5 Ways to Snack Smarter
By Doralise Halepis, Nutrition Student
If you look up the term ‘snack’ in the Oxford dictionary you will find the definition: ‘A small amount of food eaten between meals’. But how often do we actually stick to this description? Before we know it, we find ourselves munching on everything in sight, carried away by the variety of food choices around us, the biscuit tin in the office and after dinner TV time.
Next time you’re looking for something to sensibly munch on, take note of the following tips to avoid the unwanted weight gain, sluggish feeling and the ever so dreaded food guilt.
1. Make it light
Snacking isn’t meant to leave you with no appetite at your next meal. Stick to something small to keep you going, but enough to still leave you hungry at meal time.
2. Keep it under 200 calories
Whilst I wouldn’t encourage counting the calories of every morsel of food you put in your mouth, knowing how energy dense a food will guide you in the right direction of keeping your snacks small and healthy. A quick Google search can reveal what exactly is in the food you’re eating.
3. Listen to your body
Have you just sweated it out at the gym? You’ll need carbs and protein. Feeling a bit flat at 3pm? A good carb source to keep you going. Feeling peckish? A healthy fat source to encourage satiation. Keeping things like fruits, veggie sticks, nut butters and home made bliss balls nearby will prevent you raiding the closest fridge and consuming an excess amount of food.
4. Is it nutritious?
Generally something processed for a supermarket aisle isn’t going to be loaded up with the nutrients your body needs. Aim for a combination of fresh ingredients to avoid overloading on the sugar, salt and additives.
5. Think, breathe, drink
Are you mistaking hunger for thirst? This mistake is made ever so commonly and can leave you consuming a lot of unnecessary calories. Before reaching for something, ask yourself how hungry you actually are... if in doubt, drink a glass of water, wait ten minutes and ask yourself again.