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MADISON (WMSN) -- A Fitchburg man says he was able to lose about 30 pounds, by snacking right, combined with watching his diet and getting exercise.

"I traveled a lot. You're always on an airplane your staying at a hotel, eating at restaurants. I used to joke I had a chemical dependency on Oreos," said David Summers.

30-year-old Summers says he's now kicked the habit for good.

He did this after realizing about two years ago he was packing on the pounds from what he was eating between lunch and dinner.

"Now I try to do a lot of healthy stuff. I've got a lot of almonds," said Summers.

"Instead of chips try to do fruit, granola bars, try to get to the gym four to five times a week.  When it's nice I'll run outside," he said.

Unhealthy snacking is something registered dietitian Amanda Hellman says she sees with patients all the time.

"Snacking itself isn't a bad thing. As long as we're snacking on the right things," said Hellman, a registered dietitian at Dean Clinic West.

Hellman says going for chips or a candy bar will give you a false sense of energy.

"For about 30 minutes to an hour and then we crash and we're right back to the vending machine looking for a big boost of energy. For kids still growing, that can really mean weight gain," said Hellman.

"I would reach for fruits and vegetables first. A piece of fruit is 60 calories per serving.  You compare that to a bag of chips or candy bar that might have upwards of 250," said Hellman.

Hellman says getting out and using the energy from your food will also prevent weight gain.

For David, it's changed his quality of life.

"I feel like I sleep better too.  When you get better rest, you're able to exercise," said Summers.

The next time you reach for a snack, you may also want to try a glass of water first.  Hellman says many people confuse their body's thirst for hunger.

Here's another tip from Hellman -- instead of going right for food, go for a walk outside. You may realize you don't need the snack, but some fresh air and exercise.

Snack right and lose weight

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