Should you snack between meals, or are three large meals a day better for you? This question seems to fuel more debate in recent years as our busy lifestyles mean we cram in food whenever we can!
When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, can nibblers rejoice in their random snacking, or are they really destined for disaster?
BENEFITS OF SNACKING
Pro-snackers will be pleased to hear that snacking can be a healthy habit – when it’s done smartly.
- Snacking can help you avoid overeating at mealtimes. Some people don’t eat for hours after lunch then have a huge meal in the evening. This encourages you to binge on massive portions and puts a strain on your digestive system.
If you can’t eat until later, a substantial snack in the afternoon – perhaps a healthy office snack if you haven’t time to make your own – will help you not over-indulge at dinner.
- Snacking can help sustain your physical and mental energy. If you leave longer than 3-4 hours between meals your body will start to get hungry, lose energy and experience blood sugar dips, particularly if you are active.
Eating a small snack such as these power-packed pre-gym snacks will keep your blood sugar stable which will keep you feeling mentally alert and ready for action.
- Snacking can help you eat more healthy foods into your body. A great excuse to eat more food is to increase your nutrient intake with clean eating snacks that make you feel good. The more often you eat the more fruit, veg, protein and calcium-rich foods you can treat your body to. This is especially important if you exercise a lot as your body will have additional nutritional needs.
PERILS OF SNACKING
- Temptations of junk food. We are surrounded by salty, sugary, grab-and-go snacks. It’s not easy to resist – even if you’re not hungry! But these types of snacks offer us little nutritional benefit, contribute to weight gain and can often make us feel lethargic. Instead, opt for powder-free protein snacks that fill you up with real food.
- You might be an emotional eater. The only good reason to snack is if you’re hungry or have additional nutritional needs. But if you’re eating for reasons other than that, maybe if you’re bored, upset or stressed, you probably need to think about how to break that habit.
Enjoy your smart snacking!