Did you know that snacking can help you lose weight? It’s true! Of course, we’re not talking about eating a candy bar or handful of potato chips every time you walk by the pantry. Done correctly, snacking helps you increase energy, improve your metabolism and help your diet.
Psychology and physiology
You’ll get a metabolic boost if you eat smaller meals more often throughout the day. The act of digesting and processing food actually helps you burn calories. Not a huge amount, but about 90-100 a day on a healthy 1,800 calorie diet. Eating every three hours or so during the day helps keep your blood sugar consistent. It also means that psychologically you won’t feel like you’re depriving yourself. Your energy will be steady, which means your mood and concentration won’t roller-coaster throughout the day.
Plan your snacks just like you plan your meals. Make sure that you’re getting a balance of protein and carbs. By planning ahead, you’re also more likely to exercise portion control.
Plan to eat something every three hours or so. If you eat breakfast at 7:00, have something such as fruit and crackers at 10:00. It will help you avoid the desire to indulge in a big lunch at 1:00. And everyone knows about the food coma that happens after lunch.
Enjoy your snacks
Put these mini meals in a bowl or on a plate and make sure that you’re taking the time to sit and enjoy them, rather than just grabbing something out of a box or bag. Not only will it help you maintain portion control, if you concentrate on flavors and textures, your brain will register that you’ve eaten.
Don’t wait too long
Eating a snack when you’re not completely famished is a way to fend off hunger pangs later in the day. If you eat when you’re starving, you may tend to overdo it.
By making wise decisions and making it part of a daily routine, eating several mini meals throughout the day can help you on the road to a healthy lifestyle.