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Snacking 101: A Helpful Guide

A topic that causes a lot of confusion is snacking. Is it even good to snack and if so, which are the best options? Here’s a quick low down to help you out!

To snack or not to snack?

Firstly, it’s important to note that most people could do with snacking less. When we eat we elevate the hormone known as insulin, its primary role is to store nutrients. To encourage a healthy body composition it’s important for our body to sometimes be in storage mode, but also to spend prolonged periods of time in fat burning mode – this is when insulin is not present.

So what should be done?

Increasing the gaps between meals can be really helpful in encouraging the body to burn our fat stores for energy. Understand, you do NOT want to go too long without eating as your blood sugar levels will fall too low, which will make your tired, irritable, nauseous and ‘hangry.’ Sometimes a degree of experimentation is necessary to find out what works best for you.

Having a substantial breakfast with both protein and fats should ideally keep you going for 3-4 hours in the morning. Most people tend to need an afternoon snack around 3.30-4.30pm as we usually don’t get chance to eat our last meal until late in the evening. AVOID snacking late at night and if feasible implement a 12 hour fast overnight. If you feel hungry in the evening chose a light protein based snack like a turkey burger, mug of bone broth or some warm almond milk.

Snaccident. Noun.Ideally your snack should contain some protein to keep your blood sugar levels stable, if you are struggling with persistent hunger choose a snack that is protein and fat based.

Here are a few snack ideas to keep you inspired and prevent some late night snaccidents!

Almond butter and cinnamon spread on a sliced pear
Melon wrapped in Parma ham
Homemade burger or fishcake
Cottage cheese with blueberries and a sprinkle of flaxseeds
Mug of bone broth
Almond or coconut milk latte (made with decaf coffee or green tea) with small handful of nuts
‘Fitter Cereal’ (make up a healthy trail mix with coconut flakes, nuts and seeds and serve in a small bowl with a dash of almond milk, sprinkle of cinnamon and sliced banana or fresh berries)
Banana and cinnamon loaf