Some people typically eat 3 squares a day and some choose to eat several small meals per day. At one time or another we all find ourselves reaching for a snack. The key is to eat healthful snacks, most of the time (remember the 80/20 philosophy?); ones that will help power us through the day.
If you are going to be away from home at the office or on the go all day, it’s important to plan out your snacks and bring healthy ones from home so you don’t find yourself in need of a snack and then be at the mercy of vending machine food, convenience store fare, or fast food.
Here are a few suggestions for healthy snack swaps:
- For something crunchy, instead of chips reach for carrots, apples
- Instead of a candy bar, reach for dried fruit and nuts or Larabars in a pinch
- In place of ice cream, try applesauce topped with chia seeds and cinnamon
- If you want a salty treat try feta cubes with olives and grape tomatoes
- A satisfying sweet treat could be sliced fruit dipped in almond butter
Sometimes we snack when we are bored or lonely. It’s important to recognize the difference between true hunger and emotional needs. Eating out of emotional needs will often lead to eating things like candy, chips, and ice cream. This can lead to unwanted weight gain if done excessively.
If you know you turn to food when you are bored or lonely, be sure to have a backup plan. Make a nourishment menu, which is a list of activities that feed your emotions and make you feel great. You can place it on your fridge or in the cookie jar as a reminder!
Ideas to write on your nourishment menu:
- walking your dog
- calling a friend
- taking a hot bath
- reading a great book
All of these will make you feel great and can provide you with the nourishment you truly need. No cookie can be more satisfying than connecting with a friend or walking your dog through the neighborhood.