Just because you’re on a health kick, doesn’t mean that you need to drop the snacks to drop the weight! If you’re looking to find healthy eating options in between meals, here are the tools to help you accomplish your goals:
First, make sure that you have a plan. Make a schedule and stick to it. Plan out your snack food items in advance. Once you start getting into the habit of maintaining your schedule, you should notice less hunger throughout the day and more satisfaction at meal time with fewer calories consumed.
Secondly, make sure that your snacks stay snacks, as opposed to the caloric intake of full meals. If you’re reaching through your fridge, make sure that you keep below 200 calories, 10g of sugar, and 250 mg of sodium, while striving for 5g of protein. It’s easy to absentmindedly grab snacks that can easily surpass the nutritional values of a meal, so try to keep it small!
Lastly, keep it balanced. Just as with a meal, your snack should also provide a combination of your nutrition requirements, like protein, healthy fats, and complex carbs. Grabbing for that fruit or vegetable may be healthy and satiate your immediate hunger, but you will find yourself hungry and tired again not long after. So instead of choosing your snack strictly based off calories alone, add a little protein to increase and stabilize blood sugar and maintain your energy. Healthy fats can also provide you the same benefits by keeping your blood sugar in balance.
Although not directly pertaining to snacking, it is also advised that you make sure to consistently get a good night’s rest. The journal Sleep recently published a study showing that those who had restricted sleep schedules had more difficulty resisting unhealthy snacks. Those who had better sleep made better food choices throughout the day, so make sure you let your brain get plenty of rest!