4 Ways to Snack Smarter, Not Smaller
Can I tell you guys something?
I am an avid snacker. Seriously. I love snacks. They are often more fun than actual meals, amirite?
Despite what diet culture may say about “willpower” and whatever other nonsense, needing a snack between meals is perfectly normal. There is no need to fear snacks or intentionally avoid them.
BUT there are ways to boost the nutritional power and satisfaction factor of snacks to really get the most bang for your buck. Think of snacks more as mini-meals; this simple mindset shift may help you have more stable energy, focus, mood, and blood sugar throughout the day.
Here are 4 Ways to Snack Smarter:
1. Listen to your hunger
The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to listen to your body. If you feel hungry, eat. There is a popular narrative that if you feel hungry, you’re "probably just thirsty" and that therefore, you should "just drink water".
Thirst and hunger are very distinct sensations and responses to different physical needs.
Sure, drinking a bunch of water can expand your stomach and therefore temporarily trick your body into thinking that it’s “full”. But chances are, half an hour later, that pang of genuine hunger is going to return.
Trying to “be good” and “wait till your next meal” in an attempt to “save calories” can honestly backfire. By the time you sit down to eat, you feel ravenous and eat rapidly without thinking. This can often lead to overeating and then feeling guilty when you feel super full.
Avoid all this drama and just have a damn snack.
2. Plan ahead
Meal-planning and meal-prepping are super trendy and are certainly a great way to ensure you have a variety of wonderful foods ready to go for the week. But snack-planning should get more air time!
When you make your weekly trips to the grocery store, plan out and add some yummy and nutritious snacks to your list too.
3. Eat slowly and mindfully
Eating mindfully and without distractions is super difficult in this day and age. I’ll admit that I almost never eat without having something going on in the background. It might be TV, my phone, or my computer, but one of these three are always there.
It can make things more entertaining, but the problem is that this mindless eating means that you finish your food and are left feeling unsatisfied. You might feel physically full, since there is literally food sitting in your stomach, but mentally, you are left wanting more.
Taking the time to be present and truly enjoy and savour the food can really be a game changer, leaving you more mentally and emotionally satisfied after eating.
4. Build balanced snacks
This might be the most important tip: build snacks that are balanced. What does this mean? In each snack, aim to include a minimum of 2 of these 3 food groups: fibre-rich carbs, protein, and healthy fats. This little hack will leave you feeling a lot more satiated and satisfied!
Whole grain pita and hummus
Apple slices and peanut butter
Greek yogurt and nuts/seeds or fruit
Whole grain toast and nut butter
Whole grain English muffin and an egg
Whole grain crackers and canned tuna
Avocado on whole grain toast
Stay nourished my friends,