Are you a between-meal eater? Many of us are, but that doesn’t mean you have to visit the vending machine all day. There are smarter ways to snack throughout the day where you can lower your calories and still fill the hunger gap.
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, author of the American Dietetic Association’s Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, goes over some common snacking times and makes a few smart suggestions on what healthier items we can replace those “filler” foods with.
When you need a wake-up or need a quick energy jolt: Eat a small breakfast of carbs and protein (cereal, egg, milk) or have an AM snack of proteins like peanuts or cottage cheese.
Before leaving the office for a meeting: A quick piece of fruit or chunk of cheese is good if you don’t know when lunch is coming.
Before working out: You might want pump up with a piece of fruit and a big glass of water.
After school or work: A small sandwich and a glass of milk will work, otherwise, people eat all the way until dinner, a cookie, a cracker, a soda, and are never satisfied. If you are cutting calories have some cut-up veggies or a rice cake with peanut butter or cheese.
When out with friends: Try splitting a dessert or snack when you go for dessert or grab a bite with your buddies.
Before partying: A cracker and cheese or little carrots are a good choice to take the edge off. Drink an equal amount of water after every drink when you can.
Before bed: Milk contains tryptophan, which makes some people sleepy, and chai tea can be soothing.
Snacking not only helps ease those nasty hunger pains, but it relaxes and softens stress. Snacking should not be used to escape boredom. Find the smart snacks that fit both your individual needs and the occasion at hand.