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Can snacking help me lose weight? 

Though you may feel guilty about snacking, snacks aren't necessarily bad. In fact, mini meals several times a day can help manage hunger and reduce bingeing on foods later in the day. Eating a healthy snack may stop you from taking second or third helpings at your next meal, dramatically cutting the calories you consume. Snacking on the right foods will help increase your energy levels and help your blood sugars stabilize, decreasing the highs and lows throughout the day. The key to incorporating snacks into your nutrition plan is to plan them with variety, moderation and balance in mind. So when you hit that midafternoon lull, reach for the carrot sticks and forget the potato chips.

For information contact sports and lifestyle nutritionist Julie Fortenberry, LDN, RD, at 504.457.3100 at The Fitness Principle with Mackie Shilstone at East Jefferson General Hospital, or go to www.ejgh.org/thefitnessprinciple.

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