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The benefits of snacking on the go

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, pets...

You can take it with you

If you've sworn off snacking for the sake of your waistline, you may be on the wrong track. In fact, if done right, snacking can be beneficial and actually help keep your diet, and your health, on track.

1You can take it with youSnack healthy.

The key to snacking is to be wary of what you eat. Avoid candy bars, chips and cookies. Instead, reach for fruits and vegetables, nuts, cheeses or whole-grain crackers when you're in the mood for a treat.

Snacks that won't wreck your diet >>

2Curb overeating.

You starve yourself all day to keep your calories down, and then cave when dinner arrives and eat two plates. Instead of making a habit of this common diet backslide, try snacking throughout the day. If you eat small, healthy snacks when you start to feel hungry, you're less likely to be ravenous come mealtime. If you're not completely famished, a smaller plate of dinner will seem much more manageable.

3Go for protein.

If your energy takes a nosedive halfway through your day, try indulging in a healthy snack when you start to feel tired. The extra nutrients will give you the energy you need to power through until your next meal. Try snacks high in protein such as nuts, yogurt or low-fat cheese.

7 Healthy snacks the whole family will love >>

4Boost your brainpower.

Your brain struggles right along with your body when you're hungry. Grab a nutritious snack between meals to boost your focus, motivation and comprehension skills. You'll be able to think more clearly and accomplish a lot more if your thoughts are on the task at hand and not your rumbling belly.

4Amp up your metabolism.

It may sound too good to be true,, bu eating more helps you weigh less. The quickest way to slow your metabolism is to deprive your body of the fuel it needs. Basically, if your brain thinks you aren't getting enough food, it signals your metabolism to slow down and conserve energy. Instead, eat small, healthy snacks, as well as healthy and nutritious meals, to keep your metabolism constantly revved.

21 Homemade snacks under 100 calories >>

6Regulate blood sugar.

Going too long without food may cause your blood sugar to dip. This can leave you feeling tired, weak, nauseated and just plain sick. In some cases, it may even be dangerous. Grab healthy snacks throughout the day to keep your levels in check.

Bring healthy snacks with you. If you have to stop at a convenience store or drive-through, you're more likely to choose something high in calories.

More snacking tips

5 Stress-busting snacks
6 Snacks to beat the 3 o'clock slump
6 On-the-go snacks for kids

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