This healthy eating malarkey isn’t easy eh? There’s so much conflicting advice out there on what to eat and when!
Some nutritional advice recommends 3 square meals a day. Some recommends 5 small meals. And some even recommends eating every couple of hours as a way to keep metabolism going. What to believe???
I actually think this is an area where we need to stop soaking up advice and listen to our own bodies more than taking notice of what anybody else is doing.
Take me for instance, I highly recommend snacking! This really does work for me and I would count it as one of the key changes I made this year to help lose some weight and become healthier. It helps me to make better choices at my main meals, get my fruit/veg intake up and fuels my workouts.
This post is therefore what I like to do to give you some inspiration, but if avoiding snacks works for you continue to do what you feel is best for your own body.
So here’s how I do it…
- Plan your week – I like to do a quick food plan of the week ahead so that I ensure all my fresh produce gets used in some way and that I’m giving myself a nice amount of variety.
- Weekdays only – My weekend plans vary so much and I tend to eat out more, so my snack and meal planning is usually confined to weekdays only.
- Fuel your workout – If you’re planning to exercise then snack wisely. You want to fuel your body to perform at it’s best, not bog it down. I go to the gym Monday to Thursday lunchtimes and my favourite pre-workout snacks are nuts or nut butter on brown rice cakes. I don’t think you need to each much before exercising (depending of course on what you plan to do), but I definitely notice the difference in my ability when I’ve had something nutritionally balanced.
- Invest in small tupperware – I say small as this helps me keep my portions in check!
- Think about timings to suit you – Now that I’m in a good routine my times are fairly fixed. I eat breakfast at 7.30am, have a morning snack at 10.30am, gym time 12pm, lunch at 1pm, snack at 3pm, dinner by 6pm and an evening snack at 7.30pm.
- Avoid late night mindless snacking – I try not to eat anything after 8pm if I can (Great British Bake Off Wednesdays are usually an exception). I feel 8pm-12am is the danger time when you’re not actually hungry but you feel the need to snack. This often leads people to make worse choices and go to bed on a full stomach…not great for digestion in my opinion.
- Know the difference between thirst and hunger – I drink lots of herbal tea and at night when I do fancy a snack I’ll always pour a cup of peppermint, ginger or camomile tea and sip away. By the time I’m finished I rarely still want the snack. See my tea recommendations here: https://pumdiets.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/pum-recommends-drinking-tea/
And here are some of my daily snacks…
- Nut butters – peanut, cashew and almond butters are always kept in stock at Pum’s! See my nut butter obsession and how I use them here: https://pumdiets.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/pum-recommends-nut-butters/
- Rice cakes – these are great low-calorie carriers for so many healthy toppings; marmite, avocado, nut butter, hummus…just try to opt for brown or whole-wheat where available.
- Grapefruit – I usually cut up a couple grapefruits and divide them into 4 portions to take in for my morning snacks.
- Brazil nuts
- Dark chocolate – I aim for 80% or higher.
- Red peppers – top with hummus or cottage cheese for more fill.
- Edamame beans – I buy these frozen from Tesco and love them with chilli flakes.
- Smoothies – I’ll often make quite a large portion of smoothie and divide for having as both my breakfast that day and my mid-morning snack.
Take a peek at today’s mid-morning snack…yummy figs and pink grapefruit. And another in the fridge for tomorrow!
Let me know if you’re big on snacking and if there’s anything I should try!