Sunday, April 15, 2012
Eating between meals can hlep you lost weight-if you choose the right foods.
Snacks are so big, they've almost become meals. Americans get roughly a quarter of their calories each day from snacks, up from 18 percent in 1977. That's a belly-bulging 579 extra calories we devour between meals. No wonder an increasing number of experts are blaming snacking for America's rising obesity rates.
There's nothing wrong with snacking, per se - eating every few hours can help stabilize blood sugar, which is essential for diabetics. Snacking can even help control your weight. Researchers found that having two snacks a day, in addition to three main meals, was associated with a lower body mass index (BMI) and maintenance of weight loss.
Just don't overdo it, and follow these snacking strategies to get the most from between-meal munching:
Limit snacks to 100 to 200 calories.
If you eat more than that, eat less at your next meal.
Make ever snack count.
Think of snacks as a chance to include nutrient-rich foods-like one of the recommended five-to-nine daily fruit and vegetable servings.
Plan snacks in advance.
Have some healthy snacks on hand-fruit, cereal bars-so you won't be tempted to grab a doughnut or milk shake at the drive-through.
Add a little protein.
Snacks that are high in protein reduce hunger, increase fullness, and delay the next "eating occasion" more than high-fat snacks do.
Here are some healthy snacks to get you started:
A small banana & 7 walnut halves
Baby carrots with 5 teaspooons hummus
1 cup fat-free Greek style yogurt with 1/2 cup blueberries
Half a turkey sandwich
1 cup shelled edamame
3 cups air-popped popcorn with 2 teaspoons Parmesan cheese
A small baked potato with 1/2 cup salsa and 2 teaspoons fat-free sour cream
3 small squares dark chocolate with 3 spricot halves
2 celery sticks with 1 tablespoon peanut butter
From - AARP the magazine