One of the reasons why women often find themselves adding weight even if they eat less during meal time is wrong food choices especially when snacking. There are also women who would rather skip snacking altogether because they think it would help them lose a few calories. What they do not know is that healthy snacking is important to help regulate our blood sugar levels and metabolism. Healthy snacking is supposed to be satisfying and nutritious at the same time.
1. Limit your snacking to twice per day.
According to Tufts University professor Susan B. Roberts, PhD, two snacks per day is enough to keep our blood sugar levels regulated. Eat snacks during mid-morning and the other on mid-afternoon. Keep each snack between 100 and 200 calories. This is where correct food choices should come in.
Choose foods that are rich in fiber and with low fat content. Protein rich foods can also help burn a few calories and target weight loss specifically from fat and not muscle. Nuts are good choices, so are yogurt, oatmeal and dry cereals. Raw vegetable sticks and sliced fruits are also easy to prepare and nutritious at the same time.
2. Watch out for your hunger cues.
Our calorie needs differ from each other. Our body has its own unique clockwork. It may or may not need two snacks per day. Sometimes, it’s time to eat snacks and you do not feel hungry at all. Instead of forcing yourself to munch on something, skip snacking and wait for mealtime instead. Forcing the body to eat even if you are not hungry may interfere with your satiety signals. However, never skip meals, especially breakfast.
Watch out for calorie intake too. It is best to determine your required calorie intake. There are many calorie counter online that can help you determine it. It would be easier for you to divide your calorie intake within various meals and snacks. An average woman more or less, needs 2,000 calories per day. If you eat snacks twice per day at 200 calories each, that leaves you with 1,600 calories to divide for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Depending on your activity, you can increase your intake during the time of the day where you are most active.
3. Drink water.
Thirst can sometimes be mistaken as hunger. More than 35% of people often commit this mistake, interpreting the symptoms of dehydration as hunger. When we are thirsty, we feel dizzy, weak and cranky. As soon as you feel these symptoms, do not immediately reach for something to eat. Instead, drink a glass of water and wait for 15 minutes. If it still does not satiate you then look for something to eat. On top of that, mild dehydration can also lead to a slower metabolism.
Healthy snacking involves being smart and strategic. It is also important to understand your body well. Our body gives us cues and signals but sometimes, we often ignore them or we simply fail to recognize them.
Photo credit: “Himeji Karinto” by Corpse Reviver – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.