Have you ever noticed slim people who eat frequently, but manage to avoid packing on pounds?
Well, there’s a reason for that.
It turns out that healthy snacks can be a key factor in supporting your ability to stick to a healthy food plan. Yes, eating the right kind of snack between balanced meals can actually help you achieve your weight loss goals!
That’s because healthy snacks:
- Keep your blood sugar stable
- Curb the urge to overeat
- Rev up your metabolism
- Provide the fuel you need to feel alert and focused throughout the day
Keeping your blood sugar stable is also very important to healthy brain function.
Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
Well, there’s more.
Sensible snacks also fight mid-morning fatigue, mid-afternoon carb craving, and mindless evening grazing – one of the chief culprits in weight gain.
Think of it like the turtle and the hare. Slow and steady like the turtle, healthy snacks help you sustain balanced energy to go the long distance. Whereas crash diets, like the hare, start out fast and furious with loads of promise, but burn out long before the goal is reached.
It’s no wonder a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that both people whose weight was already normal and dieters who had successfully slimmed down ate more snacks, compared to overweight participants!
The key is to know how often you need to snack to maintain or achieve a healthy weight, and what snacks are best.
The researchers reported that the best eating plan for weight loss or maintenance was three meals and two snacks daily.
Our own Tana Amen, BSN, RN, the NY Times bestselling author of “The OMNI Diet,” recommends that your healthy snack include the following:
- Protein: 7 to 10 grams (equal to about 2 tablespoons of hummus or guacamole or a slice of turkey or 2 tablespoons of whole, raw nuts or seeds.)
- Healthy fats: 3 to 15 grams.
- Complex carbohydrates: 2 or 3 cups of raw or lightly steamed veggies—or a serving of low-sugar fruit such as berries or tart apples.
Tana also offers the following helpful tips:
- Do not confuse planned healthy snacks with a continual graze. Giving your digestive system a rest between snacks and meals is important so that you aren’t releasing insulin all day!
- Be sure to plan and prepare your meals in advance. You will be less likely to be drawn into “zombie mode” and mindlessly munch when hungry, traveling or tired.
Plan delicious and healthy snacks. Let them work for you and help you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Remember, slow and steady wins the race.