• The Chopping Blog
subscribe

Filter Blog Posts

Blog Archives
Most Recent Posts

The Perfect Recipe for Picnic Fare under the Stars

Some friends and I recently went to a free concert at Chicago’s beautiful Millennium Park. The...Read more

Gone Fishing: How to Grill and Fry Fish

When I was a little girl, my father would often take my siblings and I fishing during the summer....Read more

Back to School: Clean Eating Edition

I’ve always been a total learning junkie. Even back in the day I was a Class A nerd, taking classes...Read more

How to Make Sushi at Home

Just because I am a chef doesn’t mean that I am absolutely comfortable preparing every type of...Read more

The Power of Parmesan Cheese

Just recently in a class I was teaching at The Chopping Block, a question was asked about how to...Read more

Sign Up To Get

The Skinny on Snacking

Dawn
Posted by Dawn on Apr 5, 2012

I review food logs for my patients and magazines and one very common thing I’ve seen is most people do not know the difference between a treat and a snack. A TREAT is something that is not filling and has no nutrition whereas a SNACK is something that is filling and gives you vitamins & minerals. For example, a treat is a 100-calorie pack of oreos or low-fat fudge pop whereas a snack is celery & peanut butter.

Snacking is a very healthy habit; people who lose weight and keep it off snack once or twice a day. A snack is a bridge between meals... it helps you get to the next meal with a less ravenous hunger so you are better able to control your food choices and portions at mealtime. On the other hand, treats taste good for the moment but don't have the staying power to keep your hunger at bay or energy levels steady. Treats can't control your appetite and don't contribute to your overall well-being so in the end… treats are something we need to limit (even if they seem innocent because they are only 100 calories or low-fat or low-sugar).

Bottom Line: Snack Daily, Treat Occasionally.

Many patients and magazines ask me to come up with clever, creative and delicious snack ideas, but snacks shouldn’t be glamorous nor something we look so forward to eating. Snacks should just be a tide-me-over until I can get to a meal I will enjoy. Think of them as just a meal-to-meal bridge. It tends to be the opposite in our diet-obsessed culture... many people load up on low-calorie, boring "diet" food at meals which isn't satisfying and then scavenge for delicious & exciting treats all afternoon and evening. Consider this the new norm: Enjoy creativity and variety at meals, but snack simply on filling and nutritious food.

Simple Snack Guidelines:

-Between 100-200 calories

-Contain the powerful combo of produce + protein

-Eaten only once or twice a day when it is most needed/hungriest time of day

-Limited in variety - too many choices at snack time can lead to overeating

 

My Top Ten Snack List (each is about 150 calories and contains produce + protein):

  1. Apple (small) & almonds (10)
  2. Celery (3 stalks) & peanut butter (1.5 tablespoons)
  3. Peaches (1/2 cup canned in juice) & low-fat cottage cheese (1/2 cup)
  4. Grapes (1/2 cup) & soynuts (1/4 cup)
  5. Carrots (1 cup) & hummus (4 tablespoons)
  6. Melon (3/4 cup) & cheese (1 ounce wedge)
  7. Berries (1/2 cup) & low-fat plain yogurt (6 ounces)
  8. Cucumber (1 cup) & tuna (3 ounces with 1 tablespoon light mayo)
  9. Tomato juice (1 cup low sodium) & pistachios (30)
  10. Pear (small) & string cheese (1)

Topics: celery, cheese, protein, apple, melon, calories, weight, yogurt, tuna, vitamins, nutrition, snack, fruit, berries, carrots, treat, peanut butter, cucumber, minerals, almonds, hummus, mayo, produce