Healthy snacking is just as important to a diet and living a healthy lifestyle as is eating a healthy meal. So while reaching for a bag of chips and a soda during a break once in a while won't completely ruin your diet, sticking to a calorie count that suits your metabolic needs is what is more important. One right choice will not only fill your day with the power your body needs, but it will also lead to other positives, and not just ones that are health-related.
Here are 3 great solutions to snacking mistakes.
1. You enjoy eating empty calories (maybe you're unaware!)
Chips, cookies, candy bars, and so on are completely empty in terms of nutrients your body uses positively, thus they don't actually fill you up and will have you reaching for more food sooner than later.
Solution: Pick snacks that mix protein with carbs, like oranges and almonds, or peanuts and celery. The pair is perfect for snacking because the carbs fuel your brain and your body, while the protein keep you fuller longer because your body takes more time to break them down.
2. You like to eat a morning snack
We're not talking about in place of breakfast, rather that you eat a snack in between breakfast and lunch. And because the time between the two mealtimes is so short, snacking unhealthily can lead to unnecessary weight gain if done wrong.
Solution: This one is simple, avoid a mid-morning snack. With one caveat, if the stretch is more than four hours apart, it's okay to add a snack. Otherwise, it's just a bad habit and you don't need it.
3. Snacking has never been your thing
If you have never snacked, you may be doing more harm than good. In fact if you go too long in between meals it is quite possible that when you do eat you will be more prone to gorge yourself on high calorie foods instead of what your body needs.
Solution: It's okay to enjoy a healthy snack in the afternoon if dinner is a long time away. But it's important to plan ahead, and not stop by the vending machine for some empty calories that will not fill you up.
Healthy snacking is important to a healthy and productive person. Choosing wisely will impact your entire day. But don't forget to treat yourself from time to time. Completely depriving yourself isn't good for brain health, and a tiny, low calorie treat won't sabotage your efforts.
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