Hands up if you are a snacker?! I know I sure am!
While there is mixed evidence around the benefits of snacking, in my experience based on both my clients and my personal results, I have found it to be very helpful in leading and maintaining a healthy life to include three main meals and one or two healthy, satiating snacks in your day.
I’ve found that snacking when done right, can provide some pretty awesome benefits, including:
- Helping to prevent overeating at mealtimes or binge eating. You may think you are doing yourself a favour by letting yourself get super hungry, especially if your goal is to lose fat, but this habit is actually not serving you at all. By skipping a mid-morning or afternoon snack, you will be starving (or ‘hangry’ as I like to call it) by the time your next main meal comes around and this will cause you to overeat or binge on much more food than if you just enjoyed a small snack earlier.
- Helping you to maintain, and even lose, weight. When you avoid extreme hunger, you increase the likelihood that you will opt for a healthier option at your next mealtime. So including a satiating snack between meals can help keep you on track and making good choices.
- Helps to stabilise blood sugar levels throughout the day, which in turn helps with energy production and reducing sugar cravings.
- Helps improve focus and concentration. I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t concentrate or produce my best work on an empty stomach. Your brain, just like your body, needs fuel to function optimally.
But let’s be clear when I’m talking about snacking I don’t mean on cookies, doughnuts or ice cream. To get these benefits from snacking, you need to make smart snack choices.
Here are my tips for choosing a smart snack:
- Go for something that is nutrient-dense and made up of whole foods. Think fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds!
- A snack should be high in protein; protein is what keeps you feeling full and satiated! Things like nuts, protein shakes, Greek yoghurt and boiled eggs all high in protein.
- Lastly, include fibre in your snack, as alike protein, it will fill you and keep you from reaching for another snack 15 minutes later. Fibre can be found in whole grains like oats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
A few of my favourite snacks, which I always recommend to my clients, include:
- An apple with a tablespoon of nut butter
- Carrot sticks and hummus
- Greek or coconut yoghurt mixed with protein powder and topped with berries
- Green protein smoothie (banana, protein powder, chia seeds, spinach and almond milk)
- A handful of mixed nuts + a piece of dark chocolate
OR if you want something a little more fancy, give the below recipe a try! This is a delicious and perfectly balanced snack, which will keep you full and satisfied until your next meal. Plus, it contains Lean Blend Superfood Infused Latte blend for a little additional energy boost!
Caramel Latte Cookie Crunch Bars Recipe
Serves: 8 pieces
Prep time: 10 minutes + 1 hour setting time
- 2 Lean Blend Superfood Infused Latte Sachets
- ½ cup pitted dates, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes (then discard water)
- ½ cup cashews
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 serve vanilla protein of choice
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup rice puffs
- Add all ingredients to a food processor, excluding the rice puffs, and process until combined and a thick dough forms.
- Add in the rice puffs and use a spoon to stir through.
- Transfer mixture into a silicone pan and press down firmly.
- Place in the freezer to set for 3 hours before cutting into 8 even pieces.
Blog post by Elise Blight (@balancebyelise)
Elise is a Certified Health & Nutrition Coach and recipe developer who is passionate about helping women break free of diets, enjoy the foods they love and find balance. Her mission is to guide and empower women to create balance in all aspects of their lives to become the happiest, healthiest, fittest and strongest version of themselves. Through sharing her own health journey, knowledge and delicious & nutritious recipes, she loves being able to show women health isn’t about restriction, and you can still enjoy all of your favourite foods (including wine, chocolate and pizza!) while living the healthy life!