Friday, January 11, 2013

Snacks: Fill in Those Gaps


 
Your body needs fuel every 3−4 hours. However, people tend structure their eating habits around their 9 am to 5 pm (or 8 am to 6 pm) schedule on most workdays. Breakfast is typically between 6 am and 7 am, lunch is around noon to 1 pm, and then dinner is served after work at 6 pm to 7 pm. That is about 6 hours between meals, which is way too long!  It is no wonder so many people are starving by each mealtime, overeat, and then feel extremely full (and possibly tired) for the next hour, only to do it all over again at the next meal. Also, studies have shown that people make worse food choices when they are very hungry.
Small, sensible snacks between meals can stem the tide of hunger and help people make more sensible food decisions. So what makes a good snack? Consider it a “mini-meal” and include a little protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, whenever possible.  No time?  Think small and easy then.
Here are some great snack ideas:
  • A small box of whole-grain cereal with fat-free or low-fat milk
  • Low-fat yogurt, sprinkled with high-fiber cereal or a few almonds
  • Low-fat cottage cheese with canned fruit (in juice, not syrup) or fresh fruit
  • A piece of fruit and string cheese
  • A small cup of edamame (boiled soybeans)
  • One small handful of your favorite nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, etc), or try 100 cal bags of Almonds
  • A small whole-wheat pita spread with hummus
  • Half of a turkey or peanut butter sandwich
  • A small 3-ounce can of tuna with four to six low-fat crackers
  • Two rice cakes spread with peanut butter
  • Apple slices or celery sticks with peanut butter
  • Whole-grain, soy, or whole food-based granola or meal replacement bars, such as fiber one bar
  • Carrot Sticks with Hummus
Even if you do not want to pack meals for work, consider keeping some healthy snacks on hand for those mid-morning and mid-afternoon hunger pangs.  Prep all your snacks on the weekend to make the mornings easier.  Also, don't forget to continue drinking through the day.  Plenty of water while at work will help with over eating at meal times. 


Hope you got your daily dose of nutrition today, and thanks for reading! If you enjoy the blog, please share using the buttons below, or in the box to the right. Also, we would love to have you join us! Join this site in the "followers" box to the right. "Like" the blog on facebook, and follow me on twitter (@jennasteprd), tumblr, and pinterest using the the boxes on the right. Thanks, and have a great day! ~jenna

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