Break Out of a Snack Rut

Do you have poor snacking habits?  Read on to find out the most common snack ruts…

#5 You eat when not hungry

Why it’s a problem: this is the best way to ingest excess calories.

The fix: are you hungry? If not, wait until sounds rumble from the tummy.  If yes… read on to learn some new better snack foods.

#4 You don’t include fresh fruits or veggies

Why it’s a problem: restricting fresh fruits and veggies to meal times will limit every chance of consuming enough servings per day (at least 5-9).

The fix: have a serving of a fruit or a vegetable as your snack (or as part of it).  One serving of fruit is the size of your fist.  One serving of veggies is a half cup of cooked veggies or one cup raw.

#3 You go for salty stuffs

Why it’s a problem: high sodium snacks contribute to overall excesses in total sodium for the day.  High sodium diets lead to hypertension in the future.  2,400 mg is the current recommended daily allowance (RDA) for sodium.

The fix: read how much sodium (salt) is in your snack — per serving.  If there is 140 mg or less per serving, that is considered low-sodium.

#2 You avoid protein and fat

Why it’s a problem: protein and fat satiate (tide your body over) because those macronutrients are not as readily absorbed as carbohydrates.

The fix: keep your body fuller for longer by choosing a snack with a small amount of protein and/or fat.  Some examples include adding a piece of cheese to your apple or having a handful of almond butter with celery sticks.

#1 You grab juice, a high-calorie coffee or regular soda

Why it’s a problem: these types of beverages are high in sugar (bad for your teeth, waist and focus).  Drinking empty calories will help to store some extra fat on your body.

The fix: beverages with calories should be consumed for a specific reason (e.g., a supplement pre or post workout).  Choose water or seltzer in between meals (or a tea/coffee without the whip, mocha frocha, and packets of sugar).

Guide to prepping a good snack

My recommendation is that you make yourself something easy, healthy and tasty by following these steps.

One: choose a fruit or a veggie of choice

Two: add in 1-2 handfuls (4-8 oz) of lean protein (fat is usually found in most protein sources)

Three: add 1 serving complex carbohydrate (optional)

Examples:

– Banana with 1-2 tablespoons peanut butter (add a slice of whole wheat toast)

– Carrots with hummus and rice or whole wheat crackers

– 1/2 cup fage yogurt with 1/2 cup berries

– Apple with string cheese

– 2 eggs with 1/2 cup cooked spinach

– Kashi TLC or KIND bar

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