Have you ever forgotten to take your chicken out of the freezer? did you end up having to order out instead? yeah… me too. Who plans their snacks anyway, snacks require spontaneity. like I could really murder some Doritos right about now.

However having a snack plan can really change those grab and go moments into well fed opportunities.

The Snacker Rules

The Time to Snack

Don’t just go and grab a granola bar and a latte because you are on your way to work as its part of your morning routine. Snack when you are hungry. not starving just peckish.

 

Be a smart snacker, use snacks to tide you over until meal time, give your body time between meals for your food to digest. The snacks you should be looking for should provide sustained energy.

What to snack

Keep these in mind when choosing your snack: approx 3 grams of fibre, 150 to 250 calories, 5 grams of protein, and no more than 12 grams of fat. Protein and fibre help you feel satisfied and fuller for longer.

That being said you shouldn’t go and grab another snack straight after because its healthy, this may cause you to overeat at your next meal time. Being human we are not always going to hit all of the markers, its crazy impossible. Aim for overall balance.

How to Snack

Try and treat every snack as a mini meal, simply by serving one portion and popping it on to a plate. keeping a clean plate at your workplace can help with this.

Don’t multitask when you eat, simply enjoy the food. Apply this strategy at regular meals. A study, showed that when you’re distracted during meal time, you may be more likely to over snack. (queue the popcorn).

When we eat, we gather information about the food we are eating, like the flavors, the textures and just how satisfied we feel after the meal. this is refereed to as meal memory.

Meet The Snackers

The Boredom Snacker

Lisa Lean, 24

The challenge for this married stay-at-home mum of two, steering clear of the treats that she keeps in the house for her kids. “It’s easy to grab their snacks when bored or tired or both,”

Her Typical Day

Breakfast: Hot cereal, coffee, a bowl of her son’s sugary cereal.

Morning snack: None.

Lunch: Black beans and guacamole on a high-fibre tortilla & celery sticks.

Afternoon snacks: Honeyed almonds, 2 bars of chocolate; a cup of raisin bran with skim milk; crackers with peanut butter.

Dinner: Sauteed chicken breast with garlic, broccoli, peas, and basmati rice.

Night time snack: None.

What the nutritionist says: Lisa eats well overall, but if she planned her food in advance, she won’t snack so much out of boredom.

At breakfast she should skip the cereal and add some protein, such as cottage cheese or nuts. It’s alright if she doesn’t want a morning snack. But for her afternoon snack she appears to be relying on sweets (yes, raisin bran is so sugary!) for boosts of energy. Unfortunately, she crashes and burns real quickly, which leads her to eat even more sugary snacks. Instead, she should up the protein and fibre with cheese and fruit. The afternoon would also be a great time for her to go for a walk, or work out, all things that will help break the boredom and cut down on her over snacking.

The Impulse Snacker

Lindsay Wills, 36
As a working mum of two children under the age of 3, Lindsay finds it really hard to prep healthy snacks. With an hour-long drive and meeting-filled workdays, she doesn’t have time to think about snacks and consequently is hungry for dinner that she doesn’t make the right choices.

Her Typical Day

Breakfast: A bowl of sweetened oat cereal with milk; a glass of grapefruit juice.

Morning snack: None.

Lunch: A chicken quesadilla; garden-veggie chips; a Diet Coke.

Afternoon snack: Candy; a piece of cake if a coworker is having a birthday.

Dinner: A big bowl of cereal with milk; jelly beans.

Night time snack: None.

What the nutritionist says: If Lindsay likes cereal, she should switch to a low-sugar version with 5 or more grams of fibre. Avoid the juice, which lacks fibre and has the same energy-spike-and-crash effect as sugar, and instead choose whole fruit. She should add a mid-morning snack on days when she is hungry or when lunch will be later than usual. It might be smart for her to stock a desk drawer or the office refrigerator with easy options—say, individual packets of plain instant oatmeal, a tin of roasted nuts, or an ounce of cheese—so she doesn’t even have to think about choices. She can indulge her sweet tooth during her afternoon snack as long as it’s balanced and in moderation. For example, she could forgo the candy in flavor of a skim mocha latte. That way, she’ll get a taste of chocolate along with nutritious protein and calcium from the milk. And if she simply must have the birthday cake, she should ask for a half-size slice and wash it down with low-fat or skim milk or supplement it with a piece of fruit. Taking these steps, she won’t be ravenous when she gets home and will be able to make a more thoughtful dinner choice.

The All-Day Snacker

Jeanne Knudsen, 50

Jeanne, a mother of four, teaches high school social studies in Ridge, New York. At school, her lunch period comes early—at 9:20 a.m.!—and she reports that she feels hungry the rest of the day. “I just graze until bedtime,” she says.

Her Typical Day

Breakfast: A bagel with cream cheese.

Morning snacks: A lemon energy bar; chocolate from the faculty center.

Lunch: Yogurt with peaches and granola.

Afternoon snack: Cheese and crackers or carrots and hummus.

Dinner: Grilled chicken with egg noodles and a side salad.

Nighttime snack: Two cookies.

The Snackers Guide