One of the questions we regularly get asked at the gym when it comes to nutrition is, what snacks should I eat? Typical snacks people tend to go for are crisps, chocolate, sweets, cereal bars, fruit, vegetables, dips etc. Now not all of these are unhealthy, but most of these are ‘convenience foods’.
The thing to remember when it comes to snacks is that they’re essentially a ‘mini-meal’.
Keeping this in mind immediately opens up new snack ideas – for example, those 2 or 3 small chunks of chicken that probably would have been ignored and sent to the bin? Pair those with that last serving of mixed vegetables, or a handful of salad for a quick and easy snack. Those leftover vegetables and some hummus? Another snack done! Roast beef on a Sunday? Take a small slice or two for a snack with a few nuts and a small piece of fruit, and you have an easy grab and go option.
What about snacks from the shops? Well firstly you could buy more than one item and make those foods or part of those foods into similar snacks as above. But when considering options such as cereal bars, rice cakes, fruit and nut bags etc, learn to check the ingredients. The snack that says ‘healthy’, ‘zero fat’, or ‘full of fibre’ for example, isn’t always the optimal choice. By learning to read food labels you can decide for yourself which snack has the best ratios of the different macronutrients.
One product may contain 15g carbohydrates compared to one that is 20g carbohydrates, but the former could have 15g sugar and the latter could have 5g sugar! Sometimes the lower calorie bars can have more sugar than the higher calorie ones so it’s best to compare these, and the ones with higher protein and a reasonable amount of fat will also keep you fuller for longer. If you need help reading food labels then ask Emily at Core Results gym!
Lastly, how to make snack time more efficient without spending a fortune on shop bought varieties? The answer is to PLAN and PREP in advance, and in BULK.
Make your own: healthy granola, prep portions of fruit into individual servings then freeze for smoothies, make mini egg muffins, oat and fruit muffins, dressings, dips, pre-chopped vegetables, cook meat to use solely for snacks, ‘healthy’ pancakes, kale chips, stir fried vegetables… the list really is endless and you can tailor it to your own taste. It may be a struggle to motivate yourself at first, but it all really does pay off! You will not only know what you have to eat so you can look forward to it, but your snacks will keep you fuller for longer between your main meals, be healthier, and you will be less likely to overeat when it comes to mealtimes.
Here are some recipe ideas for homemade snacks:
The website for the last 3 contains tons of ideas, here is the main link for snacks
Core results is an exclusive private Chichester gym providing personal training programmes, gym access and superb classes.Come down to the gym and discuss how we can help you get your health and fitness goals on track.