Can you include snacks on your daily meal cycle while on a diet? But of course! Not only that you can, but you actually should include different healthy snack items and preparations in your diet plan. This is helpful whether you are aiming at losing weight or want to maintain a healthy body weight through your healthy diet routine. As for preparing your daily snacks, that is easy enough. All you need to do is to stock on some staple food items that work great as snack meals (whole fruits, dried fruits, mixed nuts, low-fat cheese, and yogurt and many more…but we’ll come to that in a while).
However, if you don’t have enough time to shop and prepare these items, a good alternative is to choose a snack delivery service that enjoys high repute with its customers. For our Australian audience, we highly recommend Snacks With Bite, a company that delivers a wide range of delightful snack boxes full of healthy and delicious snack items. The company takes enough care when picking the individual snack items and prospective customers will be happy to know that all the foods that make their way into the company’s snack meal boxes are approved by certified nutritionists.
The Idea Behind Healthy Snacking
1. Never Equate Junk Food with Snacks
Snacks actually often receive a bad rap because of the common tendency to reach out for the wrong items when it comes to snacking. If you’re heading for chips and candy bars every time you feel that craving in your stomach or if you’re re regularly having ice cream as dessert or as after-dinner snack, you’re simply choosing the wrong foods. Calorie-dense snacks, such as most junk foods are, come high in sugar or fat. They are often good at satisfying an immediate craving; however, since junk food pass quickly through our digestive system, they can ward off hunger only for a short period of time, meaning we’ll soon be heading for our fridge again! Moreover, there is the addiction factor related to many junk food items and which can understandably make the matters far worse.
So, the bottom line: don’t confuse junk food with snacks. Junk food items are treats that you can indulge in once in a while. Snacks, on the other hand, consist of healthy and filling food items that should be part of our daily eating. According to nutritionists, eating healthy snacks (in right portions) or smaller meals every 3-4 hours a day improves our gut health and maintains stable blood sugar levels around the clock. Moreover, when we stay filled between meals, there is little risk of overeating when it is lunch or dinner time.
2. Choose the Right Foods in Right Portions
Choose food items that contain fiber, protein and/or heart-healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fat, etc. Also make sure that items you pick are not high in salt or sugar content. As for portions, nutritionists suggest that the calorie count for each snack meal should be around 150-200 calories, so pay attention to that when you are choosing your servings.
Also, as you should do with pretty much everything you eat, eat your snacks slowly and mindfully. Chew properly and savor the textures and flavors of whatever you have on your palate. Our brain takes about 15-20 minutes to transmit the massage that we’re full, meaning you should never rush for another serving even if you don’t feel filled up immediately after consuming your snacks.
Healthy Snack Ideas
You can prepare hundreds of healthy, filling and tasty single snacks using a handful of base or staple food items. These include whole fruits (our favorites include grapefruits, apples, avocado, frosted grapes, mixed berries, and red bell peppers); almonds and mixed nuts; peanut or almond butter; frozen or dried fruits; pre-cooked shrimp, shellfish and canned tuna; whole-wheat crackers; oat bran; chickpeas; dark chocolate (for occasional snacking); celery sticks, kale and other similar types of veggies; and dairy products like plain, low-fat or Greek yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese, etc.
All these items come with a range of different health benefits and make for some great snacking options. Some of them (like the whole or dry fruits, oat bran, chickpeas (roasted), dark chocolates, nuts, frosted grapes, etc.) you can eat on their own as single snacks. We, however, suggest that you try to mix and match items as often as possible to create trail mix and other varieties of healthy and yummy snack combos.
For example, try trail mix preparations with almonds and dried fruits (with bits of dark chocolates thrown in). Pair your canned tuna with the whole wheat crackers or the crackers with cottage cheese. Give creative spins to your fresh fruits by pairing them with some cream cheese or a few nuts or with a bowl of low-fat milk and whole-grain cereal. Similarly, you can eat your apples and berries with a thin layer of peanut or almond butter spread over them. Also, you can add some yogurt or avocado with the pre-cooked shrimp and shellfish. Possibilities are endless as long as you keep experimenting. We highly recommend these combo snacks since with them, you’ll have a whole lot of different snack options on your hand, and you’ll never run the risk of getting bored of your snack foods.
One thing to keep in mind though: the calorie count of the different foods. Know the calorie counts and this will help you know how much you are consuming with each serving. For instance, 3-ounce canned tuna contains about 200 calories; 1 ounce of almonds, 164 calories; one average size grapefruit, about 100 calories; one cup of frosted grapes, 100 calories; and so on.
Snacks With Bite
Or, as we’ve mentioned already, if you lack the time to prepare your own snacks, make use of a reputed snacks delivery service like Snacks with Bite and have your snacks delivered right to your home or office. A company like Snacks With Bite also comes handy for businesses that want to order snacks in bulks for their remote or in-office employees, for corporate evens, etc. And as long as you are ordering 10 or more snack meal boxes, the company will also give you the option to customize your snack meal box per your taste.