5 tips to keep in mind for healthy snacking.
The New Year is still, well…new and energy levels are high. Resolve to look your best year-round, and feel it too. Get into shape with some practical tips on how to tackle those killer snack cravings while you focus on your gym goals towards a fitter and healthier you.
Like everything in life worth pursuing, this requires a bit of thought and planning. But we promise you it will result in a healthier, happier you, and will be well worth going that extra mile.
A brief note on your fitness goals
Whether you gym, do yoga or follow any other fitness regime, it’s far more important in the long run to build a habit forming routine rather than a quick shedding of pounds, and back to fat.
That said, seeing results and achieving short-term goals is exhilarating. So go ahead, and decide on your goals keeping in mind these 3 tips:
- Be specific: Do you want to get fit? Or simply to lose fat? Are you aiming for something in between? Are you training for a race?
- Set realistic fitness goals, with a realistic timeline: Example, you want to lose 2 kgs in 3 months.
- Visualise your goal clearly in your mind: Imagine what it would feel like to attain it, live it. If you can, write it down.
Done? Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritties. Decide on your schedule. How long do you need to get there? Again, be realistic. How much time in the day are you going to set aside for your exercise regime? Don’t rush. Remember always, the key is consistency.
Next, let’s tackle those sneaky snack attacks
We all have low energy points at school or work when we crave snacks – preferably snacks that are fried or sweet or salty – to snap us out of that deadly lethargy.
Well, here’s some news for you, snacking is fine, as long as it’s done in moderation, and with nutritious choices. Just be clear about exactly what it is you are snacking on. Ditch anything that’s over-processed, extra salt or sweet, and cobble together a list of snacks that are nutritious and balanced. Choose in-between nibbles that are not only delicious, they actually satisfies your craving. Something that none of the conventional junk food does. Plus these will give you that burst of vitamins and nutrients your body needs.
Power it up with super snacks
The right bites can charge up your energy and keep your mind alert all day. So put together a list of healthy snackeroos. And when you want to snack, stick to these simple rules:
- Munch on foods with crunch: Fresh fruits, veggie sticks (think carrot and celery), nuts (walnuts, almonds) and seeds (chia, basil, gardencress). Keep adding to the list as and when you think of ideas
- Think before you drink: That’s an easy one. Simply avoid bottled and sugary drinks
- Whole foods are better than refined: Anything made from whole grains are naturally more satisfying and nutritious. Example, snacks made from whole grain flour or millets. There are plenty available these days, just keep your eyes peeled. And if you can’t find them, make them!
- Try better butter: Slather on peanut or almond butter, tahini or hummus on your toast for an extra energy hit
- Cheat that sweet tooth. When a craving for something sweet persists try fruits – either fresh or dry – that are naturally sweet, like grapes, raisins, dates and figs. Or homemade bakes and cakes made with whole grain flour and sugar alternatives like jaggery and honey.
Finally, we can’t stress enough the importance of knowing what you are consuming. Check the nutrition label of products and choose wisely before you buy them. Watch out for added sugars, salt and fat content. In fact why not try making healthier versions of the snacks you like at home? Then you can choose exactly what goes into them.
Do feel free to comment or write in with any tips and tricks you might have, either for achieving your fitness goals or tackling your snack cravings, or both!