Is snacking actually good for us or is it just extra calories that we don’t need? Like many dietary areas, snacking is one of those things that leave us confused. Should I be snacking? Are frequent small meals better for me than three big meals? If I snack does that mean I am consuming extra calories that I don’t need? There is nothing wrong with snacking if you are trying to lose weight. In fact, a smart day’s eating will include three meals plus a snack. But REMEMBER not all snacks are created equal.
HOW to snack.
Snacking is an important part of our diet and if done right can mean that we should avoid overeating when it comes to eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For females, snacking is only recommended once a day however on days when you feel you need that extra pick me up between one and two healthy snacks won’t do much harm. Snacking can also play a good role in our metabolism, as often going too long without food can have a reverse effect on our body as it will start storing food as fat. We recommend preparing you snack in the morning or the night before you leave for work for the day, that way you know that you are opting for healthy nutritious snacks.
WHEN to snack
It is important to be in tune with your body and listen to signals for hunger, there is no right or wrong time to snack and snacking should occur when someone is truly hungry. Often feelings of boredom and stress can be confused for feelings of hunger. It is important to not give in to these feelings as it can lead to overeating. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger also, so if you are feeling hungry reach for a bottle of H2o and see if that does the job instead.
WHAT to snack on
It is important that what you are snacking on has beneficial nutrients for your body and isn’t just empty calories. A lot of snacks contain refined carbohydrates and all these snacks do is cause a downward energy spiral, which ends up making us even hungrier. We recommend having a snack rich with protein, unlike carbohydrate-rich snacks such as biscuits and chips, protein snacks will have you feeling fuller for longer after eating them and will tie you over until your next meal. We enjoy snacks such as:
- A handful of almonds
- A tin of tuna
- A piece of fruit (no more than two per day)
- Air popped popcorn
- Rice cracker with cottage cheese and tomato
- Carrot sticks with hummus
- Our favourite snack is our Lady Bars, they come in 4 flavours and are the perfect protein-rich snack on the run.