And what is the difference between “snacking” and “having a snack”?
I get asked a lot about snacking. Whether you should or shouldn’t do it and if you are going to snack what the best snack options are. Before we dive into the specifics on what snacks should look like, I want to cover the items below:
1. Snacking vs. having a snack.
2. How to determine if snacks (even healthy snacks) are actually holding you back from weight loss goals.
3. How to tell if you should include snacks in your diet.
Starting with #1. Distinguishing snacking from having a snack.
Snacking typically happens in a mindless notion. Have you ever grabbed a bag of chips or pretzels and sat down to watch tv or a movie and before you know it have the bag is gone? That is mindless snacking. Snacking also typically doesn’t have an intention to satisfy hunger. You may have “snacked” on popcorn or veggie straws and find yourself still wanting something else even after you’ve consumed a fair amount. Most snacking foods have little nutritional value, leaving you wanting and craving more of something.
Having “a snack” is a whole different option. A snack can be a great option when you need a little bit more energy throughout the day and you just can’t quite make it until your next meal, whether it’s due to scheduling or additional activity levels. Now, something to note, not all snacks are not created equal, check out my Snacking for Energy Guide HERE to help you build a better snack.
Moving on to #2. How can you tell if your “healthy snacks” are holding you back from losing weight?
If you find yourself eating every 2-3 hours, even if you are eating healthy foods, you may not be realizing the amount of food (calories) you are consuming, leading to overeating overall throughout the day. You may also be grabbing for something to eat out of habit, stress or boredom and not actually because you are hungry. Keep reading to learn what you can do.
Finally, getting to #3. How to tell if you should include snacks in your diet?
When I work with individuals one on one, I always review a food log. This not only helps the client increase awareness of what their food intake looks like throughout the day, but it also helps me to recognize patterns and help them determine what tweaks can be made to their diet and eating routines resulting with the most impact. The most common thing I see is individuals not eating enough at each meal and then feeling hungry soon after and grabbing a snack or only snacking throughout the day (never even eating a full meal). If you take anything away from this article, it’s this! To determine if your diet should include snacks, start by eating 3 full balanced meals throughout the day. If you are doing this and are finding yourself still needing additional fuel, then add in a snack where appropriate.
If you are still unsure of how to incorporate snacks into your diet or feel like you are constantly snacking and are never satisfied, I would love to support you and help you move in the direction you are looking to go. Head on over to my scheduling page (Schedule Here) and set up an intro call to see if one on one coaching is a good fit for you.
If you didn’t grab it already, get your copy of my Snacking for Energy Guide HERE.