People have come to think of “snacks” as a dirty word when it comes to losing weight. However, most nutrition experts will actually tell you that eating snacks is a good way to lose weight and maintain that weight loss. Experts suggest eating every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism going strong and avoid overeating at mealtime, which means you should really consume 2-3 snacks each day.
Of course, they are not referring to just any snack. These days, we tend to associate the word “snack” with foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat, such as cookies, crackers and potato chips. But really, a snack is just a small amount of food that we eat in between meals and you can make it work for you rather than against you. If you keep your snacks healthy and around 200 calories or less, you can keep your metabolism revved up and feel satisfied all day long.
Need some ideas for healthy snacks? Fruit and vegetables are always a good idea, but beware of high-calorie dips that pack a ton of calories into just a tablespoon or two. If you must have some sort of dip with your produce, read nutrition labels and make sure that you aren’t consuming empty calories.
A handful of nuts are another healthy snack option, but any more than that is probably not a good idea. Even though it is a healthy fat, nuts are still very high in fat, which means that eating too many will still pack on the pounds. However, a small handful of unsalted nuts will keep you feeling full and provide you with loads of protein and healthy fat that is good for you.
Yogurt is yet another low calorie treat that has lots of potential health benefits. It can aid in digestion and prevent yeast infections and comes in a variety of flavors so that you never get bored.
If you’re looking for something to satisfy a craving, you don’t have to give up unhealthy snacks completely. Pair a bite-size candy bar with some apple slices or have some microwave popcorn with a low-fat string cheese stick. The key is to cut the calories where you won’t miss them and then indulge in moderation on the foods that you would miss.
Actually, eating snacks regularly can actually help you to make better food choices at mealtime as well, because you won’t be starving. Also, when you know you’re going to get to eat again in 3-4 hours, it takes away some of the temptation to overdo it or to grab for something that is high in fat and calories. Eating one or two large meals a day may work for some people, but those who snack throughout the day on healthy fare are more likely to lose weight more quickly and keep it off over time.