The 6 Right Snacks to Eat at 11 a.m.
How much: 1.5 standard portions (1.5 ounces total) or about 35 nuts
Extra perk: If you can, chew your almonds up to 40 times before swallowing (oh, to know what your colleagues will think!). You'll absorb more nutrients like vitamin E than if you munched less; you'll also feel fuller longer, found research at Purdue University. This habit will result in thoroughly breaking down the nut's cellular wells, helping your body absorb more of the good stuff. (Alternatively, you can eat almond butter or make a smoothie and let your blender do the work.)
How much: 40 grams, or about 4 squares of a chocolate bar
Extra perk: Research has found that chocolate may improve blood flow to the brain in older people, which could result in improved memory and clearer thinking.
How much: About 3/4 to 1 cup of cereal (120 calories or 30 grams of carbohydrate and no more than 2 grams each of protein and fat)
Extra perk: Serotonin is a serenity-enhancer as well as an appetite suppressor (ideally, you'll feel lighter in more than one way). Wurtman recommends that you chow down the entire snack within 10 minutes of starting, or else serotonin will be produced more slowly. Expect appetite-suppressing, mood-enhancing magic to kick in within a half-hour.
How much: One serving size
Extra perk: The extra calcium helps to prevent osteoporosis, reduce PMS symptoms and improve heart health. The calcium in just one 8-ounce serving of plain low-fat yogurt (about 415 mg) takes you almost halfway to the recommended daily allowance of 1,000 milligrams.
How much: A single piece of fresh fruit. (Alternatively, measure and bag 100 calories worth of the following dried fruits: 3 prunes, dates or fresh/dried figs, 1 tablespoon of raisins, 2 tablespoons of dried cherries or 8 dried apricot halves.)
Extra perk: Fruit is rich in dietary fiber
How much: One standard fiber cereal bar (about 1.5 grams of proteins and fiber, and 3.5 to 4 grams of fat)
Extra perk: The Cardiff researchers also found that when people took a road test in the midmorning, those who had first eaten cereal bars perceived significantly more hazards—and were therefore likelier to avoid accidents—compared with non-snackers. (Bars are also easy to eat while driving one-handed.)
Next: The biggest mistakes women make when dieting