Superbowl Sunday was on February 6th and to prepare we at Student Health Services were giving out some healthy tips! All last week we were letting students know the best way to snack... check out some of our healthy recipes for the big game or even for your next study session!
Why People Snack
- When you are happy, sad, frustrated or angry, it can trigger you to start snacking. Emotional eating often occurs when you seek comfort or try to fill a void. You may eat certain foods to make you feel better. Chocolate, for instance, contains the neurotransmitter serotonin, which improves your mood. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, giving you a high feeling. A feeling of guilt after snacking on unhealthy fare is a common response.
- When you have nothing else to do, reaching for a bag of potato chips may seem like a good activity, however; you may not even be hungry.
- Eating late at night or while watching television is another bad habit many people have that can result in weight gain. When watching television, you don't fully focus on what you are eating or how much you are eating. You may end up eating the entire bag of chips, instead of just a few chips.
- Engage in hobbies and other activities to keep you from snacking out of boredom.
- Cravings are to blame for many snack episodes. If your diet is high in processed foods and simple carbohydrates, such as white rice, white bread, pastries, cookies and cakes, you may experience frequent cravings. These foods digest quickly and cause your blood sugar to drop. They give you a quick energy burst followed by fatigue and tiredness. You're left hungry and crave more food.
- To avoid these cravings, snack on filling foods, such as low-fat Greek yogurt, pistachios and hard-boiled eggs.
- When you experience high levels of stress, your body releases the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol triggers uncontrollable urges to eat foods that are unhealthy. You may end up reaching for cookies or chips and eventually weight gain can set in.
- Stress snacking can leave you feeling worse than you did before. To avoid high stress levels, practice meditation, yoga or deep breathing techniques.
- It keeps your metabolism humming. Research suggests that, like a charge for a battery, eating about three meals a day with two or three snacks in between can make your metabolism more efficient. This, in turn, aids in weight maintenance and even weight loss.
- It helps you eat less at mealtimes. If you wait until you’re so ravenous that you would eat the kitchen table, you’ll wind up eating way more calories when you do finally sit down for supper. Experts suggest choosing a snack that has roughly 100 to 200 calories. Make sure it fills you up with a healthy balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Together they stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling satisfied.
- It ensures you get all your vitamins. Snacking is a great way to fit in all the nutrients that your body requires each day. It is recommended to include a fruit or a vegetable in every meal and snack to get the nutrients you need. She notes that a crunchy apple or a juicy orange can boost your satisfaction for fewer calories while also adding important antioxidants to your diet.
- It foils even the strongest cravings. If you play defense and have a snack before you are tempted, then you can hold out for your next meal. It’s all about knowing the foods that satisfy you, so you don’t feel deprived and end up eating more than you need or even want. Strategy is better than willpower.