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Whole Body Beautiful: Snacking, The Great American Pastime
April 24, 2014 - By Lisa Fallon Mindel CHHP, AADP
Ninety-seven percent of Americans snack at least five times a day and get 24 percent of their total calories through snacking.
With snacks providing this many calories, it is crucial we pick the right ones, because as it is looking right now, our snacks have increased and so have the waistlines.
Snacking isnt necessarily bad; in fact, snacks help manage your hunger, keep your blood sugar in check, improve your mood, are a brain booster, provide needed nutrients and help reduce bingeing.
The key to keeping your weight, energy and health managed through snacking is your quality of food, real hunger and portion control.
Supplying your body with the right nutrients, energy and quality foods will help keep you on the right path throughout your day.
Snack on foods that really do something for your body by thinking quality not quantity. High-nutrient dense foods are foods that will give you a lot of bang for your buck. Make them colorful, fresh and unprocessed.
Try to stay off those processed simple carbs such as bagels, muffins, chips and junk food that give you that quick high and an even faster drop, only to be hungry an hour later.
Try some higher protein snacks and complex carbohydrates (apple with almond butter, roasted chick peas, baby carrots, bell peppers with hummus) that are slower burning and help regulate those neurotransmitters in your brain so you can stay alert, have better concentration and keep those cravings at bay. Many people ask me if they should snack every two hours even if theyre not hungry.
Listen to your body and try to snack when you are truly hungry. If youre not hungry then don't eat. That doesn't mean go all day without food, but a few hours before a meal if your stomach, mood or brain start to tell you youre in need of something, then its time for that snack. Keep hunger managed and you will be sure to have control over your next food choices.
If you only have time for a few meals then make your meals a bit bigger. Many people (especially women) eat a snack-like meal and actually don't get enough to sustain them more than a few hours.
Eat enough wholesome, healthy meals or break up your healthy lunch into a few snacks and you will find that youre more satisfied and not looking for food every hour.
If youre looking to lose weight, the concept of small, frequent meals works, but the emphasis here is on the word small not frequent. So listen to your body, plan ahead, and have available some good healthy snacks.
Here are a few tips to remember:
Try to keep your snacks at 100-200 calories.
Snacking is optional/eat only when hungry
The more often you eat, the smaller the meals need to be
Have healthy snacks on hand.
Think quality, pick healthy and nutritious foods such as: Lots of water (with added fruits, lemons, limes, mint, cucumbers); Apples; Fresh fruit/berries; Vegetables (cucumbers, peppers, snap peas, broccoli) with hummus or a vinaigrette; Almond and peanut butters (1 Tbsp.) with banana, celery, apple; Organic baby carrots; Olives/pickles; Edamame (non-GMO soybeans); Simple soups; A fresh green juice; Air popcorn; Thin corn cake with peanut butter; garbanzo beans (chick peas); nuts, seeds (1 small handful) ; hardboiled egg; Greek plain yogurt
Here is one of my favorite high-protein snacks that even the kids like.
Roasted Chick Peas
1 can of organic chick peas
1 tbsp olive oil
Spices of choice (curry, tarragon, oregano, turmeric, chili powder etc)
1. Preheat oven to 400
2. Rinse and drain chick peas and remove skins.
3. Let dry completely
4. Toss with oil, salt and spices
Baked in the oven for about 30-40 min until crunchy but not burnt Enjoy
Lisa Fallon Mindel CHHP, AADP is a qualified holistic health and nutrition Coach as well as a model and triathlete. She counsels people on how to effectively reach their health, nutrition and wellness goals. With her personalized step-by-step program and support, reaching goals is enjoyable and lifelong. For more information, go to Wholebodybeautiful.com.