SMART SNACKING STRATEGIES
One of the BEST ways to amp up your nutrition and lose weight is to check in on what you are eating. These simple tips will help you choose snacks that benefit your body and pack nutrition, without packing on extra pounds.
DO eat an array of healthy, whole foods.
Ideally, your snacks should be based on the same ingredients as your meal choices. Focus on including a variety of whole foods from each food group, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and nutrient-rich foods.
DON'T let the claims on the front label fool you.
If you’re going to grab prepackaged, take a minute to check the ingredients listed before buying them. Ingredients are listed by quantity, from highest to lowest. Pay special attention to the first three ingredients listed, and steer clear of foods with a long list of ingredients (five or less is best). Aim for foods made with FfL-friendly, minimally processed ingredients that your grandmother’s grandmother would have recognized.
DO choose snacks that are high in protein and fiber.
High protein and/or high fiber snacks, such as a hard-boiled egg or almonds, helps reduce hunger and keeps you feeling full hours later.
DON'T go heavy on high-carb.
100% whole grain and starchy snacks are perfectly okay, but keep them to a minimum. And, as always, be weary of a label’s healthy claim to fame. Unless the food item is marked as 100% whole grain, it’s likely made with refined grains.
DO take your meals for the day into consideration.
If you have a healthy high-fat breakfast including peanut butter or avocados, avoid snacking on trail mix and nuts that day. If you eat toast for breakfast or a sandwich for lunch, steer clear of high-carb snacks like crackers.
DO pack your “snack-size” ahead of time.
Consider what snacks you want. Pack them the night before or keep servings in baggies in the fridge, ready to grab on the go.
DO measure out a “snack-size” portion.
These are SNACKS, so help yourself to a SNACK-SIZE portion. The purpose of them is to bridge the gap between meals to keep your energy levels up throughout the day and limit overeating at mealtime. If you’re afraid you may overindulge, keep a measuring cup close by. Pour out the suggested serving and eat only that amount.
DO ask yourself whether you're actually hungry, versus being bored or stressed.
Even healthy snacks can rack up calories. Remember your hunger cues and only eat a snack between meals if you’re actually hungry.
DO snack on foods that will help you feel satisfied and full.
Healthy fats, like nut butter and avocado, help you feel fuller longer. Keep this in mind if you have a long day ahead or plan on being extremely active, just remember to stick to a snack-size portion. Chia seeds are another food that can help you feel full (plus they’re loaded with health benefits). Add 1/2 teaspoon to to snack such as yogurt, cottage cheese or nut butter; you won’t even notice them!
DON'T snack while you’re distracted.
Have you ever found yourself snacking mindlessly, and before you knew it you ate almost an entire meal’s worth of your “snack”? Eating while your mind is preoccupied with something else can cause you to eat more than a snack-size portion. Don’t multitask while you eat.
DO chew, chew, chew.
Savor the flavor by eating your snack slowly; don’t just inhale it. Try chewing 10-20 times before swallowing.
DO stash some snacks.
Keep a stash of healthy snacks, such as almonds, in baggies at work or in your gym bag. This helps curb your appetite and prevents you from becoming so hungry that you overeat later.
DON'T hold on to unhealthy snacks.
If unhealthy food is hanging around in your pantry, you’re sure to reach for it. Do a kitchen inventory, take a look around and get rid of all the heavily processed stuff.
Let’s simplify healthy snacking−together!
Do You Struggle to Plan, Choose and Prepare Nutritious Snacks?
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