We’ve all heard that snacking between meals is good for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Holistic nutritionist Zain Saraswati has explained on our blog that snacking a few times a day between meals keeps blood sugar balanced, prevents overeating, ensures our metabolism stays revved and increases overall nutrition needs.
But what about when snacks are your sole sustenance during the day because you don’t have time for full meals? Is it possible to get the nutrition and energy you need just by snacking?
We say yes!
Snacking has a convenience to it that’s hard to beat. What qualifies as a “snack” is also getting a lot broader, as long as it’s a smaller portion – a handful of Wholesome Yogi, a protein-packed smoothie, a few slices of cucumber with hummus or turkey on whole wheat.
There are a few things to consider though, before making the switch from meals to snacks. Set meal times give our day an automatic notification that it’s time to stop what we’re doing and eat. Some people find themselves in ‘the zone’ and before they know it, the day is gone and they haven’t eaten a thing. The reverse is also true for those who like to snack non-stop. It’s easy to overeat if you’re not careful.
To help, we’ve come up with a few pointers for a successful day of snacking that will keep you feeling full, strong and on-track with your health goals.
We know, it’s not always easy to plan ahead when you’re busy. But just like meal planning, you’ll eat better foods (and less of them) if you plan out your snacks for the day ahead. It’s also important to stick to a loose schedule versus grazing all day. It’s better for your body and helps manage what and how much you’re eating – and to avoid eating all your snacks by 10AM!
A snack should be just that: a snack, a smaller portion. If you’re grabbing something quick (like a container of hummus or yogurt) be sure to check how many servings are included before polishing it off. If you’re not careful, your snacks could quickly add up to several meals a day and potentially throw you off your health game.
Halt the sugar and salt
It’s nothing we haven’t heard before. Sugar and salt tend to run rampant in pre-packaged foods, especially snacks. Fruity yogurt, deli meats and dips are all super easy if you’re on-the-go but they often pack a lot of hidden sugar and sodium. Do your best to stick with whole foods (this is where the planning comes in) like plain yogurt with fresh fruit and Goji Granola or shredded chicken leftover from last night’s dinner. You control the extras, not the other way around.
The Key Three
There’s a lot of buzz these days about carbs, proteins and fats – also known as macronutrients. These are simply the major nutrients our body needs to feel full, strong, energized and healthy. While it’s fairly easy to guesstimate your intake with three square meals a day, ensuring you’re getting enough of all three – and not too much of any one – can be a bit trickier when snacking. To make things easy, focus on eating a mix of carbs (largely plant-based), proteins and a few good fats like olive oil and avocado throughout the day. If you start to feel a bit tired or off, simply mix things up until you find the right balance that works for you.
Looking for ideas? We’ve got lots! In addition to our delicious choice of 20+ snacks (all of which can be delivered to your door), try these 6 nut-free snack ideas, high energy yogi balls or tasty smoothie recipes.