Manage Your Next Snack Attack with a Handful of Amonds
Snacks often get a bad reputation, but when created with taste, health and portion size in mind, they can become mini-meals, and a healthy habit to help keep hunger at bay.
According to Cynthia Sass, registered dietitian and author of the New York Times bestselling book “S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim: Conquer Cravings, Drop Pounds and Lose Inches,” snacks including almonds are the smartest way to get through the day because they can help manage your cravings, satisfy your hunger and provide important nutrients.
Here are e top tips from Cynthia to help stay on track with your snacks:
1. Plan ahead: Planning snacks is just as important as planning meals. When you leave these things to chance, you're far less likely to overeat or miss out on important nutrients.
Almond Tip: Keep almonds in small storage containers, resealable plastic bags, or in an almond tin at your desk or in your bag for a quick cure for the afternoon munchies.
2. Stick to a schedule: Slot in snacks between meals, specifically at mid morning and mid afternoon so you're eating every 3-5 hours. Going long stretches without food deprives your body of the fuel it needs and also slows down metabolism.
Almond Tip: Have simple snacks like almonds on hand so you don't get too hungry and become ravenous later. For a simple mid morning snack, reach for fruit and yogurt topped with sliced almonds. To fulfill those afternoon cravings, grab a handful of seasoned whole almonds and an ounce of cheese, or 2 tablespoons of creamy almond butter with a sliced apple.
3. Separate the physical from the emotional: Our moods often determine our food choices as we tend to eat based on our emotions and can mistake this for feelings of hunger. Be mindful about hunger and use a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is very hungry and 10 is very full, to help figure things out. To avoid being too hungry or too full, reach for a snack like a handful of almonds before you're a 5 on the hunger scale.
Almond Tip: Every one-ounce serving of crunchy almonds contains 3.5 grams of fiber1, which helps keep you satisfied until your next meal.
4. Listen to your instincts: You know yourself better than anyone else, so let your instincts guide you when it comes to cravings.
Almond Tip: To fulfill a sweet craving, try fresh fruit and a handful of almonds; for a savory or crunchy option, pair almond butter with whole grain pretzels or crackers. If you're looking for something creamy, try a smoothie made with fruit and almond milk.