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Snack Attack!

10 Ways to Have That Snack and Lose Weight

Tip 6: Get Your Whole Grain Snacks

The latest research suggests that people who eat whole grains have the lowest incidence of diabetes. They appear to increase the efficiency of insulin so that less is required to metabolize the sugar. (Lower levels of circulating insulin are believed to help discourage weight gain.) Use snack time as a time to work in some whole grains!

Tip 7: Eat Your Veggies

Cut up fresh, raw vegetables and serve them with a light ranch dressing, or with peanut butter, reduced fat cheese, or cottage cheese. Look past the basic salad greens and baby carrots and try jicama sticks (a refreshing, crispy white root), zucchini coins, bell pepper rings, or lightly cooked and chilled snow pea pods or green beans.

Tip 8: Try Trail Mix

The dried fruits in trail mix give you some fiber and carbohydrate calories, but the nuts help round the snack off with protein, fat, and some more fiber. (Tip: Stay away from those that include ingredients such as sesame sticks or dried banana chips that may contain trans-containing hydrogenated oils. If you choose a trail mix with chocolate chips or M&Ms, just make sure there is just a sprinkling).

Tip 9: Don't Shovel Down Your Snack

Snacks need to be eaten slowly, too, just like meals. Don't forget that it takes 20 minutes for your brain to get the message that you are full. Give that message time to work before you decide the snack didn't do the trick. Make a point of enjoying a flavored mineral water (the unsweetened, no-calorie kind) at the same time. This will help you eat the snack slower, too.

Tip 10: Don't Make Your Snack a Meal

Snacks should be around 150-200 calories -- just enough energy to tide you over until your next meal but not so much that it contributes as many calories as a meal.

Try half of a whole-wheat bagel toasted with a slice of reduced fat cheddar instead of the whole bagel (160 calories vs. 300). Or try a cup of minestrone soup instead of a big bowl for a snack (150 calories vs. 300)

And Finally

Be sure to join me on my Snack Attack message board. Every week, we have a new set of snack attack ideas for you, with such fun titles as Microwave Snack Mondays, Wacky Snack Wednesdays, and my favorite -- Sinful Snack Saturday!

Reviewed on January 30, 2004

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