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A Healthier Me {7, Snacks}…

March 2, 2011

You might think that snacking is the last thing you want to do while trying to lose weight, but that’s not true. It’s important to consume calories throughout the day so that your body continues to burn calories. It helps me to think of my body as a wood burning stove (okay yes, I’m getting weird here), as long as the flames are roaring your body is burning fat, so you want to feed that fire throughout the day to keep it burning as much fat as possible, right?

So, what types of things keep those flames going? Low calorie, low fat snacks that are packed with protein. Protein helps you feel full so that you aren’t tempted to eat something unhealthy between meals. Limit yourself to no more than 3 snacks per day, I generally have one mid-morning, one mid-afternoon and one later in the evening. Your body also requires more energy to burn fibrous snacks, so raw green vegetables are another great option. The idea is to not let yourself get hungry, because once you’re hungry your metabolism slows and your body begins to burn less calories (it’s that natural effect of Evolution, remember?). The options are really limitless, you should experiment and find things that you like, but here are a few of my suggestions:

  • First, buy a “bullet” type blender if you don’t have one, they make most of these snacks so much faster and easier ( I have and love this one).
  • Smoothie: 1 cup frozen fruit (I like sliced strawberries, pineapples and mangos), 3 ice cubes, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I keep mine in the freezer so it’s frozen!). This will end up being roughly 100 calories with 6 grams of protein.
  • Malts: Try to find a protein powder that you enjoy but that is low in fat and calories yet high in protein. This one from SlimFast is an okay option, it has 10 grams of protein in a serving and since you will generally not be mixing it with milk the calories will be far less than 200. I also like this one from GNC. Try blending 1 cup of water, 3-4 ice cubes and one serving of the protein powder together for a malt-like snack. Mix it up by adding in 1/2 of a frozen banana.
  • Protein bars: I mentioned this in the first post but find ones that are below 170 calories, have at least 10-15 grams of protein and less than 4.5 grams of fat.  Don’t eat more than one per day. My favorite ones are Proti Bars.
  • Nuts: Nuts are high in protein and are generally a good snack since the fat in them is a good fat. Try pistachios or almonds but remember to pay attention to portions. Here’s a fabulous article on snacks and portion size.

This blog is part of A Heathier Me, a series about my experience achieving a healthier lifestyle. Click the following links to read the first post, 16.5 Pounds, the second post, The Rules, the third post, Evolution, the fourth post Food Rules, the fifth post Prepare or the sixth post Restaurants.

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