cups) of air-popped popcorn has 4 grams of fiber, almost 4 grams of protein, just over 1 gram of fat and clocks in at 110 calories. This combination makes it a snack with staying power.
Use snacks to fill nutritional gaps. Make your snacks count. Choose those that provide calcium and fiber—two nutrients that people often skimp on. Two snacks to try: a cup of yogurt with a half-cup of whole-grain cereal mixed in, or a skim latte plus an apple.
Skip the vending machine and satisfy the afternoon “munchies” with a healthy snack you packed at home. You’ll save money and get a bigger bang for your nutritional buck. Try an ounce of almonds and an orange or a handful of pretzels with some hummus. Planning snacks that provide both carbohydrates and protein will help tide you over until dinner.
Choose your “midnight” snack wisely. If a good night’s sleep is what you crave, there may be a food combination to help. Specialists recommend a pre-slumber snack that’s rich in carbohydrates and contains a bit of protein; this combination is said to increase the tryptophan levels in the brain, causing you to sleep more soundly. Try low-fat yogurt with a sprinkle of granola, a small bowl of oatmeal or a sliced apple with a bit of peanut butter.
Don’t get tripped up by travel. However often you fly, prepare in advance so you’ll have healthy snacks to eat en route. For shorter flights, pack a quarter-cup of dried fruit, such as apricots, a handful of almonds and a few whole-wheat crackers as healthier alternatives to the salty snacks served in-flight. Sip plenty of water; low humidity and recirculating cabin air can be dehydrating.