5 Ways to Snack So You Can Lose Those 10 Pounds

Healthy, diet-friendly snacks between meals can curb your cravings.

5 Ways to Snack So You Can Lose Those 10 Pounds

Does downsizing your diet backfire because it supersizes your appetite? If you're so hungry by mealtime that you wind up overdoing it when you hit the table, you need to take the edge off beforehand. Here are some diet-friendly snacks that can help tame a ravenous appetite.

Nuts: Having a smidge of healthy fat—the kind that heart-healthy nuts are full of—20 minutes before a meal tells your brain, "Hey, I'm not really that hungry." No wonder they're called "good" fats! These diet-friendly snacks stimulate the production of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that not only turns off appetite alarms but also slows the emptying of your stomach. You start to feel full before you even get started. It only takes about 70 calories' worth—that's 6 walnuts, 12 almonds or 20 peanuts.

Dried plums: Yep, thanks to heaps of hunger-quelling fiber, the wrinkled, old-fashioned dried fruit formerly known as the prune has the power to help you eat less. In one study, people who snacked on a little bread, cheese and prunes downed 6 percent fewer calories at a subsequent meal than those who nibbled just bread and cheese. Prunes are a great snack to help you lose weight because the chewy fiber satisfies in three ways:

  • You have to chew them slowly, which gives your brain time to realize you feel fuller.
  • They slow digestion by sitting longer in your stomach.
  • The extra time smooths out the release of sugar into your bloodstream.

Skim milk: Skipping moo juice to save calories? Bone-friendly, calcium-rich skim milk practically pays for itself calorie-wise by filling you up, so you eat less of other foods. In one study, milk sippers ate 8.5 percent fewer calories at a meal than juice drinkers. Think of milk as an aperitif.

Veggies or fruit: Starting a meal with some apple slices or a big veggie salad tossed with a little good fat (olive oil) and some great vinegar (balsamic, seasoned with herbs) can reduce the total calories you eat by up to 15 percent. Fresh fruit and raw vegetables are full of water, so they take up lots of real estate in your stomach for very few calories. Skip cheese, creamy dressings and fried croutons as salad toppings. All are loaded with unhealthful bad fat.

Soup: Have a cup of this warm-you-up, fill-you-up comfort food and you'll likely eat 20 percent less at your meal. Go for broth-based varieties laced with filling high-fiber veggies, lentils, peas or beans. Vegetable purees (carrot, butternut squash) are also delicious and satisfying. Just bypass purees made with cream bases.

Medically reviewed in August 2019. Updated in February 2021.

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