If you are counting calories and making an effort to cut some needless calories out of your diet, snacking might be something you are avoiding. This is fine, but it depends on what your meals are like at mealtime. You can’t stuff your face three times a day, avoid snacks, and think you are going to lose weight. Snacking, or “grazing” as it’s often referred, is a good way to control calorie intake. Spreading the times throughout the day that you eat works wonders for your metabolism, and helps you stay fuller longer. You have to snack smart, though. Just like you can’t eat large portions and avoid snacks in hope you will lose weight, you can’t eat big (or wrong) snacks all day thinking you are doing your body a favor.
Here are some of the 5 best (and worst) foods to help you snack smart:
Almonds. Full of heart-healthy fat and fiber. About 155 calories in 20, so they should keep you full between meals.
Dark chocolate. Full of antioxidants. Keep the portions to a minimum, but this is one of the sweetest ways to snack smart.
Pretzels. Fat-free and can satisfy a craving for salt.
Fruit. Don’t be scared of the sugar from fruit. A healthy way to get vitamins and antioxidants.
Yogurt. Plain yogurt is the best. It’s full of protein and has no fat. Add some fruit for a sweet addition. About 110 calories in 8 oz.
Soda. Regular soda contains more grams of sugar in one 12-oz. can than is recommended in an entire day. Plus, the calories are considered “empty”, because they have basically zero nutritional value.
Buttered popcorn. Too much fat. Too much sodium. Too many calories. Not enough substance to fill you up, so you end up eating too much.
Regular chips. Just like popcorn, they contain too much fat, sodium, and calories. If chips are your thing, eat baked chips.
Crackers and cheese. You may think you’re eating healthy with the dairy product, but there are a ton of calories and sodium in each bite. There is also very little protein or fiber.
However you choose to snack, snack smart. Keep your portions under control and think about healthy eating. You will feel great and have all the energy you need to power through workouts.