Snacking has been given a bad name due to all the convenient and processed options readily available to us.
Those trying to lose weight often avoid snacking because of silly assumptions that snacks jeopardise weight loss. What’s often forgotten is that snacks can be healthy. In fact, healthy snacks can actually assist in weight loss, making you less prone to overeating during mealtimes.
Snacking when done correctly should provide us with that extra burst of energy, needed to perform a task or get us through to the next meal. An ideal snack will contain a good amount of fat and protein. The two works together to prevent spikes in blood sugar and to provide long lasting energy… keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
SHOULD WE SNACK?
The need to snack is dependent on the individual them self, with the urge to nibble in-between meals varying from day to day. It is important to listen to your body so you can understand your eating demands and obtain optimal energy levels.
CAUSE OF SNACKING?
Many people identify hunger as the reason for snacking. However, there are plenty other triggers, including:
Inability to concentrate
Lack of energy
It’s important to recognise how you are feeling before reaching for a snack as generally eating is our first action/response, which often doesn’t solve the problem, leaving you feeling unsatisfied. That unsatisfied feeling then triggers emotional eating causing a relay effect. Hence why recognising the cause then responding with a satisfactory response is vital.
The sole purpose of a snack is to provide you with long lasting energy. Therefore, an ideal snack should contain fats and protein. Focussing your snacking options around wholefoods is a great way to stay full, gain energy and obtain beneficial nutrients and minerals. Some great examples of healthy snacks to include into your diet are:
Coconut yoghurt is packed full of vitamins, minerals and live active cultures.
Is a great base to top with all sorts of goodies such as dark chocolate, walnuts and berries. This combo will keep you energised and get the brain up and functioning.
Lacking in energy but not hungry enough to eat something? Tea is a great pick me up! It can be enjoyed hot or cold anytime of the day. Various teas will provide you with different energy levels. Some great herbals to start introducing into your diet are peppermint, green tea, citrus and ginger.
If you’re after something a bit more substantial toast is a great idea. We reccomend sourdough as it is fermented so digested easily in the body (for those in Christchurch we recommend Bellbird Sourdough) or for something different a slice of Kumara toasted.
Some of our go to toppings are banana + peanut butter, avocado + tahini. Trying to have a source of fat as the topping will keep you going for longer.
A great addition to smoothies and other breakfast options. The superfood is loaded with antioxidants, and is a great source of protein and fibre.
Homemade healthy bliss balls, bars & cookies
By making these at home you avoid eating all the nasties in store brought options and you won’t get that big sugar hit.
Try including coconut and/or coconut oil for a source of fats
Adding in matcha or cacao will act as a natural stimulant providing you with energy!
So, next time when that 3pm hunger strike hits, be prepared with a nutritious snacking alternative.