Snacking is often looked down upon by the average person seeking to be healthier or lose weight, but science disagrees. Did you know snacking can actually be beneficial to those trying to lose weight or maintain health? Regular intake of calories throughout the day is essential to keep your metabolism running efficiently. This often translates to more opportunity to burn fat! Not only that, food is fuel and gives you the energy you need to accomplish tasks and feel good doing them. So why does snacking have such a bad reputation? It comes down to snack quality and quantity.
Studies show that after only three hours without eating, your blood sugar begins to drop. This loss often leads to desperate and copious snacking that can only result in grabbing fast and easy foods. These readily available and mass-produced snack options are often not as healthy for you, nor do they provide the energy your body is really needing.
To stay healthy and doing what you love, snack smart this summer! Check out the tips below to find out what to look for and how to implement smart snacking into your summer routine!
Eat whole foods: The closer food is to the way it would grow in nature is the best form in which to consume it (i.e. fresh fruits and veggies rather than frozen or canned, meats from the butcher rather than pre-packaged, split grain breads and crackers rather than bleached/processed wheat).
- Eating whole foods minimizes bad sugars and other preservatives that negatively impact one’s health.
- Eat what’s in season for you: not only does this provide more flavor, but also more nutrients when you choose to eat the produce that grows locally during the current season. Some research even suggests that the food that grows locally is filled with the appropriate nutrients your body needs specifically during that time of year
Prepare: One of the biggest challenges in the summer is a busy schedule that keeps you constantly one step behind. Beat this by putting some priority on planning ahead!
- Know you’re going to an event? Bring a healthy snack to assure there is a good choice available to you.
- Cut up veggies and keep them readily available in your fridge. For extra accessibility for you and your kids, store them in glass or see through plastic container so both you and the kids can find them easily when you go to the fridge so hungry, you’ll eat the first thing you see.
- Keep some raw nuts in your car or purse for easy access.
Eat a snack that packs a punch: Eat foods that are higher in protein in order to fill yourself up without consuming a high calorie snack. Again, snacking isn’t bad, but it gets a bad rap because many overeat during snack time. Some great high protein/low calorie snack options are:
- Veggies and hummus or raw peanut/almond butter
- Raw nuts
- Energy bites (see recipe below)
Science says snacking is smart when done right! No one is perfect in their diet, but by implementing one or more of these tips, you can keep yourself on a healthy track towards your best self!
Energy Bite Recipe:
1 ½ cups Old Fashioned Oats
½ cup Raw Almond or Peanut Butter
½ cup Flax Seed, ground
½ cup Raw Honey
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Chia Seeds
Mix in bowl and roll into tablespoon size balls and refrigerate.
*Try adding one or more of the following for different flavors
Dried fruit (cherries or cranberries)
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Mini dark chocolate chips