Snacking and Weight Gain

Planned snacking can actually help with weight loss

Many people believe that their urges to snack between meals causes them to fail at dieting. What these people may not realize is that snacking itself is not the cause of failure, but rather what they chose to snack on is the problem. If you make the right choices, snacking can help with weight loss.

When most people experience that grumbling in their stomach that tells them they’re hungry, they tend to reach for whatever is convenient. It may be a chocolate bar or a bag of chips from the vending machine at work or a burger from the closest drive through. Not only do these types of foods put a serious crimp in your weight loss plan, they also don’t curb your hunger for very long, leaving the door wide open for yet another unhealthy snack choice.

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The truth is snacking can be beneficial to your diet if you do it properly. Eating small meals frequently throughout the day helps to sustain energy levels in your body, helps you burn fat and can help with weight loss. The trick is to consume foods that are filling, nutritious and won’t cause you to gain weight. The following are some tips for healthy snacking:

  • Cut up some fresh, raw vegetables and keep them in the fridge for when you are feeling hungry between meals. If raw veggies alone don’t excite you, make some dip using fat free sour cream, lemon juice and fresh or dried dill. Vegetables also travel pretty well so take them to work or on the road with you.
  • A cup of low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese are excellent snacks because they are low in calories and full of protein. This will help curb your hunger when you feel the urge to snack. Low fat or fat free dairy products have also been proven through research to aid with weight loss.
  • Raw nuts and seeds are great snacks that can be taken anywhere and are loaded with protein and nutrients. Make sure they are unsalted and don’t eat too many because they are high in fat. A small handful should do the trick.
  • If you have a sugar craving there are a number of low-fat options to satisfy your sweet tooth. Frozen yogurt contains only a portion of the fat found in ice cream and is just as delicious. For a sweet snack try some dried fruit. Dried fruit is filling and is packed with fiber. If you are desperate for a junk food fix, but don’t want to slide too far from your diet, Nabisco makes 100-calorie packs of its most popular cookies, including Oreo and Chips Ahoy. These miniaturized cookies contain about three grams of fat per package and are low calorie, but watch out for the high sugar content.