When it comes to nutrition there is a common element that confuses a number of people.
What should you snack on? When should you snack? How much is ok? Should you snack?
The more you think about it the more confusing it can get. So I’ll keep it really simple. Here are the rules.
Rule #1 – Eat Your 3 Squares of Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Rule #2 – If Still Hungry Between B,L,D Then Have a Snack
It doesn’t have to get much more complicated than that. Listen to your body. It will tell you when it’s ready for fuel and nutrition.
Believe it or not everyone one of us is a unique individual. And everyone’s goals, schedules, metabolism and starting points are all going to be different.
Knowing these differences exist it is pretty difficult to say everyone should eat the same snacks, at the same time and the same amounts.
With that in mind below are a number of sample snack ideas. Feel free to add your own favourites to the comments section.
* low fat cottage cheese – excellent source of protein
* low fat yogurt – none with fruit already added though
* fruit – specifically berries i.e. strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries & melons i.e. cantaloupe, honey dew, watermelon & grapes
* celery & peanut butter (try Adams Natural pb)
* beef or turkey jerkey – if possible without MSG
* nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia, Brazil, cashews, hazel, pistachios
* seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
* porc rinds – find these in the potato chip section of your supermarket
* tuna with dill pickle or salsa
* smoothie made with water, ice, fruit & a scoop of protein powder
Some other options include:
* whole grain bagel with cream cheese and a yogurt
* Adam’s Peanut Butter, Stoned Wheat Thins and a V-8 juice
* trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
* granola with low-fat milk and banana
* instant oatmeal, not the flavoured kind, with low-fat milk
* artichoke hearts, cheese & stoned wheat thin crackers
As well when buying snacks:
* yogurt – buy plain fat-free, or Greek, and flavour with vanilla, honey, cinnamon, applesauce, fruit cocktail or berries
* choose fresh fruits that are in season
* bagels – whole grain varieties which provide more vitamins and minerals than bagels made with white flour
* crackers – stoned wheat, sesame, bran
* popcorn – plain then flavour with garlic, chili, onion powders
I had to take popcorn off the list. More on that in another post.
Keep in mind as well that not all snacks are suitable for every person.
For those looking to shed a few pounds (or more) keep an eye on the carbs such as the crackers, cereals and fruits.
For those looking to gain a few pounds increase your intake of healthy fats and dried fruits which have a higher caloric density.
The take home message is to listen to your body and track your results.
If during the mid afternoon at work or school you are experiencing head nods and struggling to stay awake maybe a snack and some fresh air would benefit you.
Or if you’re having trouble adding a few pounds of lean muscle mass look to add in a snack or two, especially on days when you’re not training, to put yourself into a caloric surplus and grow.
Now let me know your favourite snack. Even if it’s not a healthy one tell me anyways and I’ll see if I can find a healthy alternative for you.
Chris okanaganpeakperformance.com ‘always moving forward’