Eating a snack between meals helps curb your hunger so that you don’t inhale your dinner when you finally sit down to eat a meal. Snacking can also help you get in all the nutrients you need. On the flipside, grazing all day—particularly on foods with little nutritional value—may result in eating too much and packing on extra pounds. These 10 snacks are smart choices that can help you lose weight.
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One study found that people who chewed almonds thoroughly (up to 40 chews) felt full longer than those who chewed the same amount of nuts fewer times. Plus, almonds deliver filling fiber, protein and healthy fats.
Grapefruit’s “diet food” rep might be justified: one study found that when people simply ate grapefruit with each meal, they lost up to 3 1/2 pounds over three months. Grapefruit may help manage appetite by lowering insulin levels, say researchers.
Keep chickpeas in the pantry. They have a meaty texture and a nutty flavor along with plenty of satiating fiber and a little protein—perfect when you’re watching your weight. Try roasting them for a crunchy snack that packs up easily.
Toss grapes in the freezer for an easy snack. Because they’re sweet and you savor them individually and slowly, you’ll get a lot of satisfaction for just a handful of calories.
Believe it or not, giving yourself little treats may be the secret to losing weight—for good. Aiming to be “too good” sets you up to fail. If you like a glass of wine with dinner, make room for it. Prefer dessert? Skip the drink and go for a small chocolate treat instead. Losing weight doesn’t mean giving up the foods you love.
Popcorn is high in fiber, low in fat and delivers some protein. A 1-ounce serving (about 3 cups) of air-popped popcorn has 4 grams of fiber, almost 4 grams of protein, just over 1 gram of fat and clocks in at 110 calories. This combination makes it a snack with staying power.
Use snacks to fill nutritional gaps. Make your snacks count. Choose those that provide calcium and fiber—two nutrients that people often skimp on. Yogurt with fruit delivers calcium and fiber, plus protein and gut-healthy probiotics.
Skip the vending machine and satisfy the afternoon “munchies” with a healthy snack you packed at home. You’ll save money and get a bigger bang for your nutritional buck. Try cut up veggies and some hummus. Planning snacks that provide both carbohydrates and protein will help tide you over until dinner.
Oatmeal is a complex carb, meaning it helps fill you up without spiking your blood sugar. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber and eating more fiber helps people lose weight and keep it off. While we think of it typically as breakfast, a small bowl of oats makes a hearty, filling and delicious snack. To make this snack more convenient—keep a packet or two of unsweetened instant oatmeal at your desk or make overnight oats in a mason jar.
10. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a portable, healthy snack. Eating fruit helps with weight-loss because it’s packed with filling fiber (and important vitamins and minerals). Look for fruit with no sugar or sweeteners added and pair dried fruit with nuts for a snack with a balance of healthy carbs and protein.
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This content was originally published here.