5 Ways to Snack While Staying in Shape

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Keeping fit and staying in shape is one of life’s never-ending challenges. Getting those extra few pounds off can take a lot of effort, and then maintaining the weight loss is another hill to climb. Temptation waits around every corner, and whether dieting or simply watching your weight, snacking is often the area where we let our desire get the better of us and give in to something quick, convenient, and unhealthy.

Even if you are trying to keep a curvier shape, it doesn’t take much snacking to start to feel you need to take more control over your eating habits. The key to a healthy diet, whatever your weight goals are, is to eat full meals regularly and snack minimally in between. Here are five ways to help you snack more healthily and stay in the shape you want – or get yourself there sooner.

Prep Your Own

One of a snack’s most powerful weapons against you is its convenience. When a hunger pang quickly hits you, having something to hand to satisfy the need and let you concentrate on what you are doing often means having handy candy or some chips nearby. The fats, salts, sugars, and preservatives in these snacks keep them ready when you are, staying edible in their box or bag for weeks.

If you take a little time to prepare your own snacks and keep them portable, you can have a healthy option at your side and leave the chips in the bag. It doesn’t have to be carrot and celery sticks, though keeping these in a sealed baggy with water will keep them fresh in your purse all day; you can carry a small tub of whole unsalted nuts or a selection of seeds.

Choose Protein Not Sugar

Sugar is not your friend, which makes fruit your ‘frenemy’. Nearly all fruits are high in sugar, and so are fruit juices, and many people are misled into thinking eating fruit is always the healthiest option. Fruit provides a lot of vitamins and dietary fiber, which are both important to any diet, but the amount of sugar that some fruits contain can make them almost like candy, and fruit juices like sodas.

If you’re in a store and looking for a quick snack choice, look for protein. Most meats are high in protein, which the body needs much more than sugar, and proteins are complex to digest giving your stomach some work to do while filling it quickly. Dried meats like jerky are a good option, as they are often a lot lower in fat from the drying process, and some sliced turkey is a much better snack than a box of pineapple pieces or grapes with melon slices.

Stay Away from Salads

Salad is another food that lies about how healthy it is for you. A great side to a meal instead of fries or a baked potato, an undressed green salad offers vitamins, minerals, and some dietary fiber. But it offers no real substance and too few calories.

It can be tempting to try and reduce any calories you eat to a minimum, but you still need to be a functioning human being. Salad provides very little nutrition to the body, and you will always be hungry shortly after a salad, and back at risk of a snack attack.  

Keep Your Eyes Peeled

Healthy eating is becoming more and more popular, and companies are responding to this swelling market by coming up with healthy and convenient snack options all the time. Many gyms and high schools are switching out candy and soda vending machines for machines from companies like Healthy You Vending that offer high-quality healthy snacks and beverages to consumers in convenient places, often within sight of regular snack machines.

Healthy options are finding their way into food trucks and street cafes, with some centering their whole business around giving people healthy and wholesome fast food. Some even pair this up with yoga classes or book clubs, so healthy go-getters can meet and get to know one another while enjoying a quick snack.

Drink More Water

Sometimes our stomachs think they are the ones in charge, and you need to take control back. If your tummy is rumbling but you’re still a couple of hours from meal time, you could try drinking water. Many cultures have drunk water to put off hunger, and drinking water regularly is thought to help with weight loss and control, so it is a win-win.

You should be drinking about a liter of water every four hours, on average, so timetable in some water consumption between meals to keep up your water intake and give your stomach something to do at the same time. A busy stomach is a quiet stomach, and if you keep it occupied for long enough it will leave you alone for the day, and be ready to get to work at meal times.

Staying in shape, and losing some weight if you are trying, can be made incredibly difficult by all the convenient temptations that are sometimes literally waiting around the corner. Physical exercise is our strongest ally when staying in shape, but mental strength can be what is required at times to make it through the day without giving into candy cravings or reaching for the chips.

With some preparation, smart choices, and willpower, anyone can kick the snack habit and keep control of their weight, and lose some too if that is what they want. Avoiding eating too much fruit and salad may seem counter-intuitive at first, but by cutting down on sugar we make the biggest dietary change that we can to take control of our weight losses and gains. By avoiding trying to trick our stomach into thinking it’s eating something substantive, it is too clever for that after all, we eat better meals that keep us satisfied for longer. These few tips should help you to keep the pounds off and put the snacks down for good.

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