How to snack like a nutritionist


Nov 23, 2023

Whether you’re snacking on something sweet, savory, or protein-packed between meals, snacking happens. With so many tasty options on store shelves, these delicious snacks often end up in our shopping carts, our kitchens, and our stomachs. While easy access to food is a given, learning how to snack in a way that enhances productivity becomes much more important.
Why We Snack
There are many reasons why we snack between meals. The first and most obvious is hunger. Sometimes, all we need is a little bit of food to quell the rumbling in our stomachs. Another major reason for snacking is the need for an energy boost. Often, in the late afternoon, between 3 and 4 PM, blood sugar levels start to dip, and consequently, energy levels drop, which is why an afternoon snack is usually recommended. Cravings can drive you to reach for snacks, but not always because you know something delicious is waiting behind the pantry door. Sometimes, hunger is caused by nutrient deficiencies or even health issues. This is a sign that you need to dig a little deeper and understand what your body is trying to tell you. For example, an insatiable craving for chocolate might be due to a need for magnesium, and a strong craving for salt could be a sign of a deficiency in trace minerals or even adrenal fatigue. Apart from physical triggers, there are psychological reasons why we crave chips and guacamole. Boredom, stress, or the need to distract ourselves from something unpleasant or challenging – perhaps to escape our feelings – are normal human reasons for snacking.
Are You Really Hungry?
The simple option: Drink a large glass of water. Hunger often gets confused with thirst. When we’re dehydrated, we often feel the same symptoms as when we’re hungry: lack of energy, headaches, and drowsiness. So, first make sure you’re drinking enough water. A good rule of thumb is half your body weight in liters per day. If you’re trying to distinguish between your need for fuel and a craving for chocolatey pleasure, pay attention to what you’re craving. Ask yourself whether you want something nutritious, like an apple, carrot sticks, or hummus, or a bag of candy. So, if you truly want real, whole food, eat it.
How to Make a Healthy Snack
There’s a simple recipe that allows you to prepare a healthy and satisfying snack. The best snacks include at least two out of three nutritious components: protein, healthy fats, and fiber. This formula helps you feel full for longer, so you’re not hungry 20 minutes after snacking.

• Examples of protein include nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt, eggs, and smoked salmon.

• Healthy fats include avocado, olives, nuts, peanut butter, and seeds.
• Fiber-rich foods include whole-grain crackers, oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables.
This formula helps you feel full for longer.

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