Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Snacking - We all do it.
When you’re on the go from dawn until dusk, what you are consuming for that much needed energy boost isn’t high on the priority list. Who even has time for lunch when you are constantly having to redirect your attention from one task to the next?
By snack-time, convenience takes precedence. What you might not realise is that a poor choice of snack can end up ruining that calorie deficit you’ve worked so hard to maintain elsewhere.
To be clear, there is nothing wrong with snacking. But you do need to ensure your snack choices are in line with your nutritional goals as well as your overall goals for mental and physical well-being. There are few things more disheartening than dedicating your precious free time to a meal-plan and exercise regime only to find that it’s all those little snacks preventing you from reaching your targets.
Crisps, biscuits, crackers, many of those snack bars advertised as healthy with a picture of a delightfully happy young woman smiling on the box, are high in sugar and saturated fats as well as not solving the fundamental problem of satiating appetite. It is a common misconception that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it does something magical to our metabolism… it doesn’t. Breakfast is important because it is an effective way to stay full until lunch and limits the need to snack between meals.
This next piece of advice is critical to success: take note. Whenever you are faced with a choice as to what to eat you need to ask yourself, ‘is it worth sacrificing what I really want, for what I think I want now’. If the answer is no (and 99% of the time it will be) then these tips alongside a small investment of effort for ‘snack prep’ will save you both time and money in the long run and ensure you achieve your goals.
We have created a list of 8 ways to help you snack healthier so you can look after yourself on the go and keep achieving your personal well-being goals.
1. Stash the trash – In a busy household it is impossible to rid the entire kitchen of everything unhealthy. Whether it’s your children or your partner, someone will want snacks that don’t fit your dietary requirements. A designated cupboard can keep temptation away making you far less likely to gravitate towards poor food choices. Your loved ones will also appreciate that you haven’t implemented a blanket ban.
2. Complex Carbs – As carbohydrates digest, they become sugars and boost energy. Whole grains contain long carbohydrate chains that release energy slowly over time helping you feel full and energised for longer. Grab wholegrain and high fibre options. The slow energy release will keep you satiated while the fibre will keep you feeling full and promote digestive health.
3. Nuts! – All unprocessed nuts make great snacks. Although they are calorie dense and need to be eaten in moderation, they provide high quality healthy fats that many diets lack. They are also more likely to leave you feeling full and are a convenient cost-effective snack for when you’re on the go.
4. Remember your goals – Keeping a food diary (even as a note on your phone) will help you be mindful of the food you consume. If you get hungry in the evening as many of us do, get up, find somewhere quiet where you can focus on eating your snack mindfully. It is easy to accidentally binge when you are distracted.
5. Up your water intake – Our brains are unable to determine thirst from hunger. By upping your water in-take you will find yourself less hungry, and more able to focus. It also has a multitude of other benefits such as clearer skin and aiding digestion!
6. Prep – Batch cooking and preparation is the key to success. Have your snacks ready in advance so when the time comes, you know exactly where to find your next energy boost.
7. Variety is necessary – The reason many diets fail in the long run is they lack diversity. When preparing your snack have a few options available so if you aren’t in the mood for one, you have other choices ready to go. It keeps things interesting and prevents boredom.
8. Be ready for every occasion – you already do this in every other facet of your life so don’t be afraid to apply it to your own needs. If you know you have a meeting and there’s going to be doughnuts on the table, take your snacks with you. You won’t be tempted to reach for the rubbish if everything you need is already in your bag.
Remember, you deserve to reach your personal well-being goals as much as you deserve the success in the other areas of your life. Sign up for our expert Webinars and let Hoorays! help you achieve your goals alongside a network of like-minded people.