The Pitfalls of Snacks
Snacks can make or break your diet if you tend to be a muncher or grazer. On average, Americans get 25% of their calories from snacks. That’s about 300-700 calories per day from snacks, depending on baseline calorie intake. Nearly one in six adults actually consume much more than that, averaging 40% of their daily calories from snacks. Since most of us snack at some point, it’s very important that we are choosing healthy snacks!
What’s the problem with snacking so much? Well, nothing, if you are snacking on nutrient dense foods, like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and proteins. However, research shows that we tend to not choose those foods most of the time. In fact, the majority of our snack calories come from refined carbs and added sugars and unhealthy fats- think cookies, crackers, chips and ice cream, not fruits and veggies. Over time, eating these foods too often can start to crowd out healthier options and lead to weight gain.
Snacking After a Weight Loss procedure
After a weight loss procedure, it’s very important to make every bite count. Snacking too much could result in nutrient shortfalls if you are snacking on empty calories. This is especially a concern if you are snacking on empty carbs, and don’t have room for more nutritious options, like lean proteins, fruits and veggies. Also, snacking constantly throughout the day could slow down your weight loss efforts. Small amounts of high calorie foods can add up quickly, so it’s important to choose snacks lower in calories. A good rule of thumb is to keep calories under 100 per snack.
Try to limit snacks to 1-3 per day and think of them as high quality “refuelings” for when you are truly feeling hungry. Avoid snacking for boredom, anxiety or other non-hunger related reasons. If you’re not really hungry but find yourself reaching for a snack, then try a different strategy. For example, go for a walk, drink some water, listen to music or do some stretches to reset and relax. Also, be sure to eat high quality protein foods with each meal to help fend off hunger between meals.
Healthy Snack Options
Snacks can be a great way to help ensure you are hitting your protein goals for the day. Choose snacks with at least 5 grams of protein and add a healthy fat, fruit or veggies. Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, turkey, low fat ricotta, or hard boiled egg are all great protein options for snacks. Add your favorite fruit or vegetable to round your snacks out. If you are looking for plant based protein snacks, try steamed edamame, nut butter, hummus or black bean dip with vegetables. Half a small apple or pear with a small portion of nuts, nut butter or cheese can help satisfy your sweet tooth.
Check out our Instagram feed for inspiration for more healthy snacks. Here at the Silhouette Clinic we know that a one size fits all approach doesn’t work for weight loss. We provide individualized care and innovative approaches to help you succeed on your weight loss journey. If you are frustrated by a lack of success with your weight loss efforts, schedule an appointment at the Silhouette Clinic today. We offer a wide array of medical weight loss options to help you achieve your goals and will help you determine the best fit for your lifestyle.