This is Part 26 of the “31 Days of Healthy Living” series.
Research tells us that snacking in between meals can help to control our appetites (and our BMI.)
Personal experience tells me that snacking in between meals is the only way to avoid the grumps before dinner.
I need my snacks (woohoo!…lattes count!!)
But what makes a healthy snack? And in what amount?
Well, I pretty much hate “food rules.” But a good rule of thumb is that a snack should be about half the size of your typical meal. This is just a general assumption, depending on how hungry you are, what you’re in the mood for, and what kind of meals you regularly eat.
And, of course, meals should (usually) decrease a bit in size when we start including a daily snack.
I like to eat a little something every 3-4 hours. Some people feel fine not eating for 4-5. Try to find your “comfort zone.” It’s important for your mind and your health not to feel ravenous by dinner time (or later in the day.)
I also like to make sure that it has a good dose of fiber and protein to keep me feeling satisfied. There’s a reason we can’t “just take one” when it comes to potato chips!
If you’re not a big snack person but find that you’re starving by the time that lunch or dinner rolls around, don’t worry! There are snacks for all tastebuds.
The Sweeter Side of Snacking
- One (or half) banana with a half tablespoon peanut butter and one to two tablespoons of your favorite granola.
- A little low fat plain yogurt with half a crumbled whole wheat pumpkin muffin and a teaspoon of almond butter.
- cheerios mixed with craisins (or raisins,) almonds and a couple of dark chocolate chips
- Small soy (or low fat) latte with one pump of your favorite flavor.
- Low fat, plain Greek yogurt with fresh berries.
- Hummus and whole grain tortilla chips (or sweet potato chips.)
If you find that you’re always on the go, there are plenty of options there too…
Almonds, pistachios, cashews, etc. are totally transportable.
As are fruits and string cheese and peanut butter packets.
And whole grain, high fiber muffins.
Along with staying well hydrated, a little (healthy) snacking can do wonders for keeping you energized throughout the day.
And then you can swear goodbye for good to those ravenous pre-dinner munchies and pesky hunger-related headaches.
QUESTION: Do you eat daily snacks? What are some of your favorite?