The LEAN Team

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Free health and nutrtition tips

Planning snack times into my daily routine

 

The Basics

On average we eat 4- 6 times each day – which means 3 meals and 3 snacks for most of us. However, many of the snacks eaten are unplanned – mostly happening because of hunger or simply because something is available. This usually, results in grabbing the nearest thing to hand, - which often turns out not to be the best choice.

 

Myths and Misconceptions

  • “Snacking is bad for you”. Not true. Snacking is not bad unless you only eat biscuits, chocolates or whole trifles between meals. If healthy choices of snacks are eaten e.g. fruit, .snacking can provide up to one quarter of the average adult calorie intake and make a significant contribution to your overall nutrient intakes. In addition, snacks which are low in fat and high in carbohydrate (compared to meals), help to shift the balance of your diet in the right direction.

 

Tips and Tricks

  • Plan to eat… A snack at those times of day when you are most vulnerable for picking e.g. late afternoon, evening times.

 

  • Planning snacks means that you will regain better control over what and how much you eat – which is important to control your weight, especially if you are losing weight.

 

  • If at home, there are plenty of choices to be made: from fruit, a small bowl of cereal, or slice of toast, to a low fat biscuit such as fig roll or jaffa cake. If you find it hard to have the ‘wrong’ types of snacks in your home – don’t buy them. If that’s hard (because others in the house have them) keep your panic food stocked up and have your own cupboard – or drawer to keep them in. Store snacks out of sight and in a place where you would have to make an effort to get them – i.e. in the attic... or maybe the supermarket!

 

  • If you are away from home, take a healthy snack with you e.g. a piece of fruit, a slice of individually wrapped malt loaf, dried fruit or a cereal/muesli health bar. Keep them in your gym bag, in the glove box of your car or in the pocket of your coat or jacket (this is not a great idea to do with bananas!) 

 

We all like to be healthy and to be sure that we're doing the best we can for ourselves, and our families, health.