Most of us are aware of the importance of maintaining a healthful diet. The trouble is, with convenience foods readily available around every corner, it can be difficult to stay on the right track. The great news is that, when you implement a little planning ahead, you can enjoy your favorite snacks without feeling guilty afterward.
Knowledge is power. Keep reading to learn 7 creative ways to enjoy eating your favorite snacks.
Savor Each Bite
It seems we live very hectic lives. We run to and fro and have busy schedules that keep us on our toes. When it comes to snacking, this can lead to bad habits. What many people don’t realize is that, according to the experts, you should chew your food 32 times before swallowing. When you do this, you allow for:
- Better ability to absorb nutrients
- Easier digestion
- Help in making you feel fuller
The next time you pick up a snack, make sure you have a few minutes to really enjoy it. Actually, count 32 chews before you swallow. Over time, this will become a habit.
Seek Healthful Alternatives
Let’s face it. As you walk down the aisles of your grocery store, you’re sure to face sugary temptations. These tasty treats are typically lacking in any real nutritional value and can lead to adverse effects including weight gain and cavities.
For every treat that may await you in the grocery store, there is likely a healthful alternative to be found. With the power of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to match yourself with these options. For example, let’s say you pass by a loaf of banana bread complete with icing drizzle and brown sugar. Make a note that it tempted you. When you get home, just do a search for “healthy banana bread recipe.” You may be surprised at the results.
Don’t Cut Yourself Off
We often hear of people shedding lots of weight in a very short period of time. In fact, most people seeking to take control of their weight loss, gain, and maintain it inconsistently.
We forge relationships with food. Over the years, there have likely been certain treats that have become a part of your routine. It may be a go-to when you’re feeling stressed or even if you just want to indulge after a long day. When you completely cut yourself off from these treats, you put yourself in a position of making a permanent decision that can be difficult to maintain for the long-term. When you fall off the wagon, you can feel like giving up.
The key: allow yourself to indulge in small treats from time to time. An all or nothing approach to snacking can set you up for failure.
Do-Cut Off Mindless Snacking
While you don’t want to cut yourself off from your favorite snacks completely, you do want to ensure you snack mindfully. Never just grab a snack to eat in front of the television or somewhere you’re not paying attention to your own actions. Studies have suggested that enjoying a meal or snack without distractions can help you feel more satisfied when the meal is over.
Furthermore, snacking alongside your favorite show can cause confusion when it comes to determining the end of the meal. Just because the show isn’t over doesn’t mean it isn’t time to set your snack to the side. A great way to succeed is to eat dinner at the same time every night and set aside no less than one hour to enjoy the meal with friends or family.
Take the Time to Pack a Lunch
On the job, there are likely plenty of opportunities to make poor nutritional decisions. From the vending machine in the break room to grab a burger at the corner store on lunch break, failure to plan equals failure to succeed.
A great way to ensure you don’t succumb to the urge to grab unhealthful snacks at work or school is to take a few minutes to pack a lunch. In the long run, not only is this a good way to enjoy your favorite snacks, but it also saves money.
Take Steps to Avoid Midnight Snacking
We’ve all been there. You wake up in the middle of the night with an urge to raid the refrigerator. This can be dangerous for a number of reasons:
- Prevents proper blood sugar regulation
- Elevates cholesterol
- Can lead to weight gain
- Alters proper hormone function
If you eat dinner several hours before bed, it can be a good idea to enjoy a bedtime snack that’s full of carbohydrates with some protein. It’s been indicated that this particular combination increases tryptophan levels, the same chemical that often causes us to feel drowsy after a Thanksgiving meal.
Travel with a Plan in Mind
Traveling is hectic. You’re away from home and at an immediate disadvantage as it becomes more challenging to plan for and prepare your own meals. The next time you prepare for vacation, take time to plan out your snacks.
There is plenty of filling, healthful options that don’t require the use of a stove and other kitchen equipment. Furthermore, make sure you have plenty of water as improper hydration can cause you to feel hungry.
Making the Most of the Only Life You Have to Live
All of us have one thing in common: we have one life to live. It’s precious, and it’s up to you to ensure you put yourself in a position of success when it comes to long-term health and wellness.
The trick is to find balance in healthful food and enjoyment. By following these seven tips to enjoying your favorite snacks, you can be on your way to making the most of the only life you have to live.