The art of Snacking
Lunch was hours ago, but your stomach is growling and dinner isn’t for another 3 hours.. sound familiar? You're contemplating a chocolate bar or grabbing that banana bread form the office café but the guilt is too much to bear. If you think that your best option is to avoid a snack altogether and wait for the next meal, think again.
One of the biggest myths about snacking is that it is an unhealthy habit. The truth is that it's not snacking that is bad, but rather the type of food and quantities that people choose. In fact, snacking might be the missing ingredient that will help you reach your optimum health goal.
Although you may feel guilty about snacking, it can be beneficial to eat smaller meals with snacks across the day instead of large meals just a few times a day. Here's how healthy snacking can help you:
· . Snacking between meals can actually reduce your overall caloric intake by controlling the feeling to binge or overeat at your next meal. The best way to describe this is often I get clients that will only have one slice of toast a breakfast but by mid-morning find they’re starving and often going for something quick and easy with their coffee or controlling temptation but are so hungry by lunch that they eat the first thing (usually quick and easy) they see… pie, dim sim, slice of pizza, subway etc.
· . Healthy snacks provide fibre and nutrients your body needs to keep you energized throughout the day. Fibre is what help us feel full so instead of the body fluctuating between full>hungry it maintains a more even level of satiety. So our energy across the becomes more closely regulated and so does your level of productivity.
The real challenge is what kind of food you eat and how much. There are many easy ways to incorporate snacking into a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to make snacking work for you:
· . Pretty much if the snack is bite size (potato chips, sakata, savoys, biscuits) its bad news. These snacks tend to have little or no nutritional value, have addictive flavours (that often taste better washed down with soft drink) and are also hard to monitor (how do you know if you’ve had 5 or 15). The key to healthy snacking is to eat more frequent, yet small portions. Buy small packages of food to avoid binge eating and don't snack out of the box.
· . A healthy lifestyle always comes down to organisation. So portion out some trial mix at the start of the week so it’s ready to grab and go, keep healthy snacks like dried fruit in a desk drawer, fresh fruit in the fridge or muesli bars in the car.
· . The point of healthy snacking is to quench hunger while being health conscious, so don't snack if you aren't really hungry. A leading cause of overeating happens because of boredom or social eating, so be careful not to fall into this trap.
With proper portions and healthy food choices, snacking can enhance, rather than hurt your diet.
What we suggest:
- - Low fat yogurt
- - Fresh fruit
- - Raw nuts/seeds
- - low sugar muesli bars
- - chopped veggies