Snack and Lose Weight
By Chris Chenoweth
Snacking can be part of a balanced and healthy diet as long as the snacks do not consist of empty calories. If you want to indulge in snacking, do so carefully. It is very easy to choose high-calorie, high-fat, and high-sugar foods.
Never let yourself get too hungry before eating a meal or a snack. Eating a small meal or a protein-heavy snack every 3 or 4 hours will eliminate this problem. Drinking enough water throughout the day will also help you feel less hungry.
WHAT IS HEALTHY SNACKING?
If you are hungry a lot, snacks can be a terrific way to satisfy that hunger and get all the vitamins and nutrients your body needs and still lose weight. However, you must pay attention to what you eat. Stuffing yourself with a large order of fries is not the way to go.
To avoid weight gain yet keep your energy levels high, do not eat foods that are high in simple carbohydrates such as candy bars, sodas, or anything that is sugar-laden. Eat snacks that contain complex carbohydrates such as peanut butter, cheese, or low-fat yogurt.
When choosing healthy snacks, always check food labels. Be cautious of food that claims to be all natural. All natural does not mean it is nutritious. All natural juice beverages can be full of sugar, and sugar is high in empty calories and has no nutritious value.
Most people consider a granola bar the perfect example of a healthy snack. Granola is a good source of certain nutrients. However, many granola bars contain trans-fat, a harmful type of fat. They can also contain a high level of sugar. Check the labels!
You should also be cautious of food that claims to be low-fat. Usually, if the fat has been eliminated, the sugar level has been increased to maintain the taste. Many low-fat foods have just as many calories as their full-fat version. Check the labels!
TIPS TO MAKE HEALTHY SNACKS EASY
How do you get started on the road to healthy snacking? Here are some guidelines to help you:
+MAKE YOUR OWN SNACKS. Instead of purchasing expensive snacks at the grocery, make your own. Mix up a big bowl full of your own trail mix or granola. Divide the mix into individual containers or plastic, sealable baggies and dole them out to yourself whenever you need them.
+KEEP PLENTY OF FRESH FRUIT AND VEGGIES. Cut them up, keep them in baggies in the fridge and use them as you need them. Carrots, celery, apples, etc. make wonderful healthy snack options.
+GIVE YOURSELF LOTS OF OPTIONS. To keep yourself from getting bored, make sure you have plenty of snacks to choose from. Use your imagination.
If you suffer from the urge to snack at night, make sure you do not indulge in empty calories foods. Eat, but eat healthy foods like air-popped popcorn, low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt, rice cakes or fat-free, whole grain crackers.
+SWEETS. Eat a couple of cookies, preferably something that is made with grains. Animal crackers are a good, low-calorie, low-fat option. Try a couple of graham crackers spread with peanut butter or low-fat jam. If you must have chocolate, try a little bit of chocolate frosting on a cracker or cookie.
+DAIRY. Good healthy options are low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese with some fruit, or low-fat cheese like string cheese.
+FRUIT AND VEGGIES. Eat an apple, grapes or strawberries dipped in honey or raw veggies dipped in fat-free ranch dip.
+SALTY. If you have a weakness for salty foods, instead of reaching for potato chips that are loaded with fat and salt, try pretzels, microwave popcorn, baked tortilla chips (with salsa) or flavored rice cakes. Another good and healthy salty snack is a handful of nuts (almonds, peanuts, etc.). However, nuts are high in calories so be sure to limit the amount you eat.
+DRINKS. Make your own smoothies! Pull out your blender and throw in a banana or a handful of blueberries or grapes, a cup of low-fat milk or yogurt or orange juice, and a few ice cubes. Use your imagination!
The key to smart snacking is the same as with everything else, all in moderation. If you eat regular meals and healthy snacks, you are far more likely to keep your weight down and far less likely to overeat and gain weight. NEVER starve yourself!
About the Author
Chris Chenoweth is the author of the DO-IT-YOURSELF HOME, HEALTH & MONEY GUIDE, 500 pages of household tips, home remedies, diet and nutrition information, health issues and 1000's of recipes! http://www.money-home-biz.com. Learn how to burn fat with one of the most effective fat-burning systems available, the BURN THE FAT program. http://www.ezniche.com/data/article.php?l=18
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