When should you snack? There is all sorts of debate on if you should have 3 meals and two snacks a day or 6 small meals a day, but at the end of the day you have to figure out what eating schedule works best for you. We are all unique and what works for one of us does not work for another.
I would say that you should never eat for the sake of eating or because it is supposed to be snack time. If you are truly hungry and you already had a meal then maybe have a snack. If you are not hungry then don’t eat – trust me your body will let you know when it is truly hungry.
With that said before you even think about eating try to drink a cup of hot tea or a glass of water FIRST, which could ultimately save you from consuming extra calories. The reason I make this suggestion is because your hunger pangs can be triggered when your body is actually dehydrated and thirsty. If you are still hungry after about 20 minutes of drinking your tea or glass of water then by all means try some of these yummy and healthy snack ideas.
1. Berries – probably one of my daily go-to snacks. It’s perfect if you want something sweet while trying to lose weight. Get them prepared on the weekend before your hectic week starts to save time so you can just grab it and go.
2. Apples with raw nut butter – raw nut butter is best to lower additives and sugar intake
3. Roasted Chickpeas – I love potato chips so after talking with one of my friends she recommended chickpeas aka garbanzo beans. This is one of my favorite go-to snacks especially on the weekends.
4. Cucumbers and tomatoes with lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper (can make ahead of time).
5. Favorite vegetable or brown rice cracker with your favorite dip such as homemade guacamole, hummus or salsa!
6. Trail Mix – take your favorite raw nuts, seeds and throw in some 70%+ cocao dark chocolate.
7. Homemade granola
8. Frozen Blueberries – such a great treat in the summer!
9. Kale Chips is also a great crunchy option. I like to make these based off the Hungry Hottie Cookbook recipe. I have made many kale chip recipes in the past and really did not like them until I followed the recommendations of Cynthia Pasquella and used nutritional yeast. It adds a great flavor burst!
10. Smoothies – I usually have mine for breakfast, but this is also a great snack idea.
I want to make a quick note on some popular snack items that I see in numerous articles and magazines:
Ditch the yogurt ladies. I know all the commercials on TV tell you that yogurt is good for you, but in truth all the dairy and sugar they put into the yogurt is not really your friend. Besides you can make up any calcium deficiencies through the right vegetables and supplements. For example, dark leafy greens, broccoli and spinach are great sources of calcium! If you must have your yogurt look for non-dairy and non-soy options like So Delicious. I have this once in a blue moon, but when I do I prefer their unsweetened vanilla, which as only 1g of sugar!
Popcorn is also another great snack, but the problem is most corn is typically genetically modified. I would stay away unless you know where the product was grown, what chemicals were used and how it was packaged. Corn in general is known to cause inflammation in the body so if you are looking to ditch some pain or weight you may want to skip this snack option and any other foods that contain this ingredient.
Edamame is also listed as a popular snack. I loved edamame and could cook up a bag and eat the whole thing by myself in a hot second, but after my education plus my own research I found that soy is typically genetically modified like corn so it’s best to stay away from this as a well. You may not know this, but soy is known to be a hormone disruptor so I would remove this from your kitchen if possible. My recommendation is to skip this snack option and any other foods that contain soy.
What are some of your favorite healthy snacks or recipes? Share your comments below or tweet @alisonbrehme.