If your tummy starts to rumble in the middle of the afternoon don't fret, it's okay and even healthy to have a light snack in between your meals.
Munching on a couple of small, nutritious snacks during the day will help you maintain a healthy weight and keep you from overeating at meals. Portion control is a major part of weight management that will keep you feeling healthy and active, even after you grab a bite. Having a snack when you're hungry will provide structure to your eating habits and helps regulate your blood sugar throughout the day.
Now keep in mind, snacking does not mean opening a bag of chips or biting into the giant chocolate chip cookie that you inadvertently bought at lunch. Of course these “snack” foods will give you a quick boost of energy, however that sugar will soon wear off and your blood sugar level will drop. The adverse affects of that fleeting sugar high means you will be hungrier than you were before.
If you’re not cautious snacks can go from healthful and nutritious to calorie-laden. Satiate your hunger with substantial foods that will keep you full and energized until your next meal. Munch on foods that are packed with nutrients, fiber and protein. They allow you to improve your diet and help you eat nutritious foods you miss out on at mealtime.
When it comes to snack time make sure you are prepared and keep healthy foods with you wherever you go. Biting into a nutritious “treat” in the middle of the day can be beneficial, however only eat if you are hungry. Listen to your body so you know when it is time to take that little nibble.
Health Benefits of Snacking
Maintain a healthy weight
Regulates blood sugar - Prevent blood sugar levels from dropping in between meals
Provides an additional source of nutrients
Speeds up muscle recovery after exercising
Mozzarella cheese stick
Handful of nuts – almonds, pistachios, walnuts or cashews
Slices of turkey
Apple with almond butter
Raw vegetables with hummus
Low-fat plain Greek yogurt with honey
Whole grain crackers
Banana with peanut butter
Whole wheat toast with nut butter or jam
Homemade trail mix – unsalted nuts and unsweetened dried fruit
Hard boiled egg
Plain breakfast cereal
Fresh fruit or vegetables
Stay motivated and active throughout the day with some of these healthy and nutritious snacks!