Best picks: Low-fat yogurt. “It’s loaded with calcium and protein, which will help you feel fuller,” says Katherine Tallmadge, a registered dietitian in Washington, D.C., and the author of Diet Simple: 192 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations (LifeLine Press, $27, amazon.com). Can’t find yogurt? A package of low-fat string cheese or even a small carton of skim milk can be nearly as filling, she says, especially when paired with a piece of fruit.
Another good option: Instead of buying packaged trail mix, which is full of sugar and fat, mix up your own from items sold at the quickie mart, says weight-loss counselor Molly Gee. Start with a low-sugar dry cereal, such as Shredded Wheat or Cheerios, as a base. (Look for the mini cereal boxes.) Then add raisins or some other dried fruit and some nuts or small pretzels. Ask for a paper bag to mix everything together. “You’ve made a high-fiber snack that’s crunchy, salty, and sweet,” says Gee.
Worst pick: A cream-filled doughnut. Sorry, Homer. This high-sugar, high–trans fat combo has no redeeming qualities. Sure, you’ll get a quick energy boost, but that will be followed by an equally quick drop in blood sugar, which will leave you feeling tired, cranky, and craving more sugar.