Contrary to what some people believe, ignoring your hunger and skipping meals aren’t effective ways to lose weight. These things can actually slow down your metabolism rate, which will then lead to weight gain. So, the next time you feel hungry between meal times, remember that it’s okay to have a snack.
However, it’s important to be particular about what snack you get. You should choose snacks that are good for you and that offer nutritional value, rather than unhealthy ones that may only contribute to weight gain.
Nutritious snacks can be delicious; it’s all a matter of putting effort into how you plan, choose, and prepare them. With the right snacks, you can take the edge off your hunger and concentrate better on your tasks for the day, without compromising your nutrition or your fitness journey.
If you’d like to adopt smart and healthy snacking habits, consider the following tips.
Look For Snacks That Are Heavy In Nutrition
With more and more people becoming health-conscious every year, more markets and stores are offering food and snacks that carry nutritional benefits. Take advantage of this and stock up on healthy snacks the next time you go grocery shopping. If you don’t know where to start, here are some options you can explore:
- Fruit-Based Snacks: Everyone knows that fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals, and they make for a delicious snack too. You can satisfy your hunger—and your sweet tooth—with your favorite fruit. Additionally, you can consume them in the form of smoothies too! That way, you won’t get bored with having the same thing so often. There are even mixed fruit options if you want more variety to your smoothies. You can easily prepare these at home and consume them on the go, so they’re great if you have a busy lifestyle.
- Snacks High In Protein: A healthy diet should include protein. It builds muscle, bone, and tissue, and an added benefit is that it helps slow down digestion, keeping you full for a longer time. This may be helpful if you’re trying to watch your weight, as it means you can feel full with less food. For such reasons, it’s a good idea to have snacks that are heavy in protein. These include protein bars, nuts, grainy snacks, yogurt, and hard-boiled eggs.
- Snacks High In Fiber: High-fiber foods have many health benefits, such as maintaining bowel health and helping you feel full for longer. This is why many dietitians recommend fiber-rich foods for those who want to lose weight. Some fiber-rich foods you can include in your snack options are oatmeal, potatoes, and popcorn.
Indulge In A Sweet Treat Once In A While
It’s normal to crave sweets, and it’s fine to satisfy this craving once in a while. In fact, it can potentially help you lose weight if you allow yourself to have sweets. If you decide to cut out all your cravings and forbid yourself from having them, the chances are that the cravings will pile up, until you find yourself giving in and binge eating junk foods and sweets.
To snack smartly, allow yourself to eat sweets in moderation. This will satisfy your cravings and make you feel more content with your diet. It would be best to find healthy alternatives to the foods you crave. For instance, go for dark chocolate instead of the regular kind. If you want pastries, you can get something with more nutrients, like dark chocolate strawberry oat bars, or you can go for gluten-free cakes or cookies. These alternatives will do less harm to your body while tasting just as good.
Be Wise When Shopping
Eating healthy requires a lot of planning, which also applies when grocery shopping. Always make a shopping list. Include a list of healthy snacks you like and avoid unhealthy ones. When you’re in the supermarket, only get the items that are on your list. You may make exceptions for additional items that are just as healthy as the items on your list. Go for sugar-free, organic, low-fat, and gluten-free products.
Always read the Nutrition Facts label. Many people don’t bother, but doing this can help you make wiser shopping choices based on the product’s nutritional value and ingredients.
Customize Your Snacks
When you have the time, consider making and preparing your own snacks instead of buying them. This gives you more freedom to adjust the ingredients and proportions to your liking. You can even add a twist to some foods by customizing them and including additional healthy ingredients. There are many available recipes you can find in cookbooks and online. You might even find healthy alternatives for regular foods you’ve cut out of your diet.
Eat The Right Portion Size
Eating healthily involves being aware of the appropriate portion sizes when snacking. If you’re trying to curb your hunger between meals, remember to eat just enough; don’t eat a snack that could count as a whole meal in itself.
Additionally, you may want to consult your doctor or dietitian to see how many snacks you can have in a day or between meals. This might depend on your caloric needs and the sizes of your meals.
Some people assume that healthy eating involves cutting out snacks completely, but that’s far from the truth. It’s fine—and advisable even—to allow yourself to have snacks between meals. The tips above will help you have healthier snacking habits. The key is to be smart about it.