Healthy Snacking

When it comes to snacks, they are not all are created equal. Snacking can actually be helpful to those of us looking to watch our weight or even to lose weight. First, a big factor to consider when attempting to lose weight is hunger management. Nothing can cause us to grab just any old thing we can get our hands on like an out-of-control appetite. Making an effort to be mindful and to plan your day’s food intake is effective and doesn’t take much time.

Second, it depends greatly on what snack you are choosing as to whether or not it will provide satisfaction and good nutrition, no doubt about that. When you snack is important as well. Most people benefit from either a midmorning snack and/or a midafternoon snack. However, most of us have the habit of snacking at night after dinner, and this is the one time that is truly detrimental to our health. Often, we deprive ourselves all day long and then feel justified in indulging in late-night treats.

Sorry, but ingesting hundreds of calories after eating your main meal for the day is self-sabotaging behavior. The problem is that you are consuming just before you are about to sleep, which lowers your metabolism causing all those unnecessary calories to be stored as fat. That is only going to result in packing on the pounds. Instead, keep your hunger at bay and choose healthy, delicious snacks that you consume earlier in the day while your metabolism is revved. That will help tremendously.

Choose snacks high in protein and fiber. Some especially tasty and satisfying choices, 100 calories or less (which is optimal), would be six-12 raw or roasted almonds or cashews, four-eight walnut halves (divide them up and put the rest away), half a cup of 1 percent cottage cheese, a cup of beef vegetable soup or a small low-fat yogurt. The bottom line is to use your common sense, be smart and think ahead of your hunger and decide to be proactive about the choices you make.

When it comes to health and fitness, unfortunately no one can do it for us. Begin tonight to plan your day’s intake of food and pack some healthy snacks to ward off temptation at work. This is doable and easy, and with just a little effort on your part, you will start to see those unwanted pounds falling away.

Take charge and be proactive and remember that a small treat of your choice is possible a couple of times a week. Even a single piece of dark chocolate every night is OK, but only when the rest of your day has been well-managed. Deprivation will only lead to a binge that will undo all your work.