Eating is one of life’s necessities and pleasures. Everyone enjoys a tasty snack now and then. But snacking is not the same as giving into unhealthy cravings. Snacking should be sensible, smart, and most of all – enjoyable. You don’t want to end up feeling guilt and regret. So the things that we put into our mouths should taste good and be worth while. As I tell my personal training clients, snacking isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact, it can be an important part of your fitness routine because your body needs to stay fueled all day long for optimum calorie burning. Eating something every 2 to 3 hours is a must if we all want to keep our energy and sugar levels at bay. When you are craving a snack, what type of snack do you reach for? Is it a high-fat, high-calorie brand name chocolate candy bar? Or is it something more along the lines of a cup of yogurt with mixed berries? The great thing about it is that each of these tastes just as good, and satisfies just the same. Only one of them will keep you fuller longer, and only one of them is filled with less calories. Can you guess which is which? Bet you can.
Smart snacking for fitness is a ‘no-brainer’. Although, some will believe that exercising alone is good enough. They are dead wrong. Sometimes we all slip up and grab a tub of ice cream when we need a quick fix, although we should not. This type of behavior sends our sugar levels sky-high, then dropping right back down again – twice as quick as the rise. Unhealthy snacking also sends us on the fast track towards developing diabetes. It can be confusing exactly as to what we should eat in between meals, here are some helpful tips:
Try adding some fiber to your snacks. Anything high in fiber will do, apples are the best. They fill you up and slow your digestion.
Indulge yourself in a bowl of low-fat popcorn! It is yummy and it won’t leave you with all of the extra calories and guilt.
Eat some cheese. Cheese is a wonderful smart choice for a snack; it tastes good and includes the ingredient that keeps us full – protein.
Grab some pistachios. They are good for you and carry lots of protein that will help sustain you until your next meal.
Try a nice bowl of yogurt with a small handful of berries. Berries are full of antioxidants and are very sweet as well, guaranteed to satisfy those of you with a sweet tooth!
Eat a serving of dark chocolate. That’s right; my personal training clients know that I love chocolate. Just make sure you are choosing dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa. This will definitely curb your chocolate cravings as well as add some heart-healthy benefits.
Avoid bad carbohydrates and things that are high in sugar. You will wind up being hungrier throughout the day if you give in to the higher-fat variety.
With a little effort, you will get through each day feeling energetic and satisfied. Smart snacking does not only have to be for those who are dieting. You can still enjoy the wonderful tastes of low-calorie, high-nutrient foods whether or not you are a small child, teenager, body builder, pregnant, older, younger, it does not matter. Great health is for everyone, and once you have experienced how good it feels, you will not want to trade it for any other life style.