It hits you when you least expect it… the all-too familiar rumbling in your stomach that arrives during your weekly staff meeting, or while running errands in the middle of a busy afternoon. It’s hours from dinner, your blood sugar is plummeting, and the rumbling is growing louder and louder! What can you do to save yourself? Don’t reach for that easy, high fat, high sugar candy bar or bag of chips. Instead, remember these tips and make healthy snacking easier than ever.
Go ahead – give in to the desire to snack, as long as you snack in a healthy way. In fact, snacking can actually be good for you! There are many benefits to healthy snacking. Snacking between meals will help maintain blood sugar levels, and keep your body fueled properly, so that you can get through your day with the energy your body needs. And when your body is fueled, so is your brain, meaning that you will also remain more alert. Snacking can also help with weight management by helping control hunger throughout the day.
In order to maintain blood sugar levels throughout the day and to avoid long periods of calorie absences, consider adding a small snack to your mid-morning and mid-afternoon routine. Eating every 3-4 hours is generally a good rule of thumb to follow. However, remember that everyone is different and has different nutrition needs. Find what works best for you, while still maintaining your calorie goals.
In order to help you avoid those horrible mid-morning or mid-afternoon stomach rumblings, here are some “smart snack” ideas, which all weigh in at 200 calories or less:
Keep in mind that it is easy to let snacking work against you. Beware of over doing it. If portions aren’t controlled, or you choose high-calorie options that do not fit into your daily calorie goals, the calories can add up, leading to weight gain over time. Whenever snacks come in their own packages, be sure to check the nutrition facts panel for the appropriate serving size (e.g. number of crackers). Just remember to “snack smart” and you can keep hunger at bay while maintaining your goals for healthier living!