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Snacking Before Lunch May Sabotage Your Diet

Study: Women Who Have Mid-Mornings Snacks Lose Less Weight

Avoid Random Snacking

Not all snacks and snackers are the same when it comes to weight gain.

Think before you snack. "If you are going to eat a snack, compensate by eating less during meals," says Richard D. Mattes, PhD, a professor of foods and nutrition at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Sheah Rarback, RD, a nutritionist at the Miller School of Medicine of the University of Miami, says why you snack and what you choose to snack on are important variables. When you reach for a snack, "it is really important to make sure you are eating because you are hungry and not just bored," she says. "If you are not hungry, you don’t have to snack just because it is there." The flip side is also true: "If you are hungry and need a snack, you don’t have to make an impulsive poor choice."

Breakfast choice also matters. In the study, mid-morning snackers may have had a purely carbohydrate breakfast, leading to hunger pangs mid-morning, Rarback says. Choosing a breakfast that includes protein will leave you feeling satisfied longer, she says.

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