Why? Healthy snacking and mini-meals every 3 to 4 hours helps you avoid falling blood sugar and keeps you from getting too hungry.
And healthy snacking isn’t your typical spontaneous grab-and-go reaching for whatever mood-food that strikes your fancy. It takes planning.
But it’s the best way to keep your head on straight and your energy up.
So, how do you change your snacking habits? For a new game plan, here are the 12 guidelines necessary to overcome urges and turn bad snacking habits into healthy snacking for weight loss and maintenance:
1. Commit to making changes. All change starts with a commitment to patiently and persistently do whatever it takes to get the results you want.
2. Focus on foods high in fiber. The fiber in vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and 100% whole grains helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
4. Avoid addictive trigger food. For most people, there are certain sweet, salty or fatty foods that set off eating binges, so they must be off-limits.
5. Learn to enjoy healthy foods. It makes no sense to mourn for the foods you can’t eat. Focus on foods you can eat and learn to love them.
6. Time your snacks just right. Studies show that it’s best to snack when you’re a little bit hungry, every 3 to 4 hours, preferably in the afternoon.
7. Plan snacking – don’t graze. To keep from reaching for just anything, it helps to plan, prepare and prepackage your snacks ahead of time.
8. Measure it for management. If you try to eyeball serving sizes, you’ll likely overestimate. So always use scales, measuring cups and spoons.
9. Look it up and write it down. No matter what anyone says, calories count. So to lose or maintain your weight, you must count your calories.
10. Carry snack packs on the go. Use washable containers or small plastic bags to carry premeasured snacks with you wherever you go.
11. Don’t drink your calories, sip. Liquids are filling. So drink calorie-free beverages, eat whole fruit and sip healthy smoothies and soups for snacks.
12. Pay attention to you’re eating. Put your healthy snack on a small plate, sit down and concentrate on getting pleasure out of eating it.
Following these twelve guidelines will help you to learn how use healthy snacks for snacking in a way that supports your healthy weight goals.