I’ve talked about snacking habits here on the blog several times before. Lately, it’s something I’ve been thinking more about, since I’ve caught myself doing quite a bit of mindless snacking out of boredom. (Someone please remind me of how “horrible” being bored is in 2 months when I’m grading stacks of essays, thanks!)
This morning after breakfast, I sat down to flip through the August issue of Real Simple when I came across a feature titled “How to Snack Smarter.” The article had a lot of great tips + snack ideas, so I thought I’d pass a few along in case you’re not a Real Simple subscriber (which you should be; it’s my favorite magazine by far)!
When to Snack
Only snack when you’re hungry, not just because it’s your usual snack time. Jessica Crandall, an RD consulted for the article, suggested gauging hunger on a scale from 1 to 10 (1 = starving, 10 = stuffed). The best time to snack is when you would rate your hunger at a 3 or 4.
What to Snack on
Snacks should be between 150 to 250 calories, with about 3 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein, and no more than 12 grams of fat. Of course, as the article points out, it’s impossible to always achieve this ratio, so it’s all about balancing snacks throughout the day and being mindful of what you’ve already had.
How to Snack
The key word here should be no surprise; it’s all about being mindful. This is something I definitely need to work on! The article suggests treating each snack as a mini-meal and enjoying your snack on a plate, if possible.
There were several yummy-sounding snack ideas provided in the article that I want to try out, including:
- Ham and jicama wraps – wrap 6 jicama (or celery) sticks with ham & serve with mustard for dipping
- Bagel with ricotta and strawberries – spread 1/2 toasted whole-grain bagel thin with 2 tbsp. ricotta. Top with strawberries and a drizzle of honey (this seems like it would be perfect for a sweet treat!)
- Whole grain bread with almond butter and peaches
I couldn’t find the entire original article online, but I did find a few other helpful reads on the Real Simple website:
- 9 Healthy Pre-Dinner Snacks
- How to Snack Smarter
- Easy On-the-Go Snack Ideas
- Which Snack will Satisfy your Food Craving?
How many snacks do you eat during a day? During the school year, I typically snack during my prep period, when I get home from work (pre-workout), & after dinner (dessert).