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Snack Attack

By JJ Virgin, CNS, CHFI

In The Ultimate Weight Solution, Dr. Phil stresses the importance of learning the discipline of three meals and two snacks to keep blood sugar stable and cravings at bay. This means you should be eating two snacks per day to ensure that you eat every three to four hours. It is important that you plan these out ahead of time so that you aren't forced to rely on willpower when you start to get hungry.

Here are some High-Response Cost, Hunger-Suppressor snack ideas that you can easily prepare:

Yogurt parfait
Nonfat plain yogurt sweetened with cinnamon and no-sugar added vanilla extract. (If you need it sweeter initially while you are weaning yourself off the sweet taste, add xylitol, a sugar alcohol that doesn't raise insulin and helps reduce the risk of tooth decay, or splenda). Add 1/2 cup of your favorite fruit. (My top choices are diced apple for crunch or frozen berries defrosted and with a little of their juice — no sugar added of course — for a great antioxidant punch!)

Celery sticks stuffed with ...
- Peanut or almond butter.*

- Light whipped cream cheese or ricotta cheese whipped with your favorite herb mix and with 1-2 chopped olives or walnuts stirred in.

Tortilla roll-ups using low carb or whole wheat tortillas
- Almond or peanut butter* whipped with light whipped cream cheese or lowfat ricotta cheese. Spread 1-2 Tbsp. on tortilla, add 1/4 cup chopped apple for some crunch.

- Cottage cheese or light whipped cream cheese, salsa, chopped red peppers and jicama.

Great portable snacks:
- 10 raw nuts and a fruit serving.

- 1 oz. lowfat or nonfat cheese (especially string cheese) and a fruit serving.

Apple slices and nut butter

Baked apple
Sprinkle with cinnamon and bake, fill with lowfat ricotta or cottage cheese and top with a Tbsp. of freshly ground flaxseed meal.

1 scoop whey protein powder, 1/2 cup berries, 1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt or cottage cheese, 1/2 cup ice and 1/2 cup water, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Try freezing this and have as a popsicle.

Faux trail mix
1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean cereal, 1 Tbsp. dried fruit pieces (no sugar added) and 1 Tbsp. chopped nuts.

1 cup steamed edamame

(soybeans) in the shell

1 cup veggie soup

Raw veggies and dip
Use olive oil, Dijon and balsamic vinegarette or nonfat sour cream mixed with your favorite spices.

Rice cake topped with

- Nut butter and a tsp. of chopped no sugar added dried fruit

- Whipped cream cheese and salsa

*Read the labels and choose the peanut butter that doesn't contain partially hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup. Almond butter is a great source of essential fatty acids.