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Keeping track of the snacks

Keeping track of the snacks

Some say weight loss will only happen with 3 meals per day, yet other experts claim it’s the snacks that offer the key to weight loss success.  In today’s competitive market for your food dollar, smart manufacturing allows varying levels of fats and sweetness to turn these products into irresistible morsels that constantly tug on your taste buds and the labelling may well have you believe they are healthy options for you.

With weight loss, the purpose of snacking is to help with appetite control for the hour or two leading up to your next meal. For this to happen, your snack will need to contain carbohydrate such as crackers, fruit, bread or bread items along with some protein such as meat, chicken, fish, low fat cheese, milk or yoghurt. Protein takes longer to be processed so will keep you feeling satisfied for longer, and including fibre will offer further help for increased appetite control.

The confusion with snacks is that rather than working as the small ‘hook’ to pick you up in between meals, they often provide significant kilojoules. For example 2 bliss balls or a handful of almonds comes close in kilojoules to 2 slices of bread.

Snacks that satisfy

  • Pot of yoghurt and a small fresh fruit – portion controlled and easy to access
  • Crackers with a protein topping such as hummus or cottage cheese plus sliced tomato and/or gherkin
  • Milky drink (great for mid-morning) – could be hot or cold. A trim latte would be perfect
  • Snack platter (for mid-afternoon) – cherry tomatoes, low-fat salami sticks, salsa dipping sauce, cocktail onions, caperberries, artichokes in brine and crackers
  • Small pita bread with strips of chicken, smoked chicken or ham with relish or pickle to flavour

Remember to match the size of your snacks to your size, and as your body fat reduces your portion sizes will need to be reduced. Make them work for you – include them as a useful tool rather than a guilty extra!

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