Snacking has been an age old habit for humans and one that hasn't changed much in philosophy over the years. Eat inbetween meals when hungry, eat inbetween meals when bored, eat in between meals when stressed, eat inbetween meals when depressed, the list is endless and so are the kind of snacks we eat.

Snacking is related to our psyche & our metabolism and we could well use this to our advantage. Snacking which is relentless, indulgent in fat, sugar & salt is damaging to the scales and only precipitates guilt following the satisfaction of your taste buds. Worse, it becomes an addiction. Snacking on mixtures, doughnuts, sweets, biscuits, fries, or chips can be extremely tempting and solace for the depressed mind, lazy body or the stressed soul.

But the good news is that snacking on the right food at the right times in the right quantities (it;s not as complicated as it sounds) will help us get through our day with a fair amount of energy and what's more, lose weight!!

Let's get positive anddiscuss the fair advantages of snacking.

1. Eating for most of us isa religion. It's ritualistic. It's what we look forward to in our day and itjust won't do for it to be insufficient or just not there. Snacking fills upthe spaces between our meals and keeps our palettes satisfied.

2. It regulates the rise ofthe hunger hormone ghrelin which typically rises to our disadvantage when thereare large gaps between 2 meals and causes excessive eating at one given meal.

3. It helps us to cope withwork stress by giving us that much needed break from work as well as a bout ofenergy from food fuel!! It definitely enhances our mood and boosts our braincells too.

4. Healthy snacking also keeps one's metabolism going, avoids headaches from hunger pangs and lack of glucose to the brain.

All of this is great but ofcourse will bring the reader to the next question as to what are these nonsinful snacks!! Processed foods laden with sodium, fat and sugar are definite"no's".

So Just a little logic, a little knowledge & a little planning can produce a fairly long list of healthy snacks of which a few are listed below categorized according to the times in day that they can be eaten to be used to one's advantage in terms of enhanced energy & zero credit to weight gain!

These are easy to carry, tosource and also remain fairly fresh in snack boxes, needless to say, they are easyto eat too!

Salads, green tea & unsweetenedlime juice are  all time options but weneed more interesting and nourishing snacks!

Morning snacks

  • Fruit
  • Dried fruits
  • Whole wheat crackers
  • Coconut water

Afternoon snacks

If lunch is delayed and youdont want to end up eating a big late lunch and with an over indulged tummy.

  • Whole wheat breadsandwich followed by half your lunch (when you get to it finally)
  • Whole wheat digestivebiscuits
  • Milk/Soymilk
  • Fruit yoghurt

Evening snacks

By this time most will facehunger, a melting resolve & an incessant need to eat everything that onecan lay their hands on.

  • Low fat Khakhras
  • Dhoklas
  • Murmura(roasted/chat)
  • Smoothie
  • Museli (dry)

Before dinner snack 

(If you are heading out for a party and don't want to eat too much)

Most parties go on well into the wee hours of the morning and any predinner snack may not go a long way to prevent over indulgence.To boot the variety of food and happy company at aparty will be of no help.  The best solution here would be to eat choosing just what you like, in moderate quantities and slowly at the party. Why would you want to load yourself withcalories before as well as during the party? The best option here would be to improve satiety value of your stomach through

  • Almonds, walnuts,flaxseeds or pistas
  • A glass of milk
  • A slice of cheese and olives
  • A bowl of chickensoup
  • a tall glass ofvegetable soup cooked in olive oil

Travel snacks

  • Digestive biscuits
  • Nuts
  • Tetrapack buttermilk
  • Soymilk
  • Dry fruits
  • Dark choclate

Bite-sized/mini snacks (When you have the urge to munchbut may not be very hungry)

Beware of these, best toresist not because of the calories of foods chosen but what it teaches yourmind & your habit, even if it's healthy eating. The basic rule must be tonot eat when not hungry and not feed a hungry mind when not accompanied by ahungry stomach. Yet there are options!

  • Salad sticks
  • Fruit
  • Buttermilk
  • Milk
  • Thin wheat crackers
  • Makhana (lotus seeds)

The snack list is long and varied just get creative and think outside of the box!