Friday, February 20, 2015

Snack Attack

Photo: Viktor Hanacek,

We all get snack attacks, but there are different views on snacking. Some feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. 

If there were one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it! 

To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you snack and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you aren’t eating enough at meals. You might snack to soothe nerves or emotions, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying.

Snacks can be a great way to boost your energy, but many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious.

Here are some tips:

 • Snack on things that don’t come in a plastic wrapper or a box, instead have fresh fruit, vegetables or whole grain bread with almond butter and fruit spread.

 • Make your own trail mix, have blue corn chips with fresh salsa or vegetables with hummus. 

You can also try upgrading:

 • If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to almonds, carrots, apples or roasted chickpeas.

 • If you are craving a candy bar, upgrade to a handful of nuts and dried fruit with some dark chocolate.

 • Instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to green tea.

 • Instead of ice cream, upgrade to natural applesauce with cinnamon or plain Greek yogurt with fruit, honey and cinnamon.

Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satiety and satisfaction. You won’t feel physically or psychologically deprived, and you’ll have plenty of energy to sustain your activities for hours.

Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthful goodies for whatever you’re craving - sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Be creative and enjoy your snack attack without guilt!

What is your favorite healthy snack?

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Read my previous post: Chew Your Food
Read my next post: Health During Grief