Hope your week is going well! We’re enjoying some cooler temps and rain which we desperately need (it’s been so hot lately so fires are crazy in CO), so no complaints here.
I wanted to share a few tips on snacking. Those afternoon munchies definitely find me on occasion and I end up snacking from about 3 up until dinner around 630. So I’ve developed a few tips and tricks that have helped me put the snacking monster at bay that I thought I’d share with you!
Ok, so you’ve had a lunch and it’s now a few hours later and you start to feel hungry again. You go to the vending machine and grab a candy bar or one of those 100 calorie snack packs and you feel good but then about an hour later you’re hungry again and so you reach for the same thing. This leads to continuing snacking all afternoon and by the time dinner rolls around you’re finally full but then you eat dinner because it’s ‘dinner time’ and you end up overeating. One of the reasons why you feel hungry shortly after that candy bar or those 100 calorie snack packs is because
1) the candy bar is made up of mainly sugar and simple carbs. Meaning your body processes and digests it quickly, leaving you hungrier sooner and
2) Things like those 100 calorie snack packs don’t have a very good macronutrient balance so there usually not a ton of protein or fiber in those which means your body uses up all the energy that snack pack has more quickly and needs more energy shortly afterwards
So I want to cover two ways you can overcome this.
The first is to make more filling, satisfying and nutritious choices when it comes to your snack. This may require a little more planning on your part but once you incorporate it into your routine it’ll be second nature and you won’t have to think about it as much. So you want to start with protein. Protein will fill you up faster and last longer meaning you won’t be going back to the vending machine again so soon. So protein needs to be #1 when it comes to your snack. Another thing you should build into your snack is fiber. Fiber is filling and digests slower in your body meaning it’ll keep you fuller for longer. Ok, so you have protein and fiber and next you need some fat in your snack. Fat is the slowest digesting macronutrient and slower digesting means feeling fuller for longer. So all of these things combined, protein, fiber, and fat, make a sustaining, satisfying, filling snack that’ll keep you full all afternoon until dinnertime. Some good examples of this kind of snack are an apple or banana with some kind of nut butter, or a handful of almonds along with some berries, some cheese and whole grain crackers is another good option. Some veggies and hummus with some cheese works too. All of these things, you can pre-pack and bring on the road or to work with you so you have them on hand.
Ok, so that’s if you want and have time to snack, but I know some people are super busy in the afternoon with kids activities or work meetings, so it’s hard to squeeze in a snack. So what do you do if you don’t have time to sit down and eat a snack? You can either have a portable snack like a protein bar or a shake, something like that. OR you can fill up on lunch a little beyond the point of being full. I’m not talking about stuffing yourself, but if you know you won’t be able to eat for 5 or 6 hours after lunchtime, you’ll need to make sure you fill up for that stint of time. So focus on having a well balanced lunch. When I say well balanced, what I mean is, one that has ample amounts of protein, a good amount of fat and some complex carbs. All those macronutrients help keep us fuller for long, help us fuel our bodies efficiently and effectively, and keep us satisfied because we know we won’t need to eat for a while.
I hope these tips help you next time you are feel snacky and help you stay mindful of what you’re putting into your bodies even if it’s just a smaller snack and how you can plan your day to maximize your time and not have to go back to a vending machine or be snacking a lot throughout the afternoon.
A few great snacking ideas…
Have a great Thursday!