Keeping your mind and body up and going is extremely important, especially on a rather hectic day. You’re always working, so you have to keep your brain sharp. You go to places, so you have to stay active and energetic. The same goes when you work out and go for physical activity. Whatever it is, you need to watch out for your body to keep up throughout the day.
Snacking in between main meals is one way to go through a busy day. But most people don’t realize they can be mindless about what and how they eat because of their hectic schedules. Many buy whatever just to ease their hunger, but they don’t think about how these snacks can have an impact on their health.
What Unhealthy Snacking Looks Like
Unhealthy snacking can look like eating from a large pack of chips or an entire bar of candy. While there is nothing wrong with consuming junk food occasionally or moderately (depending on your health), it can be unhealthy to consume from a big container of food. The larger the plate, cup, or bowl you eat from, the more you mindlessly consume. This is why you should always use a small plate or bowl, especially when eating not-so-healthy foods. As much as possible, avoid eating straight from the packaging or container.
Poor nutrient snacking, such as sodium-rich snacks, sugary packs, and candy bars, just makes you energetic for a second, then gives you a crash the makes you cranky, sleepy, hungry, and incapable of focusing.
Another way of unhealthy snacking is having the habit of eating really late at night. Dietitians suggest that eating late at night is never a good idea, especially if you want to lose weight. Even if you’re not planning on losing weight, it’s still a bad idea. Research says if you eat late at night or at a time when you should be sleeping, the more weight you can gain.
The purpose of snacking is to provide you with energy in the middle of the day. Therefore, you shouldn’t eat so much when you’re snacking. Making a habit of excessive snacking is another bad idea. Even if you’re eating energy-giving snacks, you still shouldn’t eat them disproportionately.
How Healthy Snacking Is Supposed to Look Like
Depending on your lifestyle, you should be aware of what you eat when you snack during the day. You don’t really need much snacking if you have a sedentary lifestyle since you’re just sitting all day. You also have to look out more for your carb intake. But the more you’re physically active, the more energy intake you require.
Low-fat dairy products, whole-grain bars, nuts, and legumes are excellent choices for snacking after going for a run or other physical activity. These are packed with nutrients your body needs and regulate your sugar levels. At the same time, they satisfy your sweet tooth. Fiber-rich and hydrating fruits and vegetables are excellent choices as well.
Eating a small amount every two to three hours after the main meal keeps your metabolism running and helps moderate your vitals. Healthy snacking can get you through hunger, which slows your metabolism. As a result, you gain weight without even trying.
Even athletes have proper ways of snacking since they are required to monitor their food intake to keep their body fit and their performance competitive. Their diet and nutrition have something to do with their health as athletic performers; they even have something to do with sports injuries. Some people may not be aware that proper training is not enough to avoid injuries. Improper nutrition increases the risk of mental stress and stress fractures.
Snacking for Mental Health
Speaking of mental health, the more you eat processed, unhealthy food, such as chocolate bars and cookies, the more it can affect your mood badly instead of improving them. They may boost your serotonin levels, but then again, just for a second, and your mood can worsen by the end of the day. Instead, reach for your nutritional sugars like fruits, honey, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains. They can definitely help you improve your mood in the long run and even fight fatigue.
It’s safe to say that your daily meals can affect not only your health but also the way you eat in between. The purpose of snacking is to help you conquer hunger without intaking unhealthy substances and keep your energy up and above, especially if you’re always physically active and busy at work all the time. While there are good and healthy snacks, it’s still a matter of how much and when you eat them.