Tips to Help You Snack smarter and Get Slimmer

If you’re planning to lose weight, use a plan with three meals and two snacks every day. These are small meals and small snacks, so don’t use the regimen as a way to eat a lot.

Here are tips to make between-meal nibbles work for you:

• TIME SNACKS RIGHT: Snacks work best 21/2 to 41/2 hours after a meal. That’s when blood-sugar levels dip and you start feeling hungry.

• KEEP IT SNACK SIZE: Your snacks should be in the 100- to 200-calorie range. That’s enough to tide you over between meals, but it’s not so much that your snack becomes a meal.

• CHANGE YOUR SNACK: Keep snacks healthful, and you’ll be less likely to lose control and overdo it. Slowly digested protein and fiber — a pear and nuts or whole-grain crackers with hummus — will keep your blood sugar on an even keel and your appetite in check.

• THINK STRATEGICALLY: Make a list of go-to healthy snacks you can grab in a pinch. Then stock your fridge, pantry and office with them.

• TAKE YOUR TIME: When you eat something, savor it. Stop working, reading or watching TV, and focus on the taste, smell and texture of what you’re having.

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