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Snacking the Smart Way

By Donna Stark

Even if you eat three nutritious meals a day, you may still end up craving a snack during the hours between them, and if you want to maintain your overall health and fitness level, it's important to make wise decisions on what you consume. Choosing potato chips, candy bars, and brownies may taste good and fill your belly at that moment, but you know as well as I do that they aren't the best choices. So here are some healthy tips to keep in mind the next time your belly grumbles during the middle of the day.

Don't Wait

You've been told that you shouldn't wait until you are thirsty to drink water and the same can be said about food. Hunger pains, low energy, and irritability are your body's way of signaling that it is time to refuel but if you wait for them to appear, it could mean trouble. You may be more likely to reach for anything nearby and quick which is usually not the healthiest of choices. It's important to keep your body fueled before you reach that point to avoid consuming any unhealthy foods.

Pack Your Own Snacks

If you want to maintain some control over the number of calories and fat that are in your snacks, you need to pack your own! Get some little baggies from home and measure out your favorite grab-and-go treats, such as sliced fruit and vegetables, trail mix, popcorn, and whole-wheat crackers. Prepare enough baggies for the week so you can take them along wherever you go!

Choose High-Protein Snacks

Just because you are trying to choose healthier snacks to nibble on during your days, doesn't mean you need to sacrifice taste! You can get all the nutrition, energy, and flavor you need by choosing high-protein snacks instead! So grab some Greek yogurt, turkey roll-ups, or apple slices with nut butter. High-protein snacks are exactly what you need to survive those long afternoons.

Stay Hydrated

Last of all, don't forget the power of staying hydrated! Drinking the recommended amount of water can help decrease the hunger you feel before meals. Also, don't forget that some of the symptoms from dehydration can resemble symptoms of hunger, so you may not even need that extra food at all!

Snack the Smart Way

Snacks can definitely be a useful tool to energize and get yourself through the day, but they can also be a recipe for disaster, especially if you are trying to reach specific health and fitness goals. The key is to make sure that you are making wise decisions and to choose snacks that will benefit your overall wellness the most.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Lubbock, Tex.

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