I am going to tell you this secret from my latest favorite book which has been written by David Zinczenko, who is a famous American author, publisher, businessman, television personality. He wrote in his book that Dunkin’ Donuts recently announced its new line of 600-calorie fried-chicken sandwiches, which the chain insists marketing to the masses as “snacks.” God help us. While I’d never suggest satisfying mid-afternoon munchies with more calories than you’ll find in many restaurant dinners, I can absolutely relate to the need for a snack-sized pick-me-up. Keep the kitchen stocked with these 4 essential snacks for weight loss and you can Eat It to Beat It! Snacktastic.
1. CRUNCHY: Blue Diamond 100 Calorie Packs
100 calories, 9 g fat, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein
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.
2. CREAMY: Siggi’s Icelandic Style Strained Non-Fat Yogurt, Vanilla
100 calories, 0 g fat, 9 g sugar, 14 g protein
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 me: 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!
3. SALTY: SkinnyPop Popcorn, Original
150 calories, 10 g fat, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein
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 my favorite crunchy munchie: popcorn. For a pre-popped variety, I love SkinnyPop because it’s free of additives and tasty without being too salty.
4. SWEET: VitaBrownie, Deep & Velvety Chocolate
100 calories, 2 g fat, 7 g fiber, 4 g protein
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% 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!