This week we’re talking about snacking. Say yes to snacks! Whether your snack pattern is in check or has gone off the rails since the pandemic moved into full swing, I’ve got you covered! In case you missed this week’s live version, you can catch it here.
There are three elements to consider when choosing snacks: timing, type, and size.
Let’s start with the timing of snacks. Are your snacks pre-planned or does a snack creep up on you whenever the moment strikes? Take a moment to stop and think when you last ate. If it’s been in less than 90 minutes since your last meal, hmm, either you didn’t eat enough at that meal or maybe a distraction with something else is a better option. If it’s been over 3 hours since you’ve last eaten, then it’s probably time for a snack.
Another good time for a snack is if you know your next meal is going to be 5 hours or more away from your last. Without a snack in this scenario, you risk being over-hungry. At that point, it’s no longer about willpower!
No need to stress over unexpected changes to your schedule. Simply note the timing of when you last ate and when your next meal will be. Did a surprise lunch catch you off-guard when you just had a snack? Pare down what you eat at that lunch and you’ll be back on schedule for the rest of the day.
Next, consider the type of snack. Should it contain proteins, carbohydrates, or fats? The answer is: it will depend on the time of day. Carbohydrate metabolism is most active during the day. Snacks that are eaten before late afternoon can afford more carbohydrates, preferably from whole foods and unprocessed sources, than snacks eaten just before or after dinner.
Lastly, note the size of the snack. Do your snacks more resemble mini-meals? Do you end up eating dinner before dinner? While everyone has their own individual energy needs, a general rule of thumb is for a snack to range about 150-350 calories. Does that sound high or low? What would you have guessed? How do your snacks compare? Hit reply and let me know.
Regardless of timing, type, or size of snack, pay attention to when you last ate, when you’d be eating next, and if the snack needs to be eaten at all. Grab your copy of recipes and the grocery list to 10 snack ideas to get your planning underway here.
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In good health,