Snacking has become so ingrained in our culture in the past few decades that it almost seems like it’s what we’re supposed to be doing. Who can watch television without gobbling down a bag of microwave popcorn? I mean, what’s the point? Well, when you think of it this way, you may not be so proud of those evening munchies (I know, I’m not!). On average, women consume 624 empty calories each day, according to information published by the USDA. Imagine consuming only 1500 calories a day, and more than 600 of those are junk!
What do I do to keep snacking in check? Use a Bentology Box!
What are empty calories? They’re calories that are completely devoid of nutrition. They may contain carbohydrates, fats and chemicals, but their nutritional content is severely lacking. Because of the carbs and fat, your body will think it’s fully nourished when it is, in fact, starving for nutrients. So, instead of noshing on the junk food, maybe we can create a new happy hour; one that is as happy for our bodies as it is for our minds.
It’s important to understand that “snacking” is no longer something that’s frowned upon as long as it’s GOOD snacking.
Good Snacking (Pros):
- Takes the edge off of your hunger
- Fills in the nutritional gaps
- Maintains your mood
Bad Snacking (Cons):
- Unchecked grazing can lead to bad eating habits
- Eating in front of the TV or computer creates mindless eating habits and causes you to consume extra calories.
- Pick the wrong snacks (sugar, salt and fat) and you end up contributing to health problems
These are snacks that don’t have much protein or fat and will take the edge off of your hunger for about 60-90 minutes:
- Piece of fruit
- Small “skinny” latte
- Snap peas or some other type of chopped veggie
Longer lasting snacks:
These are snacks that contain some protein and fat and these types of snacks will keep you fuller longer. In most cases, these snacks should keep you full for about two+ hours.
- Piece of fruit combined with an ounce of nuts or a Tbs. of peanut butter.
- Chopped veggies dipped in 2-3 Tbs. of hummus.
- Hard-boiled egg
- Protein bar and piece of fruit (I like KIND bars, the nuts & spices line).
- Berries and Greek yogurt (use full fat or low fat, skip the non-fat)
- Bean dip and chips. I like using The Better Beans brand (say that 3 times fast!) Roasted Chipotle Dip with my favorite chip.
- Guacamole and healthier chips (I like Way Better Snacks sprouted chips).
- Turkey jerky. Yes, a bit higher in sodium than the other snacks listed but I find I don’t need much to take the edge off of my hunger and boost my energy.
- Pumpkin seeds or some other type of seeds or nuts. An ounce if a serving so take care not to overdo it
- My favorite sweet that won’t break the sugar bank is So Delicious Dairy Free Minis. This bar kills my after dinner sweet tooth, it actually has 4 grams of fiber and only 140 calories. I find that it takes me at least 10 minutes to eat it and honestly, in my past, I’ve done more damage in 10 minutes with an open bag