Healthy Snacking Tips
Updated: Oct 16, 2022
If you’re someone who likes to snack frequently, I have some useful tips for you to start healthy snacking without compromising your health and weight.
So many of us work from home these days and knowing how our eating habits are affecting us is a good place to start being mindful of snacking.
Planning out to snack wisely may be challenging if your work, school, extracurricular activities or caring for the kids, take up so much of your time. As a busy mom with many responsibilities, sometimes it feels impossible to find time to do anything else. Planning out to eat healthily takes time but is well worth it in so many ways, and I’m here to make it easier for you!
Many people that have adopted practicing a healthy lifestyle have found it very beneficial to saving time, money and also preventing unhealthy eating habits. It’s important not to get overwhelmed by the idea of preparing foods and snacks ahead of time because anyone can begin to eat smart as long as they are open to change.
Most snack foods, such as energy bars, popcorn, bran muffins or cereals can be packed with unhealthy fats and added sugar and refined carbohydrates. Even “fat-free” foods often contain lots of added salt and sugar.
Yes ! even if they seem to be of great nutritional value they just are not.
This processed mix of refined carbohydrates, fats and salt rarely occur in nature. They trigger an addictive type of behaviour leaving you wanting more and able to eat more, yet not feeling full.
If it is within reach (even at the top of the highest cupboard) you will eventually eat it if bored!
7 tips for Healthy Snacking
1. Hydrate first
Sometimes the drive for a snack can be derailed by a glass of water or hot beverage – no, not hot chocolate! Sipping water instead of sugary drinks is the simplest way to limit unnecessary snacking and excess calories. Besides that, we know from research that drinking water away from meals, ideally a couple of 250ml glasses, results in accelerated detoxifying and even reduced likelihood of putting on weight.
2. Choose High Fiber foods and Whole Grains
Whole-grain snacks can give you some energy, won’t spike your blood sugar and will keep you full longer. Try some whole-grain pretzels or tortilla chips, homemade crackers, zucchini or banana bread, oatmeal or rice crackers. One thing I always emphasize on when I recommend whole grains is to be aware of misleading whole grain claims on packages. To be sure the food really contains whole grains, read the ingredients and look for the word “whole” prior to the grain’s name—for example, whole wheat or whole quinoa
3. Healthy Fats moderately
Combine a small amount of something with healthy fat, like peanut butter, with a larger amount of something very light, like apple slices or celery sticks. Moderate number of Unsalted nuts and seeds make great snacks too. Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, cashews, hazelnuts, filberts, and other nuts and seeds contain many beneficial nutrients and are more likely to leave you feeling full (unlike chips or pretzels). Nuts have lots of calories, though, so keep portion sizes small.
4. Repurpose Meals
Many breakfast foods can be repurposed as a nutritious snack later in the day. How about a slice of whole-grain toast topped with avocado? Homemade granola and plain yogurt also make a quick snack. Or a simple salad made with lots of greens and crunchy additions like cucumber and radishes with a basic homemade dressing will actually exhaust your jaw from chewing quick enough and help to satisfy the cravings.
5. Balanced Snacks contain all macros
Try to have more than just one macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) at each snacking session. For example, have a few nuts (protein and fat) and some grapes (carbohydrates). Or try some whole-grain crackers (carbohydrate) with some egg, avocado, hummus or nut butter (protein and fat). These balanced snacks tend to keep you feeling satisfied. So you won’t turn in desperation to the muffins and doughnuts at the coffee counter or the candy and chocolate and chips in the pantry.
6. Keep an eye on food labels
Watch out for…Dairy products that are labeled low-fat. These can be healthful choices, but be careful of products with added sugar or artificial sugar to make up for the decrease in fat. Also be mindful of high sodium content. Aim for 400 mg or less per snack unless you are on a low sodium diet, in which case you should strive for less.
7. Snack mindfully
Don’t eat your snack while doing something else — like looking at your phone or monitor, reading, watching TV, or replying to emails at your desk. Instead, stop what you’re doing for a few minutes and eat your snack like you would a small meal.
When you’re home and you feel like having a snack, try not to snack mindlessly as you are on the computer. This can lead to eating more than you had planned to. Always plate or portion out your snacks to make sure that you don’t end up overeating. Also if you tend to binge on high sugar foods you will end up with a sugar crash immediately. In order to keep your snacking balanced be aware of the amount of sugar you consume.
Most people enjoy having 1 or 2 healthy snacks throughout the day along with 3 balanced meals. If you prefer eating more often, try having five smaller meals throughout the day. The important thing is to make it work for your schedule and daily activities.
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