Fit Tip Tuesday: To Snack or Not to Snack?

Should I eat 3 square meals a day?  Should I eat 6-8 small meals a day?  What about snacks?  Should I eat grass or should I eat a Snicker bar?  Got your attention?  I think we have all asked the question, if I snack when should I eat it and what should it be?

Snacks are a great way to keep you focused on your nutrition, while allowing you to refuel without feeling ferociously hungry.  Smart snacking will also help you avoid binging, while giving your metabolism the fuel it needs to keep burning at its highest level.

The quality of your snack should be your number one priority.  As a rule of thumb, if you are eating a snack that God didn’t grow (i.e. apples, bananas, carrots, etc) and it has more grams of sugar than it does protein… Just say no.  A lot of ‘healthy’ foods are really chemical processed foods that are full of hidden sugars, fats and ‘who knows what’ ingredients.  The best way to smart snacking is to prepare your snacks in advance, know what is in them and focus on quality rather than quantity.  Here are a few tips to help you towards smart snacking!

 

1. Will your snack fill you up?

Remember, you are not trying to eat lunch here… just a snack to get you through to the next meal.  A great fill up for little bang in the calorie department is veggies!  Doesn’t sound very appetizing?  Try shaking a little bit of a powdered ranch season mix in a baggie of carrots and add a few almonds… it’s seriously amazing!  It’s the dip without the, “Uh Oh!”

 2. Does it contain protein?

Snacks that contain protein will help slow down the rate of digestion and as a result keep you full longer.  PLUS, protein feeds the muscles, which will help you burn calories long after your morning workout (you are dong a morning workout, right?) Combine a great carbohydrate, like an apple or veggies with a great protein choice such as Greek Yogurt, string cheese, or almonds.

 3. Do you have Portion Control?

This is simple and quick- Keep your snack the size of your palm and no more!

4. Water!

I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t mention the importance of water!  You should be drinking at least 8 cups of water a day (more if you are working out).  Water allows nutrients to be transported around the body, it flushes your system of toxins, it keeps you hydrated AND it help keeps you full and eliminates that ‘emotional hunger pain’ we often feel when we are bored or stressed out!  SO DRINK YOUR WATER!!

I think that the best principles of life could be found back in your Kindergarten class.  Be nice to your friends, listen with respect, do your work when it is time to work, play when it is time to play, rest during naptime and ALWAYS eat your snack!  Redefine those thoughts and you can become an amazing, smart snacker!