I love snacks! (And my Grandma did too! That’s her!!)

That little break in the day when we take 5 minutes to satisfy our hunger. (Or boredom, or as a reward for getting through the 2 hour meeting without making pencil in the eye stabbing motions or just as a means to escape fear, anxiety, the media). Let’s face it we eat snacks for LOTS of reasons, most though don’t involve hunger.

But who doesn’t?

I guess only 3%. According to “What We Eat in America”, from NHANES data from 2011-2012, 97% of us snack at least 1 time per day. HALF of us snack 2-3 times per day. And 30% snack FOUR TIMES PER DAY or MORE!! Whoa Nelly!! .

I actually meet a lot of these people. Unfortunately they’re usually in a hospital bed or attending a nutrition class. They’ve been fighting the “belly beast burden” for years and have no idea why since

“Honestly, I only eat one meal a day! Why can’t I lose weight?!”

If they have diabetes on top of that, they also have no idea why their blood sugars are high as well.

Snacks, especially in the liquid form, rarely register in our body as consumed calories. In other words, they’re not filling. So we don’t count them as a snack and we are left still feeling a sense of hunger even if it was a 500 calorie iced fancy latte. Snacks however are beginning to constitute as a 4th meal. Again per NHANES, an average women’s energy intake is ~ 1850 calories per day with roughly 450 calories from snacks. For men averaging 2600 calories, ~ 600 calories are from snacks. That number grows the more snacks you eat.

UNLESS of course you are snacking on nutrition packed, low calorie fruits and veggies.

Which we are not.

Per Nielsen.com snack sales reports, North Americans are having a love affair with……. Chips! Which was the number 1 reported snack, followed up with chocolate, cheese, cookies and then fresh fruit. Europeans on the contrary, love their fresh fruit, chocolate, cheese, yogurt and vegetables. What was that one best-selling book called “Why French Women Aren’t Fat.” Hmm?????

I believe that snacks are necessary as well as treats. Both to fuel the mind and body. But we need to know the difference. Both should be less than 300 calories and not ruin your appetite for the next meal. Snacks can provide longer lasting energy (think protein and produce) and be minimal in added sugars or crappy fat. Treats, well we all know what those are. (Click here, to find out my favorite chocolate brand. Which by the way, Chocolate was the #1 snack for the world!) I also recommend snacks should be kept to two a day, with treats just one time per day. If you have diabetes, snacks are a must if you plan on going 4-5 hours until your next meal. Typically for women, it should include around 15 grams of carbs, 30 grams if you need more calories in the day or even before you go to bed.

If you’d like a list of 51 Snacks and Treats all for under 100 Calories, make sure and sign up at KimLeneghan.com.

I’m predicting snacks will “abduct” meal times, the busier we get.

So I’ve got 2 questions for you today:

1. Do you ever just grab a snack in place of a meal?

2. What are your go to snacks?

Comment in the box below. I’m always looking for something new to nosh on!!

Some short but really really tempting headline.

Some short but really really tempting headline.

Something about the results they'll get from your freebie. And a call to action asking them to "sign up below to get  XYZ" or "so where shall I send it".

Just one more step - please watch out for the confirmation email in your Inbox!