Snacking itself is not bad — it can actually help with calorie counting as long as you make smart choices. Pick a tasty blend of protein, fat, and carbs for the best snacks.
By Madeline Vann, MPH
Believe it or not, snacks can actually strengthen your calorie-counting efforts. Simply making a healthy snack choice could keep you happier and more successful with your diet.
“If you go too long without eating, you are hungrier than you would be without a snack,” says Catherine Bethea Dempsey, RD, LD, dietitian and research coordinator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Starve yourself and you are likely to overcompensate at your next meal, warns Dempsey, adding, “A 150-calorie snack will save you more than that at dinner.”
Calorie Counting and Snacks
There are a few rules to follow if you want this snack strategy to work:
Count the calories in those snacks. You have to include the calorie count of each snack in your total calorie count. Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget about a handful of pretzels or nuts here and there.
Be picky. You shouldn’t snack on just anything — you still want to find healthy, diet-friendly options.
Plan ahead. "Know thyself" is a motto to follow. Expecting that you’ll be hungry and figuring out what to eat ahead of time will make you more successful when hunger strikes. If you tend to get ravenously hungry in the mid-afternoon, be ready for a snack attack.
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