Do you eat when you are bored, upset or angry? Do you find that every day requires a chocolate bar to get you through the afternoon? If you are trying to lose weight, you may feel guilty about snacks. As a fitness nutrition coach, I find some people (particularly women) laugh nervously when I ask them what happen to their food consumption around 4pm.
This often is the time of the day when the “Snack Monster” takes control of them! Some get mad at themselves for being weak, out of control, and without discipline. They either eventually give up on their diet altogether, or develop counter thoughts so they don’t feel so bad – “It is fat free”.
The good news is that a healthy eating program leading to weight does not have to be like this. You can lose weight without being hungry or guilty! It’s possible to take control of the “Snack Monster”, and healthy snacking can lead you to weight loss success, not failure. So instead of being full of regret about snacking, choose your snacks wisely and have more energy and vitality, without the guilt.
The keys to healthy snacking are to select foods that:
- Can satisfy your hunger
- Supply your body with energy
- Provide important nutrients
When I snack, I look for foods that contain the following:
- Whole grains – Whole-grain snacks are rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, which give me immediate energy, which has some staying power. I consider items such as low-fat whole-grain crackers, and whole-grain crisp breads.
- Fruits and vegetables – Eating fruits and vegetables provide me with a feeling of fullness with no fat, and only a small amount of calories. They also provide me with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients.
- Nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein, which keep me full longer. Nuts and seeds are high in calories, so I don’t eat them in large quantities.
- Low-fat dairy products – Cheese, yogurt, and other dairy products are good sources of calcium, protein, and other nutrients. I always make sure to choose low fat versions.
Prepare for your week and have a range of healthy snacks on hand at home, or at the office, and snack on healthy choices with peace of mind.