5 Things Your Mother Should Have Told You About Snacking

AboutSnacking

When we’re trying to get – or stay – in shape, it’s tempting to cut out snacks.

That’s just wrong.

Surprisingly, snacks are an important part of a healthy diet. Used wisely, they can help ensure you reach your fitness goals and maintain your optimal weight. It takes a lot of willpower to meet your fitness and weight-loss goals, and snacks are a surprisingly important ally. Just in case you didn’t catch them all growing up, here are several facts you may or may not have learned from Mom about how to snack.

1. Snacks help your energy pick up. Dreading the 3 o’clock slump? Be sure to stock some healthy snacks to renew your mid-day fuel. One quick snack can give you the same boost as that grande latte or can of energy drink, but with the added benefit of nutrients you need.

2. Snacks meet important nutrient requirements. It is unlikely you are getting all the fruit and vegetable vitamins you need in only three meals each day. By sneaking in some more during a mid-morning, late-afternoon, and even late-night snack, you are increasing your chances of maximizing your nutrient intake.

3. Snacks help athletes meet their increased caloric requirement. Whether training or bulking up for an event, many athletes need a larger number of calories than they can consume during meals. Get an edge on your diet with extra snacks. Many trainers recommend eating every two or three hours for maximum benefit.

4. Snacks can be so much more than a cookie. It’s important to choose snacks wisely to get the most of these important calories. Be careful to read labels carefully and select real, nutrient-dense food. Stay away from processed lunchmeats and prepackaged cookies, crackers, and chips. Instead focus on fresh fruits and veggies, high fiber foods, and protein. Purchase fresh produce and nuts in bulk and portion them out into baggies or small containers for quick grab-and-go bites you can feel good about.

5. Snacks of 200 calories or less help maintain a healthy weight. Snack this size offer all these benefits while helping to reduce the number of calories consumed in the next meal. They actually protect against overeating.

There are many ways to enjoy satisfying 200 calorie snacks.

  • Delicious protein bar.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables with nut butter or hummus.
  • Berries and Greek yogurt. Sliced cheese with lean meat.
  • Applesauce and granola.
  • Baked sweet potato with cottage cheese.
  • Melon with crumbled feta cheese.
  • Whole grain toast with nut butter and honey.
  • Roasted chickpeas.
  • Wasabi peas.
  • Dried fruit.
  • Black beans and guacamole.
  • Slicked chicken with cucumber and Greek yogurt.
  • Small avocado with salsa.
  • Cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and red onion with feta cheese and drizzled olive oil.
  • Air-popped popcorn and apple slices.
  • Mixed berries with honey or yogurt.
  • Dark chocolate chips with cherries, dried bananas, or berries.
  • Pineapple cubes with shaved coconut.

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