Strategic snacking is one of the most effective weapons you have against a poor food choice or (shudder!) a binge. When you keep your hunger in check with an appropriate snack, you're making it much easier to stick to your healthy food choices. But there's a key word here - strategic. If you snack mindlessly, you'll be adding extra calories to your daily intake without accomplishing your goal of minimizing hunger.
Here are my top Strategic Snacking Tips:
- Know yourself. Try going from lunch to dinner without a snack. If you find that you are able to make good choices at dinner and that you're not utterly starving, you probably don't need a snack. If, on the other hand, you're desperate to eat just about anything by the time 5pm rolls around, you are a good candidate for a mid-afternoon snack.
- Watch your weekends. Keep lots of healthy snacks on hand for weekends. It's better to over-indulge in a healthy snack than to lose control at a brunch buffet.
- Don't be a health-snack-nut. Even portion controlled snacks can pile on calories and a lot of people find it impossible to stop at one little snack pack. Moreover, for many dieters, the practice is worse than the calories. Once you get accustomed to downing a nibble here and a bite there it can be a hard habit to break.
When you start thinking of snacking as a strategic way to control your hunger, it can be one of your best healthy eating tools.