I have a huge stash of Halloween candy leftover from the kids who failed to come to my door and take it off my hands (thanks guys). And that huge stash of leftover malt balls and caramel-chocolate-goodness is slowly shrinking... And my husband isnâ€™t the only culprit.
So whatâ€™s one fun-size Snickers bar when itâ€™s 2:30pm and my hunger pangs are strongly reminding me that dinner is still hours away? Itâ€™s only about a hundred calories and it momentarily satisfies my craving for something to munch. Surely it canâ€™t be so bad.
Or so I thought...
I did a little fact-checking on the great debate: To Snack or Not to Snack. Hereâ€™s what I unearthed:
- Snacking between meals can help to curb appetite and prevent overeating at meals. Those who snack on healthy foods (such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains) between meals are less likely to stuff themselves too full during lunch or dinner.
- Snacks can help to boost flagging energy and improve mood. Headaches, crabbiness, and fatigue can all be alleviated through snacking. The key is to choose snacks that are slowly digested and thus will provide lasting benefits (like a fibrous apple or protein-rich almonds). Avoid high-sugar foods, which will lead to only a short spike in energy (and then a nasty crash back into fatigue-land later).
- Snacking can be detrimental if done for the wrong reasons. Many people snack out of boredom or to ease emotional pain. When you find yourself reaching for something to munch on ask yourself â€œAm I really hungry?â€ Asking this question will help to keep your daily caloric intake in check.
- Successful snackers keep healthy snacks on hand. It all starts with what you choose to put in your pantry. Make a conscious choice to only buy snacks that are low in sugar and high in antioxidants, protein, fiber, and / or whole grains. Stock up on fruits, veggies, green tea, and healthy alternatives (for when you are really craving something crunchy or sweet). Check out healthdesigns.comâ€™s Snacks - Food & Grocery section for organic options, such as nuts and dried fruit, to satisfy your between meal cravings - perfect for tackling those 2:30 hunger pangs.