10 Snack Habits for Healthy Weight Loss

Diet Woman Kicking Donut Snacks on White

Photo credit: bigstock

More than likely you are shaking your head right now thinking, “Oh, great, another article with weight loss tips.” Yep, it seems as if they are all over the internet and magazines but here’s the thing. It is possible to snack between meals and still lose weight. We aren’t talking about celery and carrot sticks, either. Smart snacking can not only keep you from binge eating because you’re hungry, it can even help rev up your metabolism so you burn more calories by eating! Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? It isn’t! Check out these 10 super smart snacking tips and watch those extra pounds disappear.

 

1. First, ignore the rules

Seriously. All those rules about when you can eat, like, no snacking after 6PM or you can only snack between 2 and 4PM. Eat a snack when you’re hungry. That makes sense, doesn’t it? Listen to your body and give it what it’s asking for. Just be sure you don’t snack when you’re really NOT hungry. Pay a little attention as to why you are eating. You don’t have to eat something at 10AM just because everyone is taking a coffee break. Let your body tell you if it wants to eat something or not. Sometimes we eat because we are bored or thirsty or anxious or tired. It might take you a few days to figure out when you are really hungry and when you aren’t, but as you learn to pay attention to the signals your body is giving you, you will learn to give it what it really wants, whether that’s some crackers or a little nap.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

2. Stay under 200 calories

You might think that those little 100 calorie snack packs are for you, but the truth is, 200 calories is going to be much more satisfying to you. This is another good way to be sure that you get enough calories to satisfy yourself but not so many that you are sabotaging your diet. Now if you find yourself full before you finish you snack, don’t feel obligated to eat it all.

Save it for later, it’s OK, you really don’t have to finish the entire thing, no matter what your mother said about those starving children in a faraway land. A good 200 calorie snack will help regulate your blood sugar, ramp up that metabolism, while helping to prevent you from overeating later on in the day.

Remember that a snack is not a meal so be very careful with the portion size and eat no more than 200 calories per snack.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

3. Watch that clock

Although having a bite to hold you over until lunch time is pretty common, it’s not always a pretty thing.

The Journal of the American Dietetic Association just published a study that showed that those of us who tend to snack mid-morning also snack more throughout the day than those who only snack in the afternoon. Also, it appears that those who snack in the afternoons are more likely to choose fruits or vegetables as snacks.

 

SEE ALSO: 8 Super Healthy Snacks to Stash in Your Desk at Work

 

 

Mid-morning snackers? It appears we don’t pick the good stuff. So watch that clock and if you want a snack in the morning, make it a healthy one!

Organic Hard Boiled Eggs

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4. Color code snacks

This might sound a little OCD but a recent study showed that you can avoid mindless eating when you add a sort of visual traffic light to your snacks.

The University of Pennsylvania as well as Cornell University conducted a study where they gave participants a bowl of all yellow chips and another group had their snack with layers of multicolored chips.

You might that that those with the multicolored chips ate more, but the opposite was true. So keep your snacks all one color such as a bag of nuts or a couple hard boiled eggs.

Family, mother and father with adult children and daughter

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5. Swap hands

Snack less the simple way. Change which hands you eat with.

If you are a righty, eat with your left hand. Studies show that when movie goers were forced to eat their popcorn with their opposite hand they are dramatically less. You can try this trick at home tonight easily and see if the study results were accurate.

Eating with your non-dominant hand forces you to think about what you are doing and, since it’s more work, you will eat less.

protein foods

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6. Add muscle to those munchies

Snacks that contain protein forces your body to burn more energy digesting them than carbs or fat and this keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time.

Scientists from the University of Missouri compared the effects of low, moderate, and high protein snacks on women aged between 24 and 28 years old and found that the snacks with the highest levels of proteins had the most satisfying effects. Find out protein rich foods.

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

7. Use smaller bowls

You’ve probably heard this trick before. But it really works.

When you are just grabbing handfuls of food directly from the bag, well, you know that’s not a good idea, but when you are munching from a huge punchbowl, that’s even worse. Many studies show that the amount of food we eat increases as our serving dish gets larger. People who are eating from large bowls or plates underestimate the amount they are eating by as much as 16 percent.

Take full advantage of that visual illusion and use smaller bowls and plates.

Set Of Stamps

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8. Don’t be fooled

All those foods that claim they are low fat or low carb does not mean they are good for you or that you can eat a lot of it.

Study after study shows that people eat a lot more of items that are labeled as low fat or “healthy”.

In one study, subjects ate 28 percent more M&M’s that were labeled low fat than those that had no label on them at all.

Work Lunch Packet

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9. BYO snack

If you hit up the local vending machine or the corner convenience store whenever you are hungry, chances are really good that you are going to be buying junk food.

Even if you try to make a healthy choice, such as nuts, the portions are usually much larger than really want, or need.

Fight this problem by pre-planning your snacks and bringing your own healthy, perfectly proportioned snacks with you, no matter where you go. Problem solved. Read more about common mistakes people do trying to get healthier.

Cooking Woman In Kitchen

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10. Go for the mix

If you eat a snack that’s a healthy mix of fiber, protein, and healthy fat, it can keep you full for hours!

Choose foods that are dense in nutrients and that will give your body the fuel it needs while satisfying those food cravings. Good examples would be kale chips drizzled with a bit of olive oil, roasted chickpeas, or some fruit and nuts, even hardboiled eggs.

If you find you have no time to make some healthy snacks, try some Kind bars from your local health food store.

Sources:

Huffingtonpost.com

Womenshealthmag.com
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