Snack Your Way Skinny

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Snacks can be weight loss’ worst enemies or best friends. They’re more likely to be your scale saboteur if you’re caught unprepared or if you don’t know what to make. On the other hand, if you know which ones fit into your plan, you keep them on hand, and you make them interesting and great-tasting, snacks can fill you up while keeping you right on track.

There’s no need to stroll over to the vending machine or hit up a convenience for a bag of cookies or chips or pair of toaster pastries. Swap a load of calories, sugar, and artery-clogging fat for some high-protein, lower-calorie fare that will actually keep you full for longer while giving your energy a lift.

Here are some quick and easy snack ideas that are delicious and filling, too.

Chips and Dip

No, the go-to snack is no off-limits for weight loss! Just change it up a little. When you choose Protein Chips instead of regular potato or tortilla chips, you’ll be bumping up the protein while avoiding a good amount of calories, carbs, and fat.

As for the dip, use it as an opportunity to get in some veggies! You could puree cooked broccoli and season it with garlic, lemon, and cumin to make “broccomole.” Another great veggie-based option is to puree peas and add curry spices. Salsa is always a ready-to-go fall-back, too. These sure beat creamy dips that add nothing but calories and fat to your day.

Meat and Cheese

We don’t mean the sausage sticks and processed cheese that comes in a vending machine and give you a load of starch and saturated fat. We mean a high-protein, low-calorie version of this classic flavor combo. One easy option is to pair lean turkey, ostrich, or beef jerky with low-fat cheddar cheese or a bag of crunchy Cheddar Cheese Bites.

Fruity Fixes

Turn to fruit if your snack cravings tend to be on the sweet side. Most kinds of fruit are high in fiber and low in calories compared to other sweet options like baked goods and candy bars. Add some protein, and you have a great snack on hand. Pair apples with peanut butter, pears with blue cheese, blueberries with Greek yogurt, melon with cottage cheese, or strawberries with almonds, for starters.

Veggies: The Ultimate Snack

Low-calorie? Check. Filling? Check. Easy to prepare? Check. Tasty? Check. Crunchy or creamy to fit your tastes? Check. High in fiber and antioxidants? Check.

The only thing veggies don’t have going for them is a lot of protein, and that’s easy to fix. Here are a few ideas.

-Spread non-fat cream cheese or peanut butter onto celery or carrot sticks.

-Toss cooked veggies into Protein Soup.

-Pair a cup of cut raw veggies with a hard-boiled egg.

-Dip cucumbers or cauliflower florets into Greek yogurt.

Portable Protein

You never know where life will take you, so it’s always a good idea to stash some snacks in your car, purse, gym bag, and office. The only thing that’s difficult about grabbing a BariatricPal Protein bar is deciding which great-tasting flavor fits your mood. It could be Fudge Graham, Peanut, Crispy Cinnamon, or Chocolate Almond, just to name a few options. Their 15 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber can satisfy hunger for hours.

Choose the wrong snacks, and you could pack on the pounds. Arm yourself with the right snacks, and you could find yourself losing weight faster than you expected – and at the same time, feeling more energized and better nourished.

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  • Alex Brecher
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