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If you’ve got some winter pooch that didn’t disappear with your first few workouts of the season, it’s time to focus on diet when it comes to getting a lean, hard midsection for summer.  Dieting can be such a downer any time of year—and especially if the weather where you live makes it feel like swimsuit season will never arrive.  To lean out without hunger, follow these simple steps and make sure you incorporate healthy protein-rich, low carbohydrate and unprocessed snacks.

SNACKING TIPS

  • Plan your three square meals a day.  Start your day with a good balanced breakfast of protein, complex carbohydrates, fat and fruit.  Pack a lunch with an array of vegetables and protein followed by a dinner with quality protein, veggies, and lower carbs.
  • Prep meals and snacks daily.  Have them packed and ready to go for your day, especially if you’re away from home all day. This way you can avoid binge snacking on processed foods in a pinch.
  • Incorporate fruit, vegetables and fiber in all snacks to fill you up all day long and keep your metabolism chugging along.
  • Time snacking to avoid blood glucose dips. Avoiding dips in blood sugar will keep you from overeating and hitting the “wall” in the afternoon hour.  Also, when your next main mealtime arrives you won’t be ravenous and risk over eating.  Overeating will only cause you to feel bloated and uncomfortable.  You will most likely skip your next meal or snack only to become starving again and the cycle of over eating and skipping meals continues.  Weight loss won’t be the end result but rather weight gain. 
  • Eat at your scheduled times even if you don’t feel hungry. You can always eat a little less but never skip an opportunity to fuel your metabolism.  A strong metabolism burns calories even at rest.

Now that we have a few simple steps to follow, get smart snacking ideas that can be easily inserted in between meals to keep your weight loss plan on point.

Best Snacks To Eat While Leaning Out
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Add these healthy snacks to your daily diet to stay energized and feeling full while leaning out.

Air popped popcorn sprinkled with sea salt and grated Parmesan cheese –

  • SERVING SIZE: 2 cups popped, 1 tbsp of Parmesan
  • Calories: 50, Protein: 9g, Carbs: 60g, Fat: 4.5g

Baby carrots with hummus:

  • SERVING SIZE: 3oz baby carrots and ¼ cup of hummus 
  • Calories: 140, Protein: 4, Carbs: 20g, Fat: 6

Greek yogurt with apple slices and walnuts or almonds 

  • SERVING SIZE: 6oz Greek yogurt, medium apple, ¼ cup walnuts
  • Calories: 350, Protein: 25g,  Carbs: 23g, Fat: 20g

Protein shake smoothie with powdered peanut butter added for extra flavor 

  • SERVING SIZE: 1 scoop of whey protein about 20grams of protein
  • Calories: 110, Protein: 20-25g, Carbs: 1g, Fat: 2

Natural almond, peanut or cashew butter over celery stalks 

  •  SERVING SIZE: 2 Tbsp of nut butter and 4-5 celery stalks
  •  Calories: 220, Protein: 7g, Carbs: 15g, Fat: 17g

White Bean Avocado Toast
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Avocado spread over rice cakes or sprouted grain toast with cucumber slices on top 

  •   SERVING SIZE: ¼ Cup Avocado, 2 rice cakes, 4-5 cucumber slices
  •   Calories: 220, Protein: 3g, Carbs: 40g, Fat: 9.5g

1% Cottage cheese (no salt added) with fresh berries or melon

  •    SERVING SIZE: ½ cup of cottage cheese, 1 cup of melon or berries
  •    Calories: 150, Protein: 17g, Carbs: 18g, Fat: 1g

Baked non-GMO tortilla chips with low sodium salsa and sliced avocado

  •   SERVING SIZE: 15 Baked chips, ¼ cup avocado, 2 tbsp of salsa
  •   Calories: 230, Protein: 3g, Carbs: 26g, Fat: 13g

Low fat cheese sticks or “Laughing Cow” brand cheese wedges with organic brown rice or wheat crackers 

  •    SERVING SIZE: 2 part skim cheese sticks, 15 brown rice crackers
  •    Calories: 250, Protein: 15g, Carbs: 25g, Fat: 6g

 Natural Almond butter over apple slices 

  •    SERVING SIZE: 2 Tbsps almond butter, medium apple sliced
  •    Calories: 250, Protein: 7.5, Carbs: 24g, Fat: 17g

Protein bars (like Quest) and Lara bars are great in a pinch.  Both are low in fat and high in protein.

  • SERVING SIZE: One Lara Bar: Per bar: Calories: 220,  Protein: 3g, Fat: 13g, Sugar: 18g, Fiber: 4g      
  • SERVING SIZE: One Quest Bar: Per Bar: Calories: 190, Protein: 21g, Carbs: 20g, Fat: 9g