To snack or not to snack?

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Are you the typical person that is hungry by 3 pm even though you had a large lunch? You’re probably wondering if you should hit that snack machine. If you wait till dinner, you may be starving on the ride home. It’s a logical dilemma that most people face. However, whether it’s food or snacks, it both fuels the body. Is snacking a good thing or not, and will it totally ruin our diet?

Quality over quantity

Snacking is acceptable on any diet plan. The goal is to have a quality snack over one that is sugar-laden. A hand full of nuts or beef jerky is way better for you than a candy bar from the snack machine. However, we must make sure that we are eating out of hunger and not engaging in mindful munching. If we’re eating because we are tired or bored, then we should skip the extras? Did you know that various emotional situations can cause you to think you’re hungry when in fact you are not?

Snacks are an opportunity to fuel the body

A nutritious snack can help you to fuel your body and prevent those energy slumps that occur after lunch. Having a snack can help you to reach your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables. Before you reach for some munchies in the afternoon, ask yourself if your selection will help to fuel the body and make you feel better or if it’s just filling a craving.

What are the best snacks with benefits?

When it comes to snacking, you want something with protein or fiber. Protein will curb your appetite and make you fuller for longer periods. Fiber helps you to bulk up and feel full without adding a bunch of calories. Try eating things like nut butter, apples, bananas, peanut butter, carrots, Greek yogurt, hummus, whole grain crackers, or hard-boiled eggs.

Limiting the munchies

You should limit your snacking to once mid-morning and once in the afternoon. Eating during these times can be beneficial. A quick snack can be helpful before hitting the gym, or it can keep you from feeling sluggish after lunch. Try to keep snacks at around 100 calories so that they don’t take away too much from your daily allowance. Also, keeping a granola bar or a pack of nuts with you can help you to avoid trips to the vending machines at work.

Snacking isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s all how you use it. Remember that we eat food for energy and not to soothe emotional needs. Avoid grazing all day long as it adds unnecessary pounds. Even some healthy foods can be high in calories, which is why you need to limit portions. Try to pick the healthiest snacks with the lowest calorie ranges to help in mid-day or mid-morning slumps. Snacks, when appropriately used, can be of assistance to staying on a healthy eating plan.