Tips and tricks for healthy snacking
by Harry • 4 minutes read
Last updated: 31 May, 2022
Living the busy lives that we do, it can sometimes be hard to track everything we eat, especially those small snacks between meals.
Although snacking is a great way to maintain blood sugar levels, especially on the go, it is often difficult to avoid unhealthy foods which could lead to unwanted weight gain. Sweets and sugars are fine in moderation of course, but unhealthy snacking throughout the day can have a greater effect on our health than we are aware of.
To help you get a handle on those unhealthy cravings, here’s a few tips and tricks to stay on top of your snacking habits.
1. Don’t skip meals
Skipping meals can be one of the worst things for our physical health. Although there are techniques such as intermittent fasting which change the usual course of eating throughout the day with purposeful meal structure changes, any casual form of meal skipping will have negative effects on our bodies.
When you skip meals your blood sugar drops and your body begins to desperately crave sugar, which will send you spiralling after the nearest unhealthy, sweet snack you can find. Other consequences include bingeing when it does come to your next meal, as fasting can often lead to overeating in an attempt to replace lost calories.
Bottom line: you should aim to keep a regular, healthy stream of calories coming in through your meals which will maintain a healthy blood sugar level throughout the day.
2. Know your danger zones
Simply put - try to learn about your snacking habits as best you can and adapt to that.
Get in tune with your body and recognise what your triggers for unhealthy snacking are. Perhaps it could be stress, tiredness, convenience or simply just habit? Try to be mindful about what is causing you to snack. This will greatly help you adjust behaviours to avoid unhealthy snacking and identify triggers as they are happening, helping you to be more conscious with snacking decisions.
3. Be prepared
If you know you’re an avid snacker, especially when you’re running low on options, be sure to stock your fridge and cupboards full of healthy alternatives for the week. Perhaps even make a list of all the things you buy so you don’t forget that there are options in the house. You could even plan your snacks this way, so you know which little things you can treat yourself to day to day.
Some alternatives could be:
- Freezing watermelons and bananas as replacements for ice lollies.
- Buying raisins and nuts in place of chocolate biscuits
4. Use protein to fill you up
Protein rich meals will help keep you fuller for longer, especially if you add some healthy carbs to the mix. You can whip up a tasty chicken rice in minutes, or start the day off with scrambled eggs on toast. There are plenty of options out there, including some great veggie and vegan alternatives.
If you are still looking for nibbles throughout the day, seeds and nuts are famous for being great sources of protein which can help fuel yourself between meals and avoid sugary snacks. Look for mixed seeds in any mainstream supermarket or go for peanuts, cashews or even salted pistachios for more flavour. Around 30g is a good serving size to keep you full between meals.
5. Schedule meals
Constant snacking makes it very difficult to keep track of how much you are eating so it is best to try to schedule your meals for roughly every 4 hours throughout the day. If you schedule your meals well in advance and stay prepared for the day ahead, you'll be much less likely to snack knowing when and what you'll be eating long before you get there.
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