Our body keeps track of everything, if you write it down or not. Every little bit of snacking here and there contributes to your overall calorie consumption. While healthy, balanced snacks are a great way to keep blood sugar levels constant and avoid food cravings, you should not go overboard and pay attention to what you put in your mouth.
Today, I have a guest post by dear Shelly Stinson. She is a freelance writer, sharing the passion for fitness and health.
As I get emails every day asking for ways to control snacking in between meals, I think this post will be beneficial to many of you!
Healthy Snacking to stay on track
When you’re trying to watch your weight or improve your health, every morsel of food you put into your mouth matters. And while it’s fairly easy to keep track of your meals, making sure you eat the right amount of good-for-you foods, it is just as easy to forget about the snacks you consume in between. That’s especially true if you’re the type of person who likes to take a nibble here and a nibble there, or you find that snacking at night often gets out of hand.
However, keeping your snacks in check may mean the difference between the numbers on the scale going up (Uh oh!) or going down (Yay!). To get them to do the latter versus the former, there’s a couple of things you can do starting today.
Pay attention to your Hunger
Sometimes we want to eat not because our body is hungry, but because our mind is hungry. It may be bored and hungry for stimulation; sad and hungry for happiness; or stressed and hungry for contentment. This is fairly natural, but recognizing the cause of your hunger is the first step to stopping yourself from eating due to emotion. One technique for doing this is to ask yourself how hungry you are on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being starving and 10 being stuffed. The closer you are to a 1, the more likely it is you need food. But if you’re over a 5, then it’s probably something non-food that will provide you the most relief.
Because snacks are often smaller in size, it’s super easy to eat them while doing something else. However, this also means that you’re not giving yourself the opportunity to enjoy your snack as you’re too focused on checking your email, watching TV, or doing whatever else it is you’re doing.
Generally, this leaves you wanting more. Instead, eat your snack mindfully by not doing anything else at the same time. You’ll likely feel more satisfied mentally and physically when you do.
Make room for occasional treats
While you want a majority of your snacks to be healthy, treating yourself every so often is beneficial as well. It helps you feel not so deprived, making it easier to stay on track. Plus, it gives you something to look forward to, a welcome break from your regular diet. The key is to make these types of snacks more of an exception than a rule. Or, as College News says to students wishing to avoid the freshman 15, “Just don’t overdo it!”
When you don’t give your body food often enough, your blood sugar can dip, causing you to crave food even when it’s not mealtime. That’s why a number of health experts suggest that you don’t skip meals. In addition, plan ahead by having healthy, protein-rich snacks like nuts or string cheese available between meals so you can keep your glucose levels stable. That’ll make it easier to snack when you need to without eating too much.
Portion your Snacks
If you’ve ever sat in front of the television with a bag of chips or bowl of popcorn, only to look down at some point and realize it’s gone without remembering eating it, then this one is for you. By portioning your snacks ahead of time, you won’t fall into this all-too-common trap that can add a lot of unnecessary calories to your diet. Snack-size plastic bags or small plastic containers work best for this. These are just a few options to consider if your goal is to keep your snacking in check. You’ll find it easier to also keep your weight in check when you do!
I hope you find these tips useful!
Please share in the comments below how you snack healthy without overdoing it. Others might benefit from your experience.
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