SNACKING is essential for your health. But maybe not in the way you think.
Between our "big" meals of the day - bfast, lunch, and dinner - our bodies are working hard on digestion, releasing enzymes to break down proteins, absorbing nutrients, and pushing everything through your digestive tract. That is HARD work and sometimes can leave you feeling hungry + fatigued (and for some of us, HANGRY!).
Bring on the high-sugar snacking + caffeine to get you through the next few hours until your next meal...
I mean, it's much easier to grab the potato chips or the cookie instead of carrots + hummus or an apple, right? Well...only if you allow it to be.
When you are prepped and ready for these SOS snacking situations, you will keep yourself energized, full, and satisfied between meals. BONUS: You will also keep your metabolism boosted + blood sugar level stable!
So I'm sharing some of my favorite tricks + tips + go-to snacks for ya to curb the hanger (oh, I mean hunger).
HOW TO SNACK LIKE A BOSS
Prepare. When you do your weekly grocery shopping, don't just think about meals. Think about the snacks you want to have on hand as well. Buy them, stock them, put them wherever you need them to have when the hunger strikes (Justin always packs snacks in my purse without me looking for when I start to get hangry...).
Our lives are crazy busy. Between meetings at work, extra curricular activities, volunteering, social activities, family obligations, etc., it's sometimes impossible to get in proper nutrition.
Look at what your schedule looks like for the week.
Schedule out when, where, and how you'll eat your meals.
Schedule out when + where you will need these snacks and prepare them accordingly.That way, even if you're running between activities, you have a snack ready to keep your energy levels high without taking a pit stop at Starbucks or McDonald's.
Add a protein to every snack. Protein is the key to staying satisfied and keeping your metabolism boosted. It is essential to have some kind of protein included in every snack, not just the piece of fruit or the veggies.
Find what you like and what works for your body. Just like anything health and wellness related, snacking is not the same for everyone. What could energize one person may deplete the energy of another. Figure out what works for you AND what you get excited to eat, and stick to that! If you're like me, you'll go through snacking "phases" of your favorites of the moment and then move onto something else in a few months. Yes, I know I'm weird.
Drink water. Sometimes when we feel "hungry," we are actually thirsty. Drink 8oz of water whenever you're feeling hungry. If you are still hungry afterwards, then go for your snack. More importantly: By the time you feel thirsty, it means you're dehydrated. So keep guzzling water even if you don't want it (especially if you're on a new workout plan.) I will go into detail about how important water is at a later date.
Try to eat every 3-5 hours. I know that seems like a lot, but eating something every 3-5 hours will keep your metabolism boosted and your blood sugar levels stable in order to maintain energy levels + keep you satisfied all day long. PROMISE!
Ok so now that you have the tools to succeed, here are some of my own favorites:
2 Hardboiled eggs + some type of fruit
Rice cakes - Add some nut butter or avocado + salt or hummus + tomatoes. The options are endless!
Apple + nut butter
Banana + nut butter
Carrots + hummus (or mixed raw vegetables + hummus. Sugar snap peas are another one of my favorites)
Protein bars: This is always a risky choice. Check the INGREDIENTS and the NUTRIENTS in the protein bars to make sure they are made of real food and do not contain too much sugar. My favorites of the moment are Perfect Bars. I actually crave them all. the. time.
Cheese Stick + Apple/grapes + 1 hardboiled egg (Inspiration from the Starbucks Power Protein Pack which is also a good option)
Greek yogurt with a handful of nuts/granola/nut butter to add in some extra protein + some type of fruit
Blueberries + a handful of raw almonds (and maybe some dark chocolate if you're feeling like getting extra antioxidants)
Sprouted bread/toast with half avocado + TJ's everything bagel seasoning (add a hardboiled egg for extra protein)
Half avocado filled with pumpkin or sunflower seeds
Baked sweet potato with nut butter + cinnamon
Energy bites, bliss balls, or protein cookies: there are a GAJILLION different recipes for these out there in the world :)
There are TONS more so feel free to ask me for any ideas! Have fun with it and remember, find what you love!