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There’s no denying that everyone, at some point, has had a snack attack. Views on snacking differ. Some of us feel that snacking isn’t a super healthy choice and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there was one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it!
To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying.
Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious. Snack on things that don’t come in a plastic wrapper or a box, like fresh fruit, leftover vegetables or rice cakes with almond butter and fruit spread. Make your own signature trail mix, organic hot chocolate made with almond milk sweetened with agave nectar, or blue corn chips with hummus.
You can also try “upgrading”. If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to raw carrots, apples or whole grain crackers; if you are craving a candy bar, upgrade to a handful of nuts and dried fruit; instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to green tea; instead of ice cream, upgrade to applesauce with cinnamon. Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satisfaction; you won’t feel physically or psychologically deprived, you’ll have plenty of energy, and most importantly you won’t beat yourself up over a less healthy snack choice!
Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthful goodies for whatever you’re craving, be it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.