What is the first rule of snacking? No, it is not that you do not talk about snacking. The first rule of snacking is to plan your snacks ahead of time. Planning takes the guesswork out of it and helps you avoid any moments that lead to unhealthy choices that feed the ‘3 p.m. Slump Monster’ that so many of us hate and want to run away from. Stop hiding from the Slump Monster and start planning your snacks ahead! Check out these great ideas for all you snackers out there.
The Perfect Plan
A lot of us are home right now and the kitchen is just around the corner. Whether you are working from home or back in the office and out on the road you can always plan-ahead and snack healthy. Before your next shopping trip, look at your schedule for the week ahead and pre-plan your snacks for each day.
And remember, you don’t always need a snack! If you are trying to lose weight, consider dropping your mid-morning snack and holding out until lunchtime. Only snack when you are a little bit hungry and not stuffed or starving.
Hitting the Wall
Many of us hit a wall in the late afternoon. Our bodies want to be revived and the desire to fill them with salt, sugar, fat, and caffeine is strong. Instead try these ideas …
- Find foods with protein and fiber to fill you up. Nothing over 12 grams of fat is ideal. Apples with peanut butter hit the spot. Cottage cheese, nuts, and edamame also work well. Avoid 100 calorie snack packs as they often leave you feeling less than satiated.
- If sugar is your kryptonite, then have no fear because we are here to help. Stay away from sugary protein bars and find a good fruit and nut bar without additional ingredients. Greek yogurt with fruit is another great way to add protein and fiber which fill you up while getting a dose of sweetness. Nutella with sliced banana on a crisp whole-grain cracker is fantastic.
- Savory snacks are another indulgence for the Slump Monster. I could eat cheese all day and then chips. It is not the best-laid plan, I know. Instead, cherry tomatoes with goat cheese, a slice or two of ham or turkey wrapped around jicama, or air-popped popcorn (2-4 cups) seasoned with nutritional yeast are a better option.
- When traveling or out all day pack a mix of cut-up veggies like radishes, carrots, cucumber, or celery and some travel-sized peanut butter or light dressing packets to give you fiber and small doses of protein. A pear, apple, or handful of berries in a bag also works well when paired with nuts or a fruit and nut bar. Cold-pressed juices are another hit while driving. Avoid any with added sugar.
Sometimes all the protein and fiber-filled snacks are still not enough to perk us up. Not getting enough sleep, fresh air, or exercise can contribute to the late afternoon snoozy or low-energy feeling. Do not reach for another energy drink or cup of coffee. Instead, try these quick tips.
- Go for a quick walk, even if it is a lap around your house or office.
- Stretch your body.
- Do not eat a big, heavy lunch.
- Find a friend and chat them up for a bit. It will perk you up.
What are your tips for beating the Slump Monster? Share in the comments below!