Being on a diet and trying to lose weight does not mean that you have to deprive yourself of snacks. In fact, if you are truly feeling hungry between meals, it is a signal that you may be experiencing a dip in blood sugar. Depriving yourself and forcing yourself to wait for your next meal may be detrimental to your diet and your resolve. Forcing yourself to wait may result in over consuming when the time to eat finally arrives.
Be sure that you are truly hungry and are not succumbing to “mindless” or “emotional” eating. Often, if you find yourself hungry less than two hours after a meal, you may be responding to an emotional urge or having a reaction to boredom. Eating a good healthy breakfast with lots of fiber can keep some of these cravings at bay.
Some additional tips for snacking during a diet without losing any headway you have made are:
- Be sure to snack in moderation and balance. Healthy snacks like fruit and vegetables are obviously the best choice, but they can become boring quickly. Try adding a bit of fat-free yogurt or cottage cheese to your snack.
- Always try to keep your snacks to between 100 and 200 calories. Don’t forget to count snacks in your daily intake of calories.
- Stock the fridge or pantry with “fast” snacks. Whole grain English Muffins (1/2) and bagels (1/2) are good choices. You can also pre-slice vegetables and fruits to prepare ready -made portions. Many prepackaged snacks are available at the grocery store (100 calorie snacks).
- In addition to stocking the pantry and fridge with healthy choices, clear them of unhealthy snack foods. They will only provide temptation, and why make things harder for yourself?
- Try whole grain breakfast cereals as snacks. A good handful is low in calories, is high in fiber (makes you feel full longer), and is easy to snack on. No milk is needed. Breakfast food isn’t just for breakfast anymore.
- Have a snacking place and plan your snacks. This will help you to avoid mindless snacking in front of the television at home or the computer at work. Make yourself get up and go to your snacking place to have your snack.
- Check nutrition labels for fat and calorie counts. Don’t be sucked in by advertising on the labels. They are not always forthwith!
- Finally, drink lots of water. Sometimes thirst is disguised as hunger. If the sweet tooth is acting up, try adding a little lemon or a splash of your favorite fruit juice for flavor.
Dieting doesn’t mean deprivation, and it doesn’t have to mean giving up snacks forever. As long as you are mindful of the types of snacks you are eating and the portion sizes, snacking can go a long way in keeping you on track for your weight loss goals.