Eating in between meals also helps keep your energy levels up. Now, what you eat does count! Many of us may view snacks as chips, cookies or candy – if this sounds like you, it’s time to redefine your definition of a snack. Let’s review some healthy snacking tips along with some tasty ideas!
1. Plan, Plan, Plan! The more you plan your snacks, the more likely they are to be healthy! It’s all too easy to grab junk food when the impulse strikes. Having healthy options available helps keep you running efficiently and adds quality to your day. And, you won’t have to think about what you are in the mood for.
2. Listen to your body – you will probably notice you are hungry at certain times of the day. When enjoying your snack, pay attention to hunger and fullness cues as you do at a normal meal. Remember though, this a snack and not a meal. If you are ravenous at snack time, take a look at the timing, quality and size of your previous meals. I am available in the Rate My Plate board to take a look for you!
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3. Balance is key! Just as it is important to balance your meals – it is just as important to balance your snacks. A donut will not satisfy and keep your energy levels up as long as an apple and string cheese would. As a general rule of thumb, combine healthy carbs with protein as your snack. The two together will help keep you full for longer. For example, try hummus and whole wheat pita bread, yogurt and fruit, veggies with yogurt dip or peanut butter with pear slices. At the very least, choose higher fiber foods to nosh on.
4. Keep snacks handy – make sure planned snacks are stashed where you need them the most. If you are hungry mid-afternoon - keep them in your desk drawer, car or in front of the refrigerator where you will see them. Then they will be ready to grab at a moment’s notice! Also, keep some stashed in your gym bag in case you need a pre-workout pick me up.
5. Moderation is okay! If you have chips every now and then, that’s okay! Just balance the rest of your week with healthy snacks. Or, if you have limited choices around you, do the best you can and jump right back into your healthy snacks the next day.