Healthy ways to lose weight

Kick-start your weight loss with affordable, healthy recipes, free workouts and lots of tips to keep you on track!

Snack smart

Adding planned snacks is the next step in your diet.

woman eating snack from bowl

Now that you're eating three healthy meals a day, it's time to take a look at your snacking habits.  Snacking is the 'bridge' between meals. In fact, people who have the most success with weight loss long-term, eat three meals and one or two planned snacks each day. So add one snack between breakfast and lunch and add the other between lunch and dinner. Note: You can skip one of your between meal snacks and eat it after dinner if that better fits your lifestyle.

The goal is to have two healthy and planned snacks 150 calories each every day. Here are seven healthy snack ideas that you can mix and match.

-100-calorie bag of popcorn and 8 ounces of low sodium V8

-1 1/2 Tablespoons of peanut butter with celery for dipping

-1 small pear or apple and 1 pice of string cheese

-6 ounces of low-fat plain yogurt and 1/2 cup berries

-35 to 40 pistachios

-4 ounces of low-fat cottage cheese and 4-ounce  fruit cup (in its own juice)

-1/4 cup of hummus and 5 ounces of baby carrots

And just in case you're getting tired of the meal selections from Month 1, here are seven more breakfasts, lunches and dinners. (Please note: The dinners in this round are for the family -- each meal is four servings, one serving is 450 calories).


BREAKFAST #1: Breakfast Pizza Pita
2 large eggs
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp. pizza sauce
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 4-inch whole wheat pita

Serving directions: Scramble eggs with mushrooms, pizza sauce and cheese. Slice pita in half and stuff with egg mixture.

BREAKFAST #2: Waffles and Sausage
2 frozen whole-grain waffles
1 Tbsp. 100 percent fruit spread
1 small turkey or soy breakfast sausage link
1 grapefruit

Serving directions: Toast waffles and top with fruit spread. Enjoy sausage and grapefruit on the side.

BREAKFAST #3: Strawberry Walnut Oatmeal
1 packet instant plain oatmeal
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 oz. walnuts, chopped

Serving directions: Make oatmeal with hot water. Top with berries and nuts.

BREAKFAST #4: Tropical Breakfast Blender
1 cup skim milk
3/4 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup raw old fashioned oatmeal
2 Tbsp. sweetened flaked coconut

Serving directions: Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

BREAKFAST #5: Banana Berry Cottage Cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 medium banana, chopped
3/4 cup raspberries
1/4 cup raw old-fashioned oatmeal

Serving directions: Stir vanilla into cottage cheese. Top with banana, berries and oatmeal.

BREAKFAST #6: French Toast with Cinnamon-Sugar Apples
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 slices whole-grain bread
1 medium apple, chopped (skin on)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. packed brown sugar

Serving directions: Beat together egg and egg white. Dip bread into egg mixture. Cook in a nonstick skillet until lightly browned on both sides. Microwave chopped apples, cinnamon and sugar for 2 minutes. Top French toast with warm apples.

BREAKFAST #7: Quick Stop -- McDonald's
Egg McMuffin
Pack of sliced apples

NEXT:  Week 6