Snacking can actually work as an advantage for your weight loss because it’s actually a good thing to eat frequently instead of waiting until you're extremely hungry. It can stop you from overeating and it helps keep your blood sugar levels normal and brain chemistry in balance.
By pre-planning for snacks and eating the right food you can use snacks instead of feeling guilty afterwards. The keys to healthy snacking are to select foods that:
Can satisfy your hunger,
Supply your body with energy, and
Provide important nutrients
Here is are some healthy snack tips.
A key to losing weight and keeping it off is by eating more negative calorie or fat burning foods with lots of volume but few calories. Eating fat burning compatible or negative calorie foods creates a calorie deficit that requires your body to use stored fat as energy. Some examples of healthy snack ideas that are negative calorie foods are: apples, cantaloupe, carrots, cod, corn, crab meat, grapes, lobster, low-fat yogurt, mangoes, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries and watermelon.
Avoid late night snacks because your body's metabolism slows right down when you sleep. That means anything you eat just before you go to bed will turn to body fat.
If you eat vending machine snacks they contain high fat and you can forget about reducing body fat because these snacks can sabotage your weight loss quickly. Also, beverages like smoothies, sweetened coffee drinks, soft drinks, fruit drinks, sports drinks and flavoured teas contain a lot of sugar that will end up as body fat.
Whole-grain snacks are rich in complex carbohydrates and fibre, which give you immediate energy that has some staying power. Consider items such as low-fat whole-grain crackers and whole-grain crispbreads.
Snacking on blackberries, peaches or red and green peppers can help you meet your daily recommendations of fruits and vegetables. Remember, you need two to four servings a day. Snacks such as low-fat yogurt or low fat cheese can help you meet your daily calcium requirement. You need two to three servings per day.
When you need a wake-up or need a quick energy jolt: Eat a small breakfast of carbs and protein or have an AM snack of proteins like almonds or cottage cheese.
Before leaving the office for a meeting: A quick piece of fruit or chunk of cheese is good if you don't know when lunch is coming.
Before working out: You might want pump up with a piece of fruit and a big glass of water.
After school or work: A small sandwich and a glass of milk will work. If you are cutting calories have some cut-up veggies or a rice cake with peanut butter or cheese.
When out with friends: Try splitting a dessert or snack when you go for dessert, it’s all about portion size when you’re out. Order the entre size or ask for a takeaway container to save it for later.
Before partying: A cracker and cheese or little carrots are a good choice to take the edge off. Drink an equal amount of water after every drink when you can.
Before bed: Milk contains tryptophan, which makes some people sleepy, and chai tea can be soothing.
Snacking not only helps ease those nasty hunger pains, but it relaxes and softens stress. Snacking should not be used to escape boredom. Believe it or not, small changes like these can have a huge difference in your weight loss results. Prepare for your week and have a range of healthy snacks on hand at home or in the office. Remember, successful weight loss is just a combination of the right choices.