Snacking doesn’t have to be bad. Eat healthy snacks with low to moderate calories and your energy level will improve throughout the day. The American Dietetic Association also recommends healthy snacking. Snacks bridge the gap between meals and can help you eat less at mealtime. Going too long between meals can cause you to load up on sugary carbohydrates to get quick energy. These types of snacks are usually high in calories, not very nutritious and cause rapid ups and downs in blood sugar levels (you will crash). Here are some good guidelines for healthy snacking:
1) A healthy snack has about 25 grams of carbs, 12-15 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat.
2) Energy bars and energy drinks work well, but watch for those with high calories. Non-fibrous fruit also works well. You can consume energy bars and fruit 45 minutes to 1 hour before a workout and energy drinks about 15-20 minutes before a workout. You will need more carbs for longer cardio sessions. Good snacks are low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, grapes, bananas and low-fat peanut butter or cheese on wheat crackers.
3) Carbohydrate needs vary depending on the activity. For example, a 150-pound person should have from 30 to 75 grams of carbs in their energy snack. Lower carbs are needed for moderate activity and higher carbs are needed for athletic or endurance activities.
4) If you have a daily calorie intake goal of 1800, then be sure to subtract the calorie amount of your snack(s) from your daily goal amount.
Now, get your snack on!
-Cathering Ebeling and Mike Geary are co-authors of the popular ebook, Fat-Burning Kitchen, which shows you how to totally revamp your kitchen to make your body a fat-burning machine!