Article Courtesy of Women’s Health
By Shelley Levitt
Snacking when you’re trying to lose weight is like having premium cable on a budget: When it’s time to cut back, they’re the first things to go. But swearing off between-meal eats can actually have an adverse effect on your waistline: “Studies show that people who avoid eating between meals may end up consuming more calories overall,” says WH weight-loss advisor Keri Glassman, R.D., author of The Snack Factor Diet.
“When you’re famished, your blood sugar is low and your defenses are down, so you don’t necessarily make the best choices.” As a nation of snack addicts with no sign of reforming—according to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999–2002, women snack more than twice a day, at around 192 calories a pop—it’s time to embrace our need to nibble. Take your eating tips from the pros, check out WH’s Ultimate Meal Plan for all-day energy and weight loss success.
To snack without adding bulk to your backside, fill your cupboard with foods that have built-in willpower. Here are three snacking strategies that come with a no-gorge guarantee:
Just add air
Foods that are pumped full of air make your stomach feel inflated without giving you a beach-ball belly. In a study published last year in the journal Appetite, Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan and the director of the Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior at Penn State, served visitors to her lab either crunchy cheese snacks or more aerated puffy cheese snacks.
Those munching the puffier snacks consumed nearly 75 percent more by volume, but they took in 20 percent fewer calories. “When something is full of air, an equal amount looks bigger, so people tend to take in fewer calories,” Rolls says. If you nosh on air-puffed snacks, you’ll be able to eat more without your gut suffering the consequences—and you can stretch your snack over an entire episode of Mad Men instead of blowing it all in the first commercial break.
Potato, corn, and rice chips with 20 percent fewer calories than traditional chips
120 calories per ounce
Cheetos Natural White Cheddar Puffs
150 calories per ounce
Quaker Caramel Corn Quakes Rice snacks
60 calories for 7 cakes