Did you know that snacking can be a part of a healthy diet, as long as you make healthy changes and don’t overdo it?
I don’t know about you, but I find that I often need a boost in energy and something to tie me over in between meals, especially between lunch and dinner. Otherwise, I become hangry.
You know what I’m talking about, right? That feeling when you are so ravenously hungry that you can’t think straight, are weak in the knees, and are a ticking time bomb of anger and frustration if you don’t get food in your system ASAP.
Fortunately, I’ve been able to keep my “hangry” side in check since scheduling out my meals and snacks for the day and making sure that I always have something on hand in case of an emergency.
Related Recipe: No Sugar Added Granola Clusters
As a result, I’ve become pretty predictable in terms of my eating habits, but I’m okay with that. I feel like I am constantly eating, but because I make lighter, energy-efficient snacking choices, I rarely get to the point of feeling ravenously hungry. Instead, I mostly feel satisfied and not overly full for the majority of the day.
The key takeaway here is to not wait for your body to scream at you when it is depleted of energy, but to first, learn your body and its needs, and then continually supply it with energy through smart food choices so that you can perform at your best all day long.
My top three tips for smart snacking
Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money at the grocery store, but can be a challenge when trying to keep portion control in check. To help prevent over-snacking, package foods in individual portion sizes to have on hand that is easily accessible throughout the day.
Always have a backup.
I often keep some type of bar, snack pack of almonds, or homemade trail mix in my purse and desk in case I get stuck running errands or working on a project longer than expected and need a little energy boost.
Out of sight, out of mind.
Keep foods off of your countertops. It may look pretty in the kitchen to have chocolate covered almonds or banana chips in ornate jars, but having foods out in the open can lead to mindless grazing, which adds unaccounted for calories to your diet. Next thing you know, your muffin top just got a little cushier because of the extra handfuls of foods grabbed throughout the day as you pass by the container. You can’t say I didn’t warn you!
Here are some of my favorite snacks to have on hand:
- Apple and nut butter
- Yogurt and granola (like this pumpkin yogurt parfait and homemade gingersnap granola!)
- Kale chips with cashew cheese sauce
- Handful of almonds
- A piece of fruit
- Green juice or smoothie
- A variety of bars including: LarBar, KIND bars, and protein bars
- Energy bites (such as these KIND-bar inspired ones)
- Homemade granola or trail mix: assortment of nuts, toasted coconut and dried fruit usually does the trick!
- Avocado toast (smashed avocado on whole wheat bread)
- Veggies and hummus
- Sometimes, if I’m really desperate and crunched for time, a spoonful of nut butter will work wonders!