Lets face it, we all get hungry in between meals. Put it down to boredom or maybe you might actually be hungry.
Snacking can make or break a really healthy eating plan.
You probably plan your meals really well, you start your day with a healthy breakfast of oats, cereal or a piece of toast with avocado and tomato (if you haven’t tried it then give it a go……yummy!).
You have planned to get a healthy sandwich from the local bakery, deli or cafe or even better you will make it yourself with ingredients from your fridge but at some point during the morning you come a little un stuck………right?
You reach for a chocolate bar or better still a “healthier option” of a muesli or protein bar. Buyer beware! Some healthy bars are not always that good for you, I know I’ve said it before but I will say it again CHECK THE INGREDIENTS, check the fat and sugar content, how many ingredients, if there are a heap then put it back and look for a fresher alternative.
If you have a healthy breakfast you are less likely to snack, those who skip breakfast are more likely to eat higher calorie foods later in the day.
As well as eating well in the morning you should also avoid snacking for the sake of it. Wait until your body tells you it’s hungry, you don’t need to have something to eat at morning tea just because your colleagues are!
Eat smaller more frequent meals to satisfy your hunger cravings. Forget foods that come from a packet, look for foods that are fresh which tend to be lower in refined carbs, sodium and fat and in addition will be higher in fibre.
If you can plan your snacking then your diet won’t come un stuck and you will see yourself achieving some great outcomes. Don’t be embarrassed about taking a piece of fruit or a healthy Energy Ball to your next meeting, better still if you will be out and about running errands with the kids, take along a small lunchbox and be prepared. There is nothing worse than deciding to stop for a cuppa when your little one is asleep in the pram and finding the only things available to eat are really large slices of cake from the cabinet at the local coffee shop or a low calorie scone that comes with the addition of high calorie cream and jam. If you are prepared you will not only save money but you will look and feel better for it in the long run.
Recently I noticed the prices in a local coffee shop were close to $6 for a slice of cake, that’s a saving of $312 over a 12 month period if you don’t have that weekly slice of cake.
Plan plan plan, that’s the one piece of advice I can offer you the most. Plan your snacks to fit within your calorie goal, always count your calories before you consume your food.
If you are a stay at home Mum, think about making yourself a lunch box every night for the
following day, this will help when reaching for the things you probably shouldn’t be having when home during the day.
Limit yourself to a single serve, never hang around food tables at functions or family events as you will find yourself reaching for food you don’t necessarily need.
Here are some of the foods that I tend to snack on when I’m hungry and my body is needing fuel:
- Nuts (approx 1/4 cup per day)
- A plain sandwich with some lean meat or even a smear of natural peanut butter
- Apple and fruit with a small tub of yoghurt to use as a dip
- A whole boiled egg (or two)
- Energy Balls (linked above)
- Paleo Fudge
- Carrot, celery and a homemade dip such as tomato salsa or hummus
- Cup of strawberries with some 80% dark chocolate dipped on the tips
- Cruskets with cream cheese, smoked salmon and cucumber
- Popcorn (not the stuff that’s smothered in butter and salt)
- Oats (if its a cold rainy day then have a bowl of nice warm oats)
- Craving ice cream? Blended frozen banana hits the spot
- Oatmeal raisin cookies (homemade of course)
- Lean meat such as ham, silverside or beef with a little pickle spread on it
- Chicken in a can
- Canned fruit
- Apple smeared with natural peanut butter
- English muffin with fruit spread (preferably with no added sugar)
- Sweet potato baked with a sprinkle of cinnamon & stevia served with yoghurt
- Fresh tomato with mozzarella and basil
- Canned Tuna
- 1/4 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup frozen grapes
There is definitely a right and wrong way to snack when trying to lose weight.
Fruit and veges in my opinion are always going to be the safe option because they are low in fat and calories. Combine some healthy fats, lean protein and complex carbs to help get that full feeling for longer.
You should always avoid sugary foods including soft drink as well as the diet options, try to make sure your snacks are not high enough in calories to substitute a meal.