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Nutrition Articles  ›  Healthy Habits

Snacking Healthy

Add Snacks to Subtract Pounds

-- By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer
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Snacking Isn’t Grazing
Mindless eating is often the downfall of many snackers. You may start with only a handful of your favorite crackers, only to finish the entire box, without even thinking about it. Obviously, this example isn’t the healthy snacking that can help you reach your weight loss goals. 
 
To avoid grazing:
  • Fill a small plate with your snack, and leave the kitchen. Just walk away. When your plate is empty, snack time is over. 
  • Never bring the entire container with you in front of the television or computer. Enjoy your snack without distraction and you won’t be tempted to reach for more.
  • If you stand around the snack table chatting at a party, you may find yourself reaching for food when the conversation lulls. This can often lead to an unintentional binge because you simply aren’t paying attention to what you are eating. 
  • Limit yourself to a single serving. 
  • Plan out your snacks just like you would a meal. Is one cookie worth the calorie cost, when you could eat a plate of fresh fruit instead? 
Practice Moderation
As with the rest of your diet, moderation is crucial when snacking. Make sure that you are adding every snack to your Nutrition Tracker, along with the larger meals you eat during the day. If you don’t keep track, you might add excess calories and fat to your diet without realizing it. 

Don’t sabotage your diet with unhealthy nibbles throughout the day; stick to nourishing foods whenever possible. If you know you have a weakness for junk food, do yourself a favor and don’t purchase these items next time you are at the grocery store. Then you won’t have to fight the temptation of ice cream or potato chips when hunger pangs hit.
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About The Author

Liz Noelcke Liz Noelcke
Liz is a journalist who often writes about health and fitness topics.

Member Comments

  • Good article. Thanks. - 2/28/2014 4:27:16 AM
  • VAINVT
    Tea helps me a lot, and I try to have protein like a slice of meat or nuts. - 2/15/2014 7:27:39 AM
  • I try to make sure I eat every two hours. So I don't get hungry. - 9/10/2013 5:09:12 PM
  • I don't like snacking as i actually like to feel hungry before I eat, and to feel satisfied when I finish. I find with snacking, I have to cut the rest of my portions down to a point where it's not enough, in order to stay within my allowance. Plus I don't get the satisfaction of enjoying feeding my hunger. - 9/11/2012 10:01:47 AM
  • Everything doesn't work for everyone. But this method has been suggested to me by , my endocrinologist. To eat smaller meals and eat 5 to 6 meals a day.When my sugars ran high and I get it down where it should be, then I felt like I was starving, so I ate and ate and not what I should have. It is what you eat when you snack or eat . I still don't have the right balance yet but I know I will and water is just as important.I use to not ever had enough. - 9/11/2012 7:58:08 AM
  • Always drink a glass of water with your snack. It feels more substantial and you are more satisfied that way, helping you to not overdo it. - 2/18/2012 12:42:44 PM
  • I only eat when I am hungry now, so I always have snacks on hand just in case I need it, but sometimes I don't. It's just better to be safe than sorry :) - 12/29/2011 12:36:55 PM
  • ELLDOCKE
    Snacking is my saving grace. Before I discovered this as a way to keep my blood sugar even throughout the day, I tested 1 point below diabetic. With a strong family history of diabetes, this was my wake up call. As I researched, I found that well-planned snacks are crucial to controlling my blood sugar, along with exercise and generally healthy eating! And, no, eating more protein at meals did not work - I tried it. LOL - 12/29/2011 10:54:25 AM
  • snacks are an important part of my eating plan. I am in the 1200-1550 calorie range and I eat 300 for breakfast, 300 for lunch, 300 for afternoon snack and 300-500 for dinner. I am RAVENOUS around 4 pm no matter what I eat for lunch so without that planned afternoon snack, I nibble on junk or get super crabby until dinner time. So I'm in the multiple mini meals camp and it works for me. I lost 40 pounds doing this and when I stopped, I gained 15 back over a year. - 12/29/2011 9:44:33 AM
  • I wonder if snacking would be so necessary if meals included enough protein and fat... - 7/8/2011 10:20:38 AM
  • I've added more meals to my nutrition tracker: Pre Workout, Workout, Elevenses, PM Something and I have the usual Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snack as well. This feels more accurate and honest to how I live. I feel healthier eating small several times a day rather than a few major times in a day. - 7/6/2011 4:48:15 PM
  • I eat about 6 times a day. Call it a snack, meal, mini-meal... whatever! I am almost never hungry and it has helped me to keep calories in check and balance food intake and exercise output to a point where I am at an optimal burn rate.
    I was eating less often and the same amount of calories and at the wrong times in relationship to exercise previously. Put me on a 3 month plateau!! - 7/6/2011 2:48:42 PM
  • Repitition is the mother of rettention and I keep reading this article to keep it on my mind. Especialy when I'm tempted to hang around in the kitchen for no reason. - 7/6/2011 1:40:46 PM
  • I'm all about "mini-meals." I eat 4-6 meals a day, and I am never hungry and seldom "over-eat."

    : ) - 7/6/2011 10:16:38 AM
  • BCLEMENT
    Unless you can hit the perfect b alance, snacking is diet suicide. The "snacks" referred to are miniscule amts of food, and only succeed in increasing the desire for food, OR they are significant, and A. increase the total calorie intake, or B. force one to reduce "real meals" to a couple dots on a plate in order to not gain weight. That's more of a challenge that a lot of us can manage. I tried snacking for a couple weeks, lost a couple pounds the first week and then plateaued, so it doesn't work for me. One piece of string cheese-like food product isn't worth it. I'm better off just skipping the morning snack. If I'm eating dinner late I'll have an apple mid-afternoon, but hey, that's a whole 60 C. - 7/6/2011 9:29:15 AM