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Physiotherapist (BCScBiol, BCScPT, FCAMPT, CG*IMS)
Extensive experience in treating neck, shoulder, lower back, knee and motor vehicle accident related pain.
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6 Snacking Habits That Can Help You Lose Weight
While over-snacking can definitely compromise your weight-loss goals, it is possible to eat between meals and still drop pounds. “Mindfully snacking can help keep hunger at bay, and it can even help fuel your metabolism,” says Katie Cavuto, M.S., R.D. “But snacking doesn’t equal weight loss if you make unhealthy food choices or consume too much.” So how can you make sure to snack the right way? Just follow these tips:
1. Ignore All Those Rules About the Ideal Time to Snack
Some people will tell you it’s a bad idea to snack between breakfast and lunch. Others will tell you that you have to have an apple at 3 p.m.—not 4 p.m.—if you want to avoid overeating. In reality, it’s all kind of b.s. “The best time to eat a snack is when you’re hungry,” says Cavuto. “For some people, that’s mid-morning. For others, it’s in the afternoon—or maybe both. Listen to your body, and fuel when you need it.” One trick that Cavuto likes to use to help people keep tabs on their hunger—particularly if you’re the type of person who’s often so busy that you forget to eat— is to set a “snack timer.” Set an alarm for a few times throughout the day, and when it goes off, take that moment to pause and assess if you’re hungry, thirsty, or neither. That way you won’t find yourself suddenly famished at 7 p.m.
2. …But Don’t Snack When You’re Not Hungry
Just as you should eat when you’re hungry, you should also avoid eating just because you heard it’s important to have an afternoon snack if your stomach’s not grumbling. “Don’t snack for the sake of snacking,” says Cavuto. Let your body’s cues dictate if you need to eat—and boredom or stress are not reasons to snack.” Keep in mind that you also may misinterpret thirst for hunger, so make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day.
3. Stay Under 200 Calories
Cavuto says this is a good ballpark to aim for to make sure that your snacks don’t turn into mini-meals. Of course, if you find yourself full before you finish your 200-calorie snack, feel free to save the rest for later. “Listen to your body,” says Cavuto. “If you feel satisfied before you finish you snack—reality check—you’re not obligated to eat the whole thing.”