One of the key ingredients of a successful diet is giving up snacking, right?
Not necessarily. In fact, nutritionists agree that healthy snacks spaced throughout the day can help dieters avoid over-indulging at meals. While your snacks shouldn’t consist of cookies and cakes, there are a few healthy treats you can nibble on throughout the day to ward of hunger and maintain your energy.
For dieters looking for a few tips for smart snacking, consider this advice:
– Planning is essential to smart snacking. Plan on having about two healthy snacks per day between meals. A snack between breakfast and lunch, and another between lunch and dinner is ideal. Avoid snacking after your final meal of the day, as your metabolism will be slower when you sleep, making it harder to burn off the calories you consume.
– When you snack, avoid unhealthy foods. Shun foods that are high in processed sugar, fats, and carbohydrates. Sticking to fruits and veggies is a good idea, and nuts and berries also make great natural snacks. The great thing about snacking on fruit is that it will satisfy your craving for something sweet, but will be much healthier than eating junk food.
– Maintain snacking discipline when you’re on the road. Don’t let your guard down when you travel. Maintain your nutrition plan by packing your usual snacks and avoiding the temptation of fast food stops on the road.
– Avoid snacking when you’re upset. Emotional eating contributes to overeating. When you’re feeling stressed or anxious, take a minute to think about the situation before you reach for a bag of chips or other snacks.
– That said, be flexible. Occasional rewards of sweeter snacks will help you avoid the temptation of all-out splurges on unhealthy foods. Cut yourself a little slack every now and then, but try to make these “cheat meals” a planned part of your routine rather than impulse eating.
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