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Use these to help you snack right!
Snacking is actually a very important part of your day.
A light snack can keep you full between meals, prevent you from eating the wrong (read: unhealthy) foods, and even provide added nutrients that your body needs to stay sharp and keep functioning.
As you’ve no doubt discovered, a strategically planned snack can help you eat better and keep your energy levels up during a long work day.
The key is to be smart in what you eat, how much you eat, and when you eat it!
How to Snack Right
Snacking is about bridging the gap between meals, and using a small intake of calories and nutrients to keep your body energized. You’ll find that it’s actually fairly simple to snack the “right” way by following a few simple rules of thumb:
Keep it small. Your ideal target should be between 100 and 300 calories. Any more, and you’re getting close to a “small meal” territory. Your goal is to just give your body a little bit more energy and nutrients, but not to add too many calories to your daily intake.
Snack at the mid-point between meals. If more than 4 hours elapses between meals, include a light snack to bridge the gap. Figure out when the halfway mark is between your breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner, and make that your snack time.
Proteins and fats over carbs. Protein is incredibly filling, and fats will fuel your brain. Carbs can give you a little boost of energy, but if you’re going to eat carbs, make them complex. Simple carbs (anything with a lot of sugar or carbohydrates and little to no fiber) will give you a short-term energy rush that will lead to a crash.
Balance your snack. Make your snack balanced by including a vegetable ingredient, some light form of complex carbs (such as a slice of toast or a handful of dried fruit), plenty of fiber, and enough healthy fats (from nuts, avocado, or the fat in meat) with animal protein to keep your body energized.
Have a cup of coffee. If you need another cup of coffee during the day, snack time might be the perfect opportunity. Just make sure that it’s plain black coffee (with perhaps a splash of milk or cream) but with no sugar. Coffee gives you energy, but the sugar you consume with the coffee is likely to trigger an energy rush and crash!
Five Easy and Healthy Snack Ideas to Pack Today
If you want to keep yourself full between meals, here are some of our most recommended snack ideas that you can pack today:
Banana Almond Butter Rice Cakes – This snack is guaranteed to not only give you a boost of energy, but keep you full for hours to come. Almond butter contains the same amount of calories as peanut butter, but the fat profile (saturated vs. non-saturated fats) is better and the nutritional value higher. Bananas make for an amazing snack, as they’re rich in fiber, easily digested carbohydrates, and plenty of potassium to help balance out your fluid levels. With two small rice cakes to replace toast, you get a hefty dose of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants to go with a small surge of carbs. Put together, this is a snack that you’re guaranteed to love!
Tuna Toast – A single can of tuna contains just 130 calories, but an incredible amount of both protein and healthy fats (including Omega-3 fatty acids to nourish your brain). Stir in a tiny bit of mayonnaise and a generous dollop of mustard for flavor, add in some diced pickles and onions, season with salt and pepper, and serve with a single slice of toast. The snack contains around 300 calories in total, but it’s filling enough to keep you properly satiated until your next meal.
Veggies and Hummus – Hummus is an incredibly healthy snack option, thanks to its high nutritional value. The chickpeas that serve as the base of the hummus provide a hefty dose of both plant-based protein and fiber, along with the vitamins and minerals that make all legumes such a healthy choice. With a bit of high-fat tahini (sesame paste) mixed in, this is a food that satiates without overdosing on the calories. Pair it with your favorite veggies—baby carrots, cucumber sticks, celery slices, jicama straws, and the list goes on—and you’ve got a fiber-rich snack made in Heaven.
Trail Mix – Trail mix is a kickass snack that delivers a hefty dose of fiber and healthy plant-based fats (from all the nuts), along with just enough fruit sugar to keep you energized. You’ll want to steer well clear of any trail mixes that contain candies or M&Ms, but instead get the kind that is more nut and seed-heavy, with just a small dose of dried cranberries, cherries, or raisins mixed in. Or, go with good old-fashioned raisins and peanuts (known in Canada as GORP), but make sure there’s a 2-to-1 ratio of peanuts to raisins.
Immune-Boosting Shake – Why not bring a shake to work as your perfect snack? All you need is a Blender Bottle and space in the fridge, and you’re good to go! Mix up a half-cup of milk (or almond or coconut milk) with half a cup of water, throw in a scoop of immune-boosting Pure Immunity for its chocolate-rich flavor, and add in your favorite berries (blueberries are a real treat) and a handful of spinach. Blend well to make sure it’s stirred properly, then pour it into your blender bottle and bring it to work. You’ll find that this can almost be a meal in itself, and it’s an amazing way to stay full throughout even the longest work day.
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