Get Your Post-Festive Snacking Right With These Tips
- Tavishi Dogra
Updated : January 20, 2022 05:01 IST
You need to look for simple, whole ingredients with the least processing and artificial additives while choosing your snacks.
With the festive season just gone by, we all have had our share of love from family, friends to say all of these came in the form of food. Any occasion, be it Diwali, weddings or engagements, without food. One mustn’t be guilty of their food but eat mindfully. Therefore, Nutritionist Mehvish Kazi, associated with True Elements, shares some tips to indulge moderately.
One may think that getting back after the indulgence means to start eating salads, go on low-carbohydrate diets, skip meals, start a new diet regime or even try out one of the fad diets out there. This is done out of guilt and desperation to get instant results, but in the bargain, we are putting our body under the stress of adapting to a new fad diet and unsustainable diet changes once again. So what does one do to get back on track? The best way to begin the post-festive season is to get back to your routine of eating healthy, wholesome meals, hydrate well, get back to some fun workouts and make sure you give your mind and body sufficient rest.
No matter how much one denies this, snacking is an integral part of everyone’s diet. Most people plan healthy meals for themselves and their families, but unfortunately, snack time is unplanned. And for many people, this is where the problem lies – unhealthy snacking, a bad image all along as it is always associated with ‘junk food’ – biscuits, cakes, chips, fries, and the list can go on. But the good news is that a snack doesn’t have to be something that isn’t good for you. On the contrary, mindful snacking can benefit us and even help us reach our health goals.
Snacking: Good or bad?
How good or bad a snack can depend primarily on what you eat and, secondly, how frequently you snack. Another factor is whether your snack is driven by hunger or other reasons. Also, whether the snack is determined by your emotions – bored, stressed, anxious, etc. that can often lead to mindless munching and eventually do more harm than good in the long run. So, it is literally in your hands to make snack time go in your favour.
- Unplanned snacking and munching on anything we see around hungry at an odd hour. Hence, it becomes essential to keep healthy snacks around and do away with the unwanted chips, biscuits, cakes, etc. Snacking can be beneficial if you choose nutrient-dense foods that are sufficient to satisfy your hunger but not too heavy to lead to unwanted weight gain in the eventually long run.
- So our first options should be natural, whole foods like seasonal fruits, nuts, seeds, yoghurt or homemade upma, sprouts, oats, poha, etc. However, if you don’t have the time to prepare these snacks or if you find packaged snacks as an easier option, then there are a few aspects you need to look out for when buying them.
READ NUTRITION LABELS:
- Look for snacks that are rich in fibre and protein. If it is a carbohydrate-rich snack, make sure it is ‘wholegrain’ and free from refined flours like maida.
- Look at the serving size added sugars and fats. Avoid products with sugar, unhealthy fats, or alternatives to the first few ingredients on their list.
- Often, products are claimed to be “sugar-free” but have hidden sugars in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose syrup, maltitol, maltodextrin, etc.
- Even “healthy” food products have not-so-healthy ingredients. Always turn around and read the labels behind, and you will see most packaged foods are filled with loads of sweeteners, refined fats, artificial flavours, binders, colours, emulsifiers, etc. In fact, the longer the ingredient list, the more cautious one needs to be.
- Products marketed as “low fat” are often high in sugar, sugar alternatives and artificial flavours to make them palatable and tasty. So low-fat packaged products may not always be a healthy option even though they claim to be. So basically, you need to look for simple, whole ingredients with the least amount of processing and artificial additives.
POINTS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN SNACKING:
- Never eat straight out of the box or packet. Instead, take a serving in a bowl and keep the pack away. Stick to portion size and portion control.
- Plan your snack, just like you would do for your main meals.
- Avoid stacking unhealthy snacks at home. If it’s out of sight, you will be less likely to regularly reach out to junk snacks.
- Instead, reach out to a snack when hungry. Be conscious of your emotions and restrict emotional bingeing like eating because you’re bored or stressed.
- Choose products that have clean, natural and wholesome ingredients.
Lastly, it is best to keep in mind that no matter how healthy a food product may seem, moderation and mindful eating and some physical activity and rest are key to good health.