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image-3 6 great snack ideas to help you towards your New Year's weight loss goals!

by Portia Quinn

We all love to snack but it’s unlikely to help us lose weight. Unfortunately we tend to snack when we are really hungry and grab something handy – like a bag of crisps, biscuits or a sweet treat – adding too many of the wrong kinds of calories and too few nutrients to our diets. Here are a few staples to get into your larder so that next time you snack you keep on track!

What we are aiming for with snacks

What you want is the right amount of calories and good nutrients to keep you energised. We know exercising and eating protein increases lean muscle mass, and this boosts your metabolic rate so you burn calories faster. Fibre improves digestion and reduces fat and sugar cravings. Nothing is going to actually "burn fat" but if you choose wisely you can make sure what you eat is encouraging your body to work efficiently.

Here are 6 great healthy snacks around 200 calories:

1.   An apple and a low-cal cheese triangle – a good grab-and-go option.
2.   Half an avocado filled with cottage cheese (cottage cheese with chives works well too).
3.   Three oatcakes with tuna: Use tinned tuna in brine or spring water; and add a little finely chopped chives or red onion, black pepper, paprika and lemon juice for flavour.
4.   Cooked king prawns with avocado dip on Ryvita: Use 5 king prawns and a dessertspoonful each of low fat greek yoghurt mixed with avocado, salt and pepper.
5.   Edamame – A cup of edamame beans sprinkled with sea salt is a great snack, packed with protein and fibre. Top tip: This is a surprisingly satisfying alternative to typical fatty, salty snacks like crisps, and tends to go down well when drinking vino with friends!
6.   Asparagus and soft-boiled egg – A classic! You can lightly grill the asparagus with a spray or two of olive oil and dip the spears into your soft boiled egg – yummy!

Good luck with the goals and let us know how you get on!

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