We have already busted the myth that “snacking” is not good for you with the fact that we encourage 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. Your mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks are important to your weight loss success and overall wellness. However, because our society is based around 3 square meals and those in between snacks, we know that snacking even when you are not hungry or don’t realize you are eating, can be tempting; especially with high-fat, sodium-packed, non-nutritional, boredom-based foods like chips, candy, cookies, and highly processed “treats”.
1) Don’t be afraid to try the healthy options – There are a lot of portion controlled, reduced-fat, low-calorie versions of your favorite guilty pleasures that actually may taste just as good and won’t leave you with a sick tummy or a guilty conscience.
2) Avoid trans fat at all costs – Partially hydrogenated oils are lurking in the majority of snack foods (things like crackers, snack cakes and pies, frozen fried microwave snacks, and cookies), so this is where you not only should read the label, but the ingredients as well. This is because the FDA allows food companies to claim Trans Fat content as 0g if there are .5g or less per serving.
3) Be a label critic – We don’t care if it takes you 15 extra minutes at the grocery store…you MUST read the labels. Know what you are putting in your body and pay attention to the serving size!
4) Beware of energy foods – Energy could mean high in carbohydrates, fat, and sugar, so just be sure you are choosing one with at least 3 grams of fiber (preferably 5 grams), at least 5 grams of protein (preferably 10 grams), lower amounts of fat with no saturated fat, and fewer than 20 grams of sugar.
5) Don’t snack if you’re not really hungry – We’d encourage you to eat 5-6 smaller meals a day, but if you are not hungry for one of these snacks, then don’t force yourself. And pay attention to why you aren’t hungry.
6) Don’t believe everything you see – Foods advertised as “Nutritious” or foods that are seemingly healthy are not always. Words to be aware of are “reduced-fat”, “multi grain”, “low carb”, “less sodium”, “diet”, and any other fad-diet sounding buzz words. Not to say that these are always going to be a bad choice, but they are usually parading as something they are not.