A few chips here, a little popcorn there, maybe a Hershey kiss or two or three, a whole avocado, a half a container of hummus, we've all done it.
And when I say all, I mean that statistics show that 82% of all North Americans snack at least twice or more a day.
We know that in order to keep our metabolism moving, we need to eat consistently, but how much is too much?
On average we are consuming an extra 400-600 calories a day by snacking; which is 222 more calories per day than our ancestors 30 years ago.
Cookies, chips and ice cream are the three biggest offenders of high fat, high sugar snacks, but we may be missing the biggest culprit of all.
Snacking is taking the place of meals.
It's been a long day, we come home to an empty house, we haven't planned our meals, we wake up late and don't have time for breakfast, we give in to peer pressure to eat the doughnuts at the office, we work through lunch, we veg mindlessly in front of the TV, or we simply just don't feel like cooking.
So a breakfast bar, muffin, nachos, cheese and crackers, or all of the above it is!
I'm not saying that you can NEVER eat these foods. What fun would that be? But they can't be a staple source of food in our daily intake.
In other countries where people are starving, we are eating entirely out of convenience.
I'm not one to preach or lecture, but think about it.
Could be make better choices and more importantly, more effort?
I don't have to tell you that excess calories equals excess fat, we know this, but what's hard to miss is how all of these snacks add up into a day and increase our overall intake.
But snacks aren't all bad.
Snacks that are nutrient dense and contain water, fiber, protein, and carbohydrates are excellent ways to fill gaps in between meals and keep our metabolism going, but choose wisely.
The food we snack on should be the same source of food we would eat for a meal, just simply smaller.
Stop and think.
Think 5-7 almonds and an ounce of cheese, like you would put on your salad for lunch, or 1/4 of an avocado and a hard boiled egg that you could have for breakfast.
I also enjoy 2 tablespoons of hummus and 1/4 cup of mixed peppers that I would normally eat in a wrap for lunch or dinner.
A piece of whole wheat toast with 1/2 a banana and 1 Tbsp of all natural peanut butter could also do the trick instead of a large bagel with cream cheese.
If you choose to indulge, slow down, stop and enjoy every bite.
You may end up appreciating one home baked sugar cookie with a small glass of milk instead of an entire candy bar and a can of pop.
Slow down. Be thankful.
And for Pete's sake go make yourself a healthy meal. You can do it!