TODAY   |  April 26, 2013

5 tips for healthier snacking

TODAY diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom says that you can lose a few pounds by making smarter decisions about how and when you snack. She explains that brushing your teeth may prevent a snack craving, and divvying up your meals to eat throughout the day will help fulfill a desire to snack without adding extra calories.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we're back on this try-day friday, with more on our special series, drop ten pounds by memorial day to help you look the best before you put on the bathing suit.

>> one of the best ways to get ready is choosing wisely when it comes to snacks, here is diet and nutrition expert madelyn furnstrom.

>> snacking, you don't realize how much it adds up. you raise the best point of all. do we actually need to snack? we're always fueling all day for what? most of us are inactive. the first thing is to cut down. you're sitting around, there's no need to add extra calories. what to do instead of snacking, can you brush your teeth, a favorite of yours. you can take credit for that one.

>> i didn't make it up.

>> some of the coolest things are tooth brush carrying it around. these are tiny tooth brushes and they have toothpaste right on them. you can use them and throw it away and keep your mouth busy without food. and the gum-chewing is a stress reliever and if you chew enough, it's about ten calories an hour.

>> every time i chew something that tastes sweet, i crave sweets, when i ban all things that even taste sweet?

>> that's your temperment, so you have to know it and accept it. that's not going to work for you. every tip is not for everyone.

>> now here's a way it fool yourself into thinking you're having a snack. we eat way too often. if you have breakfast, lunch and dinner, try to divide it up. think of your breakfast like a yogurt and a banana. make your yogurt and your breakfast, and later on eat the second half of your breakfast. the same thing with lunch, you can have your soup and have your sandwich later.

>> the soup --

>> ooh.

>> now let's get to the fact that you have to know your snacking temperment. if you are going to snack, you want to limit it to one or two a day. you don't want to be grazing all day. you can have something a fat tooth, a sweet tooth or a salt and crunch tooth. so when you have a snack, you know what you like. you can have things like fruit and yogurt, like sweets.

>> you're a little salty, too. baby.

>> so you can have anything from single-serving of soup. to a string cheese and any of these from between 50 to 100 calories. one or two together.

>> we say cheese is not a good choice, but that's mozzarella, low fat and a single serving piece, you're not taking this giant hunk and hacking off a bunch.

>> that looks good.

>> that's a little -- pickle.

>> are there calories in pickles?

>> just a lot of salt, but five calories, if salt is not an issue, enjoy yourself . you can have things for crunch, crunch and salt --

>> you need to chew and have that sense like, that's really important. you might want to have some cereal also a lot of crunch with a little milk or your favorite -- we love the popcorn.

>> you did something, what did you do?

>> look at you, crazy madelyn.

>> rice cakes are back with a little peanut butter on it. these are gluten-free if that's a concern. but gab you're going to have the salt and crunch, there's plenty of substitutes.

>> and the sweet tooth .

>> this is something, mini kind bars are at 100 calories. regular fruit, nature's candy or frozen grapes.

>> how many calories are an average woman supposed to have each day?

>> depending on your activity and age, about 1500 calories a day to lose weight it could be as much as 2,000 or as low as 1200 you have to keep track of these.

>> that's not a lot.