Food is more than just sustenance for us now. It gives us joy as much as it provides nutrition. While three square meals a day remains the holy grail of eating healthy, one thing that most of us tend to engage in is snacking.
Whether we are stressed out at work, watching a movie, or taking a long drive—more often than not, we crave for something to munch on. In fact, research studies claim snacking can make you gain weight and put you at the risk of chronic lifestyle diseases. But to blame snacking as a habit won’t help–it’s important to be mindful of what we snack on.
This Is What Snacking Can Do For Your Metabolism
Weight management and weight loss have been hot topics for a long time. Ever since the pandemic, interest in this discussion has risen manifold thanks to the lockdowns. Many people experimented with food to deal with boredom. We saw people creating various kinds of dishes and posting them on social media. This led to a widespread increase in obesity levels and lifestyle diseases.
When it comes to our metabolism, snacking can be a little hard to understand. While there isn’t any concrete evidence to prove that it helps in improving metabolism, many dieticians and nutritionists insist that snacking can be healthy. Snacking on healthy foods can:
- Even out your blood sugar
- Keep your energy levels steady throughout the day
- Prevent headaches, mood swings, and fatigue
- Support weight loss
- Help you include essential micro and macro nutrients in your diet
So, What Should You Snack On And When?
Whether you want to include snacking in your diet or not ultimately is your choice. There are however a few things you can do to ensure that the snacks you choose aid your fitness goals.
- Since snacking can increase the risk of higher calorie consumption, people who aim for weight loss should balance out the calories in their meals so that they can include snacks and still be able to lose weight. It is also important to ensure that you consume a small snack that satiates you and keeps you full.
- Include snacks that are in alignment with your level of activity throughout the day. For example, if you work out once a day and don’t have much physical activity beyond that, then including more than 1 or 2 snack options during the day will lead to unnecessary calorie addition.
- Ask yourself a few questions before grabbing a snack. Why are you eating? What are you eating? What time are you snacking? These can make you more mindful of your decisions.
- Include healthy options for snacks like:
- Proteins: Yogurt, boiled eggs, peanut butter/hummus with celery sticks, homemade granola or energy bars and so on
- Healthy fats: Nuts and seeds, avocados, cheese, trail mix, edamame and so on
- Fruits and vegetables: Carrots, cucumbers, seasonal fruits, berries and so on
- Whole grains: Whole grain bread, quinoa, oats and so on.
5. Try to consume snacks in the late afternoon, and avoid heavier snacks like whole grains after dinner. Some snacks such as berries, bananas, a small piece of dark chocolate, and nuts can help promote sleep. This allows you to snack healthily and get into a restful sleep with the body not exerting itself to digest the food.
6. To get the maximum benefit of snacking, consult a health expert who can guide you properly and reach your fitness goals.
Being healthy and fit is necessary to ensure maximum productivity and longevity. Diet plays a big role in this and snacking can definitely help as long as you know what is healthy and when you should nosh on snacks.