After having my second daughter 9 months ago, I have lost 25 of the 40 pounds I gained while pregnant. On top of the 15 that remain from pregnancy weight I also have another 10 pounds from the first pregnancy that I'd like to lose. I have been mildly exercising and eating right, but snacking is my weakness. I always find myself drawn to crunchy comfort snacks like potato chip and pretzels. Is there a healthy alternative you could recommend?
Roberta Westin, Charlotte
Many people find it hard to resist tempting snacks when trying to stick to a weight loss regimen. When we reduce our caloric intake and cut unhealthy foods out of our diet, our body will naturally crave those foods that it is so accustomed to eating. For this reason, it is best to wean yourself off of those unhealthy snacks slowly. Start by replacing one unhealthy snack item a day with a healthier snack alternative. After a few days, replace another unhealthy snack with a healthy one. Since crunchy potato chips are your weakness, try replacing them with some crunchy fruit or veggies. You may not think that would make a difference, but our body is fairly easy to trick, and the crunching of crisp produce may at least satisfy part of your craving.
It is perfectly acceptable to indulge occasionally, and doing so in moderation will not have a negative effect on your weight loss efforts. Your cravings for chips may never go away completely. If you find yourself yearning for potato chips, consider soy chips instead. Soy chips are a healthy alternative to other types of snack foods. Unlike the bland, cardboard textured soy chips from years ago, many of today's soy chip manufacturers produce chips that are not only good for you, but taste good as well. Choosing the right brand of soy chips will obviously depend on your personal taste preference, however, some brands consistently rank higher among consumers than others.
According to Good Housekeeping, Atkins Crunchers hold the number one spot among readers. The crunchy texture and thin shape scored high because of its close resemblance to traditional potato chips. Those with high blood pressure should be careful, as there is a high sodium content in these chips.
Available in salted, cheese and barbecue flavors, Glenny's is a popular soy chip choice. In the Good Housekeeping taste test, the standard salt chips were middle of the road, but the cheese and barbecue flavors beat out all other brand and stole the number one spot. Consumers liked the authentic taste and the crispy texture. Not just an ordinary salted ship, flavors listed on the Glenny's website include Apple-Cinnamon, Creamy Ranch, Onion and Garlic, White Cheddar and Caramel.
Recommended by shapefit.com, Genisoy baked chips are low in fat and high in protein. They are available in ranch, garlic, rosemary and oil, sea salt and pepper, cinnamon streusel, chocolate and naked. Although the salted and cheese varieties ranked at the bottom of the barrel amongst Good Housekeeping readers, the barbecue variety came out on top, sharing first place with 2 other brands.
Newman's Own Soy Crisps snagged the top spot in The San Francisco Chronicle's soy chip taste test. Out of 5 brands, Newman's Own was ranked as the number one, best tasting chip. Made with all natural ingredients like organic soy and organic rice, these chips are high in protein and are gluten free. The 4 flavors available are lightly salted, barbecue, white cheddar and cinnamon sugar. Nutrition information for each variety is available on the company website.
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