A New Start – Happy Snacking!

After the holidays we are all conscious of wanting to improve our health – and most of us want to lose weight as well.  Whatever eating style or regime you choose to follow  you may feel like nibbling in between. And this can become a problem if it is not done mindfully.

Here are a few tips from the Harvard Medical School dieticians to help you choose the best snacks:

1. Go for low GI- high fibre- low salt combinations if you choose grains or cereals. Remember that you can only make a wise choice if you always first read the nutritional information before buying a product  – get into the habit of doing so. Many fast foods such as muffin or “health bars” are in fact loaded with unhealthy fats and added sugar. Low fat products especially, have added sugars to compensate for the flavours lost by decreasing the fat content.

2. Don’t skip breakfast: this is a golden rule but for many it can actually make you more hungry. Become aware of your body’s preferences and respond accordingly.

3. Aim for a snack with a mix of protein and some fat – some examples are: celery with peanut butter; low GI crackers with cheese; nuts and grapes.

4. Mindful eating means eating sitting down and doing nothing else but being aware of what you are eating and enjoying every mouthful. Eating whilst watching TV can so distract you from your meal that you are not truly aware of what or how much you have eaten – you tend to be less satisfied and tend to eat more than you would if you were not multitasking.

5. Convenience matters. Stock up with healthy choices and keep some handy in your desk at work, perhaps even in your car cubby hole. That way whenever you do feel like a nibble, it will be a good choice, and you will be less likely to consume cookies, muffins or fast food.

For this new year, let us make good health a priority. Weight loss and a healthy skin cannot be sustained if you crash diet then revert to unhealthy habits, but will follow automatically if your body is given quality foods in the right amounts.