Snacking is commonly viewed as being a negative thing when it comes to fat loss. Often it is believed that if I can cut out snacks I will obviously lose weight…. It is hard to argue with this belief if the snacks being eliminated are unhealthy snacks (crisps, chocolate, sweets etc). The problem however can arise when you take out these snacks and leave a big hole in your day. For example if you normally have your lunch at 12pm, this will provide enough fuel to last you until between 3-4pm. But if your dinner is not until 5.30pm-7pm you are now running on empty. At this point your blood sugars will be starting to plummet and you will feel tired, lethargic and crave sugars. If you somehow manage to summon up enough willpower to avoid the vending machine and make it home the chances of you either choosing a healthy meal or not scoffing the kids meals or something out the fridge are pretty slim. All these challenges have arisen because you have not had a snack to stabilise your blood sugar levels and stave off hunger signals.
The second scenario is another common one which arises in people looking to ‘lose weight’ substituting your unhealthy snack for a piece of fruit. Unfortunately this strategy can also prove to be pretty unsuccessful. But how can this be, fruit is healthy right? Fruit does provide the body with some vitamins and minerals but the problem is fruit is basically only made up of one food group; carbohydrates. The sugary nature of fruit means it will only keep you full for a short period of time.
When snacking you should be looking to eat something that contains nutrients from all three food groups, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. By choosing a snack that is higher in protein and healthy fats you will provide the body with a much more sustained energy release. This will keep you feeling fuller for longer and stave off any craving for sugary/fatty foods.
Below are 10 of my favourite snacks
- Carrot Sticks and 3 Tablespoons of Hummus
- 10-12 natural nuts and blueberries
- Spiced Chickpeas (tinned chickpeas with cayenne pepper and herbs)
- Small bowl of homemade chicken soup
- Strips of chicken and 1 apple
- Seed Mix and 1 pear
- Sliced Tomato, feta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil
- Mixed Vegetables with Hummus
- Low fat Greek Yoghurt and berries
- 1-2 boiled eggs with cottage cheese