Do you eat when you are bored, upset or angry? Do you find that every day requires a chocolate bar to get you through the afternoon? If you are trying to lose weight, you may feel guilty about snacks. As a weight loss coach, I find some folk (particularly women) laugh nervously when I ask them what happens to their food consumption around 4pm. This often is the time of the day when the “Snack Monster” takes control of them! Some berate themselves for being weak, out of control and without discipline. They either eventually give up on their diet altogether or develop counter thoughts so they don’t feel so bad. “It didn’t really matter – it is fat free”. Or, “if no one notices, the calories don’t count”.
The good news is that a healthy eating programme leading to weight does not have to be like this. You can lose weight without being hungry or guilty! It’s possible to take control of the “Snack Monster” and healthy snacking can lead you to weight loss success, not failure. So instead of being full of regret about snacking, choose your snacks wisely and have more energy and vitality, without the guilt.
The keys to healthy snacking are to select foods that:
* Can satisfy your hunger,
* Supply your body with energy, and
* Provide important nutrients
Look for foods that contain the following:
* Whole grains. Whole-grain snacks are rich in complex carbohydrates and fibre, which give you immediate energy that has some staying power. Consider items such as low-fat whole-grain crackers and whole-grain crispbreads.
* Fruits and vegetables. Eating fruits and vegetables provides a feeling of fullness with no fat and only a small amount of calories. They also provide vitamins, minerals, fibre and other nutrients.
* Nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds are a good source of protein, which helps keep you feeling fuller longer. Nuts and seeds are high in calories, however, so don’t eat them in large quantities.
* Low-fat dairy products. Cheese, yogurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium, protein, and other nutrients. Be sure to choose low fat versions.
Prepare for your week and have a range of healthy snacks on hand at home or in the office and snack on healthy choices with peace of mind.