Photo: bunchofpants (flickr)
The next time you’re at the supermarket, check out the snack aisle and try to count how many types of chips, pretzels, popcorn, and other tempting treats are on display.
Hundreds, at least. Which is ample evidence to support a well known and much lamented fact: that we are a nation of snackers.
A Big Problem
Which can be a problem. Because snack too much and you start to gain weight. And before long a little weight gain can turn into a lot.
And as the multi billion dollar diet industry is all too aware, once you start packing on pounds, it’s incredibly hard to go back.
We Love Our Snacks
So is the solution to simply stop snacking between meals? No, because that’s unrealistic. Between meal snacking is part of our culture.
It’s almost as if it’s hard wired into our DNA. But according to nutritionists, snacking doesn’t have to derail health.
Many of the guidelines for healthful snacking are common sense.
Nibble on vegetables and fruit instead of chips and cookies. Drink water instead of high calorie soft drinks.
But, given that many of us are simply not going to replace chips with carrot sticks, other, less obvious healthful snacking tips can make a big difference.
Space Out Meals And Snacks
For example, instead of grazing throughout the day, set specific times for between meal snacks. And whatever you do, don’t snack while watching TV or surfing the web.
Because as dozens of studies have shown, snacking while doing other things leads to mindless eating eating with little or no sense of how much you’re consuming or even what you’re stuffing into your mouth.
It’s this sort of zombie like overeating that leads to weight gain and related health problems.
10 Tips For Healthier Snacking (Mayo Clinic)