Mid-morning and afternoon snacking on high Glycaemic Index (GI) carbohydrate foods such as biscuits, cakes and crisps can often ruin the best intentions to eat a healthy diet.
Desire to snack can often be brought on by boredom or thirst. So if you think that it might be boredom that is making you snack, go and do something different than to what you are currently doing for five minutes. Also drink a glass of water to satisfy your thirst, as this may help the desire to snack to dissipate.
If either of the above two strategies do not work for you, then change your snacking into something positive and reach for some of the healthier snack options listed below.
- Apple slices with peanut butter – Cut up an apple on a small plate and dollop on a table spoon of peanut butter for a healthy mix of protein, carbohydrate and good fats from the peanuts.
- Krave Turkey Jerky and an orange – High in protein and low in saturated fat. Combined with the carbohydrate vitamins and minerals from the orange, this makes a great easy to prepare snack option.
- Hardboiled egg – Hard boil a few, peel off the shells and store them in a fridge to make them easy to grab and eat when on the go. The high protein fix will help to keep your hunger pangs at bay.
- Edamame dip and Buckwheat crackers – Lots of protein in both the edamame and buckwheat will help you to keep full until your next main meal.
- Handful of mixed nuts and a piece of fruit – Lots of protein in the nuts and the carbohydrate in the fruit will help to satisfy your desire for a sugar fix.
- Cottage cheese on Ryvita with seeds – Protein, carbohydrate, fibre and good fats packed into this snack which is easy to prepare.
- Dark chocolate and almonds – Go for a couple of pieces at least 70% dark chocolate with and small handful of almonds for a quick nutritious snack that is easy to take with you when out and about.
- Hummus and cucumber or carrot sticks – The health benefits of hummus are well documented. Combined with cucumber or carrot (or both), a hummus based snack provides a nutritious snack option.
- Whey Protein shake – Though it’s always best to go for whole food options, a protein shake to which you can blend up with some green vegetables and a piece of fruit can provide a great high protein drink.
- Tinned salmon, sardines or mackerel on rice crackers. – A great protein punch with carbohydrate and loads of Omega 3 fatty acids.
- Last nights leftovers – If you cooked from fresh something healthy the night before then store a small portion in some Tupperware and place it in the fridge to snack on the next day. This approach reduces snack preparation time and helps you to eat freshly prepared food.
The above are examples of healthier snack options compared to what may currently be your snack of choice. All snacks regardless of whether they are ‘healthy’ or not, will count towards your total calorie consumption for the day.
So if weight/fat loss is your goal, then also look at healthier breakfast, lunch and evening meal choices, as well as cut down on your alcohol consumption, as alcohol puts your body into a state where your body stores fat and stops burning it as energy, so it’s a double negative hit to your fat loss goals.
Also try to become more active. Any activity is better than nothing, but for the maximum bang for your bucks for burning fat both during and after exercising is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).