Our bodies keep all of its activities in order, whether you keep a record of it or not. Each little bite every now and then adds calories to your consumption. Although balanced, healthy snacks can be a great option to ensure that blood sugar levels remain steady and prevent food cravings but you shouldn’t take it too far and pay close carefully the food you put into your mouth.
As I get emails every day asking for ways to control snacking in between meals, I think this post will be beneficial to many of you!
Healthy Snacking to stay on track
When you’re trying to watch your weight or improve your health, every morsel of food you put into your mouth matters. And while it’s fairly easy to keep track of your meals, making sure you eat the right amount of good-for-you foods, it is just as easy to forget about the snacks you consume in between. That’s especially true if you’re the type of person who likes to take a nibble here and a nibble there, or you find that snacking at night often gets out of hand.
In addition to energy, healthy snacks provide us with things we need: quality protein and fat, as well as important vitamins and minerals. The sugar and salt content should be as low as possible. The less added sugars we consume, the more sensitive we become to sweetness.
However, keeping your snacks in check may mean the difference between the numbers on the scale going up (Uh oh!) or going down (Yay!). To get them to do the latter versus the former, there’s a couple of things you can do starting today.
Pay attention to your Hunger
Sometimes we want to eat not because our body is hungry, but because our mind is hungry. It may be bored and hungry for stimulation; sad and hungry for happiness; or stressed and hungry for contentment. This is fairly natural, but recognizing the cause of your hunger is the first step to stopping yourself from eating due to emotion. One technique for doing this is to ask yourself how hungry you are on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being starving and 10 being stuffed. The closer you are to a 1, the more likely it is you need food. But if you’re over a 5, then it’s probably something non-food that will provide you the most relief.
Because snacks are often smaller in size, it’s super easy to eat them while doing something else. However, this also means that you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to enjoy your snack as you’re too focused on checking your email, watching TV, or doing whatever else it is you’re doing.
Generally, this leaves you wanting more. Instead, eat your snack mindfully by not doing anything else at the same time. You’ll likely feel more satisfied mentally and physically when you do.
Read also: 12 Foods For Naturally Glowing Skin
Choose whole foods
Varying the foods you eat is good, but choosing products that are more beneficial to your health is even better. When you eat bread, rice, corn, millet, wheat flour or oats, choose whole foods, which have a higher nutritional value than refined products.
The advantage of whole foods is that they are more satiating, richer in fiber and have a high vitamin and iron content. Of course, people with sensitive intestines must be careful about the risk of intolerance and irritation, but the idea is to gradually replace refined foods to take advantage of all the benefits of whole foods.
Replace refined sugar
Sugar is often demonized, but it’s important to put things in context. More than sugar in the broad sense, it is refined sugar that is problematic. Stripped of all its minerals and vitamins, white sugar actually provides only “empty calories”.
This term means that the calories ingested provide no nutritional benefit to the body. If you eat too many foods composed of empty calories (cakes, fast food, sodas…), you risk of deficiencies, hypertension, diabetes or gain weight.
Fortunately, as nature is well made, there are many foods and substances with sweetening power, which provide “full calories”.
Make room for occasional treats
While you want a majority of your snacks to be healthy, treating yourself every so often is beneficial as well. It helps you feel not so deprived, making it easier to stay on track. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to, a welcome break from your regular diet. The key is to make these types of snacks more of an exception than a rule. Or, as College News says to students wishing to avoid the freshman 15, “Just don’t overdo it!”
Read also: The Essential Fats That Our Body Needs
When you don’t give your body food often enough, your blood sugar can dip, causing you to crave food even when it’s not mealtime. That’s why a number of health experts suggest that you don’t skip meals. In addition, plan ahead by having healthy, protein-rich snacks like nuts or string cheese available between meals so you can keep your glucose levels stable. That’ll make it easier to snack when you need to without eating too much.
These two raw vegetables, reference slimming foods, can be nibbled without any qualms since they are both very healthy foods. The cucumber is essentially water and is fresh and non-caloric, while the carrots are rich in fiber and vitamins and will give you beautiful colors. You can also dip your sticks in a little hummus or guacamole.
Portion your Snacks
If you’ve ever sat in front of the television with a bag of chips or bowl of popcorn, only to look down at some point and realize it’s gone without remembering eating it, then this one is for you. By portioning your snacks ahead of time, you won’t fall into this all-too-common trap that can add a lot of unnecessary calories to your diet. Snack-size plastic bags or small plastic containers work best for this. These are just a few options to consider if your goal is to keep your snacking in check. You’ll find it easier to also keep your weight in check when you do!
I hope you find these tips useful!
Please share in the comments below how you snack healthy without overdoing it. Others might benefit from your experience.