Can you remember back when you were a kid and how much fun it was to enjoy your morning or afternoon snack? Boy, I sure can.
They tasted great, and some days I even decided to indulge myself with a double serving.
Those were the days.
Back then, snacks meant nothing more to me than a time for relaxation and quenching my thirst. Not once did I see snacks for what they really were, which are valuable opportunities three times a day to keep my body nourished, healthy, lean and strong for the rest of my life.
Today, snacks are still a constant part of our lives and mean a variety of things for many people.
With a large amount of America’s most popular snacks being loaded with too much sugar, calories and fat we certainly have our hands full making good choices for ourselves and our loved ones.
But don’t worry, you can be great at it, because you can learn how to take control over the choices you make.
Snacks can be a healthy part of everyone’s diet.
Choosing good snacks can help you manage weight, hunger, health and energy.
Snacks can help you gain or lose weight.
Eating several small healthy snacks between meals helps with weight loss by keeping your cravings down and preventing excessive feelings of hunger that could lead to overeating.
If your meals aren’t perfectly balanced, I encourage you to try using snacks to help meet healthy requirements for vegetables, fruits, calcium, proteins and others.
There are many tasty choices available.
Work snacks into your diet.
I challenge you not to view them as “extras,” choose snacks that contribute to your calorie and nutrient needs.
Snack on foods that compliment your meals and add variety to your diet.
If your goal is to lose weight, you may want to include healthy snacks that are between 100 and 200 calories.
If you are physically active, or are looking to gain weight, you may need to include healthy snacks that have between 200 and 400 calories.
Watch your snack portion sizes.
Make sure your snack portions are smaller than your meal portions.
Snacks should not fill you up, but instead should help keep you from becoming hungry.
Please challenge yourself not to nibble when urged by non-hunger impulses like boredom, frustration or stress.
Calories consumed during this time can really add up.
Try taking a walk or participating in some other positive activity during this time, like reviewing your health and fitness goals, or making a family healthy grocery list.
Here comes a big challenge I would really like you to conquer.
Page 2 of 2 - Be very conscious when you snack.
When it is snack time, please plan, make a good choice, eat and enjoy your snack.
When it is TV time, relax and watch TV.
When it is study time, study.
What I am trying to say is please don’t mix snacking with other activities, because it has been my experience that it will more than likely lead to overeating and weight gain, simply because you become wrapped up in the activity, instead of how many and what types of calories you just consumed.
Fitness friends, please believe me when I say that really makes a difference on the success or failure of any weight management program.
Finally, plan ahead and keep a variety of tasty, nutritious and ready-to-eat snacks available at all times.
Small containers and baggies will definitely make this task easier when you have to be away from home.
Snacks keep you going when you are dragging, and nutritious snacks will keep you going longer.
Small, wisely chosen snacks between meals promote good health and add pleasure to your life.
Snack with variety, balance and moderation in mind to attain all of your health and weight loss goals. You can do this.
Until next week, please go out and make it a healthy and nutritious day.
For more information on weight loss and health nutrition contact Reggie at 405-613-0237.