You Can Snack, Just Do It Right
If you’re dieting or trying to stay fit, the common wisdom is that you need to cut out the snacks. And that’s true, if you’re loading up your body with high-carb potato chips or crackers, which generally offer few nutritional benefits. However, there are ways to snack healthy without ruining your fitness venture. Further, snacking on the right foods may improve overall health, curb hunger, and help to keep your daily calorie intake down where it should be.
It seems strange to say that snacking may help you eat less and consume healthier foods, but it’s true. A snack in between meals will stop blood sugar from dropping rapidly, keeping you feeling full longer. This will also improve your mood, since stable blood sugar helps to avoid “hangry” outbursts. If you’re eating small meals and keeping yourself feeling fed, when it comes time to eat your body is going to crave less. Our bodies become hungry when their blood sugar plummets after meals, and we indulge on junk food in order to feel full again. Eating more often may help you eat right.
Eating more often and having tiny meals or snacks throughout the day, as opposed to eating large meals, also keeps your metabolism working. When your metabolism is running, it constantly burns energy and body fat. When you aren’t eating enough, your metabolism slows to conserve energy while your body sends out signals that tell you it’s time to eat, making you feel tired and lethargic. Snacking curbs this by telling your body you’re well fed and have all the energy you need.
Before you reach for the M&Ms, let’s make sure you’re snacking right. On the following page we have healthy snack recipes that you can try. However, things like nuts and seeds make great mid-day snacks, with a balance of good fats and protein. Nuts and seeds also contain the complex carbohydrates the body needs to balance blood sugar and keep you feeling fed.
Further, nuts and seeds are packed with micro-nutrients, meaning the calories you consume are providing real nourishment for your body, as opposed to empty fuel. Consider adding a healthy snack to your daily routine. As with any fitness and health journey, eating is never the problem. It’s knowing when and what to eat that keeps all diets on the right track. Don’t be afraid to snack, just make sure you snack right.