Healthy Snacking On the Go

May 9, 2011

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blog_snackingMany people think of snacking as a bad thing, but when you are trying to lose weight and keep it off, strategic snacking can be one of the best strategies to avoid hunger and binge eating.

 

Here are my recommendations for healthy snacking on the go:

Have a Plan: As they say, the best defense is a good offense. As you plan your weekly meals, be sure to take snacks into consideration too, so you have what you need on hand when you need it.

Don’t Get Hungry: Once you are already hungry, it’s almost impossible to make wise snacking choices. Try to time your snacks so that you’re having them before you get out-of-control hungry, and avoid going without food for longer than four hours no matter how busy your day is. Think of snacks as hunger prevention!

Skip the Junk: Junk foods like chips, crackers, cookies, cake, ice cream, and the like are not the types of snack we’re talking about and should be avoided. This includes non-fat or baked versions of these foods. They usually don’t contain fewer calories and they are just too similar to “the real thing” for those who struggle with binge eating.

Eat Regular Meals: Many people are accustomed to eating just one big meal a day and grazing otherwise. No wonder their snacking is out of control! Making sure you take the time to eat a sensible breakfast, lunch, and dinner will keep your metabolism humming along all day and also help prevent impulse snacking.

Beware Empty Calories: Not all snacks are created equal. Foods that just fill you up but provide no real nutritional value just aren’t as satisfying as nutritious, whole foods. Be sure to read labels carefully. Some supposedly “healthy” snack bars are actually not much better than eating a candy bar! Don’t be fooled.

Go Natural: Nature has provided plenty of great snacking options in the form of fruits and vegetables. And many even come in their own wrapper, making them easily portable as well. Whenever possible, opt for snacks in as close to their natural state as possible.

Fiber and Protein are Your Friends: Low calorie, high-fiber and low-fat, high-protein foods are also great snacking choices because these foods fill you up and help you feel full longer than carb-based snacks. Combine the two for a winning one-two snack combo.

There it is – the secret to healthy snacking. Stick with these seven principles and I think you’ll find smart snacking just might turn into one of your best weight loss allies!

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[…] what should you eat when you get a craving for something sweet? I would advise you reach for a sweet treat in its most natural form – fresh, […]

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