By Josephine Atluri, Dir Business Operations
Snacking - i’s probably one of the main downfalls of a person’s attempt at healthy eating. I can say that for myself, snacking is a major issue. A person can be on point when it comes to their main three meals, but when stressful moments in the day pop up it can be very difficult to think clearly about food choices. In addition, the holiday season is one of the busiest and most stressful times for most people. Coupled with all of the extra parties and social gatherings, there is a lot of room for unnecessary and unhealthy eating. How can you stay on track amidst all of this mayhem? Over the years, I’ve picked up some proven strategies to help combat the snacking dilemma. Here are my top five suggestions for successful snacking:
Tip #1: Planning is key
I’m not saying you have to food journal (although that can be helpful when first starting out to eat healthier) but it is important to think ahead for the day. What does your schedule look like and when can you squeeze in your meals and snacks? Then, have a general idea of what you plan to eat and have it ready or easily accessible. By planning ahead, you take out the guesswork of what to eat in the moment. Many times we eat whatever is in sight (bad or good) due to convenience. It is harder to deviate from a plan if you have already made especially if you already have the food with you.
Tip #2: Portion out your snacks
You may know the healthy options to have for snacks, but you also need to factor in the appropriate amounts. The food industry has become keenly aware of the portion control movement. Thus, we are lucky to have many items already prepackaged in convenient sizes such as trail mix and fruit cups. Seek out these portioned items for your snack options. If your favorite items don’t come prepackaged in convenient portions, prepare several days worth of snacks ahead of time.
Tip #3:Don’t buy it in the first place
If you don’t have it in your home, then there’s no way you can eat it, right? Make sure not to go to grocery shopping when you are starving otherwise you are more likely to pick out unhealthy options.
Tip #4: A variety of options prevents boredom
Don’t just eat the same snack every afternoon otherwise you will get bored and will turn to an unhealthy option down the road. Mix things up!
Tip #5: Be flexible and have backup options
Life never goes according to schedule. You may have the best of intentions, but then find yourself in a situation where you can’t have your nicely planned snack. Always have a backup that is easily accessible and be flexible if things don’t go as planned. It’s not the end of the world if you don't have that healthy snack. Just remember that tomorrow is a new day and a new opportunity to start fresh.
Personally, I have a tough time with snacking come midday because I am in the car and running around with my kids. I make sure to bring some healthy fuel so I don’t end up at a drive-thru. My personal favorites include small packages of nuts, a piece of fruit, small packages of peanut butter, greek yogurt, a bag of veggies, and fruit cups. As for my backup, I always find myself at a Starbucks throughout the day. Luckily, most of the items I mentioned as my go-to snacks can be purchased there. My current favorite snack is Siggi’s yogurt because it’s packed with protein but not that much sugar. It’s delicious! Try to incorporate each of these tips slowly into your healthy eating journey and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. Happy eating!