Is Snacking Good or Bad for You? 14 Healthy Snacks Ideas and Tips
If you love snacking, healthy snacks ideas may be just what you need.
But wait a minute - is snacking really good or bad for you, anyway?
The experts don’t always agree. So we are left to decide for ourselves...
For years, nutritionists and other people versed in good health habits have promoted eating every two hours - calling snacking good. Even saying snacking between meals helps people lose weight. And for diabetics it’s a must! Or is it?
I heard this a lot, too! Yet – is it really true?
This question came up in our 40 Day Transformation coaching class this past week. So I thought I’d share the answers with you.(You still have time to join us in this unbelievably valuable course and coaching to get your mindset and eating plan set to be Diet Free! All classes are recorded for access to content for years to come.)
Should you snack?
Is snacking really healthy?
This question is not simple to answer. I won’t offer a straight-forward “yes” or “no” to whether eating snacks is good or bad because not every person and situation is the same. There are many elements that go into the thought: “Let’s have a snack!”
Generally, people tend to snack out of habit or boredom. Before you head to the kitchen and start eating, ask yourself these questions?
Are you hungry?
How many hours since you last ate?
What did you eat last?
Why do you want to eat?
Are you thirsty?
Not until you evaluate these questions can you answer the snacking question.
How Healthy Snacks Ideas Can Help You!
If meals are planned well, they should include healthy protein along with some FIBER (you know I love that word and all it entails!!!), plus some cell-building vegetables!
When a meal is complete with these elements, snacking should not be an issue. Satiety (feeling full and satisfied) from a healthy, balanced meal should last at least 4 hours.
Remember, it is ok to be hungry at mealtime. Most people eat meals (and also snacks) with no physical hunger – only mental or emotional desire to eat. That creates havoc in the cells and more storage in FAT cells, resulting in weight gain.
That’s the LAST thing we want!
When food is only consumed 2-3 times (meals) per day, the body can balance blood sugar and utilize stored calories – FAT! Hmmmm – that means thinner cells – thinner hips! How does that sound to you?
Snacking inhibits the removal of stored calories – FAT!
What a great reason to focus on eating balanced, nutrient-rich meals. A good meal will promote satiety longer. It will also reduce the desire to nibble throughout the day; plus resist those extra calories your body doesn’t need.
Healthy Snacks Ideas - Easy, Quick, Simple!
So, you’ve gone through all the questions above. Several hours have passed and you have determined it is hunger. Your body is telling you – by growling or loss of concentration – ‘I need food’, not that you have just an emotional or habitual desire for something to eat.
This is the right time to snack.
What you choose to eat, however, is as important as when you snack. The best choice is a snack that includes protein and fibrous carbs!
Actually – start with a large glass of refreshing water. You can also add lemon or tea. Then after 10 minutes decide again if you are truly hungry
Healthy Snacks Ideas: Protein Snack Ideas
Yes, there is such a think as healthy snacks!
Here are quick, easy, and tasty healthy snacks ideas you can add to your weekly menu:
Apple with nut butter. Small apple and 2 tablespoons nut butter
2 ounces of hummus with carrots (no chips or pretzels)– did you see my hummus video? So super creamy! Plus the Beet Hummus - that is even better!
10 almonds – raw
¼ cup whole milk yogurt with stevia or ½ apple
1-2 ounces cheese slices or cubes
Best Brownie Bites - my husband loves these! High fiber and high protein!
Check out this video on how to make the creamiest hummus - it's so easy, too!
What to NEVER have as a snack:
High sugar protein bars – unless fiber is over 5 grams and protein is at least 8 grams
Eating more than the quantity listed above is a meal - Remember, a snack is just that. Not another meal!
Healthy Snacks Ideas for Kids
To help our kids have the best long term health, we want to teach them not to snack throughout the day. Yet, there are times when life is so much fun and energizing that snacks help everyone stay in the game and play hard.
When those days happen healthy snacks for our kids are best.
Want your kids to eat healthier food? Check out these amazingly healthy snacks ideas. Best of all - no sugar added!
- popcorn - make it yourself and never store-bought microwave popcorn
- celery sticks with sunflower seed butter and raisins - remember ants on a log 🙂
- smoothies - the perfect refreshing drink with protein powder, freeze smoothies into a push up pop.
- Best Brownie Bites - these are high fiber and high protein plus very delicious. Check out the video below to learn how to make these yummy, protein brownies!
When to Snack
99% of the time snacking is emotional, not physical. Knowing when to snack between meals is very important. Most people struggle to lose weight because of the emotions of eating, not the physical cravings.
Learn to ask your body:
Am I truly hungry? Or, am I just thirsty?
Thirst often disguises itself as hunger because of the emotional appeal to food and a dopamine high (we learn about this in more detail in our 40 Day Transformation Coaching).
If you are truly hungry – then YES – no guilt trip – enjoy one of the snacks listed above or something similar. If your body is giving off true hunger signals, snacking is not bad.
Breaking the Snack-Habit
If you are used to snacking, trying out those healthy snacks ideas should help.
If snacking is a habit and something you do spontaneously, impulsively, or mindlessly, making a change will take time.
Fortunately, you can break the snack habit!
1. Set goals.
Training your body to go the hours between meals without eating will take intention and determination.
Whether you desire to lose weight through reducing calories or want to get healthier overall, breaking the habit of eating snacks between meals is a good life success plan.
2. Get in the habit of being thoughtful about what you eat.
Post the questions above inside your pantry door and/or refrigerator for when you’re tempted to eat between meals.
3. Don’t keep snacks where they’re easily accessible.
You will be more likely to eat a snack if the food doesn’t take any effort. Help yourself by moving them or throwing them away.
4. Keep water handy.
Use a bigger cup if you’re inclined to forgo drinking once you run out. Set a timer on your phone to get up every hour or two to refill your cup (and stretch your legs, which is also a great habit!).
5. Give yourself grace.
You need to give yourself grace if you continue the snack-habit once you’ve committed to break it.
How many years have you been snacking?
Have you always thought of snacking as good for you and the metabolism?
Give yourself time to retrain your brain with the truths about food, spreading out calories, and snacking.
6. Write down what you eat and why you’re eating it.
This is very eye-opening! You will begin to separate eating out of habit or emotional need versus eating because you’re hungry.
7. Remind yourself that food is a gift from God.
Food is meant to fuel your body, not to satiate your emotions. If you are feeling in need of something and your body isn’t physically hungry, maybe you’re needing to fill up on God. Spend a few moments with Him instead of grabbing that easy food.
8. Get an accountability partner.
Someone who’ll ask you about your snacks. Someone you can call or text when you have the burning desire to eat empty calories in between meals or when you’re not truly hungry.
Set yourself up for success by utilizing these tips one day at a time.
Living a Healthy Lifestyle: How to be Diet Free
Remember, when food takes its rightful place of being ONLY nourishment and we can separate the emotional aspect of eating, we will WIN the war of dieting, carrying extra weight, counting calories, and become DIET FREE! This is key to living a healthy lifestyle!
Do you want to be free from food controlling you? Free from the yo-yo diet lifestyle?
Putting food - and snacking - in its place brings that freedom!
However, freedom doesn’t mean you do what you want when you want how you want. True freedom has boundaries for your safety and for the safety of your future.
If you eat what you want when you want, you will be bound by carrying too much weight and a host of health problems. (Think of overeating as overfilling the gas tank in a car. None of us would do that on purpose!)
Every Bite Matters!
When you eat what your body needs to fuel it for life and the tasks God has given you to accomplish, you will experience freedom from lethargy, mental fog, and so much more.
I hope that you are blessed by transforming your life through these healthy snacks ideas and by implementing wholesome eating habits.
I love serving you God’s Recipe for Excellent Health! Keep coming back to the Biblical Nutritionist blog and YouTube channel for more health tips and encouragement on your road to be the healthiest you possible.