I hope this New Year finds you re-charged and ready to make your resolutions become a reality. One of the most popular resolutions the people, including myself, make is to make better health choices. This is typically centered around improving your diet and/or becoming more physically active.  As we embark on 2014, I wanted to give you all some tips for “Smart Snacking”.

 

Many people feel that snacking is bad and that the less meals you eat, the more pounds you shed.  I wanted to address some of these myths around snacking and leave you with some smart snacking guidelines and ideas. Let me know what you think and leave some of your own snack ideas in the comment section.

 

Snack Myths:

  • Snacking between meals causes weight gain
  • Snacking ruins your appetite
  • Snacks lead to poor nutrition

 

 

How snacking can actually help you meet your health goal:

  • Snacks help manage hunger between meals
  • Less hunger between meals can decrease overeating at mealtimes
  • Snacking gives your body the energy it needs for fuel when it needs its
  • Snacks helps you get enough servings of vitamins and minerals

 

 

Smart Snacking Guidelines:

  • Pay attention to your hunger
  • Plan snacks so you are eating something every 3 – 4 hours
  • Choose a healthy snack from a variety of the five major food groups
  • Keep snacks around 100-200 calories for weight controls

 

 

Snack ideas that have been shown to keep you fuller, longer:

  • ½ cup black beans – add salsa or nonfat sour cream. You can use multigrain chips or use lettuce leaves for a low calorie dipper alternative
  • Granola/Energy bars  (aim for < 200 calories, with more fiber and less fat. My favorite bar right now is Luna Bar’s Chocolate Chunk ( p.s. Stay tuned for my upcoming review on various energy bars)
  • ½ cup canned salmon or tuna packed in water, mixed with ¼ cup low fat yogurt
  • ¼ cup nuts (about one handful) aim for unsalted almonds, walnuts, or mixed nuts

 

 

Here are some tasty, low calories goodies:

  • Sugar Free, Fat Free Jello, or pudding mix
  • 8 ounces reduced fat chocolate milk or soymilk
  • 1 cup low fat regular/greek yogurt with ¼ grain cereal or fruit miced in
  • Sugar free gum ( my favorite is Trident) –  this is especially useful for times when you’re bored or stressed or not hungry