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How can I gain weight in muscle, not fat?

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Is the Macronutrient Distribution Diet the BEST for WEIGHT LOSS?

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SNACK SMARTER THIS SCHOOL YEAR!

healthy back to school snacks
This article was contributed by Debbie M., MS, RD – 

It’s not just the kids and teachers heading back to school that need to pay attention and make sure that they are eating healthy snacks during the day. Many people are grabbing the wrong things to manage hunger outside of mealtimes.

Snack  noun \ˈsnak\ : a small amount of food eaten between meals

Look at the definition of “snack” above and you’ll see that volume and timing are mentioned, not content. No wonder so many people are clueless about what to snack on! Read on to find out what to pack in your work, school or gym bag.

Snacks only need to comprise 1-3 elements: a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat — the 3 macronutrients. This is much less than the 4-5 elements food groups required for a square meal. This is because protein slows digestion, carbohydrates provide fuel and fat is satisfying. Having all three present in your snack means stable energy until the next meal, which means you have chosen and “A+” snack.

What is the best afternoon snack to curb hunger?

You can start with any one food group you like – fruit, starch, meats, vegetables, dairy or fat. Then add another item that fills any macronutrient gaps. Some things, like soybeans (edamame) or low-fat fruited Greek yogurt don’t need this macronutrient pairing because they are well-balanced by themselves. Here are some great examples of combinations that make the grade:

  • Oranges + peanuts
  • Wheat crackers + tuna salad
  • Half a turkey sandwich with avocado
  • Hard cooked egg + pretzels
  • Celery and carrot sticks + hummus
  • V-8 juice + string cheese
  • Cottage cheese + pineapple
  • Low-fat milk + protein powder
  • Almonds + banana

If you’ve forgotten your homework and didn’t pack a snack, you can still grab a small 1-2 ounce protein bar from a convenience store, a cup of soup from a deli counter, or a single street taco at a fast-casual restaurant. As a last resort from a drive through (detention for you!), select a snack wrap or fruit and yogurt parfait.

 

Don’t forget that portion matters! Keep it small, which is about a handful total to give a visual idea of a proper portion. This is about one cup. If you want to look at it from the perspective of calories, then somewhere in the 100-200 calorie range for women and 150-300 calorie range for men is suitable.

15 Energy Sustaining Snacks for When You’re on the Go!

 

Considerations:

  • True, sugar and caffeine give you energy, but only temporarily. Sorry, candy bars and coffee get a failing grade here!
  • You can’t eat what you don’t have. So shop and prepare options in advance.
  • Convenience and portability matter. A shelf-stable package or individually portioned container can make the difference of a snack eaten instead of skipped. Skipping a snack could lead to overeating later in the day.
  • Snacks are a great time to fit in some elements that you don’t get at your meals. Perhaps some vegetables or a serving of dairy?
  • Let hunger be your guide. Waiting until you’re “starving” means going straight for the junk. On the flip side, don’t force yourself to eat just because “it’s time.”

RECESS! Timing is important to the concept of snacking. Ideally, a snack would fit in the midpoint of the break between meals. If your meals are tightly spaced 3-4 hours apart, there may not even be a need for snacks. Conversely, you may want to increase the size of your snack if there will be an extended time before your next meal.

Now you have no excuse (though, the dog really can eat it) to have a healthy snack.  Feel free to share other great snack ideas in the comments section below!

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How can you lose the last 15 pounds in your midsection?

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What are vegetarian things I can eat that contain a lot of protein?

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Can you flatten your stomach with diet alone?

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What should your MACRONUTRIENTS intake be?

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One calculator says 1200 Cal/day, the other 2030 Cal/day to lose weight, which is correct?

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Why haven’t I lost weight or belly fat after two months of working out?

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How can I lose the last 10 pounds I gained during pregnancy?

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How much produce is too much, if I am trying to gain weight?

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How much fat, protein, carbs, fiber, water, etc. do I need to build muscle?

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Do I have to eat BEFORE an early morning training session, or can I wait until AFTER?

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Which food pairings are best for losing weight?

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Can I prevent my muscles from cramping by adjusting what I eat and drink?

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What is the best afternoon snack to curb hunger?

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Is eating before I sleep sabotaging my weight loss?

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Am I eating wrong to obtain 9% body fat, or is this just not realistic to achieve?

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7 Plank Exercises for a Tighter and Toned Stomach

bethany plank cover

If you’re like most people, this is the time of year you’re trying to define your abs & lose your love handles. After all, we all want enviable abs for the summer. If this sounds like you, these 7 Plank exercises can help you achieve your goal.

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3 Answers to Feeling Full Without all the Calories

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Not Losing Weight? 5 Hard Truths You Need to Come to Terms With

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  1. It’s NOT because you have a SLOW METABOLISM.

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5 Best Butt Exercises to Get You That ‘Brazilian Lift’ in Your Summer Swimwear

 

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What are the side-effects of appetite suppressants and are they harmful?

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What is the best regular fiber that you should consume and how much?

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Should I eat dinner before or after I go to the gym if I workout late at night?

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How can I train my brain to stop thinking about and craving bad food?

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Does L-carnitine help promote fat metabolism and fat burning?

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What are some good gluten-free snacks?

ask our dietitian your question todaygluten free snacks from Living Healthy

I just found out I have Celiac Disease and must become gluten-free. Do you have any suggestions on gluten-free snacks? Is it unhealthy to be having more intakes of corn and rice based products? – Dena O.

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Snacks based on fruit, nuts, seeds, milk, eggs or meats are no-brainers. Examples include good old-fashioned celery with natural peanut butter, cheese and apples, or hard-cooked egg and grapes. If you want something sweet or savory from a box or bag (think crackers or chips) then it’s trickier to avoid gluten, but many suitable products now line the shelves. You just have to look carefully at the ingredients list if the package doesn’t indicate “gluten-free” or GF.

Some favorite GF snacks of mine include yogurt, edamame (soybeans), sweet potato chips, trail mix, guacamole or salsa with corn tortilla chips, snap peas and carrots with hummus, and GF bars such as Larabar or KIND. I’d recommend you explore options for home and on-the-go that you can stock up on so you won’t be without suitable snacks when you need them.

Corn and rice are fine when replacing wheat as a main carbohydrate source in the diet. Many populations live off these (or potatoes) as their staple food. Your concern should be for how processed your selections are, as products based on these can be wholesome or refined. Popcorn is fine, whereas cheese flavored corn puffs are not. Brown rice cakes or GF wild rice soup are fine, but crisped rice treats are not.

Other readers: Interested in a gluten-free diet for weight loss? CLICK HERE to read our article on the facts.

Debbie J., MS, RD

Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?

Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to nutrition@lafitness.com or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below. To learn how to follow the “Ask Our Dietitian” Q&A CLICK HERE!

Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.

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20 New Ideas for the New Year

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