Having a healthy snack or 2 throughout your day will help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Avoid going more than 4 hours without eating as this is what happens:
– Blood Sugar levels drop
– Energy levels drop
– Cortisol levels increase
– Body starts craving a quick source of energy providing foods (i.e. SUGAR)
– Portion control goes out the window and we consume more than necessary
The snacks you choose could easily be the downfall and be the reason you are having trouble loosing weight. The problem I often hear is people snacking on fruit, granola bars, cheese & crackers. I can’t say these are the best choices for weight loss unless you are cautious of the portion.
Fruit is great as it contains nutrients and vitamins that help nourish our bodies. Assuming you are trying to loose weight, fruit alone does not make for a great snack because of the large ratio of sugar. A banana for example spikes your blood sugar and unless you are going to go for a long run or workout after, it will be stored in your liver and turned into fat.
Read my blog on the benefits of a Low Sugar, Low Glycemic Breakfast
Similarly, granola bars are high in sugar.
Cheese & crackers, by now most should know this is not the best snack. Cheese is high in fat & sodium and should be eliminated/minimized if your goal is to lose weight.
Aside from these snacks being high in sugar or fat is there is little or no protein in them. Protein helps to:
– Keep you full & satisfied
– Feeds your muscle metabolism *Muscle tissue is what keeps us lean!
Another piece of advice when it comes to snacking is that snack options vary with what time in the day it is.
For example, you will see in my list of 150 Calorie Snack Ideas, there are snacks with fruit. These snacks are best consumed before noon (OR before a workout).
The snacks that should be consumed later in the day are typically lighter snacks that are low in sugar and higher in healthy fats and protein.
Lastly, watch the fat intake, healthy fats are good but keep an eye on the foods you combine. For example, cheese and avocado in 1 snack, no good since you are getting fats from both, so either have a very small portion of both, or my recommendation would be to just choose 1 so it is easier to control.
3 biggest takeaways:
1. Prepare 2 healthy snacks for each day ahead of time. Leave them in your bag/car/office to avoid going hours without eating
2. Keep them low in sugar/sodium
3. Some “snack foods” can be deceiving as they are high in calories, ensure your snack is ~150-200 calories. See my list of Healthy Snacks