Many people give snacking a negative rap and choose to avoid it, and wait out for the next main meal. But when you are active and training regularly, it is inevitable you will need to add some extra fuel to the fire. This is not something that should be viewed as a bad thing, so long as they are mindful snacks and not laden with sugar and saturated fat.
By choosing wisely, your snack can actually be beneficial to you in more ways than one. It can help you crush your workouts, stay focused at work, recover after training, prevent over eating and boost your metabolism.
What snacks should you choose?
The answer is simple, it is black and white to be precise. Written on the nutrition label of everything you buy, making it so, that there is no excuse when people say “I didn’t know muesli bars had high sugar levels”. Some snacks come in many forms, with better and worse alternatives. This is why it is so important to read the nutrition labels, and opt for the lowest in sugar and with the most natural ingredients.
The key factors to think about are:
- Size matters, it is important not to overindulge, rather just fill the void.
- Foods that are low in added fat and sugar and high in fibre
- Opt for fresh fruits, vegetables of wholegrains before processed options
- Choose naturally sweetened products
- Choosing snacks which have protein and carbohydrates combined will keep you satisfied for much longer
TIPS TO KEEP IN MIND
- Plan ahead and pre-package your snacks: By doing so, you are able to stick to controlled portions and avoid splurging when you are hungry and time poor.
- Don’t have unhealthy snacks available in the house throughout the week. Try to stick to having an unhealthy snack on the weekend or once or twice a week to curve your cravings. But it is not wise to have it available throughout the week.
- Your snacks do not have to send you broke. An apple cut in to slices and a tablespoon of peanut butter is cheaper than a cup of coffee and will keep you reaching for the office lolly jar
- As a general rule, try and avoid packeted snacks. These often have hidden naughties. Alternatively, try to snack on things that expire in the next few days. This way you are sure they are not loaded with preservatives.
- Fresh fruit, particularly a variety of berries
- Greek Yoghurt (Chobani snack size yoghurt tubs)
- Unsalted raw or dry roasted nuts
- Quest bars/ BSC protein bar
- Brown rice cakes + avocado
- 100% peanut butter
- Tuna (spring water or lemon and pepper flavour)
- Carrot sticks
- Chobani tzatziki
- WPI protein powder
- Eggs (boiled eggs are a great snack option)