Snack Time: 3 Ways To Do It Right

A tired woman reaching for the alarm clock( — The hunger pains of dieting and lifestyle changes are probably starting to set in now that the New Year is well underway. But you can satisfy the hunger, fuel your body, and reach your goals with a snack in hand.

Snacking is more than a pastime and way to increase your calories. It can help boost metabolism and curb hunger during the day. Choosing healthy, easy, affordable snacks makes changing your eating habits much easier than you once thought.

Remember that timing is also important. Utilize your snacks when you need them most. Here are a few tips to maximize your snack time:

1. Tired and sluggish? Choose a power packed snack to get you through the day and boost your energy level. Try foods that are high in protein, with a small amount of carbohydrates to get you a long lasting boost. Nuts and a small piece of fruit or peanut butter on a slice of whole grain bread are great choices.

2. Hungry and lunch is a few hours away? Sneak in a high fiber, high protein snack mix to take you through the day or even as a bedtime snack to take you through the night. Try a few vegetable sticks with hummus or high fiber cereal and milk to tide you over.

3. Fuel your workout. Eating complex carbohydrates provides your body with energy needed to maximize your efforts. Snacking on low-fat sources of protein such as yogurt or cheese after a workout can help your body to recover and promote the growth of muscle cells.

How To Snack & Save

When choosing snack foods, look for items that are loose and can be pre-portioned. This allows you to customize your snacks and also helps reduce costs.

Look for bulk bin aisles in grocery stores where you can choose as many or as little nuts, low-fat granola, or dried fruits as you’d like. Buy small plastic bags or containers and pre-package snacks for the week and keep them in your gym bag, desk drawer, or car to prevent impulsive snacking on unhealthier foods.

Eating between meals is not always a bad habit. Choosing the right snack at the right time can be the key to your diet success.