How Do You Snack?
True story, when I don't plan out my snacks my default is Oreo's. Like a row of Oreos.
I'm emotionally charged when it comes to food more often than not, so I have to stay on top of things. It's possible for me to have happy snacks, sad snacks, "I have the house to myself" snacks, bored snacks, and even angry snacks if I'm not careful. I have learned this about myself over many years of life so I know my triggers.
Once you know your triggers, or even if you kind of assume your triggers, you can make sure that you are making conscious choices around food. Here's the deal, if you really want to feed an emotion, make sure that you are doing it for the right reason. Most of the time, realizing that you are feeding an emotion is enough to put the kabash on that practice. The rest of the time, have a plan and the resources ready to go.
Make sure that you are planning out snacks just like you do your meals. What are the things that you need to fuel for? A long period of time between meals, an early morning workout, a lunchtime work meeting? Maybe you already know that every day at 3:00pm you fade into a fog- perfect time for a pick-me-up!
Here is a framework for snacking mindfully:
The after work pre-dinner snack:
Usually this is just a reward for surviving your day, but it could be true hunger if lunch was four hours ago. Think small because dinner is right around the corner. This is a great time to fill in something that was missing from your day- how about a high fiber veggie plate with hummus.
The bored with what you are doing snack:
More than likely if you just ate an hour ago or can't decide what you are hungry for it's boredom induced. This is a good time to increase your water intakes for the day, and if your are still cruising the cabinets fill up with some low calorie, high nutrition berries or watermelon.
The TV triggered late night snack:
Advertisers are really good at their job. If indulging in your favorite late-night-zombie flick has you craving chicken nuggets or a Blizzard it's probably time for bed! If you choose to stay up, think easily digested and low sugar for this snack. Yogurt or a chia seed pudding will cut the urge to drive to the nearest Taco Bell.
Pre-planned, purposeful snacks throughout the day and evening:
This is the best kind of snack, often an opportunity to get nutrients that you run short on elsewhere. Stay balanced with a blend of healthy fats, high fiber, and lean protein for the win!
Protein smoothies: loaded with protein, healthy fats, and carbs these can also add fiber if made with whole fruits and veggies. Smoothies will fill you up for a long time, but be aware that they can also be as many calories as a meal.
Veggies and hummus or nut butter: portable and manageable with protein and fiber.
Fruit and yogurt: cuts the cravings for sweets, usually available at most chain restaurants in a pinch or pre-made at a grocery or deli. Try to find a low sugar yogurt if possible and use whole fruit.
Protein balls or bars: for the plan-ahead maven these are the gold standard. Made at home with ingredients you can choose and well balanced.
Store bought granola bars: I like Kind bars, or Lara bars as a go-to purse snack. Check your favorite to make sure that there are no added sugars or strange ingredients.
Check out my collection of #snackrecipes and let me know what you think!!