I came across this article from ABC News that discusses how grazing packs on pounds. To me, this seemed fairly obvious and seemed like an odd article choice. However, once I read it, I realized apparently this is not obvious. It is preached a lot by those in the health community to eat five or six small meals a day to prevent major blood sugar dips and prevent overeating at meals because too much time has passed.
Snacking between meals, apparently, is seen has following this advice. However, small snacks are supposed to be 150 – 200 calories, but most pack in snacks of 350 – 500 calories. Advertisers mislead consumers by naming their products things that sound healthy. The example used in the article was renaming “candy chews” to “fruit chews” and suddenly people bought and ate more of them, thinking they were healthy.
Snacking is important and can be healthy. If you go more than 4 hours without eating, your blood sugar drops and you tend to get ravenously hungry where you will start packing in junk food. The article suggests making up your own snack packs and taking them to work or with you in the car when you have a lot of errands. There are lots of healthy foods that are convenient to eat on the go, but are full of vitamins and low in calories.
Try packing an apple and some almonds for a snack. The protein and fiber will keep you feeling full longer plus the sugar in the apple will give you a little boost when the afternoon doldrums hit. Pack bags of dried fruit (caution: look for natural dried fruit, not packages full of sugar and preservatives) with some pretzel sticks (watch the sodium) and create your own trail mix. If you have access to a fridge at work, string cheese makes a great snack too.
If you bring your own snacks and have them easily available, you are much more likely to pass up vending machines and goodies left in the company break room.