Healthy Eating: Learning to Snack Smart
With any good healthy eating plan, snacking can throw a wrench into your best efforts. You can have the healthiest meals planned out, but when you can’t make it from lunch to dinner and have to grab something to tide you over, be sure you aren’t eating something that will sabotage you.
Satisfy Your Cravings
Always have a snack alternative for every craving. When you want a salty bag of chips, eat a handful of nuts instead. For that sweet tooth, grab an apple or banana rather than a pack of candy. Substituting a healthy choice for your hot, cold, crunchy, and creamy cravings will keep you feeling full and satisfied without out all the guilt.
Eat Smaller Meals
If you feel like you have to snack quite a few times a day and just can’t wait for your main meals, split your three large meals up into six smaller ones. This will keep you feeling full all day while giving your body time to properly digest a smaller amount of food. Eating this way may also encourage you to plan out healthier meals rather than grabbing something quick between meals that may not be as good for you.
Dehydration can make you feel hungry when you’re actually just thirsty. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day to fight these feelings. Caffeine and drinks with artificial sweeteners can sometimes cause you to feel hungrier, so sticking to water and low calories juices are usually your best bet.
Either completely cut out the snack sessions while watching television or switch to something that isn’t loaded with calories. Plain popcorn without the extra butter, sunflower seeds, or a bowl of grapes are all healthier options than a bag of chips or pretzels and they will still take quiet awhile to eat.
You don’t have to give up your afternoon snack times in order to practice healthy eating habits, just choose your snacks more wisely. Picking the lower calorie or lower fat varieties of your favorite snack can be the first step in eating healthier. Changing to a different type of food altogether or cutting down on how many snacks you have throughout the day can be your next step. Start off slowly and gradually switch to healthier foods for long term success in healthy eating habits.