Satisfying your cravings with snacks can be good for you – as long as you are smart about it! Follow these Do’s and Don’ts to help keep you on track.
DO plan ahead
Eat a healthy snack before attending an event where “good-for-you” snacking options won’t be available.
DON’T go long stretches without eating
Going long stretches without food can cause blood sugar to drop and cause you to overindulge later. "The biggest cause of overeating is undereating," says Katherine Tallmadge, R.D., a nutritionist in Washington, D.C.
DO keep healthy snacks in sight and ready to eat
Research shows that you're more likely to pick a healthy snack if it's convenient and within reach. Try keeping fruit in a bowl on the counter or keep a bowl of sliced grapes, strawberries, melon, or whatever fruit you enjoy in the fridge so you can grab a healthy snack you're hungry.
DON’T snack right out of the bag
Portion out a serving of your favorite munchie. You’re much more likely to overindulge if you snack straight out of the bag or box.
DO watch portion size
It can be so easy to start snacking . . . and then never stop snacking. To make them more waistline-friendly, keep your snacks around 150 calories.
DON’T drink sugary beverages
You’ve heard it before! Sugary beverage intake is significantly associated with weight gain, obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Drinking just one 20-ounce bottle of a sugary beverage per day can result in gaining 25 extra pounds per year. Make water your go-to beverage!
DO load up on H2O
Sometimes the sensation of hunger comes from dehydration. Ensure you're drinking lots of water before you start snacking. A glass of H2O could do the trick — and it's calorie-free.
DON’T assume anything “veggie” means good for you
Crunchy veggie chips are delicious, but often fried. Read the label and go for healthier, baked options. Better yet, eat the actual vegetable and add a protein based dip like hummus for more filling and satisfying snack.
DO snack on protein-rich foods
Enjoy a single serving portion of nuts, hard-boiled eggs, cheese or yogurt to satisfy your craving and provide long-lasting energy.
DON'T skimp on protein to save calories
Just because a snack is low in calories doesn't mean it's a great choice. Many "diet" snacks are lower in calories than their higher calorie counterparts, but are often lower in protein and fiber, which won't keep you full for long.
So there you have it! Follow these strategies for a healthier weekend and a better Monday morning!