Tempted to grab a 100-calorie snack pack of cookies or pretzels? Eating carbs, even if they’re lower in calories, may leave you hungrier later on, and more likely to gobble up more. That’s because snacks like these make your blood sugar spike—then take a nosedive—leaving you wanting more.
Instead, reach for something more substantial like protein-packed peanut butter or string cheese with an apple. These may have more calories per serving, but the protein and fat will help you get full faster and feel full longer.
What about eating frequency? You may have heard that eating six (versus three) times a day boosts weight loss, but a few recent studies may cast doubt on that claim. For a low-calorie diet, researchers at the University of Ottawa found there was no special advantage to spreading calories among six meals versus three. And a recent review of the literature also reached no solid conclusions on the matter.
Your best bet? Keep your overall daily calorie intake in check; exercise; drink lots of water; stay away from processed foods and sugars. Weight loss and maintenance isn’t rocket science–but it is about smart, conscious choices. To your health!