We all love our snacks, but when you begin a weight loss plan you might fear that the habit has to go. Actually, snacking can be beneficial and help you reach your goals! The issue is not really whether you can snack, but how you can snack constructively.
Snacks can be a good thing. Obviously, if your typical snack is a candy bar and a soda from the vending machine, this has to change. But that doesn’t mean you can’t snack at all! Snacks can be part of a healthy eating or weight loss plan, for the following reasons:
- Snacking helps regulate blood sugar
- Snacks can provide important nutrients
- Snacking can sustain your metabolism between meals
- Snacks can boost your mood and energy
Do you need to snack? One of the problems with snacking is that some of us do it out habit, rather than due to nutritional or energy needs. Part of any successful weight loss plan will involve challenging old habits and replacing them with better ones. So before you reach for a snack, ask yourself these questions:
- Am I truly hungry, or am I craving a snack for emotional or habitual reasons?
- Will it be more than two hours until my next meal?
- Did I work out this morning, or is there some other reason my energy is waning?
If you decide to proceed with a snack, you can do so healthfully by choosing an item between 100 and 200 calories. Remember, it doesn’t need to be a complete meal in order to provide a boost in energy.
How to snack healthfully. When choosing a snack, consider the following:
- Fiber (such as in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) helps you feel full, and regulates blood sugar
- Protein can keep your energy levels more consistent until your next meal
- Healthy fats help you to absorb more nutrients
Choose a snack that combines the above three nutrients, and remember to stay hydrated with plenty of water. Avoid processed foods, added sugars, and refined carbohydrates like white flour.
As always, contact us if you have questions about your nutrition regimen or weight loss plan. We can help you understand the type of nutrients and amount of calories you should be eating, in order to reach your goals.