I get a lot of questions her in Houston about snacking. Is it healthy? Is it what wrecks my diet? How can I stop it? Should I do it? All of these are legitimate, but they’re missing an important factor. What are you eating when you’re snacking? If you have a box of chocolates or cookies sitting in your desk or cupboard and occasionally grab one or two every few hours as a snack, don’t expect your progress to shed weight and get healthier to be as good. However, if you have planned healthy snacks, it might even help you lose weight faster.
Snacks may be the key to weight loss.
That’s right! You’re keeping your body revved between meals when you snack and reducing the amount you’ll eat at the next meal. When you have planned snacks available, they should be lower in calories and higher in nutrients. It boosts your nutritional intake with minimum calories while leaving you feeling fuller and far less deprived. Planning your snacks ahead of time helps eliminate that potential to grab a candy bar when you stop for gas or raid the office candy supply.
Not all studies come up with the same results.
Not all people are alike, so you can understand why not all studies provide the same results. Some studies show that snacking did nothing to reduce the person’s overall calorie intake or even level out blood sugar. Other studies show that it does help with weight loss and prevents ravenous eating at the next meal. If you’re a regular snacker, then planned, healthy snacks will help you shed pounds. If you never snack, but do eat a lot at each meal, your strategy might be different. Eating healthier without snacking is one option or drinking an 8-ounce glass of cold water a half hour before the regular meal can fill you so you eat less.
What types of snacks are best for a healthy diet or weight loss?
Keep your snacks between 100 and 200 calories and make sure they have some nutritional value. Empty calories have no place in a healthy diet. Just because it’s a healthy snack, doesn’t mean it has to taste like cardboard. There are a lot of healthy snacks that satisfy both your sweet tooth and appetite. Grapes and walnuts are good go-togethers, just as a small apple and an ounce of cheddar cheese or spoonful of nut butter. They’re both filling and healthy. Season cottage cheese and use it as a veggie dip for a really low calorie treat. The protein in the peanut butter, cheese, walnuts and cottage cheese leaves you feeling fuller longer.
- If you’re a snacker plan your daily snacks. They should be between 100 and 200 calories and be easy to carry with you, especially if you’re on the go.
- Are you super active? You might need more snacks throughout the day than someone that’s sedentary. Personal planning based on your hunger levels is always important.
- Skip the highly processed snacks. If you want a sugary treat, switch to fruit. After avoiding processed sugar products for a while, you’ll find the sugar in fruit extremely satisfying. Eat the fruit with some protein.
- Carry individual portions of snacks with you. I have a thin client that snacks continuously. She carries nuts mixed with dried fruit with her at all times. If you’re trying to shed pounds, you still need to count calories, so break that big bag down to individual 100 or 200 calorie portion sizes.