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Tips for Healthy Snacking

Snacking is good if you do it in moderation and make healthy choices. This post will help you take steps to ensure you are snacking when you need to in a healthy way.

Not everyone needs snacks. For some, too much snacking could lead to unwanted weight gain. You are more likely to need snacks throughout the day if you:

  • Eat your meals longer than 4-6 hours apart and/or eat small meals
  • Take certain medications
  • Exercise
  • Often have low blood glucose levels

If you are someone who snacks, the keys to ensuring you are doing it in a way that promotes good health would be to:

  • Choose foods wisely
  • Watch portion sizes
  • Snack only when you are hungry

How do you go about making these wise food choices with your busy day-to-day schedule? You can follow the six steps listed below to get you started on the right path.

  • Plan ahead. Get the nutrition you need with snacks that are lower in sugar, like fruits & veggies, or nuts. Choosing snacks high in fibre can also help curb cravings, as fibre can help control blood glucose levels. High protein options also help you feel fuller longer.
  • Be Prepared. Keep healthy snacks at your desk, in your bag or in the car. You will be less likely to choose treats if you have healthy snacks close by.
  • Control your portions. Instead of snacking directly out of a bulk-sized box or bag, take one portion and eat it from a plate or bowl.
  • Stay hydrated. Dehydration may sometimes be disguised as feelings of hunger, so make sure to stay on top of your fluid intake. Remember that carbohydrates in beverages also need to be counted. Juice and pop have high amounts of sugar and should be avoided. Water is one of the best ways to stay hydrated.
  • Eat slowly. Eating your food slowly gives your brain and stomach time to effectively send messages about how much food you need and when it’s time to stop eating. Learning to recognize true hunger and fullness also helps you to only eat when you are hungry. Skip the urge to nibble when you are bored, tired, upset or stressed. Avoid “mindless eating”. This is snacking while watching TV, working or playing on the computer, reading, or driving. It can often cause people to eat more than they would if they were paying attention.
  • Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals may leave you with intense cravings that can trigger your appetite and may result in an unintended binge. Try to eat every 3-4 hours. This will help your body feel satisfied and leave you less likely to snack excessively.