THE SKINNY ON SNACKS!
Are you a snacker? If so, join the club. Today, almost everybody snacks. Is that good or bad?
More people are snacking more often than a few years ago.
Women average 400 calories a day in snacks, men average 600.
People are skipping meals and not planning, so snacks become an easy substitute.
Recent studies show that the most common snacking times include:
After work, before dinner
As a replacement for lunch
After dinner, before bed
As a reward for finishing a challenging task, or after a hard day
In social settings
The studies also zeroed in on common snacks - mornings include yogurt, baked goods and snack bars; afternoon choice was usually chips and/or fruit; evenings, indulgence in ice cream and candy.
Any of this sound familiar? Most of us are there with you!!
The problem with snacks is that most people don’t include them in their daily calories - they’re eating good meals, but ignoring the 400-600 extra calories in their snacks. No wonder our weight doesn’t drop!
Here are some suggestions to snack intentionally:
*Count your snack choices as servings of food - especially when meals are unpredictable. Be intentional about your snacks and watch portion sizes for calorie control. For example, when nuts are mentioned, that means 5-7, not handfuls!
*Think of snacks as “mini-meals”. Make choices that you’d include if you were sitting down to a meal.
*Water, protein and fiber make the most satisfying snack. Fruits and veggies provide natural sweetness and fiber plus potassium, yogurt (unsweetened) counts for protein, and we get protein, good fats and fiber from nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Sometimes thirst imitates hunger.
Staying healthy and weight conscious doesn’t mean eliminating snacks. They are actually a good way to keep your blood sugar levels even throughout the day and your hunger at bay. Just plan your choices!