Everyone loves to do it, but when and how should you snack?
The best place to start is with 3 healthy, balanced meals every day. Depending on your schedule, one or two snacks can be added to this line-up. If you are someone who wakes with the sun, eats, then exercises; then having a late morning snack is beneficial. If you work at a desk and your lunch is at noon, and you don’t eat dinner until after 6pm, then I highly recommend a late afternoon snack. Basically, eating every 3-4 hours is best, whether it be a meal or a snack.
Now that you know snacking is allowed, don’t go grab the chips and cookies.** Here is a list of some easy and healthy snacks to add to your pantry:
- almonds (fewer than 15)
- apple with a nut butter or organic cheese
- triscuits with low-fat, organic cheese
- organic yogurt
- newman’s own snack bars (or any natural, low sugar, snack bar with very few ingredients)
- protein smoothie (click for recipe)
- carrots and hummus
- any piece of fruit or no sugar added dried fruit
If you need a snack that will get you through to dinner, I recommend the snacks that have protein and fiber (such as fruit with a nut butter, or carrots and hummus) as that combination will sustain you longer.
One final note: many of my clients struggle with wanting a late night snack. When you give in to this urge, try your best not to do it just before bed, and attempt to eat one of the aforementioned options rather than cake or cookies.** If you need something sweet, try a handful of berries or dried fruit.
**Let’s be honest, everyone goes for the junk food every now and then, and that’s ok. When you do, don’t sit down with the bag or package, count out what you’d prefer to eat, close it back up and put it away… far far away. There is no need to rob yourself of your favorites, just eat them in moderation instead of holding out until you binge! And again, please don’t wait until bedtime! It’s best to have these foods earlier in the day, and the sugary ones just after a meal for less of a spike in blood sugar levels.