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Learn how to make this Black Bean Dip. (Picture courtesy Weight Watchers)
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Healthy alternatives to avoid mindless snacking

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Mindless snacking is a part of almost everyone's daily routine - whether they are sitting in front of their computers, watching television at the end of a long day or reading a good book. However, mindless snacking often means a disregard of portion sizes. Even healthy snacks, like nuts and hummus, have the potential to easily set you back hundreds of unwanted calories if you overindulge.

Weight Watchers is offering tips on how to recognize correct portions on healthy snack foods, and how to establish new behaviors and routines that can solve the challenge of mindless snacking. Here's how they compare traditional healthy snacks (that can be dense with calories) to options that are high in volume and low in fat and calories.

NUTS vs. POPCORN

Nuts are a very healthy food, packed with protein and heart healthy ingredients. But in terms of portion sizes, one cup can equal almost 900 calories. The truth is a reasonable portion is about 10-15 nuts; but who only eats one serving of nuts? Instead, opt for low-fat microwaveable popcorn. It often comes in 100 calorie portion bags. A bowl of air-popped popcorn goes a long way -- high in volume, low in calories. Another great choice is grapes.

HUMMUS vs. BLACK BEAN DIP

Hummus is a great snack and provides a lot of vitamins, but just a few tablespoons can equal more than 100 calories. Black Bean Dip is a great alternative that is loaded with fiber and protein. This recipe is oil-free and loaded with lots of flavor. Pair it with some fresh vegetables and you have a low-fat, low-calorie snack that will leave you satisfied. Click here for the recipe.

ICE CREAM vs. FRUIT DIP

Some like to end their day with a sweet treat and at the back of almost everyone's freezer is that forbidden stash of ice cream. While small portions of ice cream are harmless, no one's going to eat just one or two tablespoons, especially if it's a trigger food. A sweet and creamy fruit dip, paired with a cut-up apple, can cure that sweet craving for much less. This is an easy prep with a ½ cup of regular caramel dip mixed with softened 8 oz of low fat cream cheese. Click here for the recipe.

For more information on Weight Watchers, go to www.WeightWatchers.com .

 

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