What you choose to snack on is important. If you choose sugary, high-calorie snacks you lose the weight loss benefits of snacking.
Yes there are benefits from daily snacking and yes with good choices you can lose weight. Going too long without eating (five hours or more) slows down your metabolism, causing your body to think it is in “starvation mode”. This will cause you to burn fewer calories.
It can also lead to spikes in your insulin, making you feel hungrier than usual. Eating a light snack approximately three hours after breakfast and another three hours after lunch, will keep your metabolism running on an even level therefore burning more calories.
Snacks should be 100 – 200 calories consisting of complex carbohydrates, protein and a little healthy fat. Choosing fresh fruit or vegetables, whole grains, nuts or low fat yogurt or cheese to snack on will give your body more of what it needs to be healthy and feel full between meals. Limit your intake of sweets and foods high in saturated fats.
Research shows that eating healthy choices 80% of the time, while choosing a few “unhealthy” choices 20% of the time will keep you on the right track for good health. Therefore, if you have eaten your share of your favorite Christmas cookies, it is time to snack on some whole grain pretzels, an apple, or low-fat yogurt to get back on a healthy start for 2013!!