Happy Friday all! Please enjoy this guest post
Five Questions You Haven’t Asked About Healthy Snacking
By: +Elizabeth Lotts writer for Vitacost.com
Snacking: everyone’s doing it. If you try to follow a healthy diet, you probably have a pantry full of whole grain crackers, nutritional bars, dried fruit and the like. But snacking on the wrong items, at the wrong times, in the wrong quantities can be what’s behind that diet plateau you’ve been trying to break through—or the reason why your favorite jeans feel a little snug. Read on to ensure you’re snacking the right way:
Q: Who should be snacking?
A: YOU! Anyone can benefit from snacking throughout the day. Keep in mind: if you’re trying to lose weight, then don’t discount snacks from your total calories consumed. Keep drinking plenty of water, get adequate rest and exercise regularly for overall health and well-being.
Q: Why is snacking important?
A: When you eat the right foods (see next question), your body benefits from a balanced nutrient mix. Snacking also aids in appetite control to fight off food binges. Eat consistently to maintain energy levels throughout the day, so you won’t lose focus or hit that afternoon slump.
Q: What should I be snacking on?
A: Eat foods that nourish your body and beware of empty calories – foods made of solid fats and/or added sugar, like soda, sausages and sweets. Most importantly, listen to your body and know how it responds to certain foods. Keep a food journal to track what you eat and how you feel immediately after, 30 minutes after and even two hours after (i.e. sleepy, energized, bloated, etc.). This will help you remember which foods give you sustained energy and which result in short-lived affairs.
Q: When should I be snacking? Is there a specific time of day?
A: Snack when you’re hungry – honestly hungry. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger, or are just plain bored, stressed or frustrated. Before you grab a protein bar, drink some water, stretch your legs or take a quick walk to clear your head. If you still feel tired or hungry, then have a snack to refuel and re-energize.
Q: How much food qualifies as a snack?
A: Think small for big benefits. Plan and pre-portion your snacks whenever possible to help prevent overeating. Eat from single-serving containers or small bowls and stop when you see the bottom. A snack typically contains less than 300 calories with a good mix of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fat – like omega-3 from nuts.
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