10 Smart Snacking Tips

1. Check your HUNGER level.

Are you actually hungry? Or are you tired? Bored? Lonely? Happy? Or did you just see a food commercial on TV? Catch a reoccurring pattern by tracking your ‘cravings’ in your notes on your phone or in a journal. If you aren’t actually hungry, skip the snack until you are.

2. Check your FLUID level.

Are you thirsty rather than hungry? Since it’s easy to confuse the signals for hunger and thirst, try drinking a refreshing glass of water before you dig into a snack. Get yourself a reusable water bottle to take with you. Add some sliced cucumber, lemon, or even apples, and strawberries! Whatever will keep you sippin!

3. Check PORTION SIZES.

Most super-sized snacks are loaded with fat, sugar and calories. If you want a sweet or salty treat, start with a small size or share a bigger size with a friend.

4. Check food labels and FACTS.

What you don’t know can come as a surprise to your waistline! 300+ calories in a nutrition bar?! 400+ calories in a latte?! 600+ calories in a fancy cinnamon bun?!

Hidden sugars and unhealthy fats are typically in your packaged snacks. Do your best to pre prep your own snacks to know what you are eating.

5. Pay ATTENTION to your snack.

It’s easy to overeat (and still not feel satisfied) if you eat while driving, reading or watching TV. Slow down and enjoy your snack; you’ll eat less and enjoy it more.

Practice mindfulness and feel good about what you’re eating.

6. Pay attention to PROTEIN.

Many snack foods are low in protein, as well as high in sugar and fat. Foods with protein (meat, dairy, nuts and soy) and healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, and nut butters) will provide more nutrients and have longer staying power.

7. Grab some NUTS.

A small handful of nuts (about an ounce) can satisfy your craving for something salty and provide some super nutrition (vitamins, minerals and protein) at the same time. You can make your own mixes with almonds, dried cranberries or ginger, coconut shreds, dates, cashews, sunflower seeds etc..

8. Grab some VEGETABLES.

Nature’s fast food makes an excellent on-the-run snack. Keep sliced vegetables ready to go in the fridge and fill up a small bag whenever you head out the door. You could even try experimenting with some kale chips! Nutritious and delicious that satisfy crunch, salt, and what ever flavour you want to put on.

9. Grab some FRUIT.

Feeling like something sweet and flavorful? Fresh, dried or frozen— fruit is a luscious treat anytime of day. You can freeze grapes for munching.

Keep several single-serving fruit choices at home and the office. Apples and bananas never get old! Especially when you pair it with a delicious nut butter!

10. Grab WATER.

Soft drinks offer little except excess calories and caffeine! Diet sodas have a whole other onslaught of potential issues, coffees just make u crash, and sport drinks are just sugar. Looking for some liquid energy? Drink water.

By Wendy Peterson

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