You might have heard a lot about not having snacks every now and then, especially if you are on a diet. But there might be situations when your stomach is growling and the lunch is hours away. In a situation like this, you might feel guilty while gobbling up some snacks. However, you should not restrict yourself from having a snack if you really want to lose weight. Unlike the common myth, snacks are not necessarily bad and a well-planned weight loss diet actually includes healthy snacks. Eating snacks like some raw veggies or a small portion of fresh, seasonal fruit can quench your hunger, without messing up with your appetite for the subsequent meal.
If you are wondering how snacks can fit into your weight loss plans, here are some ideas to follow:
• Know which foods to include in your diet – While choosing the snacks, you should stick to foods with high fiber content or high water. You can also have foods with fewer calories like grapes, air-popped popcorn and carrots. Whole grains are rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, and keep you energized for a longer period. Whole-grain pretzels, crispbreads and crackers are some of the options that you can consider. You may also have some vegetables and fruits as they make you feel fuller and provide minerals, vitamins, nutrients as well as fiber. Seeds and nuts are another option to consider, albeit in smaller amounts, as they are high in calories and healthy fat. If you are looking for rich sources of protein and calcium, you can opt for low fat cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.
• Choose healthy and tasty snacks – While choosing a snack, you should focus not only on how healthy it is, but also on how well it tastes. A good way could be opting for healthy snacks of 100 calories, which may include two cups of baby carrots, fresh raspberries along with 1 cup sliced bananas, 3.5 cup of air-popped popcorn, 2 tablespoon peanuts, five Melba toast rye, pumpernickel or crackers, two slices of cheddar cheese or low-fat colby.
• You can replace meals with snacks, but how? – In today’s hectic schedule, most of us often tend to skip meals and quench our hunger with a grab-and-go snack. Although this is not advisable under any circumstances, if you have to do it, you should do it the right way. Consider having healthy foods like white kidney bean extract ,green tea , full of fresh fruits, whole grains and vegetables. Make sure the snack is of 200 calories. You can toast one half of a whole-wheat English muffin and top it with a tomato slice, a slice of low-fat American cheese, and a slice of Canadian bacon. You need to microwave the muffin till the cheese gets melted. If you want to have something not so spicy, you can layer a flour tortilla or soft corns with two tablespoons Monterey Jack cheese or shredded low-fat cheddar cheese. You need to microwave it until the cheese melts. You can also have the dish with some salsa, if you want to. The key is to improvise and create tasty, healthy snacks in a jiffy.
• Plan well in advance in order to make better choices – If you really want to lose weight by having the food of your choice, you should plan the snacks well in advance. Whenever you are at home, try to stick to healthy snacks. You should also carry nutritious snacks while on the go. Being on a weight-loss program doesn’t restrict you from partying. All that you need to do is to eat a healthy and small snack at home before you leave for the party. Once you reach there, consider having smaller portions of healthy food. If it is about planning a snack for your kid, you can prepare some healthy meals at home and pack the same for your child to eat at school.
• Treat the snack like a meal – When you know that you are snacking, and not having a meal, you tend to ignore the usual eating practices. For instance, instead of sitting at a table, you might stand in the kitchen and have the snack. But if you are not conscious about what you are eating and in what quantity, you may end up eating a lot more. This is why it is important to put the snack on a plate, sit down and have it like a proper meal. Also, you shouldn’t watch television, talk with someone over the phone or even listen to music, while eating. Focus completely on whatever you are having. This will help you eat less and enjoy your snack properly.
These are some of the ways that you can use to tactfully fit snacks into your weight loss regime. Above all, make sure that whenever you are having a snack, you take just a moderate portion of it.