A Word About Diet Rules
As diet rules go, "No snacking between meals" is outdated. Snacking is an excellent eating strategy; by feeding your body at regular intervals throughout the day, you keep your metabolism on an even keel and prevent feeling famished.
When I'm helping contestants on NBC's "The Biggest Loser" work with their calorie budgets, I recommend they eat five times per day - three meals and two snacks, spaced three to four hours apart - and reserve a quarter of their daily calories for snacks.
These days, it's easy to find snacks in the supermarket that prominently display a calorie count of 100 (or lower) on the package. These portion-controlled treats can come in handy when you're in a pinch and don't want to blow your calorie budget on a snack. But while many of these snacks are healthy, others don't contain nutrients like fiber and protein that will help you feel satisfied and full. And some are nothing more than junk food packaged in smaller servings!
Since the quality of your calories is just as important as the quantity, I recommend making your own fresh snacks instead. Try these six favorites; each totals 150 calories or less and incorporates both carbs and protein - a potent combination that staves off hunger for hours to come.
- 1 low-fat mozzarella cheese stick and 1 large fresh orange (140 calories, 10 grams protein)
- 2 rye Crackers and 2-1/2 ounces lox (smoked salmon) (150 calories, 14 grams protein)
- 3 deviled eggs: 3 hard-boiled egg halves, whites only, each half filled with 1 Tablespoon hummus (140 calories, 10 grams protein)
- Half a turkey sandwich: 1 slice whole grain bread with 1 ounce turkey, 1 slice low-fat Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato and 2 teaspoons mustard (150 calories, 14 grams protein)
- 2/3 cup edamame in the shell (158 calories, 13 grams protein)
- 2/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt plus 1/2 cup blueberries and 1 Tablespoon almosnds (150 calories, 15 grams protein)
Visit the blog for still more snack info:
Sweet Snack Recipes features an unexpected ingredient - pumpkin! - in a delicious smoothie and dessert.
Skipping Meals Promotes Weight Gain, Not Loss includes a handy hunger scale to help you determine when to nosh.
Try the recipes for delicious snacks that will hit the spot - and be a hit at summer parties!
For more nutrition, recipes and weight loss tips, visit Cheryl's blog.