3 Secrets to Snacking and Weight Loss
Your stomach is growling, you feel dizzy, lightheaded or weak and lunch or dinner is still hours away. You are looking at the cookies on the counter. If you think that your best bet is to deny yourself, think again. Snacks can save your diet day (or night). The 3 major benefits of snacking include:
1. Binge control. Snacking on a high-protein bar, yogurt, a piece of fruit or raw vegetables can keep you from taking second or third helpings at your next meal and help you consume fewer total calories during the day.
2. Extra energy and nutrients. Snacking fits our busy lifestyles, offers flexibility and helps stave off hunger. Healthy, grab-and-go snacks can be a good source of nourishment.
3. May prevent stress or emotional eating. Listening to your body and eating when you are hungry is beneficial, and preferred over eating because the clock says it is time or because you are bored, stressed, depressed or emotional.
Snacks and desserts are useful, if you make the right choices. They will arm you with an option to prevent hunger and feelings of deprivation, if they are the right snacks at the right times of the day. Simply remember to avoid the wrong snacks, such as candies, cookies, ice creams, nuts, chips, cakes and other sugary and fatty items.
Traditional snack foods are high in calories, carbs, sugar or fat, and often have serious portion control issues. These foods quickly turn into fat and will make you even hungrier soon after you have eaten them.
Perfect snack foods are the ones easy to obtain, inexpensive, high in protein, low in calories and carbs, have portions that are easy to control and, most importantly, are pleasing and satisfy your cravings. Fruits and vegetables are unlimited snacks as you can eat them with no restrictions.
Perfect snacks have maximum 100 to 140 calories per serving and should be packaged in portion-controlled containers. Going to the supermarket these days you will see a very remarkable new trend. Almost every snack from cookies, to chocolate bars, to crackers, to chips and even breakfast cereal items are available in portion control sized packages. These are the easiest choices you will ever make.
These snacks fall into several groups: low-calorie, low-carb ice creams, bars, cookies, candy, crackers, yogurt and smoothies, as well as individually wrapped string cheeses. Also good for snacking are mini bags of 94% fat-free popcorn and the numerous new snacks in 100 calorie snack packs.
When choosing snacks, thing about the “time of the day” and it all fits together:
Morning snack. Fruits and yogurt are the best morning snacks. If you had protein for breakfast, you likely will not need to snack before lunch. However, impulsive eating, often a result of stress, can frequently occur in the office environment, especially if food is easily available. Having a preplanned, specific snack in the morning can reduce the risk of this type of eating.