What To Snack On When You Are Hungry

low fat cheese sticks

Who doesn’t enjoy a snack from time to time? I know I do. Sometimes, snacks serve a functional purpose, like a mid-workout banana to give you that little energy boost, or a mid morning piece of fruit and nuts because you had a quick light breakfast and need something to tide you over to lunch. Or, simply because you fancy a slice of cake, and who doesn’t like cake.

At the end of the day, food is food. It has taste and texture and odour, but it’s more than just that, it evokes feelings and emotions and, sometimes a sweet snack is exactly what you need to feel slightly better.

The only problem I see with snacking is when people do it mindlessly, sitting at the computer working and ploughing through salted peanuts or Haribo. Grabbing a biscuit every time you walk into the kitchen, scoffing an entire family sized bag of kettle chips whilst watching the latest episode of your favourite Netflix show.

Ideally, a healthy snack would contain a bit of protein and /or some fibre. Biltong, low fat cheese, some almonds, carrot sticks, an apple, etc. Something that is legitimately going to fill a hole and not leave you craving more.

But there’s a couple more things to touch on here.

If you have planned your meals out, each meal has a good balance of calories, protein, fats and carbs and you are adequately hydrated, you really shouldn’t be getting hungry between meals. So, this leads me to think something else is going on. Are you bored and eating mindlessly to feed that need? Or are you stressed out about something and eating to make you feel better?

Emotional eating is problematic. Sure, we all do it sometimes, but if you are always in a state of fight or flight and never thinking about the actions you are taking you could easily end up bingeing on hyper palatable ‘junk’ foods. So, the next time you feel the need to snack, just stop and ask yourself this question:

“What need is this feeding? What are my thoughts fixated on right now? What emotions am I feeling? What other action could I choose to take to feed that need?”

By doing this exercise you are taking back control and can choose an appropriate action rather than an emotive reaction. Think of a bunch of things you could do that make you feel good, that don’t involve shovelling spoon fulls of chocolate chip ice cream into your face.

If the answer is still ‘ICECREAM PLEASE!’ fine, own that decisions and, if possible, make it fit your Calories.