Snack heads listen up! Ditch the afternoon candy habit and opt for a healthy energy-boosting food. Sounds good, but if you're like me, munching on sugary treat is a hard habit to break.
It's so easy to mindlessly scoop up a handful (or three) of M & M's and satisfy my sweet tooth. Yet, most of us know junk food never does a body good - it's full of empty calories and often sends our energy into the crash zone. So, what's an afternoon grazer to do?
Celebrity nutritionist Christine Avanti, who helps stars like Chelsea Handler, Jeremy Piven, and Samantha Harris snack wisely, says the first step is to rid your workspace of bad foods.
"Get rid of all the candy - and I mean throw it out because if it's still in your area, you can bet you are going to eat it." But don't banish snacking; Avanti says it's important to eat between lunch and dinner, adding, "Eating lunch at noon and waiting until 7 PM to eat dinner can make anyone ravenously hungry and therefore over eat at dinner, which is the worst thing for metabolism."
The best snack is one that offers a balance of protein and carbohydrates because it helps speed up metabolism and blunts sugar cravings.
So, which snacks are best? Avanti shares her top five afternoon treats.
1. Popchips: The popchips provide a delicious crunch of healthier carbohydrates and with all of the flavor and less than half the fat of fried chips. This 100 calorie snack is perfect to hold you over until your next meal.
2. Greek yogurt: Try Greek yogurt combined with sliced almonds and berries. This is a fabulous balance of lean protein, healthy fats and antioxidant-loaded fruit.
3. Sliced apples: Opt for sliced apples dipped in organic peanut butter. This snack is packed with filling fiber, protein, and good-for-you fats. Plus, it's super quick and easy to prepare.
4. Turkish figs: Here's a yummy treat: Turkish figs stuffed with feta cheese and walnuts and drizzled with organic honey. This snack is a perfect combo of salty and sweet and keeps you satisfied until dinner.
5. Dark chocolate: Can't kick the chocolate habit? No worries! Opt for an ounce of dark chocolate with a handful of raspberries. It's a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and get a hefty dose of antioxidants.
Christine Avanti is also the author of "Skinny Chicks Don't Eat Salad."
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