Snacking has a poor reputation but it is actually incredibly important and should be encouraged. The key is the type of snack, ensuring that you are snacking on the right foods.
Why is snacking important?
- It increases nutrient intake throughout the day and can reduce your overall daily calorie intake
- It aids in muscle growth and repair following training sessions
- It increases metabolic rate (a higher metabolic rate will allow you to burn more calories at rest)
- It stabilises blood sugar levels
Below is a graph of blood glucose (sugar) levels throughout the day. Blood glucose is vital for the management of energy, hunger and concentration (blood sugar is the brain’s only fuel).
- The key points here are that eating 3 big meals per day (the red line) leads to a pronounced spike and crash in blood sugar levels. As the graph indicates, at these low blood sugar levels, we often feel tired and hungry, which can lead us to over eating and craving sugary foods such a chocolate.
- The grazing diet on the other hand (the green line), where you eat 4-5 smaller meals each day, allows for a far better control of blood sugar which encourages high energy, low hunger and a boosted metabolism (ideal for our weight loss).
What changes could I make?
If your weakness is CRISPS… try:
- Plain popcorn
If your weakness is ICE CREAM… try:
If your weakness is CHEESE AND BISCUITS… try:
- Low fat cream cheese and Ryvita or oat cakes
If your weakness is SALTED PEANUTS… try:
- Edamame beans
If your weakness is MILK CHOCOLATE… try:
- Dark chocolate – 2-3 squares. Over time, your taste-buds will adjust to prefer chocolate which is slightly less sweet
- Dark chocolate chips combined with low fat Greek yoghurt
If your weakness is FIZZY DRINKS… try:
- Sparkling water with lemon juice
If your weakness is FLAVOURED YOGHURTS… try:
- Low fat Greek yoghurt, add your own fruit
If your weakness is CEREAL BARS… try:
- Mixed, unsalted nuts
Want to try something different?
- Kale chips
- Seed mix
- Cauliflower popcorn – Break a head of cauliflower into popcornlike, bite-size florets. Spread on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, sprinkle lightly with turmeric, freshly ground pepper, and sea salt. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 220°C or until the cauliflower is slightly browned.