Here is the latest Get Fit email from Dr. Jacobs.
How to Snack Without Getting Huge
Sneaking a snack now and then is a recipe for waistline disaster, right? Maybe not. A new study suggests a snack strategy that might help you avoid ending up five sizes bigger.
In the study -- involving healthy, normal-weight people -- the participants ate three snacks a day for 8 weeks and didn't pack on any extra pounds. The magic secret? Eat what you know. The researchers think that this snacking strategy may have helped the study subjects avoid calorie surprises and allowed them to better compensate for the snacks later on.
Sneaky Snack Approach
When you know how many calories are in your snack of choice, you're in a better position to adjust your calorie intake of other foods later, so your total caloric intake for the day stays on target. That's right -- you can't snack away without cutting back somewhere else. But knowing how many calories your chosen noshes contain -- be they fruit, veggies, and yogurt or higher-calorie snacks like cereal and savory crackers -- will help you modulate at mealtime.
Listen to Your Belly
More research is needed to determine whether the study results apply to other groups, such as overweight people or people prone to weight gain. But it probably helped that the lean, healthy study participants were in touch with internal hunger cues and knew exactly when they'd had their fill. And best of all, they didn't have to add any extra physical activity to compensate for the snacks.