5 tips to stay on track while you snack
As a nutritionist people often ask me: “ how do you stay on track between your meals?” The answer is simple, you need to eat when you are hungry and snacking is the way to go about it. We often have a bad stigma attached to snacking and that’s because a lot of people will just snack on the first thing that is close by, which is usually not the best or the healthiest. Here are my 5 go to ways to stay on track between meals with healthier and smarter snack choices and tips.
- Meal prep your snacks: Meal prepping is a great and useful tool for staying on track with simple, healthy and convenient meals. But, have you ever tried to do the same with snacks? I like to prep my snacks ahead, this allows me to grab one whenever I get a bit hungry as opposed to some random unhealthy thing that is in close reach. I prepare fruits cups, sliced veggies, chia puddings, hard boiled eggs, sliced cheese, homemade salsa and dips to have as staples in my fridge. I also buy bulk items like nuts, dried fruits and nut butters to add more layers to my options for snacks. Having all of these items on hand and ready to go in small containers make packing food for my day super simple.
- Rotate your recipes: It is so easy to get caught up in eating the same foods over and over again. This is due to the fact that when we have a routine down it is just so easy to stick to it. However, routines can get boring fast. I recommend looking online for fun snack ideas and trying at least one new thing every week. This allows you to diversify your foods, providing more variety, flavour, and nutritional benefit.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day: I know I am guilty of over indulging in coffee and not drinking enough water throughout the day, and let’s face it most of us are… I have found that I am much more hungry when I am not sufficiently hydrated. This is due to the fact that your brain will stimulate the feeling of hunger when it is lacking in water. So remember to keep drinking water throughout the day, this will allow you to actually snack when you are hungry instead of just blindly eating thought the day.
- Try to incorporate a bit of protein with your snacks: I personally find that I get “hangry” if I am not properly balancing my meals and snacks. Things like bananas and apples alone only fill me up for a short amount of time until I get “hangry” again. This is due to the fact that the body will utilize sugars from foods first for energy. Fruits are high in natural sugar that the body loves to utilize for energy, this is why some of us often feel hungry just 30 minutes after eating an apple. The best way to get around this issue? Add a bit of protein and fat to your snack. I like to add a few nuts or nut butter to balance out my serving of fruits, this allows the body to utilize the energy from the food for much longer, allowing you to stay satiated for a while.
- Don’t be hard on yourself: The number one way to always keep a balanced, healthy and happy life is not to beat yourself up over the little things and indulge when you feel like it. We all like to indulge here and there, as we are only human after all. Enjoy the indulgence and always remember that being healthy isn’t a diet, but a lifestyle and part of life is imperfection.