Snacking — It’s a Good Thing
Do you want to have more energy throughout the day and less stress, and lose weight while you’re at it? If the answer is yes, then you’re in for some great news!
Snacks can help fill in the gap between meals, giving your body and mind a real boost. If you select sensible snacks they can also help meet your nutrient needs for the day, especially if you’re running low in certain areas like fiber.
As a dietitian, when I’m asked what I eat in any given day to keep my weight on track, my answer always includes my planned snacks. Honestly, I couldn’t see a day through without them!
What’s a meaningful snack? The formula for smart snacking is as follows: start with a high fiber carb (a piece of fruit such as an apple or pear or a whole grain food such as whole wheat crackers or a whole wheat tortilla), then add a healthy protein or fat (1 tablespoon of peanut butter or 2 tablespoons of almonds).
Six steps for power snacking:
Plan ahead—the more you plan your snacks, the more likely they are to be healthy. It takes the stress out of having to think about what you’re in the mood for.
Listen to your body—pay attention to hunger and fullness while you snack so you can strategize the best snack to fit your schedule in regard to time of day, type, and size of snack.
Balance—combine healthy carbs with protein.
Keep snacks handy—stash your snacks where you need them (in other words, don’t leave home without them!).
Moderation—it’s okay if you get off track every now and then, just get back into the swing of things the very next day.
Calories count—keep your snacks around 150-200 calories a piece.
Here are some simple snack ideas for 200 calories or less:
- 1 whole wheat tortilla + 2 tablespoons of hummus
- 1 small piece of fruit + 1 low-fat string cheese
- 5 reduced fat whole wheat crackers + 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes + 1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese
- 1 small piece of fruit + 10 almonds
- 6 oz. non-fat flavored yogurt
- 1 tablespoon raisins + 1 tablespoon peanuts + 1/4 cup high fiber cereal
Now that you have a plan, get snacking! Let snacks be one of your tools for permanent weight loss success.
For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit our website or call 972.560.2667.