Afternoon Snacks to Help You LOSE WEIGHT!

by Nicole Smith on January 30, 2013

So when 4pm hits, most people start feeling tired, grumpy, hungry…yes, it’s afternoon snack time in the adult world. As our society works more and more, later and later, we tend to eat dinners on the later side so that afternoon snack is almost like a pre-game meal for the actual dinner.  When you skip this important afternoon snack or eat a sugary non-nutritional food to keep you going, you are slowing down what would be your normal, healthy metabolism, so what you eat at this snack is actually VERY IMPORTANT.

The more you can make this snack into a small, balanced meal, NOT a sugary sweet that will just be added to your belly flab, the better disposition you will be in to eat a healthy, balanced, and SMALLER portioned dinner. You heard me right; I said it, SMALLER DINNER.

 Do not get confused on what I am saying. I am saying that your snack should be a healthy, tiny meal-like snack so that you can then have a smaller portion at dinner, NOT eat a snack and a huge dinner. No amount of exercise will make up for poor nutrition when trying to lose weight. In our society, it’s typical to have a small lunch and a HUGE dinner, but this slows down your metabolism. It is better to have a larger lunch, and then a well balanced snack in the afternoon, then a dinner that starts with soup or salad, and a smaller portioned dinner.

 Back to the snack….The key is to balance the snacks so that they are healthy, yet still give you some natural sugar. By this time of day, you have most likely been stressed. When you are stressed, your brain produces the  hormone cortisol. Cortisol produces cravings for “comfort foods” aka sugary bad foods. So, if you don’t foresee your work life getting less stressful, it’s best to trick the brain by eating healthy sweet snacks.

 Below are my three favorite afternoon snacks that keep me staying slim and trim…

 1. My favorite all time afternoon snack is Greek yogurt with fruit and natural granola. You can even add a little bit of honey if you want.

 2. My second favorite afternoon snack is Medjool Dates stuffed with fresh Pecans. Talk about delicious. Just take the pit out of the date and add 1-2 pecans. A healthy serving portion is 2-4 of these stuffed dates. If you have never tried this, get ready for your new favorite treat!!! You will not be missing your fattening afternoon sweets again. It tastes similar to pecan pie, but surprisingly even better.

 3. Last but not least, is brown rice crackers, hummus, and cut up vegetables. This one is the trickiest of the three because it’s really easy to eat too much hummus.  I suggest taking about 1/4 cup of hummus, putting it on your plate, then putting it back in the fridge instead of just eating it out of the tub. Same thing with the crackers, 8-10 of them, and unlimited cut up veggies such as cucumbers, carrots, or celery.

 One more thing, drink a cup of green tea after your snack. This will help increase your fat burning hormones while reducing inflammation in the body and adding some hydration to your stomach to help metabolize that snack even faster.

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Enjoy! And remember; try to have soup and salad before your small portioned dinner, and you WILL BE SLIM AND TRIM in no time!!

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