4 Essential Snacks for Weight Loss
When Dunkin' Donuts announced its (now defunct) line of 600-calorie fried-chicken sandwiches, we couldn't believe they insisted on marketing them to the masses as "snacks." Don't worry, we're not anti-snack. We're here to assure you that there are delicious snacks that won't wreck your whole day of healthy eating.
While we'd never suggest satisfying mid-afternoon munchies with more calories than you'll find in many restaurant dinners, we can absolutely relate to the need for a snack-sized pick-me-up. Instead of caving to a craving that will set you back 600 calories, keep the kitchen stocked with these 4 essential snacks for weight loss!
When You're Craving Something Crunchy
Blue Diamond 100 Calorie Packs
Nuts are high in fat, which may seem counterproductive if you're trying to lose it; but eating a moderate portion of monounsaturated fat, like the kind found in Blue Diamond's 100-calorie packs of whole almonds, can ward off the munchies and keep you full. A recent study found that participants who ate about 7 grams of monounsaturated fat with a meal reported a 40% decreased desire to eat for hours afterwards. The saving grace here is the calorie-controlled serving, which stops you from overindulging.
When You're Craving Something Creamy
Siggi's Icelandic Style Strained Non-Fat Yogurt, Vanilla
Protein requires more energy to burn than carbs or fats and thus keeps you fuller longer, and a high-protein Greek or Icelandic-style yogurt like Siggi's is one of the best options. But don't take it from us: Researchers from the University of Missouri compared the satiety effects of high-, moderate-, and low-protein snacks on 24 to 28 year old women, and found high-protein yogurt to have the greatest effect. Plus, Siggi's is to-die-for delicious!
When You're Craving Something Salty
SkinnyPop Popcorn, Original
Volumetrics is an eating plan championed by Barbara Rolls of Penn State University, and it's based on getting more mileage out of low-density foods. For example, a huge salad—or in this case, nearly 4 cups of popcorn—will leave you more satisfied than a square of chocolate, and for far fewer calories. If you're someone who gets depressed by measly portions, reach for snacks that have a high water content like fruits, veggies—or our favorite crunchy munchie: popcorn. For a pre-popped variety, we love SkinnyPop because it's free of additives and tasty without being too salty.
When You're Craving Something Sweet
VitaBrownie, Deep & Velvety Chocolate
With VitaBrownies you can satisfy your craving for something sweet at any time of the day without sabotaging your diet. Each chocolaty square packs 8 grams of whole grains—a dietary staple of people with the littlest middles. A Tufts University study found that participants who ate three or more servings of whole grains had 10 percent less belly fat than people who ate the same amount of calories from refined carbs (like bad-for-you brownies). When it comes to diet and snacking, being unrefined is a good thing!