Despite the myths and misconceptions around snacks, snacking can absolutely be part of a healthy balanced diet. They are a great way to keep the hunger at bay, add nutrients to your diet and boost your mood. However, there are lots of snacking mistakes that can counteract the benefits of snacking.
Below are 7 common snack mistakes and some tips on how to course-correct!
1. Filling up on unsatisfying low-calorie snacks
Don’t fear calories when it comes to your snacks – you need them to stay full.
Now we’re not saying don’t eat snacks such as celery sticks or rice cakes if you like them. But choosing snacks soley based on the amount of calories means it’s probably not going to be that satisfying and you’ll still be hungry which can lead to over-eating. Protein, fibre and healthy-fats can slow down digestion, helping you stay full.
Nuts are a great snack option with healthy fats, protein and fiber to keep you satisfied.
2. Not getting enough protein
Not every snack has to have protein, but lots of snacky foods—crackers, chips, fruit—don’t have much. High protein-snacks keep you fuller for longer, holding you over for a few hours until your next meal.
Some high-protein snacks include hard-boiled eggs, chickpeas or dry-roasted edamame. All delicious and so easy to prepare.
3.Waiting until your extremely hungry
It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be starving to give yourself permission to have a snack. If your mildy hungry or busy for a few hours and know you might not have the chance to eat, then have an early snack! If you let yourself get too hungry, you’re likely to overeat at your next snack or meal.
4. Neglecting carbs all together
Protein is an important nutrient, but so are carbs. That’s where you’ll add fiber and lots of nutrition to your diet. Choosing healthy carbs over cakes and candy for example, will give you longer-lasting energy and make you feel more satisfied than carbs that also give you a sugar hit!
5. Skipping snacks to decrease your calorie intake
Skipping snacks means your more likely to overeat at your next meal. Which leads to you feeling less satisfied and eating more food than you intended. If your hungry you should eat something. Choose foods that are healthy and satisfying. Don’t deny your hunger just because it lands in between normal eating times.
6. Not packing snacks
Whether you have a snack stash in the office or quickly throw some pre-pared snacks in your bag on the way out the door, packing healthy snacks will help save you money and stop snacking on unhealthy foods out of convenience.