How To Snack Better
Even though snacking is sometimes linked to eating more calories, it can be good for you if you do it carefully. Snacks between meals can keep you from getting too hungry before your next meal, which can help you avoid eating too much. Snacking is also a good way to get nutrients or foods that you didn’t get at your main meals. People who eat one to two snacks between meals get more nutrients, like fiber, calcium, and vitamin C, than those who don’t eat snacks.
Snacking can be a good thing, but make sure to focus on eating whole, healthy foods. Don’t know how to make healthy snacks? We’ve put together a list of smart ways to snack so you can snack with confidence and pleasure!
Know Why You’re Snacking
Many people eat to alleviate boredom or satisfy a need to physically use their hands, as numerous studies have shown. The first step toward eating healthy snacks is to become more self-aware about why you reach for food from the fridge or cupboard. It could be that you are genuinely hungry and need something to eat, in which case, go ahead (as long as it’s healthy).
However, if you’re trying to avoid another (less enjoyable) activity, is snacking a reflex or a pleasurable, short distraction? Think twice before reaching for a snack the next time you’re feeling a craving, and instead, ask yourself if you’re truly hungry or merely bored or anxious, for example.
To help with this, try to snack mindfully. You should not snack while doing other things like working, surfing the web, or watching TV. Instead, take a little break from what you’re doing and consume your food like you would a light meal. This will stop you from overeating because you’re not paying attention.
As a healthy snack at any time of the day, unsalted nuts and seeds are hard to beat, and this is actually one of the healthy tips from Dr. Matthew Kulka. Nuts and seeds, such as almonds, peanuts, walnuts, roasted pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, cashews, filberts, and others, are a healthy alternative to processed foods and are more likely to fill you up (unlike cookies or chips). Keep in mind that nuts are high in calories, and eat only a small amount at a time.
Consider Different Food Groups
How would you define a snack? You might not know it, but snacks that are good for you often consist of a few different items from a variety of food groups. Plus, snacks can be made that are both filling and fulfilling by selecting foods high in protein and carbs.
The combination of protein and carbohydrates keeps you feeling full and energized throughout the day. Choose low-fat proteins and high-fiber carbohydrates such as whole grains, produce, nuts, and seeds.
Set A Regular Snack Time
An organized approach to snack times is useful at times. You should graze strategically, just at moments when you know you’ll need the energy. You can avoid unplanned overeating and unhealthy snacking by scheduling snack times into your day, and you can avoid making poor decisions due to hunger if you plan ahead.