Chris Pratt hit the nail on the head when he started #whatsmysnack on IG. If you are one of his fans, you know exactly what I’m talking about. His hilarious clips about his healthy snacks had me seriously laughing out loud! I mean, who doesn’t drool over healthy carrot cake!
Let’s talk about snacks and why you see so many of the fitness guru’s talking about how important it is to snack between meals!
Planning snacks and making the right choices for snacks is as important as planning your meals. The whole point of snacks between meals is to keep your metabolism working throughout the day- which is why you hear so many nutritionists and dieticians enforcing the 5-6 meals a day. 3 large, 2-3 small ones.
You want to make sure that your snacks contain the fuel your body needs but it’s also dependent on what you do all day. For example: because I’m a kickboxing trainer and I am physically active all day and since I usually burn anywhere from 1000-1200 calories before noon, I make sure my snacks give my body the fuel it needs to support my active day, my training, but that also keeps me satisfied.(Note: no one is pretty when they are ‘hangry’). However, If you have a sedentary job, it’s important for your body to get the fuel it needs to actively keep your metabolism burning and working versus storing.
Eating less does NOT make you lose weight! In fact, it will do the exact opposite. Not eating enough will slow down your metabolism, therefore instead of burning fat for fuel, you are storing it, because your body literally thinks “it will need it for later”. Our metabolism does one of 3 things with the food we eat. It either stores it, burns it or builds it. That is why the food that we choose to eat is important for our overall nutrition, whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain your weight or even gain weight.
Meal planning can be overwhelming, mainly because there is so much out there in terms of diets. We have keto, paleo, Atkins, raw, plant-based, macro counting, point counting and the list goes on and on, which is why we can easily get overwhelmed with knowing where to start, trying to figure out what’s good for us and which one will work. Nutrition is an individual thing, everybody is different, and there are so many facets that contribute to us successfully having a balanced and health ‘diet’. This is why I can’t stress enough how important it is to make eating balanced and healthy a lifestyle, not as a short term diet. Personally, I like to bring it back to the basics, the fundamentals of nutrition- how our body processes food and how our metabolism works. My nutrition advice and recommendations are based on simple nutrition- healthy, wholesome, natural foods. I choose this way of eating because it fits my lifestyle, fuels my body accordingly and most importantly we eat this way as a family. The point is finding a balanced nutrition that you can sustain as a lifestyle and that makes you feel good in whichever diet you choose to follow.
Back to snacking. I’m going to keep it simple and easy to follow. This pretty much sums up how I choose my snacks throughout the day:
- A protein, a fat and a carbohydrate- this type of snack is ideal as a mid-morning snack (between breakfast & lunch) or as a pre-workout snack.
- A protein and a fat: ideal as a mid-day snack (between Lunch and dinner) or as a post workout snack either before or after dinner.
- A fat & a carbohydrate- can be mid morning or mid day snack
*Try to keep your carbohydrate snacks to vegetables or berries if you are less active throughout the day.
List of my top go to snacks. Simple, fast to prepare and quick to eat.
A protein, a fat, a carbohydrate:
- ½ cup cottage cheese, ¼ cup blackberries ( or any berry), 2 tbsp nuts
- 1 cup of greek yogurt, with tbsp peanut butter and ¼ cup berries
- Smoothie ( Protein Powder, ¼ cup frozen mango, ¼ cup avocado)
A Protein & Fat
- Protein shake with added Peanut butter
- Yogurt/Cottage Cheese with Almonds or walnuts
A Fat & Carbohydrate:
- Cucumbers & Hummus
- Rice cake with PB
- Celery & Cherry with Guacamole
- Small Apple with Almond Butter
Today’s take away? Eat better not less. Make better choices, make the change a lifestyle and please fuel your body!