By Sarah Baker
Snacking: What should you eat and how often?
Everyone loves to snack. In fact, some days we may feel the need to snack more than others. It’s easy to just snack whenever we want and eat whenever we want, but that is never a good idea for our figure. So what exactly should we eat and how often?
How often should you snack?
I’ve always been told to have 6 small meals a day, which would transfer to 3 meals and 3 snacks. Essentially, you should eat every 3-4 hours, which means a snack after breakfast, one after lunch, and possibly one after dinner depending on when you eat and when you go to bed.
What should you snack on?
Your snacks should include things that are low calorie, low fat, high protein and high fiber. Some of these snacks include:
1. Fruit: try bananas, apples, melons, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, dried cranberries, and raspberries.
2. Vegetables: try edamame, celery, carrots, cauliflower, and tomatoes (technically a fruit, I know).
3. Protein: try edamame, avocado, eggs, granola bars, protein bars, peanuts, toast with peanut butter, hummus, and tuna on whole wheat crackers.
4. Dairy: try light string cheese, light yogurt (you can throw in some fruit as well), berry smoothies, and cottage cheese. Remember, it is all about proportions.
5. Other: You can also have other things such as air popped popcorn, fat free pretzels, a small salad, and half a chicken pita sandwich with vegetables.
Remember to keep your snacks small and healthy. If you need to eat less more often, then do so. Figure out what works for you. The experts may say to eat every 3-4 hours but if you can’t make it that long, don’t starve yourself. Have a handful of peanuts or a few carrots early if it helps. The most important thing is that you stay away from the fatty and salty snacks, no matter how delicious they are, and eat the low calorie, low fat, high protein and high fiber snacks. Remember eat often, eat healthy, and eat for you!