"Smart" Snacking On Busy Days?
Let me know if this sounds familiar.
You had a rushed breakfast, powered through back-to-back meetings all morning, and arrived at lunch with low energy and hunger pangs, inhale a sleeve of cookies before you had a chance to see what you had planned for lunch.
Yes, this is a classic situation and one of the many reasons I am a fan of planning balanced snacks for busy days.
Foods high in added sugar or empty carbs like pasta, white bread, cookies, or donuts cause a blood sugar spike, followed by fatigue and a craving for more empty carbs. Sound familiar?
When you have a healthy snack instead, it can help fight these cravings!
Three Things That Make Your Snacks Smart
Ideally, you will want something that includes a combo of protein or healthy fat + fiber (at least 3 grams).
While there's nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional treat, arming yourself with healthy snacks can prevent you from overeating beyond fullness at the next meal.
When you choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains, they provide essential nutrients that your body needs to function.
Plus, healthy snacks can help you stay on track with your fat loss/weight management goals:
Reason #1: Prevents Overeating
Choosing a healthy snack paired with protein (or healthy fat) and fiber helps to reduce the chance of overeating later in the day.
Reason #2: Reduces Sugar Cravings
If you reach for sweets when you feel extra hungry, pairing high-fiber and high-protein foods may also help alleviate that urge for sugar.
Reason #3: Provides Nutrients
Eating nutrient-dense foods can also help you lose weight long-term because this approach cuts out empty calories from added sugar, processed grains, and refined oils.
Smart Snack Ideas
If you know you will barely get a lunch break today, you are rushing out the door, or have growling stomach hunger that doesn't go away, here are a few easy and healthy snack ideas for you:
Red bell pepper with guacamole
Hard-boiled egg (2) with apple slices
Apple slices with nut butter
Protein green smoothie
Greek yogurt (plain) topped with fresh berries and granola
Nuts & seeds trail mix
Almonds and raspberries
Walnuts and grapes
Vegetables and hummus
Grass-fed beef jerky
Whole grain bread with nut butter + fresh berries
Hummus and flaxseed crackers
Egg veggie muffins (2)
Takeaway: If you struggle with not eating enough nutrient-dense foods during the day, try prepping one day ahead with one of these snacks for your busy lifestyle. Busy doesn’t have to equal unhealthy.