African American couple eating cereal

When it comes to dieting, what you eat between meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner – matters more than you think. Sure, sneaking that snack size pack of Oreos may seem harmless now, but over time bad snacking habits add up to too many calories and very few nutrients.

In fact, according to research by the UDSA, the average intake of empty calories for men aged 20 and older surveyed was a whopping 923 calories per day — two to three times their limit in the solid fats and added sugars category. Meanwhile, women aged 20 and older are consuming almost two to four times their limit taking in 624 empty calories per day.

Experts however, suggest snacks under 200 calories with at least 10 grams of protein and up to 5 grams of fiber. So, in an effort to help you stay the course and opt for snacks that will both boost metabolism and help you shed unwanted pounds, keep reading!

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