Are you a late night snacker who settles in for the evening with a bowl of potato chips? Or are you a grazer who snacks throughout the day? Snacks can fill the hunger gap and give you energy to get through the day but they can also add unneeded calories if you’re not really hungry for them.
To keep energy levels up and to help with weight management eat every 3 to 6 hours when hungry . For most people this means three meals and 1 to 2 snacks per day . If you go longer than 6 hours without eating, or get hungry between meals, this is when you need to refuel with a snack . Despite popular belief, snacking after dinner is perfectly all right, as long as you’re hungry . Eat something that’s low in fat and not too large a portion so it doesn’t ruin your appetite for breakfast the next day . The mistake many people make is not eating enough during the day and overindulging at night which can result in weight gain and low energy levels.
High-fat snacks will only leave you feeling sluggish . So when snack attacks do hit, opt for lower fat snacks that will give you a boost of energy and won’t ruin your appetite for meals .
- fresh or canned fruit
- yogurt, less than 2% M .F . (milk fat)
- milk, less than 1% M .F .
- bagels, bread
- crackers—soda crackers, melba toast,
- bread sticks, rice cakes
- low-fat granola bars, cereal bars, or energy bars
- homemade muffin or store-bought, low-fat mix
- vegetable sticks—carrots, peppers
- dried fruit
- popcorn—plain or lightly buttered
- cookies—arrowroot, social tea, graham wafer, fig newtons
- homemade trail mix with dry cereal, pretzels, dried fruit
- and handful of nuts
- Keep sliced banana, grapes, blueberries or even peas in the freezer for a tasty frozen .
- Make your own tortilla chips by cutting flour tortillas into wedges, placing them on a cookie sheet and baking them at 375° F (190° C) for about 8 minutes . Enjoy with salsa,
- hummus or bean dip (refer to Push It To The Maximum Pita Chips in the Recipe section for a variation) .
- Keep low-fat muffins in the freezer for a quick, convenient snack