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Snack before you shop

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Maybe you’ve heard that going supermarket shopping while hungry can cause you to spend more money. But, did you know that researchers at Cornell University found that hungry grocery shoppers are more apt to slip high-calorie foods into their cart?

You can keep your food bill and your waistline in check simply by eating something before heading out to the grocery store. Grabbing a quick snack is probably easier on the weekend than it is after work when you are tired and your stomach is growling.  Choosing sugary candy and cookies from the office vending machine isn’t very diet-friendly nor will these hold you for long. Your best bet is to plan ahead and have a healthy, satisfying grab-and-go snack at the ready.  Here are some simple and tasty ideas:

String cheese and grapes

This refreshing sweet and salty combo could not be easier to pack. You can count on the natural sugar in the grapes to give you a nice energy boost while the protein in the cheese will digest slowly, keeping hunger in check until you sit down to dinner.

Hummus and veggies

Talk about smart substitutes! Let some baby carrots or sliced peppers answer the call for something crunchy, and by pairing them with hummus you have a light yet savory alternative to a bag of fatty deep-fried chips.

Apple slices with peanut butter

Simply cut an apple in half and core it. Then fill each cavity with a spoonful of creamy peanut butter. You get the fruity-nutty taste of a PB&J sandwich without the bread, plus a lot more tummy-filling fiber and protein.  

Gorp!  

This acronym stands for “good old raisins and peanuts,” but with some creative license it covers a healthy trail mix, too. Prepare a batch in minutes by mixing some dried fruit, almonds, high fiber cereal, and whole wheat pretzel sticks. Then fill zip-lock baggies with 1/2 cup portions.  

Strawberries and Cream

Start with a single serving of Greek yogurt and top it with juicy ripe sliced strawberries.  Greek yogurt is creamier than traditional yogurt and much higher in protein, which keeps you feeling full longer. The berries provide natural sweetness and tang and feel free to add a drizzle of sugar-free chocolate sauce over the strawberries to make this healthy snack seem more like a decadent dessert.

For more tips, delicious high fiber meal plans, recipes, and proven ways to lose weight and look great, check out my new book The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with Fiber!

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a registered dietitian in New York City and the bestselling author of The Miracle Carb Diet: Make Calories and Fat Disappear – with fiber, and The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss.  Follow Tanya on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.com