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The Secret of Smart Snacking

For most of us, three meals a day is not enough – we get hungry during the long stretch between lunch and dinner. That's where snacking comes into play. Unfortunately, many people opt for unhealthy snacks from the office vending machine, including chips, cookies, or some other highly processed packaged item. But you're far better off choosing something healthy to boost your energy levels and curb your appetite until dinnertime.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a healthy snack is rich in nutrients and contains 200 calories or less.

By pairing complex carbohydrates with protein, you can keep your energy level up and your weight down.

Consider these options the next time you need ideas for healthy snacking to get you through the day:

  • 1 low-fat string cheese + 1 piece of fruit
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter + 1 apple
  • 8 ounces low-fat yogurt + ½ cup berries
  • 1 cup raw vegetables + 2 tablespoons low-fat dressing
  • 3 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 cup baby carrots + 2 tablespoons hummus

In addition to all of this, avoid snacking too much after dinnertime. You want to give your body time to digest before sleeping so you can avoid digestive issues – and so your body can focus sleep time on other important activities like maintenance, repair, and healing.

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