Snacks can be a great way to get over that 3pm slump and fuel us up until our next meal. It’s a great way to sneak in those extra nutrients, minimize sugar cravings, fuel us for workouts and minimize the risk of overeating later on. When our blood sugar levels dip (usually mid-morning or around 3-4pm), this can influence the type of snack we reach for. Knowing the right kinds of snacks can be tricky, and this is where people tend to reach for that cookie, muffin, or bar of chocolate. So, where do I start? Here are some general rules to keep in mind when choosing your snacks.
Get organized!Having the cupboards and fridge well-stocked ensures that we are choosing the right foods. A great way to stay organized is to allocate a day where you can ‘snack prep’ and make some homemade options. Bake some savory mini muffins, oat slice, or cut up some fresh fruit and veggie sticks.
Snack o’clockKnowing when to snack can be very individual and can depend on many factors. For most of us, mid-morning and afternoons are when we become low in energy and start to feel peckish. Some studies recommend that we should refuel the body every 3-5 hours to prevent blood sugar levels from dropping too low. Ideally, choose a snack that is a combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Avoid the energy highs and lowsHigh sugar foods tend to take our blood sugar levels on a roller-coaster effect. It feels great for around 20 mins then we start to notice a big lull and energy dip. Caffeine can also do the same if we fuel ourselves up with 3-4+ cups per day. If you do reach for a treat (like we all do), try to balance it out with something substantial, so you don’t get tempted to finish off the whole packet of biscuits.
Focus on 5+ a dayFresh fruit is the perfect, prepackaged snack. It can be taken to work whole or prepared as a mini fruit salad paired with Greek yogurt. Veggie options don’t have to be boring; you can pop them into a smoothie, cut up some raw sticks paired with a hummus, or have a small salad alongside your lunch.
Optimize your hydrationIt is essential we continue to hydrate the body during the day, especially if we are out in the sun or engaging in physical exercise. Smoothies are a great way to increase our hydration as well as provide us with some essential nutrients. Try a greens smoothie with banana, spinach, coconut water, and avocado, or a choc berry blast with almond milk, cacao powder, blueberries, dates, and a banana.
Easy snack ideas
- Veggie sticks with hummus – An easy snack without too much fuss
- Fresh soups – it doesn’t have to be a large bowl, but a small soup snack can get you through to dinner and pack more vegetables into your day
- Nut butters – added on your favorite whole-grain crackers or veggies sticks, nut butter is full of essential fats and protein to fuel your afternoon. A good quality nut butter should include only nuts and salt, without the added nasty’s like palm oil.Homemade popcorn with olive or coconut oil is perfect for movie nights
By Chrissy Denton Certified Nutritionist and Personal Trainer Here at GOFA we are all about balance, make sure you check out our tasty recipes on our weekly blog. GOFA can help you enjoy the benefits of exercise with our wide range of workouts and running sessions. Download Now!