Your stomach growls, but lunch is hours later. You can have a snack, but you might consider preparing and waiting for lunch. Not so, if you are aiming to lose weight.

In fact, a well-planned weight-loss diet allows for healthy snacks to help beat hunger and reduce binge eating. The key is to eat healthy snacks that satisfy your hunger and keep your calorie count low.

The Pros and Cons of Snacks

Pros:

  • If you go several hours without eating and your blood glucose levels drop, this supplement will provide you a jolt of energy.
  • Helps to suppress your appetite so you don’t eat too much at the following meal.
  • Provides extra nutrients when choosing certain snacks like fresh fruit or nuts.
  • If you have a limited appetite but are unable to eat full meals due to illness, this supplement can help you stay nourished.

Cons:

  • Unwanted weight gain if snacking portions or frequency are excessive, resulting in an excess of calories.
  • Snacking excessively can lessen hunger at mealtimes or encourage people to skip meals entirely, putting them in danger of missing out on essential nutrients.
  • Regular consumption of ultra-processed hyper-palatable snacks with additional salt, sugar, and fats but poor in nutrients and high in calories might build a desire for these foods, resulting in a shift in eating habits and diet quality (e.g., a higher intake of hyper-palatable snacks along with a decreased intake of healthful foods).

Choose Healthy Snacks

Choose foods that will satisfy your hunger, give your body energy and provide important nutrients. Choose snacks that contain 100 calories or less to maintain your daily calorie goal.

So what are some smart choices? Here are a few suggestions for snacks that are 100 calories or less.

  • Sliced bananas and fresh berries (or any fruit low in sugar)
  • Baby carrots
  • Peanut butter
  • Popcorn
  • Cottage cheese

Tips for Healthy Snacking

Follow these suggestions to get the most out of your snacks:

Amount of food to consume: To help you stay full until your next meal, it’s advisable to eat snacks that give around 200 calories and at least 10 grams of protein.

Frequency: The number of snacks you consume is determined by your degree of activity and the size of your meal. If you’re a really active individual, 2–3 snacks per day may be ideal, whilst a more sedentary person may benefit from 1 or no snacks.

Portability: When you’re out running errands or traveling, keep some portable food with you in case hunger strikes.

Snacks to avoid: Processed, high-sugar snacks may provide a short burst of energy, but you’ll likely feel hungry again an hour or two later.

Snacking can be beneficial in some situations, such as avoiding hunger in persons who are prone to overeating when they go too long without eating. While some might consider it a good option, others may benefit from having three or fewer meals per day.

Need a Medical Opinion?

In the end, it comes down to personal preference. If you’re going to snack, make sure it’s on healthy meals that will keep you full. If you need professional help do not hesitate to talk to a specialized doctor for medical advice. 

Click here to book an appointment with a Diet & Nutrition doctor.

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