Long eliminated from weight loss diets, snacks have always been called into question and carefully avoided or frowned upon during weight loss periods. However, when done right, snacks help maintain a good energy level while providing all the necessary energy benefits according to your needs. In addition, whether they’re salty or sweet, they help satisfy a sudden craving and suppress the appetite between meals. The bad reputation of snacks comes from the high refined sugar, salt, and fat content of those that can be found on the market. That said, as long as you follow certain rules, it’s easy to depend on healthy snacks that ultimately help you lose weight.
To choose your snacks well, you should understand that everything you eat provides your body with nutrients. Some are better for our health than others, which should be consumed in moderation. Nutrition and weight loss experts agree on certain criteria for optimal snacks. It should be noted that these guidelines are only general advice, since each person has different needs and personal goals.
You’re therefore aiming at about 150 calories per snack. The major intake you’re looking for in a snack is carbohydrates to give you an energy boost in the middle of the morning or afternoon. But be careful to prioritize carbohydrates with a high fibre level, such as fruit, nuts, or vegetables high in starch, such as peas, corn, sweet potatoes, etc. Another important element to provide: protein. This is essential for digesting the carbohydrates in the blood and preventing blood sugar spikes, and it plays a role in the feeling of satisfaction we get from snacks. Fat also contributes to this feeling of pleasure, as long as it’s from a natural source (think nuts or seeds) and in a reasonable portion. Finally, you should think about fibre, which suppresses feelings of hunger for longer and provides energy. Add in a bit of sugar from a natural source, and you have the perfect snack!
Once again, the number of snacks depends on each person, but we can aim for about two per day: generally in the morning and afternoon between each meal. This also lets you eat regularly, about every 2-3 hours. A snack following an early supper is also a good idea, as long as it follows the rules for the winning combination and you don’t eat too much of it.
Snacks are also ideal before and after a workout. Ideally, you should consume these snacks within a 30 to 60-minute window before or after significant physical exertion.
Finally, healthy snacks are a considerable asset when you’re looking to lose weight and stabilize it afterwards. It’s not necessary to be afraid of eating, but rather to know how to do it well… and for that, there’s nothing better than consulting a specialist for advice.