Do you ever go long stretches without eating and then find yourself scarfing down your food? Do you ever get hungry at work or when you're on-the-go and wish you had a snack with you? Are you constantly buying your snacks out of vending machines or swinging through the drive-thru because you're hungry and didn't have anything else with you? Guess what, you're not alone! This is such a common problem, and I can help.
Those who know me well know that I'm a big fan of snacking, both personally (I love eating them!) and professionally (I recommend them to clients all the time). When it comes to snacking here are 3 key strategies:
- Plan on having a snack if the time between your meals is greater than about 3-4 hours. For example, if lunch is at noon and dinner is at 6pm, that's 6 hours in between, which is a total set-up for getting overly hungry and then overeating. If you have a snack around 3pm you won't be as ravenous at dinner time and your meal will be much more enjoyable. On the flip side, if your breakfast is at 8:30 and you usually eat lunch at 11:30 then you probably don't need a snack in between, just make sure your breakfast is satiating enough to last you about 3 hours.
- Be prepared. Keep snacks handy at all times. Even if you don't think you'll need one, have some available. That way you're never stranded when your hunger calls. Keep snacks in your purse, car, desk…wherever you spend your time. If you are going out to run errands stick one in your pocket. If you are taking a road trip have a stash in the car. And if you run out or forget, don't worry. It is totally fine to grab something from the cafeteria, vending machine, convenience store, drive thru or whatever is available. The drawback is you are then limited to whatever their options are.
- Include carbs and protein. The carbs are quick energy and provide glucose molecules to keep your blood sugar steady, and the protein breaks down more slowly and helps your body sustain your blood sugar. I'm not saying to avoid fat or that fat is bad, that's not my point at all. I'm just saying if you are thinking "carb + protein" you'll find a food pairing that works for you, and it will probably have some fat in it. Some examples might be fruit + yogurt, pretzels + PB, crackers + cheese, energy bar that has protein in it, trail mix, etc.
If you need help coming up with ideas for snacks, send me an email and I'd be happy to help you!