Healthy Snacks Do's & Dont's

So, you made a promise to yourself: to eat healthy. You read health and fitness blogs, stay up to date with the best nutrition and training advice, plan your meals, include plenty of fresh veggies and fruits, organic whenever you can. And of course, you drink plenty of water and avoid soft drinks. Definitely no junk food.

You even prepare lunches at home – for you and the family – to make sure healthy when out. My clients say that planning meals and preparing them in advance not only helps them eat healthier, but also saves them a lot of time and .

It works like a charm on the weekdays but how to avoid all those temptations on the weekends? Another question that I get asked a lot is how to prepare healthy snacks. This is an important issue, and a big problem for avid snackers. As long as you follow these tips, you can make snacking a part of a healthy diet.

Thirsty or hungry?

The signs of dehydration are often misread as hunger. Dehydration can cause light-headedness and other symptoms such as difficulty focusing, and that is often feels like hunger.

Research shows that poor hydration is associated with higher body mass index (BMI) so if you are eating when you should be drinking water, you may have a problem losing weight. Additionally, you stay dehydrated, which is not good.

Make sure that you drink enough water, it helps flush out waste and detoxify, prevent constipation,boost brain function, transport oxygen to the cells of your body, regulate body temperature, plump skin cells up, and more. Remember that almost 80% of our body is made of water so it is essential for your health to stay hydrated. According to Health Direct, women in Australia need to drink about 8 cups every day and men need about 10 cups of fluids, preferably water.

Watch that you do not consume too many calories

Eating smaller meals every three hours instead of three or four bigger meals is not only fine, but it boosts your metabolism. It may work well if you want to lose as long as those small meals are really small meals and not more frequent big meals. Fewer main meals plus all-day snacking is not a good option either.

If you plan your meals around health ingredients for your diet goals, you will find that eating less may be more satisfying and more fun because your body will not be constantly craving nutrients that are usually lacking in poorly-designed diet.

Choose nutrient-rich snacks

Three to five hours after you eat, your blood sugar dips. If you grab whatever’s in your fridge or pantry, you better have some good stuff to nibble on, not chips, cookies, or lollies. The solution that I recommend to my clients is quite simple - being prepared.

Here is what you can keep on hand to make healthy snacking easier:

• Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and other nuts

• Cheese and wholegrain crackers

• Fruit – fresh or frozen

• Dried apricot or apple

• Nut butter on rice cake, apple, or banana

• Carrots, celery, snow peas and other veggies with hummus, cream cheese, or peanut butter

• Eggs with avocado

• Muesli bars

• Protein balls

• Yogurt with berries, chia seeds, honey

• Dark chocolate

Snaking is a great way to keep you full all day when you are to busy to have a bigger meal. Talk to your coach or nutritionist to see how to add healthy snacks to your diet.