Snacks are usually recommended for people who have a slow metabolism and that want to stay energized throughout the day. What happens most of the time is that these snacks become our main enemies. We replace the healthy snacks from our meals with some sugary, highly processed snacks that can halt our diet’s progress altogether. Here are some bad effects of snacking on your diets and some ideas on the right way to snack.
Everyone’s Favorite Cheat Meal
As mentioned earlier, it is pretty common to have some healthy meals and terrible snacks. We use snack time as dessert or some sort of cheat meal. This is the moment when chocolate, cookies, candies, potato chips, and sodas are the norm. We might not notice it, but we probably consume much more calories on snacks rather than our meals!
This problem occurs because of the next factors:
- Lack of planning: we spend a whole day planning our next week’s meals, but we don’t pay attention to our snacks.
- Lack of willpower: snacks are consumed during low energy points in our day, which makes it easier for our brain to lean on more exciting and instantly energizing foods with lots of salt and sugar.
- Lack of boundaries: once one person tells us ‘Come on, it’s only a bag of potato chips’, you instantly accept. Many people will pressure you into old habits because changes are difficult for the person who is doing it and others in his environment. Yes, you make take a couple potato chips if you’re at a party, but have your own limits so you don’t get pressured into eating the whole bag!
Bad Choices In Our Snacks
Snacks could be healthy, good, energizing, and tasty if we look for the right stuff. Bad choices in snacks are made by one of the factors mentioned earlier. So let’s start by beginning to see which snacks are really terrible altogether:
- Chips: a full bag of chips is filled with oil and salt, making it an explosion of calories without nutritional value. Stay away from them as much as you can.
- Cookies: they’re tasty, sweet, and full of carbohydrates and sugar. These could be good for a dessert, but they will not give you the energy you’re looking for in a snack.
- Chocolate (except dark chocolate): the usual chocolate bars have too much milk and sugar to make them the sweetest thing you’ll ever taste. Unless it is dark chocolate (70% cocoa or more), don’t even think about it.
The Most Important Fact About Snacks
Here’s a secret that many of you might not know: you burn 10% percent of what you ingest. What does this mean? That for every 2000 daily calories, 200 calories are burned by the metabolic process. No matter how much you snack, you will always be burning 10% of that meal, which means that maybe snacks aren’t the metabolism accelerator we might think.
Snacks are mainly something that we do because we enjoy eating. They can help you in keeping up your metabolic rate during the day, but that doesn’t matter if your snacks are made up of bad choices. So, don’t focus on your metabolic rate. Focus on eating a healthy meal that keeps your energy levels and nutrition consistent throughout the day. This, better than anything, will keep you healthier, at your ideal weight, and retaining the gains from the gym.
The Good Snacks
There are many options to choose from when we look for a healthy meal. Here are some of the most recommended.
- Peanuts: They have many calories, but they also are a great source of protein and fat. A handful of peanuts will fill your stomach quite fast. Also, try out peanut butter. Two spoons of peanut butter will not only keep you energized, but it is also great as a recovery snack from your workout.
- Almonds: similar to peanuts, they are a great source of fiber, protein, and fats. You can eat a handful every once in a while and have a full stomach.
- Protein Bars: There are many to choose from, with many flavors. Most don’t have a lot of sugars and are a great supplement.
- Dark Chocolate: As mentioned earlier, it must have 70% of cocoa or higher. Dark chocolate is an excellent mood booster, as well as a great source of
- Fruits: An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Other fruits that you can eat are banana, pineapple, kiwi, and mangoes. Most of these are low on calories but a great source of fiber and vitamins.
Keep It Healthy
Everything narrows down to the choices you make throughout the day. If you plan ahead, there’s less risk for you to pick up an unhealthy snack over a healthy one. You can have the eventual snack that you want, but better to stay on course so you don’t have a hard time choosing. Make the effort to not keep at home any of the bad snacks and you’ll inevitably make it easier to enjoy the benefits of a healthy snack.
- Include snacks in your meal plan.
- Figure out which snacks aren’t as healthy for you.
- Set boundaries. You can eat a bag of chips, but don’t make it the norm.
- Don’t worry if you don’t snack. Your metabolic rate will still burn 10% of the energy you consume.
Not To Do
- Eat cookies every day.
- Don’t worry about choosing the right snacks.
- Snacking on bad foods even though it is an unhealthy choice.