Snacking is an important aspect of losing weight correctly. People who eat 5 to 6 small meals a day end up losing more weight than people who only eat 2 or 3 larger meals. Snacking should be an interesting prospect if you are trying to lose weight as it prevents you from going hungry. Most dieters know this but only have a vague idea on how to select healthy snacks for weight loss.
With that in mind, we have compiled the following 17 tips to help you choose healthy snacks for weight loss. Stick to these guidelines to make sure that your snacking is helping you lose weight and not sabotaging your efforts.
Table of Contents for Article
- 1 1. Be Aware of What You Are Eating
- 2 2. Always Plan Ahead
- 3 3. Avoid Calorie Dense Food
- 4 4. Drink Only Water Between Meals
- 5 5. Avoid Refined Carbohydrates
- 6 6. Eat Slowly
- 7 7. Watch Your Portions
- 8 8. Always Carry Some Almonds for Emergencies
- 9 9. Eat at Least 2 Hours Before a Main Meal
- 10 10. Avoid Snacking on Food You Have Not Prepared
- 11 11. Avoid Snacking from a Bag
- 12 12. Do Not Multitask When Snacking
- 13 13. Eat Snacks at a Table
- 14 14. Do Not Snack in the Company of Others
- 15 15. Never Snack While Watching Television
- 16 16. Take Fruits Such as Apples or Pears with Peanut or Almond Butter
- 17 17. Have a Handful of Nuts with a Glass of Water to Overcome Hunger Pangs
1. Be Aware of What You Are Eating
Do not eat mindlessly. Before you eat, do a mental check if your chosen snack is indeed what you want to eat. Sometimes, stopping and questioning your self allows you to make intelligent decisions. It moves you away from making rash decisions with your reptilian brain.
2. Always Plan Ahead
You need to plan your snacking in advance. This will make sure that you do not end up snacking on food that will sabotage your efforts.
3. Avoid Calorie Dense Food
Most of the time, calorie dense food has fat, sugar or both in the same meal. Meals containing fat and sugar in the same meal, are potent fat storage combinations.
4. Drink Only Water Between Meals
Liquid calories come in the form of juices, lattes, carbonated drinks just to name a few. Liquid calories can very stealthily sabotage your efforts to lose weight.
5. Avoid Refined Carbohydrates
Refined carbohydrates are essentially food made up of “white” carbohydrates. You will seldom find “white” carbohydrates in nature. Examples of refined carbohydrates include white flour, white rice and sugar. Refined carbohydrates spike your insulin levels and should be avoided.
6. Eat Slowly
Eating slowly is important so that you can send the signals to your satiety center in your brain that you are already eating. There seems to be a 20 minute lag between eating and starting to feel full.
7. Watch Your Portions
Do not forget that this is after all a snack. Do not make your snack into your main meal.
8. Always Carry Some Almonds for Emergencies
As much as you would like to plan, expect life to throw some surprises at you. Carry a small container of almonds for such occasions so that you can still have a healthy snack at times when no other food source is available around you.
9. Eat at Least 2 Hours Before a Main Meal
It is important that you allow a 2 hour gap between snacking and your main meal. Snacking too close to the main meal will make you feel uncomfortable and unnecessarily load you up with calories.
10. Avoid Snacking on Food You Have Not Prepared
It is very likely that any snack you have purchased, is going to be loaded with calories. It will likely contain unhealthy trans-fats, sugar and refined carbohydrates. It is for this reason that you should avoid buying snacks and instead prepare them your self.
11. Avoid Snacking from a Bag
Make sure that you can see what you are eating. When you eat out of a bag, you have no idea how much you have eaten. There is a strong tendency to overeat.
12. Do Not Multitask When Snacking
Eat your snack with a single-minded focus. This ensures that you are aware of what you are eating and how much you are eating.
13. Eat Snacks at a Table
This again comes back to being focused when eating. Eating while seated at a table increases your awareness of what you are eating. There is a higher tendency to eat healthier food. You will also unlikely overeat.
14. Do Not Snack in the Company of Others
Avoid eating snacks when socially mingling with friends and family. If others are gobbling down chips or peanuts, you could hold on to a glass of water. As long as your hands are not free, you will unlikely reach out for those chips and peanuts.
15. Never Snack While Watching Television
This is a surefire way to eat the wrong type of snacks. It is also a recipe to overindulge. This is because you would eat mindlessly in front of the television.
16. Take Fruits Such as Apples or Pears with Peanut or Almond Butter
This is surprisingly a very nutritious and complete meal. The peanut or almond butter contain fats that help slow down the digestion of the apple. It keeps you full until your next meal. Most people do not snack on fruits as it does not keep them full for long. This strategy will help overcome this.
17. Have a Handful of Nuts with a Glass of Water to Overcome Hunger Pangs
Nuts are extremely nutritious and have essential fats that help in losing weight. Drinking water after eating nuts causes the fibre in the nuts to absorb the water and expand. This effect combined with the healthy fat content in the nuts can keep you full until your next meal. Concentrate on almonds, macadamia, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts.
You can use this as a guide to select healthy snacks for weight loss. The most important thing to remember is to be mindful when eating. Select snacks that will help you in you efforts to lose weight. Increased awareness and proper planning will make sure that you are always selecting healthy snacks for weight loss.