by Amber White
ChiroHealthUSA Social Media Specialist
Many dieters wonder if snacking is a complete no-no on their weight loss journey. A snack, by definition, is a small amount of food eaten between meals. Most medical and dietary professionals will agree that you’ll lower your caloric intake and lose weight if you eat less. This concept seems easy enough, right? Throw in at least 30 minutes of physical activity a couple of times a week, and you’ll shed unwanted weight in no time…theoretically. Proper snacking can help you manage hunger between meals and provides additional energy throughout your day. However, what happens when you eat three meals a day and snack on foods high in fat and low in nutritional value?
No, we’re not talking about snacks that taste bad. Bad snacks are defined as highly processed food items that are low in nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants) and high on empty calories. Think of chips, cookies, fried foods, sugary drinks, or candy. You also have to watch for snacks that seem to promote health and weight loss but have hidden sugars and calories. Those snacks include fruit juices, certain energy bars, granola, or yogurt. Eating these snacks only helps add on extra calories, even if you’re eating balanced meals. The wrong snacks can actually restrict weight loss and possibly even stunt your metabolism causing weight gain.
With all of the deceiving packaging and advertising out there, how can you recognize a good snack? Foods such as low-fat Greek yogurt, fresh berries and fruit, vegetables, or hummus, are good choices when you’re searching for snacks to eat between meals. These snacks will fill you up, give you energy, and are low in calories.
If you prefer foods such as energy bars, peanut butter, or granola, look for brands that list simple ingredients like nuts, seeds, and berries, that are sweetened and held together by a bit of honey. These healthy snacks eliminate the extra sugars and fats added to more popular brands. And they’re definitely healthier than your typical vending machine candy bar.
When searching for healthy snacks, remember to look not only just at individual foods but your diet as a whole. A food log app can help you track the total number of nutrients you consume in a day and identify the snack traps you might be falling into