To snack or not to snack, that is the question!
There are areas of nutrition that do not have set recommendations, simply because our bodies are not exactly the same.
Sometimes we need to listen to the incredible signals our body gives us and be guided by those. Whether it be a growling belly, feelings of lethargy, a foggy brain or shaking hands – your body is very clever at telling you when to eat, and it’s important you don’t ignore those signals.
It is hard for some people to listen to (or wait for) those cues and they may find they are guided by non-hungry cues like the clock, an aroma, boredom or emotion.
Mindless snacking or eating out of habit can lead to unnecessary snacking and weight gain.
Break the habit
If you are the type of person who buys a chocolate bar or packet of chips every time you go to the servo – stop!
That’s not true hunger, but rather a habit that has been established.
If you need a snack at morning tea time or afternoon tea time, opt for one that has a protein component.
Protein keeps you fuller for longer so you will find that you need less to feel satisfied.
Rather than having an apple on its own, combine it with yoghurt, cheese or a nut butter for longer lasting satisfaction.
Also read: The Best Pre-Workout Snacks
What to avoid
Avoid snacks that are highly refined or that are purely carb based.
A slice of white toast with jam is never going to keep you as satisfied as a slice of wholegrain toast with a boiled egg, ricotta or some smashed avocado.
Meet your targets
If you struggle to consume your recommended serves of fruit, veg or dairy each day – having these foods as snacks can ensure you are meeting your daily requirements.
Try some veggie sticks with hummus or some diced apple with yoghurt.
Make it sensible!
Opting for sensible snacks can ensure that your blood glucose levels are steady throughout the day and minimise the chance of overeating at meal times.
A well-positioned snack can also enhance your ability to train well and recover adequately after a tough session at the gym.
So, the key here is to identify any habits or mindless snacking that may be dominating your choices. Be prepared with some whole-food snacks and use these snacks to your advantage!