It's about 3 pm. You can't focus. Thoughts of food are dancing in your head. It is DEFINITELY snack time, but what should you eat?
You've always heard that snacks are not helpful when trying to lose weight and tackle your nutrition, but that's not true. Snacks are NEEDED. Our bodies should be given something to eat every 3-4 hours to help prevent down cycles in your metabolism as well as to help prevent overeating and bingeing later on when you get very hungry.
Snacking gets a bad rap because it is usually associated with mindless eating on foods that have a more energy dense nutrient profile rather than a nutrient dense one. But it's truly about what you pair together and the serving size that can give you success.
The magic formula that the Nourished with Emily clients are taught focuses on that nutrient and macronutrient variety to help give them fullness between meals. That formula is: aiming for 150-200 calories, at least 10g protein plus some fats and carbs.
The protein should be the STAR between meals as it is the main nutrient that contributes to having you feel fuller for longer, but we can't neglect the other macronutrients like carbohydrates and fat. Carbs are what gives you that boost of energy after eating and fats help to fill you up which can help prevent over eating.
If you're able to add some fiber in, that's a bonus! Our bodies cannot digest fiber but it helps us to feel fuller while keeping you going to the bathroom regularly as well as lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.
Here are some of my top snack ideas:
- Greek Yogurt- great source of protein with an even distribution between fat and carbs to keep you going all afternoon
- Cheese with Cracker- Cheese is an excellent source of protein and calcium plus fat, all you're missing is the carb so add in your favorite cracker
-1/4c Mixed Nuts with cut Vegetables and Hummus- Perfect for someone who wants salty and satisfying in one snack. Nuts are an excellent source of heart healthy fats
- Popcorn with a cheese stick- Popcorn is a whole grain snack that has more protein than your average breakfast cereal, add in a cheese stick and you've got a satisfying snack
- Apple with Peanut Butter- an oldie but goodie, the fiber in the apple gets you full, plus the peanut butter's heart healthy fats and a bonus of protein, too!
- Half a Sandwich- Grab a slice of your favorite bread, a slice of cheese and a couple deli slices and you can't go wrong
All of these snack ideas give you that magical combination of Carbs, Protein and Fat to boost your energy and keep you going through the rest of your day. Which one of these snacks will you be packing for work tomorrow?