Tuesday, February 25, 2014

How to Choose a Snack

One of my absolute most favorite things in life is a good, solid snack. This may sound silly to you, but I'm the type of person that gets super cranky when those darn hunger pangs kick in. So a healthy snack between meals is clutch. My biggest problem, however, is picking a snack that's healthy. Especially in that 3:00PM time slot. Today, I went for an iced latte:

Now, I'm no registered dietitian, so what I'm about to share with you is based on personal experience and self-education. If your diet needs a serious overhaul, or if you want to know EXACTLY what you should or shouldn't be eating, you should certainly seek out an RD in your neck of the woods. But if you're like me, an everyday healthy eater that needs help at snack time, you might find the following questions to be of use:

1) Do I have access to fresh fruit and/or vegetables?
Obviously fresh is best in most circumstances, so if you can get your hands on and/or pack a piece of fruit or a baggie full of chopped veggies, then you'll be one step ahead of the "snack monster." Or whatever you want to call it.

2) If I can only eat something processed, what is my best option?
On the flip, if you can't access something fresh, then you're most likely stuck with something processed. So weigh your options. For example, pick the yogurt over the granola bar, or the granola bar over that bag of chips. And never, ever hesitate to pack something processed in your purse, backpack or gym bag. Consider it an insurance policy.

3) Do I need protein?
Snacks that contain protein are great after a workout. So if you've just exercised, you might steer yourself toward foods that contain the stuff. Aside from that, even if you haven't just worked out, you might want to ask yourself how much protein you've eaten thus far in your day. Need more? Then you know what to do.

4) Am I thirsty?
It's very easy to mistake thirst for hunger. So check in with yourself. Could it be that you just need a big glass of water? Maybe you're thirsty, but water doesn't sound good. Is there a healthy beverage that could be a substitute, like a non-fat latte? Whatever the case may be, do try to consumer enough water throughout the day.

5) Am I just bored?
Mindless eating, you've heard of it. Right? I'm so guilty of feeling "hungry" if I'm less than entertained. I really can't say why this happens, but it does. So if you're in the mood for a snack and nothing sounds good, then maybe you just need to change whatever it is you're doing.

Question: What is your favorite, go-to snack?


GiGi Eats Celebrities said...

OH you better believe that I am a CRANKY CRANKY if I am not properly fueled. That being said, I always really make I am so I never snack. However, if I really am DYING TO EAT SOMETHING - I would load up on some protein like some chicken slices, a small can of sardines or salmon, something like that to keep me going until my next meal :)

laura said...

i'm a total snacker, too. if i don't have access to something fresh, i like to grab something like a larabar or protein power balls that i make and freeze.

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