Say yes to snacks!

Gone are the days of sitting down with the family every evening for dinner and catching up on the day’s events. Work, commuting, hobbies and even trying to keep the house clean, take up so much time that there’s little left to sit down and eat properly. This can lead to frequent snacking, which may mean bad news for some dieters.

But the good news is, snacking doesn’t have to ruin your diet. You can snack and still have a balanced diet as long as you make the right choices.

The major problem with snacking is losing track of calories. It’s a good idea to keep an online food diary so you know exactly what you have eaten and can see your calorie intake. Preparation is often the key when it comes to snacking. All too often, people snack on unhealthy foods because they are readily available.

Smart snacking

If you are out for the day, make sure to bring some fruit, yoghurts, chopped up vegetables, popcorn or some crackers so you won’t be tempted to eat junk food from a vending machine. Snacking on healthy foods is also a great way to add extra vitamins and minerals to your diet.

If you find you are snacking because you are bored, find something else to do. Go for a walk or email a friend – anything to take your mind off food. Try drinking a glass of water or munch on some carrot sticks to keep hunger pangs at bay, just make sure you avoid sugary fatty foods.

Remember, you don’t have to give up snacking to lose weight. As long as you make healthy choices and don’t exceed your recommended calorie intake for the day, you’ll have no reason to feel guilty and losing weight won’t feel like such a chore.

Here are some ideas and suggestions of some healthy snacks:

  • Crudites (mangtout, green beans, sticks of peppers, carrots, celery) with low fat hummus, extra low fat Philadelphia cheese or cottage cheese
  • 2 Wholegrain or rye crackers with cottage cheese, low fat soft cheese, hummus or tuna
  • 30g of seeds or unsalted
  • Natural yoghurt with berries or cinnamon
  • Small bowl of sugar free jelly
  • 1 portion of fruit and 1 light Babybel cheese
  • 5 olives
  • Home made fruit compote or stewed apple and cinnamon
  • 1 Hard boiled egg
  • Mixed bean salad with spring onion, low fat feta cheese and black pepper
  • Home made fruit smoothie
  • Natural Yogurt and 1 tablespoon of granola or seeds
  • Tablespoon of unsalted nuts and 1 apple

If you really can’t stay away from the chocolate and crisps there are a few things you can choose:

  • 1 fun size bar of chocolate
  • Popcorn (natural no salt, no butter)
  • 1 packet of Snack a Jacks

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