There is nothing that sparks more debate around the subject of weight loss than snacking. Even Dietitians disagree on the benefits of frequent snacking although the prevailing view is that healthy snacking should form a part of dieting.

With that in mind there are some snacking pitfalls to avoid. Here are the biggest snacking traps to avoid.

  1. Avoid skipping them entirely. It is easy to get sucked into the belief that all snacks are bad and eating between meals will cause you to stack on some extra pounds. In reality snacking will help you to keep those pangs of hunger at bay.
  2. The key here is to actually find something that will help you relieve hunger – carrot or celery sticks won’t get the job done unless you add a couple of tablespoons of hummus or peanut butter to the mix – that way you’ll keep the calories down and satisfy any hunger cravings that you may have.
  3. Eating a snack out of boredom. It happens to us all – particularly while watching TV or grazing on a platter or bowl of sweets in the office. Before you tuck in, take some time to ask yourself if you really are hungry and rate your hunger on a scale of 1-10. If your rating is any lower than a 7 then don’t eat.
  4. Snacking in too large portion sizes. Even the healthiest most nutrient rich snacking options like nuts and trail mixes can be overeaten. Instead of snacking straight from the container – dole out an appropriate portion size. An adequate portion size of nuts or dried fruit will fit into the palm of your hand and be equal to roughly 120 calories.
  5. Not planning ahead. Planning your daily diet will go a long way towards helping you avoid unnecessary and unhealthy snacks. Don’t just plan your main meals, but also look to pre preparing healthy snacks in advance so that when the urge to snack inevitably comes, you have a healthy option sitting ready to go.
  6. Snacks not containing the right balance of macronutrients. When your snacks contain a mix of healthy fats and proteins you are likely to remain satisfied and less hungry for longer.  While fruit and vegetables are healthy options, eating them in isolation often leads to a rapid rise in blood sugar levels followed by an equally rapid fall, that will leave you feeling hungry. When planning snacks look for options that will contain a balance of fats and proteins, Good options here include almonds, Greek yoghurt that is high in fibre and the good old peanut butter and banana sandwich.

When planning your snack options don’t forget that Formulite meal replacement shakes are a great convenient protein boosting option for people on the go. The replacement shakes have been developed to keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer.