If you’re trying to eat healthy and lose weight, you don’t have to eliminate snacking from your daily routine. It’s how you snack that matters.
When your next meal is hours away and you’re feeling hunger pangs, a healthy snack can help you manage your hunger so you don’t overeat at your next meal, while still keeping you within your calorie limits. In fact, many long-term weight loss plans specifically allow for snacks.
It’s important to keep moderation and balance in mind when choosing your snacks. Focus on healthy snacks that will satisfy your hunger and provide you with nutrients and fuel. An ideal snack would be less than 100 calories and would have low energy density, which means that the number of calories it contains is relatively small compared to the large portion size. Some examples of healthy snacks include:
- Fruits and vegetables: The vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients present in most fruits and vegetables, such as grapes and carrots, can provide you with healthful benefits along with a feeling of fullness.
- Whole-grain snacks: Items like low-fat whole-grain crackers or pretzels are rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which will give your body the fuel it needs.
- Nuts and seeds: The protein found in nuts and seeds keep you feeling full for longer. They can be high in calories, though, so watch your portions.
- Low-fat dairy snacks: The low-fat versions of cheese and yogurt can provide you with calcium and protein.
By avoiding sugars and simple carbohydrates, but still snacking when you’re hungry, you can continue to lose weight and reach your goals for healthy living.