We can all admit snacking has become more regular over lockdown. I am not a hudge fun of snacking to be honest. I'd rather have a good meal instead of 4 little ones! But over lockdown with the fridge and kitchen closer than usual, snacks have become our go-to over the past year. But are we snacking right? How much is too much? And how can we stop the constant need to snack?
It's time to stop beating yourself up about the extra bag of vegan chips because, believe it or not, snacking is human nature. In fact, it's encouraged. If you see food in your environment, we are wired as humans to go for it. That is our instinct and evolutionary adaptation: we eat food!
By eating healthy snacks, you're keeping your blood sugar level even and preventing the dreaded afternoon energy dip. Read on to find out the best snacks to keep you fuller for longer…
Why do I crave snacks? It's very difficult to eat everything we're meant to eat in just two meals a day … three is the optimum and snacks can top up most of the times.
The goal is feeling satisfied, not full! If you are satisfied, you're less likely to reach for other items and things that you don't need.
Snacking can be used to fill a void of something you're not getting nutritionally, too. For example, if you're craving chocolate, you may need magnesium; if it's chips, you need chloride.
It can also be an emotional need If you're angry, sad, happy or frustrated; all these emotions can guide you towards certain snacks. And after a year of stress, anxiety, and worry, it's no wonder we’re all snacked out!
How can I reduce my snacking?
Snacking is tactical. It’s about navigating your food environment, and learning how to eat in a way that works for you. I suggest an out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach if you want to cut down on snacking. If we put it behind a cupboard door, if it's out of sight, we are less likely to eat it. Keep work surfaces clear as well.
What is the best time of day to snack?
Most of us are either an elevenses or a 3pm person. The halfway point between your meals works best. By having a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, you will not fall prey to the energy dip, and be much more productive for it - a feeling we know all too well!
People are back to commuting again and you're not eating till you get home, sometimes until 7 or 8pm… that is too long. So, if you're not going to eat between 13pm to 8pm, I would make a compulsory snack around 3 o'clock in order to keep your blood sugar levels thriving. The same goes for on-the-go early birds. An eleven o'clock snack is ideal before a 1.30pmm lunch.
What are the best snacks to eat?
Listen to your body. If one day all you can think about is chocolate, you have to have it, otherwise it's going to turn into something worse when you get home.
Even better, tailor your cravings to make a healthy, sustainable, and nutritious snack choices. For example, if you want chocolate, try having a few squares and a banana.
Secondly, think about protein and carbohydrates. Combined they are a nutritional powerhouse.
A good example would be carrots and hummus. Hummus has a lot of healthy fat in it, and protein from chickpeas combined with carrots - that’s fibre. So, it is all about slow-releasing sugars.
Do try our Maca Energy Balls and say goodbye to your afternoon sleepiness for good.
If, however, you're constantly on the move and have zero time for pre-prepared snacks, then rely on your trusty potassium pal - the banana. You could also try carrying a bag of nuts or seeds on you.
Have some free time on your hands and need some snack inspiration? Why not try out all of our snacking treats from out blog.