I have to say I find it slightly frustrating when people ask for advice when it comes to snacking and then argue that dates and nuts are too high in calories. No one is advising you to eat a whole bag of dates but we are advising you to put down the family size galaxy bar!
Snacking has got a bad rep over the years as it is usually associated with weight gain. However, snacking 'smart' can actually help you lose those extra pounds.
The difficulty is having the will power to turn down the snacks that are high in refined carbohydrates and low in nutritional value and instead opt for snacks that will keep those hunger pangs at bay.
Why do we snack?
A lot of the time we snack out of boredom and this is how we end up exceeding our daily energy/calorie requirements.
The reason you should be snacking is so you don't overeat at main meal times. If you fight the urge to snack when you are hungry then you will more than likely be starving when it comes to your main meal and consume more calories than if you'd had that mid-morning/afternoon snack.
Sometimes we make poor snack choices because we feel tired and once your energy levels have dropped all you crave is sugar.
If you can get a smart snack in before tiredness kicks in you will feel physically and mentally more energised.
I aim to get some form of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrate into each snack.
Here are some of my favourite go to snacks:
Yoghurt with fruit and nuts
Wholewheat/rye bread with peanut butter (any nut butter!)
Raw snack bars - yes these can be high in calories but there are lots of great brands out there now that contain zero nasties and lower in calories
Protein shake made with almond/coconut milk with a handful of oats
Remember it is only a snack - so the calorie content should be less than in a main meal.
Time your snacks - aim for mid morning and mid afternoon and if you need an evening snack then keep it healthy.
If you are struggling to stay on track or lacking the motivation to kickstart a healthy eating regime then feel free to drop me an email - firstname.lastname@example.org