Savvy Snacking

Snack –noun: a small portion of food or drink or a light meal, especially one eaten between regular meals (source)

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What a concept 🙂 Which type of food comes to mind when you hear that word, “snack”?

There are so many ideas about when to eat each day…

There’s the “6 small meals a day” method for weight loss (which hasn’t been backed by research).

There are the strict “3 meals a day” people who also say “never eat between meals.” Some think that having snacks is just an unnecessary addition of calories.

etc.

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I happen to be on a different bandwagon. Everyone’s snacking needs will be based upon the number of calories per meal. I like to advise that people eat 3 main meals a day (each ~400-500 cal.) and have 1-2 snacks per day (each ~250 cal or less). You see, it is important for us to maintain a steady blood sugar level. Not just in diabetics, but in everyone. Spikes in blood sugar affect our mood, productivity, and, of course, our health. Ever had an unexplained headache in the middle of the afternoon? Or a nauseated stomach? ahem. Did the word “snack” pop into your mind? I hope so, because that’s probably what you needed. That’s right, I said needed. Not an unnecessary use of calories, but an actual NEED to eat when it’s not mealtime.

Now we go back to the type of food that you thought of… was it chips? a bowl of ice cream? a granola bar? veggies w/ hummus? C’mon, we don’t need to explain which of those items would be the better choice…

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Think on this: When that time of day comes (perhaps your typical 3 meals a day are 4+ hours apart), and you know it will be awhile until your next meal… you feel dizzy, tired, or sick… water isn’t doing the trick… LISTEN to your body! It’s not telling you to skip eating so that you have more calories for later. It’s not telling you to give it M&M’s or a Coke. It’s telling you that it is hurting for REAL food. It says, “I need protein and carbs. I need to maintain a steady blood sugar level.” 🙂

Let’s not deprive ourselves of what we need.  Grab a cheese stick and an apple, or peanut butter and crackers, or fruit and some yogurt, and make your body HAPPY! Go snacks!

**** Thoughts about snacking? What comes to your mind? Any favorite healthy snacks that get you through the day?

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