Like many people I find snacks somewhat of a downfall when it comes to diet. Most people can plan and eat balanced, healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but find it more difficult to resist temptation and make the right choices when it comes to snacks throughout the day. Snacks are important for killing hunger and are a great way to add more nutrients and vitamins into your diet. Choosing the right snacks and eating the right amount is vital in making sure you don't undo all your good work through bad snacking habits. Here are some quick tips for good snacking:
- Drink enough water - often when you feel hungry it is actually dehydration, so if you get hungry at an unusual time (e.g. just after a meal), drink a good few glasses of water and give it about half an hour to nourish your body. If you're still hungry, then eat a healthy, nutritious snack to curb your hunger.
- Listen to your body - don't ignore hunger or think that if you ignore hunger you will lose weight/be healthier. Not eating enough throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels stable can cause headaches, mood swings, irritability and lack of concentration. Instead of reaching for the chocolate bar, look for a high protein, filling snack, such as nuts, that will leave you satisfied and will release slowly into the bloodstream, thereby avoiding a spike and subsequent crash in blood sugar levels.
- Be snack prepared - as mentioned before in my previous post 'Good Health on the Go', keeping healthy snacks handy will really help you to avoid temptation and splurging on a prepackaged, not so healthy snack. Keep a trail mix, raw bars, tea bags or any portable snack of your preference in your handbag or car for when the munchies hit.
- Good snack ideas - the great thing about snacks is that the possibilities are endless; here are some of my personal favourites: whole pieces of organic fruit, berries, trail mixes (nuts, seeds, super foods, dried fruit etc), raw bars or protein balls (available in most health food shops), dark organic chocolate (try to limit to a few squares! Hard, I know), sliced apple with peanut butter, vegetable dippers and hommus/tzatki/pesto, rice cakes spread with peanut/nut butter, smoothies, home-made muffins, biscuits etc.
Snack smart and it will help you greatly in achieving your health goals. Tell me, what are you favourite healthy snacks and why?
Keep healthy, Erica xx