Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, snack, if your day sounds little like this you might have snacking all wrong. Nutritionist Susie Burrell got us thinking, maybe we’re snacking a little too much, which makes us exceed the recommended calorie intake of 1,500 calories per day (or 1,200 calories per day for weight loss). It’s time to relearn everything you once thought about snacking and snack right.
Your Snack Should Keep You Full For 1-2 Hours
Think of your snack as a mini meal which means it should be keeping you full for one to two hours. “For this reason packets of chips, rice crackers, noodles, biscuits and muffins are not great choices as they tend to be relatively unsatisfying compared to snack choices that are based around protein rich foods like low-fat dairy, nuts or lean meats,” says Susie.
Your Snack Should Be 100-200 Calories
Susie admits snacks have become mini meals sometimes coming in at more than 300 calories. “Ideally a snack should be 100-200 calories and contain some protein,” says Susie. Consider a small coffee, a handful of nuts or 100 grams of Greek yoghurt and berries the perfect snack.
Save Your Snacks For The Afternoon
If you wake up at 7 a.m. head to work for a 9 a.m. start and don’t tuck into breakfast until 9:30 a.m. your breakfast should keep you going until lunch. Susie suggests saving your snacks until the afternoon is better for weight loss. “Unless you’re having breakfast at 7 a.m. and find yourself starving by 10 a.m. or you train for at least one hour in the morning and are very active throughout the day you may need a light mid-morning snack,” says Susie.
Coffee Is A Snack
Apologies to all the coffee drinkers reading this but your mid-morning/ late-afternoon coffee is most definitely, absolutely a snack. This is all thanks to the milk added. Susie admits, unless it’s a black coffee, your morning/afternoon pick-me-up will contain 60 calories — if not closer — to 200 calories if you choose a regular size. So if you can’t live without your coffee limit it to one, two if you must, small coffees each day and swap out the rest with clear tea, which is packed with antioxidants and has zero calories. Oh, and be sure to skip the naughty sweet treat that you have with it because you’re coffee is your snack — remember that.
Avoid Packaged Food Claiming to Be “Healthy”
The majority of snack foods on the market claim to be healthy but when you have a closer look these “healthy” cakes, muffins, biscuits, pastries, potato chips and rice snacks offer very little nutritionally except for rapidly digested carbs and empty sugars.