Lose 10 Pounds – Have You Heard About Snacking?

May 15, 2009 by admin  


This article is one in a series of articles of suprising “everyday” things you can do to lose 10 pounds.

Lose 10 Pounds – Have You Heard About Snacking?

by Bob Rouse

As you try to gather good advice for losing weight and staying healthy, you’ve probably heard that between-meal snacks lead to extra pounds. You’ve probably also heard that “grazing,” an all-day intake of small amounts of food, is a sure route to weight control.

Keep listening: the best path is somewhere in between. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most healthy eating plans allow for one or two small snacks a day. The CDC also points out the plain—but often overlooked—fact about weight loss: To lose weight, you’ve got to eat fewer calories than your body uses.

Do the Math

Try to limit your snacking calories to less than 10 percent of your daily calorie target. (If you’re unsure of your target, you can use the Mayo Clinic’s online calorie calculator. If your target is, say, 2200 calories, a snack shouldn’t hold more than 220 calories.

To figure out how many calories your snack contains (again with the math), find a reliable calorie counter online or simply read the Nutrition Facts panel on packaged food.

Snack Smart

Snacking can be used as a bridge between meals, a midday energy boost or a way to curb your appetite right before a meal. But hold on there, hoss: Snacking doesn’t mean one or two hundred calories of junk food. The trick is to snack smart:

1. If you plan ahead and keep healthy snack foods on hand, you’ll be less likely to rely on chips and candy bars from vending machines and convenience stores.

2. Any sugar (even in fruit) will give you a quick energy boost … and then a crash. To even out the energy flow, be sure to include a protein with your snack (almonds, yogurt, turkey, etc.)

3. Certain hyphenated words point to healthy, filling foods. Keep these in mind as you plan your snacks:


4. Beware of foods that will ruin your smart-snacking strategies. A granola bar or a bag of trail mix might sound outdoorsy and healthy, but they can be loaded with sugar and fat. Read the label to find out for sure.

Searchable snacks

With these tips in mind, use the Internet to search out snack solutions—ideas and recipes—that include healthy foods you like. The results can help you add variety to your snacking plan. If you’re a fan of peanut butter, for example, search for “healthy snacks” and “peanut butter.” Or “fresh fruit,” “cheese” or even “pizza.”

No matter what you’re hearing, it’s OK to snack—really, it is. Just keep it planned, healthy and tasty.

Bob Rouse, a Kentucky-based freelance writer, used exercise and better eating to lose 50 pounds (and holding) several years ago. Married and a father of two, his hobbies include running and drinking coffee – though not at the same time.

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