What is the one thing we are all (Ok, almost four-fifths of adults) guilty of doing ie. snacking meaning – munching aimlessly without a care in the world picking a handful of CCCC; i.e. candies, cookies, chips, cold drinks etc. You get my point – UNHEALTHY SNACKING. Accept it or not, we all do it. Do not get me wrong, it is not always that “snacking” is evil for us. It is just when we leave the healthy snacks and go for packaged /processed foods leads to being unhealthy. We just can’t do with Old World customs of the “three square meals” tradition of the 20th century, because today’s consumers are snackers. In fact, snacks are a great way for keeping satisfied between meals, adding healthy snacks to our diet, and providing fuel for the next activity.
Healthy snacks should be structured and scheduled. It does not equal grazing throughout the day. What you eat as snack matters more than you think. So bear in mind a few pointers before your next snack:
Schedule snacks: Timing is everything when it comes to snacks. Too close after a meal, you might not be hungry for a snack, but too close before a meal you won’t want to eat your dinner. So, try spacing things out with about 2 hours in between eating, or leave at least one hour between snacks and meals.
Choose food cravings wisely: Snacks are also settler for series cravings. And craving is more psychological than physical. Make a note in your mind to read the list of ingredients in your snack. That’s because lengthy lists tend to include flavor enhancers and added sweeteners that stimulate your appetite instead of satisfying it. Craving might sometimes also indicate a need for something in your body. It can also generate from a boring diet. So try adding more variety and nutrients to your meal.
Keep snack food small: When you get that “energy slump” after finishing your chores/work, it’s easy to keep nibbling on the first thing you get your hands on. But you should control calories by choosing a snack with small dimensions or taking a measured amount and be extra mindful taking in the liquid forms like caffeine or soda.
For healthy snacks and guilt-free ones, include protein & fiber: Protein contributes to satiety aka fullness so while you eat less you don’t feel hungry too soon. That combined with fiber gives the right nutrients to your body for great metabolism. So a snack of cheese and vegetables will keep you healthier than a bag of chips (but we already know).
Vegetarian snacks and snacks for weight loss – For those who are on a weight loss diet plan, can also go for healthy snacks.
If you want a combination of low on calories, lip-smacking and healthy vegetarian snacks which will not add fat to the body, then you can include in your diet a combination of fruits, skimmed milk yogurt, smoothies, sprout salad, nuts.
To snack or not to – there are rules to adhere to while snacking. Snacking on the wrong foods, on too much food, too often and at the wrong time in the wrong place – can make you fat. Eating nothing at all can also cause weight. Also the food and snack quality is more important than the frequency of eating and one may choose what is most suitable to a person’s individual lifestyle because not everyone is blessed with the gift of being able to eat anything without consequences. Life is so unfair sometimes… sigh!