8 Healthy Snacking Habits That Will Change Your Life New Body, New Life Whether we like it or not, we cannot change the fact that as we get older we are presented with some real-life health challenges and are obliged to eat healthier to avoid or manage diseases. Most of us choose to eat fewer or not snack at all. But what some of us don’t know is that our choice of foods impacts our weight and mood. This basically means that what we put into our mouths affects us inside and out. Follow me as we go through the 8 healthy snacking habits. If you adopt them, they will change your life and make you a healthier and happier person. Plan your snacks ahead. Eating the right snack can be difficult because there are a lot of food options readily accessible and, apparently, less expensive. The struggle begins as we are so very often tempted to go through our entire day of having impulsive snack choices. This is where snack planning comes in. Consciously preparing your snacks will make you more intentional about your choices. It will prevent factors like your mood, circumstances, and your surroundings from allowing you to make poor choices. To overcome reckless food consumption, you may opt to prepare a healthy list of snacks for your specific dietary needs. By doing so, you’ll be saving yourself from potentially losing sight of your goals in the spur of the moment. If you want to stay healthy, then consume only what is healthy. That can be done through proper and prompt planning. Take time to eat instead of rushing. The problem with today’s fast-paced world is that we no longer have ample time for anything. Sadly, it has turned eating into a distraction from work. When we do finally find the time to get a bite to eat, we gobble it down. This leads to stressful, unhealthy living. Eating fast not only makes us gain weight but it has a more serious implication as it increases our health risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stomach problems. However, it’s not too late for you to reverse that kind of lifestyle. Eating slower by taking smaller bites and chewing longer can tremendously help you lose weight as it aids your digestion and increases your body’s absorption of nutrients. When you don’t gobble down your food, you increase your satiety hormones. It can also be a mindfulness exercise as you learn to relax and pay attention to the act of eating and not continuously stressing yourself about what it is that you are about to do next. Yes, it may take you a little bit longer than usual. But how can you ever say no to its profound positive effects to your health? Carry a protein bar for emergencies. In times of emergencies like getting stuck in a traffic jam or just being caught up with office work might leave you fuzzy and starving. Having protein bars with you at all times may be of a big help as it sustains you with the much-needed energy, nutrition, and calories. You don’t need to cook or refrigerate snacks like protein bars. They are very easy to carry around which makes them a perfect on-the-go snack or a small meal replacement. Including protein in your snacks will give you that extra mental boost as the amino acid amplifies the production of neurotransmitters which regulates your focus and alertness. Don’t eliminate healthy fats from your diet. The famous dieter’s mantra, “fat-free” may get us into trouble. Why? Because “fat-free” may sometimes also mean taste-free. If your snacks aren’t that pleasing, they may be less rewarding, so you tend to eat a larger quantity for your own satiation. Healthy fat in the diet is important because it helps you stay full. If fat is cut out, our blood sugar wouldn’t stay stable that long and we get hungry sooner. Now, we have to change that mindset and choose to include healthy fats in our diet like the unsaturated ones which can be found from plant sources such as nuts, seeds, and soybeans. Source: Unsplash When eaten in moderation, these snacks may help us fight high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as depression and anxiety. So, don’t remove fats from your life. Do, however, decide to be selective with the kind of fats you consume. Swap out unhealthy fats for healthier ones. Be mindful of emotional “triggers” that drive unhealthy snack choices. When we’re feeling down, it occurs to us naturally to reach out for snacks high in carbohydrates. They help lift our mood by stimulating the brain chemical, serotonin. Although having lots of unhealthy carbs lead to blood sugar imbalance. They uplift us quickly but they also bring us back to the lows as they makes us feel sleepy and tired later. So, what kind of snacks should we surround ourselves with to avoid that roller-coaster kind of effect then? Fruit sugars, honey, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains will lift your mood while avoiding excessive fatigue. It’s best to shop and stock only healthy snacks while you’re at your best. Track what you put into your mouth. Write everything down! This is a simple instruction yet a very tedious thing to do. But when you do record everything you eat, you will constantly be aware of your intake and as a result be able to do away with mindless eating. If you do this consistently, you can not only keep track what you eat but you’d also be able to search for the nutrition information of the snack you frequently have. This will subsequently help you make better choices in the long run. Keep yourself properly hydrated with water. Getting in the habit of drinking plenty of water can bring a lot of health benefits. If you get dehydrated, your body will send out signals that might seem like hunger, and chances are you’ll be eating a lot more. Proper hydration will mitigate these signals and you will feel satisfied even with less food intake. That means lesser calories. Water also helps you flush out toxins from your body through your urine. Even if your body is already relatively capable in removing wastes and toxins, it will never hurt you to help your body out. When you already know the benefits of drinking plenty of water, it wouldn’t be hard for you to make it a habit. Enjoy a small treat once in a while. Have you noticed that if you feel deprived of the food you like, the tendency is you’d overeat? So don’t try to banish all your favorite foods. The key is just to keep your treats to a minimum. Savoring a small treat daily really won’t sabotage your weight-loss efforts. As long as you exercise self-control and eat right the majority of your time, you should have nothing to worry about. Conclusion Making wise lifestyle choices that will lead to a healthier you take a lot of willpower especially if you’re just starting out. But it is never impossible. Healthy snacking is not about famishing yourself. Rather, it’s about choosing the right snacks that give you more energy and other benefits like a better mood and well-being. With a little effort and proper preparation, you can make that switch to a healthier snacking habit easy.