is essential for proper growth, nutrition and calorie intake. However,
unhealthy snacking can be a problem. When you go for a snack do you stop and
ask yourself if you are hungry? Do you take a look at the options you have to
snack on? Do you measure out your snack before starting to eat? Or do you just
decide on having a snack, choosing what looks good or whatever your craving or
what’s available and start eating it until your full or there’s nothing left.
These types of actions can lead to malnutrition and obesity.
some people snack because its convenient or available other people snack for
emotional reasons. Emotional eating is a major factor in the causes of obesity.
Emotional triggers for eating include boredom, depression, stress, love,
frustration, excitement, and procrastination. People snack because their happy
or sad, lonely, self-conscious, overweight or they want to hide their feelings.
snacking is also caused by not eating. Although it’s proven that not eating
decreases metabolism and increases food cravings, some people still
intentionally starve themselves. Whether its to try to lose weight, for
religious or moral purposes, or just because your schedule is too busy to stop
for food, not eating for more than 3-6 hours leads to symptoms of starvation.
Food cravings normally consist of high carbohydrate foods. Intense food
cravings make it difficult to make healthy food choices and determine
appropriate serving sizes.
Unhealthy snacking can lead to
obesity, malnutrition and the risk of disease. Eating large snacks that are
high in calories, fat, sugar and salt lead to weight gain. Without portion
control, you tend to continue to eat, making a small snack into a very large
snack that can ruin your appetite. When binge eating you eat past the point of
satiation. Plus if you are eating unhealthy food you aren’t supplying your body
with energy and essential nutrients that it needs to properly function.
Healthy snacking is important in
moderation and balance. It is a vital tool in maintaining and losing weight.
Healthy snacks in appropriate serving sizes can satisfy hunger, and provide the
body with energy, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. To be considered a healthy snack
the food must maintain five key characteristics: adequacy, balance, calorie
control, moderation and variety. If the snack meets all of these requirements
then it will fill you up faster, tame your hunger and make you less likely to
binge eat. All the key characteristics depict a healthy snack as having the
appropriate nutrients, while limiting fat, sugar and salt in the proper portion
size. Once you find healthy snacks that give you the energy and nutrients you
need, you won’t need to eat as often which decreases your calorie intake
helping you to successfully lose weight.
Finding healthy snacks shouldn’t be
hard. Consult the food groups fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and
seeds, and low fat dairy. Snacks from these food groups are higher in water
content, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals and are airy. These qualities
provide you with a feeling of fullness but without the high number of calories.
Remember that snacks should only be an average of 100 calories. By health
snacking every couple of hours you will eat less at your normal “big meal”
times and you will keep your metabolism revved up to burn more calories and
help lose weight