Healthy Snacking For Better Energy
Contributed by Liza Rowan September 20, 2017
Timely, healthy snacking can totally influence your energy levels.
It can set you up for an awesome workout and a great recovery afterwards. It can also get you through that afternoon slump, or when used wisely, healthy snacking can successfully keep hunger at bay so that you don’t give in to the temptation of unhealthy treats.
On the other hand, snacking, if overused or abused, can totally jeopardise weight loss and result in weight gain over time. Snacking on sugary and processed foods can quash your energy caused by fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Inappropriate snacking can mean poor appetite for your planned healthy meals, and can also make you feel lethargic or guilty, leading to further poor snacking!
“Snacking can make or break your health aspirations,
from weight loss goals to sporting achievements”.
Get A Better Look At What You Consume
In trying to understand what might be influencing your energy levels, keeping a Health Journal is highly recommended.
Monitor your energy levels (e.g. on a scale of 1-10) at various times during the day, noting the dips, and times when you feel more vital.
See if any patterns emerge, indicating what helps you feel energized, and where a healthy snack might help revitalize!
NOTE: using treats as a reward or a bribe, does not encourage a healthy relationship with food.
When Food Can Revitalize
If you suffer from ‘that afternoon slump’ like many people do, perhaps it’s because there’s a long gap between lunch and your evening meal — a healthy snack will give you that little boost you need to keep going.
A great pick-me-up is something that’s nutritious, but doesn’t quickly raise your blood sugar levels; this would be something that is low in sugar and contains some protein or healthy fat. A good choice would be banana slices spread with nut butter, crudités with hummus, an energy ball or healthy granola bar. The key is to have something planned, and readily available, otherwise we tend to grab the nearest convenient food, which is usually not so healthy.
Where weight loss is a goal, be careful not to let the habit of regular snacking creep in. You don’t need a mid-morning, mid- afternoon and night-time snack – unless required for energy, low blood sugar levels, workout recovery, to stave off hunger, and sure, as an occasional treat.
The message here is not to let ‘snack time’ be an excuse to have a regular ‘treat’.