There’s no denying that everyone, at one time or another, has had a snack attack. Views on snacking differ. Some feel that snacking is bad and that eating between meals leads to weight gain. Others believe that eating many small meals and snacks throughout the day is healthy for maintaining energy levels and optimal weight. If there were only one way of snacking that was right for everyone, we would all be doing it!
To alleviate snack attack guilt, try to understand why you are snacking and what snacks work best for your body. Perhaps you snack because your daily diet is missing nutrition, or because you are eating too little at meals. You might be snacking to soothe jangled nerves when you are emotional, or to entertain yourself when you are bored. Whatever your reason, acknowledge it and start thinking about how to create a life that is nourishing and truly satisfying.
Although snacks are no substitute for loving your life, they can be great energy boosters. Many convenient snack foods are highly processed and full of chemicals, additives, damaging fats and refined sugars. When a snack attack hits you, try foods that are filling and satisfying, but also nutritious. Here are some tips:
*Snack on things that don’t come in a plastic wrapper or a box, like fresh fruit, leftover vegetables or rice cakes with almond butter and fruit spread.
*Make your own signature trail mix
You can also try “upgrading”:
*If you are craving something crunchy, upgrade from potato chips to raw carrots, apples or whole grain crackers
*If you are craving a candy bar, upgrade to a handful of nuts and dried fruit
*Instead of a cup of coffee, upgrade to green tea
Upgraded snacks are high in nutrition and give you a greater sense of satisfaction and fullness; you won’t feel physically or psychologically deprived, and you’ll have plenty of energy to sustain your activities for hours.
Snacking is enjoyable and there is a wide variety of healthy goodies for whatever you’re craving, be it sweet, crunchy, salty, creamy or spicy. Dive in, be creative and enjoy your snack attack.
Milissa Harding is a Certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She works with busy women to provide health and wellness support in a variety of areas, such as: improving nutrition, increasing energy, decreasing stress, managing sugar and coffee cravings and weight loss. She shares a weekly newsletter, “Time Out For Health” filled with lots of healthy tips and recipes, and she offers complimentary Health & Wellness Strategy Sessions. Milissa offers a variety of personalized Health Coaching programs, which are customized to meet individual needs. For more information, please visit: www.healthystartcoaching.ca or email Milissa at: firstname.lastname@example.org.