Why two healthy snacks each day?
Snacking on nutritious foods between meals keeps energy levels high and the mind alert. In turn, if you're not overly hungry going into the next meal then you're more likely to make better choices and not overeat. It doesn't have a profound effect on metabolism but since you are burning more calories after you eat, it does keep the fire going. Smart snacking can keep you going until next meal, but it's important to pay attention to what you're snacking on.
Dos and Don'ts of snacking:
Do Choose fruggies: Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Fruggies boost your immune system and protect you from any chronic illnesses. Their fiber content will keep blood sugar more stable reducing risk for cravings and mood swings.
Do Choose healthy proteins found on the Fit Livin' fuel list: Protein takes longer to digest and requires more caloric energy to be digested. Therefore, consuming protein in snacks aids in an increased sense of satiety and fullness and more calories burned post snack.
Do Plan ahead: You never know when the hunger alarm will go off between meals, so be prepared with healthy snacks packed away in your briefcase, purse, desk or fridge at work.
Do Listen to your hunger alarm: Eat when it goes off, and stop eating when it disappears. It's easy to take in too many calories if you're choosing chips, cookies, candy, etc. Those extra calories are bound to turn into extra weight gain over time. Keep each snack to 100-200 calories.
Do Save your carbohydrate foods for meals most of the time.
Do Drink water: (or other non-calorie/low-calorie beverages) between meals so you don't misinterpret your thirst for hunger.
Don't choose snacks high in sugar: Examples: candy, cookies, cakes, milk chocolate, sodas, fruit snacks, some yogurt and some commercial smoothies with sugar in top 3 ingredients...
Don't choose snacks high in saturated fat (bad fat): Examples: chips, tortilla chips, ice cream, whole- fat cheese, etc.
Don't choose highly processed, packaged snacks: Tip: avoid snacks containing more than 5-6 ingredients. Examples: frozen pizza snacks, Little Debbie snack cakes, flavored tortilla chips, most 100-calorie snack packs.
Don't choose empty-calorie carbohydrates: Examples: crackers (saltines, oyster crackers, cheese crackers), pretzels, baked chips and tortilla chips.
Healthy Snack Choices
Fruggies: Label Check: avoid those with added sugar and/or salt (sodium).
Nuts and Seeds: Label Check: lightly salted or raw.
Yogurt: Label Check: avoid if sugar is listed in first 3 ingredients, look for at least 15% of DV for Calcium, and make sure it contains Live and Active Cultures.
Cheese: Label Check: made with skim, 1% or 2% milk.
Nut Butter: Label Check: Look for short list of ingredients, 1-3 ingredients such as nuts, salt and sugar. Avoid if it contains hydrogenated oil.
Eggs: Label Check: Choose Grade A eggs. Look for Vegetarian Fed, Antibiotic-free and Growth Hormone-free.
Popcorn: Label Check: Choose air-popped or 94% fat free.
Cottage Cheese: Label Check: made with skim, 1% or 2% milk.
Deli Meat: Label check. Look for 97% fat-free, Nitrite-free deli meat and no added fillers.
Healthy Snack Ideas
Light yogurt & berries
String cheese(part skim)
Celery/1 tsp. peanut butter
Apple or banana / 1 tsp. peanut butter
Turkey roll-ups, 2 slices of deli turkey topped with 1 slice of cheese rolled-up
Hummus (1T) zucchini and carrot matchsticks
3 cups of popcorn-air popped or 94% fat-free
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese & apricots, peaches or pineapple
1 boiled egg, sliced & 8 wheat thins
Nuts or seeds (golf ball size)
Bell pepper rings and & Light veggie dip (golf ball size)