Snacking can be a great way to get more nutrients into your body. In fact, if you’re listening well, the inclination to snack can be an insightful message – your body could be telling you there’s something you particularly need.
For instance, the desire for chocolate might suggest you need magnesium. Salty cravings could signify that you require electrolytes or that the stress in your life is beginning to take a toll on your body. Unfortunately, our ‘in-the-moment’ snack choices don’t always support us in ways we need; rather, they’re often controlled by our emotions or hormonal fluctuations.
Moreover, if you need to reduce fat mass in order to lose a few pounds or improve your health, snacking between meals is of little benefit. Snacking can actually shoot up your fat-storage hormone insulin, so you’re better off having larger, balanced meals to keep yourself satiated until the next one.
Below I have listed five ways to better navigate your choices, avoid mindless snacking and tune into your true hunger signals and nutritional requirements.
5 ways to optimise snacking
When you reach for a snack, ask yourself: “Am I truly hungry or am I simply thirsty, feeling bored, anxious, lonely, tired, guilty, experiencing shame or perhaps facing some type of stress?”
- Know your healthy snack options and take the time to prepare them even before hunger strikes rather than reaching for whatever is close or easy.
Choose snacks which are balanced with adequate protein and quality fats to ensure they truly satiate you. This article can help guide you on what macronutrients should be included.
If you recognise that your desire to snack has an emotional component and you still choose to eat, do so but try to be conscious and present as you enjoy the pleasure it brings you at that moment. We often refer to this as mindful eating.
- Avoid snacking after dinner when you’ll soon head to bed. Instead, make the effort to ensure your dinner is fulfilling and satisfying.
Wholesome snack options
- 3 tbsp hummus and chopped cucumber or carrot sticks
- A handful of seeded crackers with guacamole
- 1-2 boiled eggs with a sprinkle of Celtic sea salt
- A small banana chopped up with 1tsp cashew butter
- 2 tbsp coconut yoghurt, 1 tsp chia seeds and a few walnuts
- A row of naturally sweetened dark chocolate
- A small handful of raw pecans and walnuts
- Chia pudding with grated apple and cinnamon
- A cup of bone broth
- A frozen banana blended with coconut milk (I call this 'nice-cream')
- Dehydrated or baked chickpeas or broad beans
- Kale chips
- Beetroot sauerkraut with hummus and smashed avocado
- A protein-rich bliss 'superfood' ball
- A small bowl of organic air-popped popcorn
- Half serve of a green smoothie or green juice
- 3 Medjool dates stuffed with coconut oil-covered walnuts
- Happy Weight smoothie
We also have a wealth of wholesome snack recipes on our website that are definitely worth trying. You can find them here!