Planning Out Healthy Snacks: A Top Weight-Loss Strategy - dummies

Planning Out Healthy Snacks: A Top Weight-Loss Strategy

By Meri Reffetto

Planning out healthy snacks is a solution to mindless grazing and waiting too long to eat. You may read this advice as a simple suggestion you’ve seen before, but it’s a very important strategy and means the difference between staying stuck at a weight you don’t like and seeing the results you’re looking for.

Carefully choosing your snacks will help you stick with your low-glycemic plan and save you hundreds of calories.

Wondering how to go about picking healthy, low-glycemic snacks? Start by thinking about your average busy, stressful workday. You know you’ll be working late, and although you’re able to grab some lunch and dinner at the local takeout restaurant, you haven’t planned any of your snacks for the day.

Your boss keeps a bowl of Peanut M&M’s on the counter, and there’s a vending machine down the hallway. Throughout the day you pick on the M&M’s, grab a large latte from the coffee stand, and munch on a small bag of potato chips from the vending machine.

That doesn’t sound like much for an eight- to ten-hour day, but you’ve actually just consumed 948 calories in snacks. Not only that, but the potato chips are higher-glycemic, leaving you with a blood sugar spike and stimulating your appetite for more food. And thanks to the restaurant takeout, you’re looking at substantially more calories for your entire day.

With a mindful, planned snack, you can change this scenario. Substitute a small coffee, an ounce of nuts with an apple, and a yogurt for the Peanut M&M’s, large latte, and bag of chips. These simple, preplanned swaps bring your snack total down to just 380 calories, and the choice of low-glycemic foods helps you feel more satisfied.

You have many low-glycemic snack options to choose from, whether you want to find something quick or make something at home. Here are some healthy grab-and-go snack ideas that take either no or little time to prepare:

  • 8-ounce low-fat yogurt, fruity or plain

  • 1 ounce of nuts with a piece of fruit (such as an apple or orange)

  • 1 ounce of trail mix

  • Mozzarella cheese stick with a piece of fruit

  • 1 ounce of peanut butter spread on two celery sticks

  • 1 ounce of peanut butter spread on one small sliced apple or half of a banana

  • 1⁄3 cup low-fat cottage cheese with fruit

  • 2 tablespoons of hummus with sliced bell peppers and carrot sticks for dipping (you can buy premade hummus at the grocery store, or you can make your own)

  • 2 tablespoons of hummus spread on half of a whole-wheat pita

  • 2 cups of low-fat air-popped popcorn

  • 10 baked corn tortilla chips with black bean dip