In days gone by, many used to believe that snacking was “bad” for you and that sticking to “three square meals a day” was the best way to stay healthy and avoid overeating. Nowadays, many nutritionists believe the opposite is true and that eating little and often is best. At Jeca, we’re of the opinion that you should keep it simple and listen to your body! If you eat natural, nutritious food when you feel hungry, you’ll be on the right track to a healthy diet.
But as we all know, eating natural, nutritious food in our busy lives takes planning. That’s why we created Jeca bars and cookies - to give you a nutritious snack option on the go. Here are our other suggestions about how you can snack in a healthy way.
- Listen to you body.
All too often we snack out of habit rather than necessity. One way to ensure that your snacking stays on the healthy side is to think of a scale from 1 to 10 - where 1 is you are starving and 10 is you couldn’t eat another bite. The next time you reach for a mid-morning snack, stop and think, what level am I really? If you are 5 or above, perhaps you don’t really need that snack at all and should give it a miss and have a glass of water or a cup of tea instead. But anywhere below 5, don’t deprive yourself and take the fuel your body needs.
- Snack mindfully.
This suggestion is very important. All too often, we gobble down food with little thought or even enjoyment. Think about the last time you snacked; can you even remember what it was or how it tasted? Mindless eating can lead you to overeat easily, and this is where snacking can become an unhealthy habit. Instead, take your time. Preferably stop what you are doing for a moment and really savor the taste of what you are consuming. It may be tempting when you are busy to eat while multitasking, and sometimes this is unavoidable. But when you can, take a time out to eat mindfully, you’ll see an improvement in your state of mind and productivity. So go on, enjoy every bite!
- Keep an eye on portion size.
At Jeca, we don’t believe you need to count calories like a religion. But keep your snacks to a sensible size to avoid overeating and gaining weight. If you do like to think in terms of calories, think 150 - 250 kcals per snack. Or, if you prefer portion size, about a handful of almonds or a ¾ cup of natural yogurt. Of course, jeca bars and cookies come in perfect snack size portions, so you don’t need to worry about portion size at all!
- Focus on balanced nutrients.
Healthy snacking means finding the right balance of nutrients to keep you energized and full. If you find your body is telling you that you need to eat too frequently, it’s probably because the mix of nutrients in what you are eating is out of whack. Instead of processed junk, snack on foods that contain a good balance of protein, fiber and fat. Aside from our products, other great options for balanced snacks include:
- a handful of unsalted, roasted nuts
- half a whole grain bagel with cream cheese
- ½ a cup of plain Greek yogurt with ½ a cup of blueberries
- ½ a sliced apple topped with thin slices of cheddar cheese
- Three celery sticks topped with a tsp each of peanut butter
- Three tbsp of hummus with carrot sticks
- Get organized.