Add Snacks to Subtract Pounds
-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer
While some dieters happily accept when someone suggests a snack, others feel pangs of guilt when a nibble is merely suggested. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with a bite between meals. In fact, snacking might be the missing ingredient that will help you reach your weight loss goals.
But how can this make sense, since snacking theoretically adds calories?
Snacking doesn’t serve to replace a meal. In fact, you should spread meals and snacks out by an hour or two, and snacks should total a couple hundred calories or less.
Munching between meals can actually reduce your overall caloric intake by curbing overeating at your next meal. By controlling later binging, snacking can help you stay on track. You can actually use this to your advantage. If you know you are going out to a big dinner with friends later, for example, make sure you have a healthy snack before you head out so you’re less likely to order (and finish) a large entrée.
- Fill a small plate with your snack, and leave the kitchen. Just walk away. When your plate is empty, snack time is over.
- Never bring the entire container with you in front of the television or computer. Enjoy your snack without distraction and you won’t be tempted to reach for more.
- If you stand around the snack table chatting at a party, you may find yourself reaching for food when the conversation lulls. This can often lead to an unintentional binge because you simply aren’t paying attention to what you are eating.
- Limit yourself to a single serving.
- Plan out your snacks just like you would a meal. Is one cookie worth the calorie cost, when you could eat a plate of fresh fruit instead?
Don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy nibbles throughout the day; stick to nourishing foods whenever possible. If you know you have a weakness for junk food, do yourself a favor and don’t purchase these items next time you are at the grocery store. Then you won’t have to fight the temptation of ice cream or potato chips when hunger pangs hit.