We often get caught up in the holiday goodies and treats that are sitting around at home and work during this time of year. Holiday eating, if not kept in check, can factor into potential holiday weight gain.
The hardest time to avoid the holiday goodies is when we are hungry. It’s at that point that we are more likely to eat whatever is available, and this tends to be those not-so-healthy, higher-calorie treats. When our stomach is growling and we are hungry we think it would be best to grit our teeth and wait for a few hours until our next meal. Not so. We can have the best of both worlds: we don’t have to starve and we don’t have to give into the holiday goodies either.
Although you may feel guilty about snacking, snacks aren’t necessarily bad. In fact, well-planned eating habits allow for snacks to help manage hunger and reduce bingeing. The key is planning, being prepared and keeping moderation in mind.
To satisfy your hunger, you need to supply your body with quality snacks between your meals. Snacks that are 100 calories or less are the best options to help satisfy you without going over your daily calorie intake.
Choose snacks from these food groups:
Fruits and vegetables. Always a good go-to snack. Lower in calories than many other foods and you’ll get plenty of vitamins, minerals, fiber and other essential nutrients.
Whole grains. Whole grains provide fiber and lasting energy. Find whole-grain crackers, pretzels or other whole-grain options.
Nuts and seeds. These snacks can contribute protein to your diet, which can help you feel full for longer. You’ll also add heart-healthy monounsaturated fat by snacking on nuts and seeds. Careful, though, as nuts are higher in calories so just a small amount will do.
Low-fat dairy products. Low-fat cheese, yogurt and other dairy products can help you get calcium and protein into your diet. Watch out for extra sugar in many yogurt varieties.
Heed your hunger pangs, but forget the guilt. With planning and a little preparation, you can have healthy foods on hand so that you’re ready when temptation strikes.
MayoClinic.com: Snacks: How they fit into your weight-loss planCategory: Healthy Lifestyle, Nutrition | Tags: healthy eating habits, healthy lifestyle, holidays, nutrition, snacks | No Comments »