Stay Energized and Healthy with Smart Snacks


When you’re trying to have a healthy lifestyle – with your nutrition and fitness both on-point – it’s all about planning. We talk a lot about meal planning, but often snacks get forgotten. Let’s talk about some smart snacks that you can have to stay energized – at home, work, or on-the-go – that support your health goals.

What is snacking all about?

Snacks are helpful for keeping your hunger at bay and your energy up during the day. But, snacks can easily derail your healthy goals if you choose junk or eat just for the sake of eating. When snacking, first check in and note why you want a snack. Is it boredom? Get up and find a change of scenery. Is it hunger? Well, okay then!

Think of your snack as a mini-meal and keep it balanced by choosing a one with produce, protein, and carbohydrates.

I have suggestions for each category coming up. Remember that a snack should be small and keep the “mini” in “mini meal”.As a general rule, choose a snack this has: 150-250 calories, about 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and no more than 12 grams of fat. This combination will get rid of the hunger, keep you satiated, and all without leading to overconsumption.

How to snack

First, snacking should should be done mindfully. Put your snack on a plate and focus while eating. Enjoy that snack. Try not to multitask while eating.Second, be aware of the serving size on the label, and be sure that your portion matches it. Never, ever eat straight from the bag!

When to snack

Snacking isn’t about following habit or what the clock says. It’s for when you are hungry. There is a theory out there that you should eat every 2-3 hours, but that’s not true for everyone. Eat when you’re hungry. It’s really that simple! On a scale of 1-10, 1 being not hungry at all and 10 being ready to take a bite out of a coworker, you should be about a 6 if you’re going to snack.

Suggestions (Add 1 from each category)

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Produce

  • Fresh fruit
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit leather (without added sugar)
  • Carrots
  • Snap peas
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Peppers
  • Frozen Grapes
  • Kale Chips
  • Tomato Juice

Protein

  • Hummus
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Edamame
  • Fish in a pouch, like tuna
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • String cheese
  • Milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • Jerky
  • Low-sugar protein bar (I like Quest and ThinkThin)
  • Nut butter packets
  • Pistachios
  • Mixed nuts
  • Walnuts

Carbohydrate

  • Pretzels
  • Air popped popcorn
  • Dark chocolate
  • Whole wheat crackers

By the way, it’s okay to have an unhealthy snack once in a while, but those are treats and not the norm. The key is balance and moderation.