I don’t know why, but snacking seems to be a controversial topic. One one side of the argument, you have people who say that snacking will ruin your appetite and cause you to gain weight. On the other side, snacking is revered for its ability to keep your energy level high and make weight loss easier. Who’s right? Let’s look at both sides.
If your mid-meal snacks are like the typical person – blended coffee drinks, chips, doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies, candy bars, soda, and candy – all of those processed, high-fat and high-calorie foods will cause you to gain weight. Additionally, a regular diet of these foods will increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes. And let’s not forget that sugar, fat, and salt are all highly addictive foods – once you start on that bag of chips or chocolate chip cookies, it’s hard to stop.
However, snacks that are based on real, clean foods, like nuts, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and nonfat dairy, will keep your energy level constant and prevent you from getting ravenous, which makes it easier to not overeat at the next meal. As a result, you’ll have no problem losing or maintaining your weight. You see, when you eat a healthy complex carbohydrate (fruit, veggies, whole grains), you get high-energy food. Couple that with a lean protein (nuts, dairy, seeds, beans, fish, turkey), and the protein helps to sustain the action of the carbohydrate and leaves you with a sense of fullness for longer. Our snack mantra is “Produce + Protein“.
It’s important that you make your own snacks, rather than rely on the local snack shop, coffee house, or vending machine. Not only will it save you money, but you are in complete control over the quantity of food as well as the quality of food. When you keep the processed junk to a minimum, you get the maximum in health outcomes.
- Apples and almond butter
- 1 light string cheese and a pear
- veggies and hummus or guacamole
- nonfat or 1% cottage cheese and salsa
- nonfat plain Greek yogurt with berries and 2 tbs. granola or chopped nuts
- Energy bar: Kind, Lara, Kashi, Pure
- mini whole wheat pita (2) and 2 tbs. hummus
- turkey slices wrapped around cucumber and carrot slices and mustard
- edamame (soybeans)