Eating right is so important when it comes to chasing your fitness goals. Goals like building muscle, losing fat, or increasing strength. Getting your nutrition on point makes the biggest difference in being able to actually see a difference in your body. Skipping meals due to a crazy schedule only makes matters worse. Unhealthy snacking because you’re living a fast-paced lifestyle isn’t any better.
Grabbing a bag of chips or a candy bar to get you through your hunger cravings throughout the day is a big no-no! This just promotes weight gain and can derail your weight loss program.
Also, when you go all day without eating, you switch into starvation mode, signaling your body to hold on to its fat stores, and your body starts to feed off your muscle.
Structured snacking can help you reach your fitness goals if it’s done right! It can help you meet your nutrition goals when life gets a little hectic. There are so many benefits if your snacking is planned out properly. It can help you reach your macro goals, give you energy throughout the day, spice up your diet, and healthy snacks will prevent you from reaching for junk food!
Just don’t forget that all snacks have calories too! Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean you can eat an endless supply of it. For example, a serving of almonds has 162 calories, 14 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and 6 grams of protein. When snacking on almonds portion control is very important. One serving is about 23 almonds, which equals ¼ a cup or about 1 handful. Just because those snacks aren’t a meal, don’t think that they do not count toward your daily calorie total.
A lot of snack items out there are also marketed as health foods but would really fit in better on the candy aisle. A lot of the yogurts, dried fruits, granola, trail mixes, and veggie chips can actually be pitfalls in your strenuous efforts to be healthy. High calories, fat, and sugar are behind many popular snack foods. They are nutrition killers if you indulge in them too frequently.
What should you look for when choosing a snack that will help you reach your goals?
- High protein! – Protein helps maintain and build lean muscle mass. It also helps promote healthy hair, skin, and nails. It keeps you feeling fuller longer! It supports bone health. It is critical to get enough protein in your diet.
- Low carb! – Depending on personal preference and whether you’re following a particular diet your daily carb allowance will vary. You should not be getting too many carbs from pre-packaged snacks. If any. Your carb intake should be coming from your main meals throughout the day! Most high carb processed snacks have a lot of sugar. Sugar is your arch nemesis when it comes to sticking to a good nutrition plan.
- Portability! – Make sure that your snack food is easy to carry and store. While we wish fresh fruits and veggies could easily be at our disposal at all times, sometimes it’s not that possible. No one wants to be eating smooshed sliced bananas. It can be a hassle to package fresh foods so plan ahead and accordingly. If you do not have easy access to a fridge don’t pack snacks that need to be refrigerated. It’s that simple. Oh, and Ziploc bags are your friends! They make is easy to organize and pack your snacks.
- Taste! – This goes without saying, but make sure your snack is something you enjoy! If it doesn’t taste good, you won’t want to eat it. And then you run into the risk of trading it in for junk food. There are plenty of delicious, tasty healthy snacks out there!
Roasted chick peas – Almonds – Pistachios – Siggi’s yogurt – Carrots – Bell peppers – Celery – Cucumbers – Apples – Peach – Snap peas – Star-Kist Ready-Made Albacore Tuna Salad Packet – Multi-Grain Crackers – String cheese – Goldfish crackers – Jerky – Blueberries – Grapes – BOOMCHICKAPOP – Teriyaki Seaweed – Protein Shake – Hard boiled eggs – Edamame – Snapea crisps – Flax Crackers – Cottage Cheese – Rice cakes
Snack healthy, snack smart, and reach your goals!