Healthy snacking can actually be advantageous to your health and weight loss plans. That snack attack can often be your body telling you that its hungry. At that point it’s a good thing to have a light snack rather than waiting until the usual mealtime, such as lunch or dinner, when you’re extremely hungry and more likely to overeat. Ideally grab a piece of fruit, or some vegetable sticks (celery, carrot etc) or some nuts, for example.
For many people it’s difficult to break the three-meal a-day cycle. However, in order to maintain a proper body weight, it is important to only eat when you’re hungry. Not when the clock tells you that you have to eat, nor when you’re bored, happy or sad – emotional eating can quickly lead to obesity. Healthy snacking helps you to keep your blood sugar levels at a normal level and your brain chemistry in balance.
Of course, resolving your snack attack with doughnuts, smoothies, or other high sugar snacks will just end up as body fat. However, there are plenty of alternatives. Pretzels, granola bars that are low in sugar and high in fiber, popcorn, fruits, and vegetables are all great snack alternatives. If you crave something sweet, don’t be afraid to have a small package of sweets. Its quite natural to like sweets and won’t do any harm as long as it’s only occasionally and in moderation.
That’s the real secret to healthy snacking – watch the portion sizes. We all know that too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing. Be careful to eat sparingly. Remember that your body takes about 20 minutes, after eating, to signal that its full, so don’t binge.
Lets take a closer look at some of these snack options.
If you’re feeling hungry, then a small bag of pretzels is a good choice. While the nutritional benefits aren’t great, they don’t have trans fat and typically have just one gram of fat per serving, which makes them a sensible alternative to other snacks.
Granola bar ingredients, such as oats, grains, nuts, dried fruits, and so on are all healthy, making a granola bar a good snack choice. Do be careful to ensure that you don’t damage your good intentions by choosing granola bars that are baked with lots of added sugar.
Many people may be surprised to find that popcorn can also be considered a healthy snack… as long as it’s not laden with butter and salt, it can be a good snack alternative. Popcorn, which is a vitamin-rich whole grain, is also a good source of fiber. Additionally, recent studies have shown that it’s also high in antioxidants.
Of course, nobody will argue with the health benefits of including more fruit and vegetables into your diet. These are known to lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, balance blood sugars, help with digestive problems, and much more.