Beware the Snacks - Mature Health Center

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Beware the Snacks

Beware the Snacks If you’re a calorie counter, there could be an unseen enemy lurking in your pantry … snack foods! It is often those small snacks you don’t bother to count that can quickly ruin your best efforts to eat smart.

Extra calories may sneak up on you if you are not aware of how many bites, nibbles, and snacks you consume in a day. A handful of pretzels, a cookie every time you visit the kitchen, or a few squares of cheese will add up quickly if you aren't being mindful.

Here are some quick tricks and tips to help you remember to snack smarter:

Brush your teeth following meals
If you have minty fresh breath and clean teeth, you are less likely to go back to the pantry for food. It’s an easy solution that works wonders.

Portion out single-serving snacks
After returning from the grocery store, use small plastic baggies to package your cereal, nuts, fruit or granola into a single serving-size portion. Then when you need a quick snack, grab and limit yourself to one pre-made baggie and you won’t have to think about over-snacking.

Fruits and veggies are your friend
Keep fruits and veggies at eye level in your refrigerator. When looking for a snack, make sure the first thing you see are the items that are best for you. If you've already cut strawberries, plucked grapes or peeled oranges, you are more likely to grab them as you dash out the door.

Protect your will power
Your home is only as safe as you make it! Protect your willpower by not having your weaknesses to certain foods calling your name from the pantry. It’s easy to get caught wanting to eat just one cookie, but before you know it, that one cookie turns into an entire row! Over time your cravings for those sweet, salty or comforting foods will eventually dissipate. Until you can control your overindulgence, don’t even test yourself. It’s not worth having the “I ate the entire box” guilt.

Did you know that in order to lose a pound you need to burn 3,500 extra calories? It is far easier to take a proactive approach and become aware every time you reach for a snack. You may be better off reaching for your toothbrush instead.