Hi, friends! I hope you had a wonderful Monday. Mr. Hungry had a hernia repair done on Friday. Everything went well, and he is slowly recovering. The first couple days were pretty rough, but he seems to be getting better every day. On the one hand, I’m super excited he will be home all week. It’s nice to have another human being around during the day. Plus he watches TV with his headphones so I can still get work done.
Today, I wanted to answer a few of the most common questions about snacking I get from Hungry Hobby RD clients.
Also, for WTE? Meal Plans we include one new morning snack and one new afternoon snack in every meal plan each week. That’s because I believe energy comes from food and a healthy body composition comes from eating foods that fuel!
Here are some of my most common questions from Hungry Hobby RD clients and WTE? Meal Plan Subscribers.
Should I be snacking?
(4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Protein Balls)
There is a ton of information out there about how many times you should be eating a day. Research finds that there is no benefit to eating six meals a day or 3 meals a day for weight loss or weight maintenance, whatever works for you.
The point is you should regularly be eating to keep blood sugar levels stable. You should also be eating before you get ravenous.
I coach my clients to aim for 6-7 level, out of 10 when they sit down for a meal. If you are at a 3-5 and know it might be a while until your next meal, go ahead and have a snack.
On the flip side if you are less than 5 and your meal is between 1-2 hours away, ask yourself if you are actually hungry. Are you bored? Thirsty?
You may want to review my mini-series on Intuitive Eating.
What counts as a snack?
So, then, if a snack is a small amount of food eaten between meals. Then what is considered small and what is regarded as a meal?
In the meal definition, we see two key parts: regular and large.
Do you see where I’m going with this? I think defining how big or small your snack is based on a definition is utterly ridiculous. Your snacks can and should vary.
For instance, a pre-workout snack has the purpose of sustaining your blood sugar and giving you energy throughout your workout. A post-workout snack has the goal of refueling your muscles to help them adapt to the stresses put on them. Those may look different from another snack during the day.
Post-Workout Pomegranate Chia Parfait
The size of your snack should be based on your hunger, and how much food you need to make it to the next time you will eat, whether that be another snack or meal. Some snacks will be 100 calories, and others might be 400 calories – more like a mini meal. As long as you are listening to your bodies hunger cues and intentionally choosing your snack, anything can count.
I will say this, if your meal is holding you over less than 3 hours, you might want to think about increasing the size of your meals.
What Is A Healthy Snack?
This is probably the most common question I get! When you are looking for healthy look for two things:
- You can read the ingredients on it. (See how to eat more real food.)
- It contains at least two of the following: protein + healthy fat + fiber
Ideally, most of your snacks will be unprocessed consisting mostly of protein and produce. Like celery + hummus or apple + peanut butter.
However, sometimes snacks have to be eaten on the go. I’d rather you eat a healthy bar while driving around to errands than get too hungry and hitting up the drive-thru.
Or, maybe sometimes those just won’t cut the cravings. I’d rather you get cleaner eating versions of your favorite snacks then subject yourself to chemicals that just make you crave more. So make sure you can read that ingredient list!
Love With Food Giveaway
Love with Food is a company I’ve been thrilled to share about for years at HH.
They help you discover new organic, all-natural or gluten-free snacks delivered to your door monthly. Receive a box of mystery better-for-you snacks and go on a fun foodie adventure every month.
They also donate a portion of the proceeds to help fight childhood hunger in the US and around the world!
They were also kind enough to donate one Love with Food box to a lucky HH reader this week! Enter the giveaway below!
Plus I saw they are running a VDAY special on their website, save 10 bucks on a deluxe or gluten-free box for certain plans!
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