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Weight Management and Smart Snacking

Posted in Healthy eating, healthy weight and dieting

strawberry cereal in yoghurt pot

Snacking can have a positive or negative impact on your eating habits, your weight and your overall health. Certain snacks can increase your intake of sugar, salt and fat, and increase the chances of you gaining weight. Try to remember that snacks are only meant to keep you going until your next meal. They should not be seen as a ‘reward’ or eaten out of boredom or to subdue an emotion.

Snacking should simply help you to keep hunger at bay. You run the risk of making rash or impulsive food choices at meal times and the risk of overeating if you become too hungry. So it is important to become snack savvy and choose wisely.  Make your snacks count nutritionally.

Be Aware!

Snacks such as chocolate, crisps, sausage rolls, pastries, muffins, jellies, and biscuits can be enticing and difficult to resist. They are convenient and readily available no matter where you are. Remember they are also high in calories, unhealthy fats and sugars. They will not satisfy you for long.  Be aware that even small amounts of these foods eaten on a regular basis can increase your calorie and fat intake dramatically which can lead to unwanted weight gain.

Smart Snacks

Any snack which offers beneficial nutrients can be considered a smart snack. Remember that a snack is just that. It is not a meal, and so the portion size should reflect this. 


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Smart Snack Swaps

Avoid                                                  Smart Choice

Muffin                                      à        Low fat greek yoghurt with an apple

Sausage Roll                          à        2 oatcakes with low fat cheese/ hard boiled egg

Chocolate bar                         à        Handful of nuts/seeds e.g. almonds/brazil nuts

Bag of crisps                           à        Small bag of popcorn (preferably unsalted)

Crackers and cream cheese  à        Carrot sticks with reduced fat hummus

Chocolate biscuit                    à        Piece of fruit e.g. apple, banana, orange

Fizzy soda drink                      à        Water or a sugar free option

Top Tips!

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Updated by members of the weight management interest group, April 2016.

Review date: April 2019.

© 2016 Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute, INDI. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided the source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counselling with dietitian.  It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.

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